Author Interview with Danielle Van Alst
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
I'm so excited about this next author interview with Danielle Van Alst! Danielle is an amazing writer, supportive Twitter friend and fabulous human being. She's just released a new book this month, Fateful Voyage - a MUST for your TBR list!
But enough with the shout outs. Let's get started and learn more about this multi-talented author!
1. Describe your life in a nutshell.
To quote from one of my favorite films, “buckle your seat belts it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
2. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing ever since I could hold a pencil in my hand. I started with writing small articles for a little newspaper in elementary school and eventually that evolved into poetry, short stories, essays, and now the release of my first novel.
3. Why do you write?
I write because it makes me feel more human and gives me an escape from reality. Writing gives me an outlet to process all my thoughts and channel my creativity. I use writing to make sense of things and as an extension of my voice since I feel that I communicate more effectively through the written word. When I have to speak it’s like “er…what are words!”
4. Which do you enjoy more stories or poetry?
I really enjoy both, but I feel more emotionally connected to poetry. It just hits on a raw and vulnerable place that allows for such a wide range of emotions to be expressed. Poetry is freeing and deeply personal.
5. Do you google yourself?
No. I am actually not someone who enjoys technology or constantly looking at a screen. When I am on my computer, I just write and then shut it down. I only use google for research purposes…besides I don’t find myself that interesting!
6. What’s an interesting fact about you?
I am actually an adventure junkie. I’ve been hot-air ballooning, parasailing, ziplining, indoor skydiving, and paragliding. I want to go regular skydiving eventually…it’s on the bucket list!
7. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writer’s and Illustrators as well as the Alliance for Independent Authors. They hold meetings and we connect online through Facebook groups. Members share a wealth of information, resources, tips, ideas, and advice that has been absolutely invaluable in navigating the writing and publishing process.
8. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
An owl because owls are my favorite animal. In Native American culture, the owl as a totem animal belongs to those who find wisdom in silence. They are also able to help give a person strength in order to open their eyes and look into the shadows. The owl is a symbol of being able to navigate any darkness in life and provides a strong connection to the mystical world.
9. Favorite genre to read/write
I will read almost anything, but my favorite genre is historical fiction. I also enjoy writing in a variety of genres because I get bored easily and like experimenting with different styles, story structures, and ideas. I write poetry, horror, suspense, and my current novel is a historical fiction/romance hybrid.
10. If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
I would tell my younger self to not allow the negativity and criticism of others to destroy her dreams. I would tell my younger self to follow her passion and not to let fears of failure or imperfection stand in the way of pursuing her goals. Ultimately, I want to say you only fail if you don’t try so…what are you waiting so long for!
11. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yes, and only the people who know me extremely well would pick up on those things. Besides, if I told you then I’d have to kill you and that would just be unfortunate.
12. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Never! I am always reading…I can’t function without a book.
13. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No. I stand behind everything I write and I am proud of the product I create. Besides, I really don’t see any need to use one.
14. What’s your day job. Love it or hate it?
Writing is my day job. I am a freelance writer and content developer so I do a lot of work writing for other people. I create brochures, website content, articles, flyers, lecture presentations etc. I also do a bit of ghost writing, which ultimately, takes up a lot of my time.
15. Tell us about your books. Genre.
At the moment, I have two poetry books released and one children’s book. My upcoming novel, Fateful Voyage, is a historical fiction/romance hybrid. Without giving away any spoilers, it’s a tear-jerker and deals with the concept of coming to grips with tough topics about life and death. Additionally, I have another children’s book, Delilah’s Birthday Surprise, set for a late June 2018 release. It will be the first book in a series and it deals with the misadventures of an only child (Delilah) and her pet hippo Louise.
16. How do you select names for your characters?
The names of my characters in Fateful Voyage, came from a variety of sources. The majority of the names came from adaptations of people I like and the others just sort of came to me. If I like a name I hear, I write it down in a notebook for later use.
17. Why should we read it? Give me your best elevator pitch.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll remember what life truly is about. Love.
18. What’s your idea of success about this book?
I hope that people enjoy it and can connect with it. I of course want it to sell well, but my idea of success is all about connecting with the reader and touching them in some way. I want people to come away from reading my book feeling moved, touched, or even reflective about their own life. I also hope readers connect with the characters in my book and feel like they know them and are “friends” with them. I believe a good book is one that stays with people long after they have finished reading it and hopefully my story will be one that lingers with people and finds a permanent home on their bookshelves.
1. Where can we find your book?
My book will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through most major online retailers. Additionally, it will be available on Breaking Rules Publishing’s online bookstore. (Click here to view Danielle's books on amazon.)
20. Epitaph on your grave?
She did it the hard way.
I'd like to thank Danielle for being my guest author this week. You can follow Danielle on the sites listed below. If you're on Twitter, make sure to tell her hi! And don't forget to check out her new book!