A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of reading Dani's debut, Changeling Moon. Now I am eager to read the second in the series, Changeling Dream, but I have to catch up because book three, Changeling Dawn is already due out in December.
Of course when I read a good book I usually contact the author and ask them to be a guest on the blog. So naturally I couldn't wait to get in contact with Dani!
I hope you enjoy the interview and take the time to enter the giveaway. Dani is giving away a copy of one of her books!
Dani – Hi, I’m Dani and I write about sexy shapeshifters… They call themselves Changelings, and they live right here among us. Your boss could be a Changeling. But so could the gal that does your pedicure. The coach of your company baseball team or even the cop that gives you a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt again could have furry tendencies. Your BFF could run on four feet at night and you wouldn’t know. Changelings hide in plain sight and live very human lives most of the time. Love, however, complicates their lives wildly.
The overall story is best summed up in a short video I just released (see below).
Amber - I throughly enjoyed Changeling Moon, the first book in the series, but it seemed like Zoey and Connor’s story was over. Is the second book, Changeling Dream, about a different character?
Dani – The Changeling series centers around the Macleod family of shapeshifters. There are four brothers and two sisters, and each book focuses on one of them. However, characters from earlier books are never gone completely, and pop up to support (or annoy) members of the family and the Pack. Some readers have said that the series is also about the small northern Canadian town where the Changelings live. It’s definitely one of those quirky places with a personality of its own!
Readers have been very interested in other members of the Pack too, like the RCMP’s sexy Sergeant Fitzpatrick and the pilot, Holt Lalonde. I’ve also had a couple of requests for a prequel about the small but mighty Jessie Watson, purveyor of fine food by day and leader of the Changeling pack by night.
Amber - So all the books can stand alone? Or is it better to read the books in order?
Dani – I designed the books to stand alone, so it’s possible to read them out of order. You wouldn’t wonder who the characters are and their relationship to each other. However, some readers say it’s better to read them from the beginning because then you get all the layers of the Changeling world built up gradually. Myself, I’ve read several series out of order (like the Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward … *drool*) and I don’t think it’s affected my enjoyment. So it’s definitely up to the reader.
Dani – Usually it’s whoever is the loudest in my head at the time. I don’t think of a storyline and figure out who would fit – I listen to the character and he or she tells me what the story is about. It’s a tougher way to write, because the character sometimes takes his doggone sweet time letting me know what’s going on (*cough – Culley – cough, cough*). And other times, the characters can’t wait to let me know what they’re up to.
Amber - Book three, Changeling Dawn, is due out December 27th. Can you tell us a little about the story and which characters it involves?
Dani – I’m truly excited about Changeling Dawn, which focuses on the youngest of the Macleod siblings, Kenzie. I think it’s my best story yet and I can hardly wait to share it with my readers. Here’s the blurb:
Kenzie Macleod has spent her whole life hiding the fact that she’s a werewolf. She’s not about to open up to any man, even one as powerfully attractive as wildlife expert Josh Talarkoteen. But legend says that a Changeling cannot escape the call of her true mate, even in the wilderness of backcountry Alaska.
An isolated archeological site, a terrified Changeling cub, a shadowy research facility — as Kenzie and Josh face the ultimate betrayal, his obsidian eyes promise untold pleasure and hint at dark secrets of his own…
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the series? And why wolves?
Dani - As far as I’ve been able to figure out, my new Changeling series was probably inspired by REAL wolves! One bright sunny morning when I lived on my little farm in northern Canada, I was stunned to see a pack of wolves – about 7 or 8 – lope leisurely across my yard not far from the house. No mistake about what these big dark creatures were. I’d seen hundreds of coyotes before and these clearly dwarfed them.
The wolves were amazingly beautiful creatures, running with ease and grace, seeming to float along rather than touch the ground. Their teeth gleamed white from grinning black lips, their tails were great plumed banners. Most of all, I had the strong impression that the wolves were happy as they ran together. It remains one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
However, I really didn’t sit down and plan the series. I started writing a story one day and the entire Macleod family turned up in my head. What a noisy, demanding bunch they were too! And then they all turned into wolves. I told them not to, but my characters never listen.
Amber - What other projects are you working on? What comes next?
Dani – At this moment I’m working on Book 4 in the Changeling series. It’s about Culley Macleod, the smart-ass brother in the family, and I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a more frustrating character. I’m hoping the heroine kicks his butt for me and so far, I think she’s going to do just that.
In other works, I’m very fond of the faery folk, maybe because of my Welsh-Irish family. So I have some things I’m developing there. In the future, I can see myself one day naturally moving into Urban Fantasy as well as PNR.
Dani – I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was big enough to hold a storybook. It was important to me to create the story, not just read it. Most of my career was spent writing for the newspaper business and other media. Sometimes I would write little fiction stories just for the fun of it, and in my free time, I read a lot of science fiction and horror and tales of the supernatural – but I never seemed to read romance. Then I stumbled on a story by Christine Feehan that rocked my world! Carpathians? Vampires? Paranormal and romance together? What a FANTASTIC genre! I’ve been hooked on PNR ever since.
Amber - How long did it take to get published?
Dani – As with most writers, it was a long road. There are about 10 years between the time I first started looking for a publisher and the time I signed a contract with Kensington. I had some stories released by small e-pubs in the meantime, but it was finding an agent that really made the difference for me. And yes, I have a very tall stack of rejection notices from both agents and publishers – I’ve heard that’s a requirement of being a writer, kind of like paying your dues, LOL.
Amber - Is there a paranormal creature you just don't like, and would never use in your books?
Dani – Zombies. I’ve tried and tried to work with them but they just don’t listen. And they’re not very sexy. Shuffle, shuffle, THUNK (*sound of body part falling off*), shuffle, shuffle.
Amber - What have you been reading and watching lately? Do you have any recommendations for us?
Dani – Just finished three GREAT books and I recommend them heartily!
1. Lover Mine from JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
2. Hunt the Moon – Book 6 of Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series.
3. River Marked – Patricia Briggs’ latest in the Mercy Thompson series.
As for what I’m watching, I’m a die-hard Supernatural fan. Sooooo glad that Season 7 has finally arrived and I’m getting my Sam and Dean fix regularly again. It’s the only program that I watch without fail. I really like Vampire Diaries and True Blood too, and I’m eager to try out some of the brand new paranormal offerings this fall, but I’ll have to clone myself or something in order to fit it all in.
Amber - What's your favorite paranormal movie of all time?
Dani – Hmmm. Tough one. If I had to narrow it down to a single movie, I would probably say HELLBOY. I can watch it again and again. I have a huge affection for graphic novels brought to the big screen. Just enjoyed THOR tremendously. I don’t think it would be stretching it to include all the horror and sci-fi that I love as well. I could watch the 2008 remake of STAR TREK over and over too – and it’s probably no accident that the star of Thor is in this movie as well!
Amber - If you could be any famous person, alive or dead, who would you be? And why?
Dani – Not sure I could get all the features I want in a single person. I’d like to look like Sarah Michelle Geller, write like Stephen King, JR Ward and Karen Chance, have the visionary brain-power of Albert Einstein and be as athletic as Venus Williams. (Is there a place I can order this?)
Amber - Thank you for being a guest! I hope we will see you again soon! ;)
Dani has a giveaway for you all! You could win a Dani Harper bookbag and a signed copy of Changeling Dream to put in it!
How To Enter
Dani wants to know what is your favorite paranormal romance or urban fantasy series?
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