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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Author Interview & Contest with Dani Harper

My author guest this week is Dani Harper!

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!


Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your changeling series?

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.

Amber - How do you pick which character you will write about next?

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.

Amber - Why did you decide to start writing? Did you start writing paranormal stories or did you start with other genres?

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! ;)


Contest Time

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?

No Series = No Entry

'Please enter me' posts will not be counted as an entry!

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

Amberkatze's Book Blog

Have you 'Liked' Amberkatze's Book Blog on Facebook?

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!

The Book Depository

The contest will stay open until Sunday 30th of October 2011 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Denise Z said...

I loved the interview today. I hopped over from twitter and have signed up to follow this lovely blog. I have Changeling Dream and have Changeling Moon on my wishlist. Thank you for sharing the fun with us today!


Michelle Bledsoe said...

Enjoyed the interview Dani and Amber. My favorite paranormal/urban fantasy series is a new one to me. It is Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniels' series. I did not think I would like them, but I so fell in love. Now Dani I want to read your series. I like when a series includes family.

koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

felinewyvern said...

I have lots of favourites (usually whichever one I am currently reading) but at the top of the list (in no particular order) are
Patricia Briggs: Mercy Thompson Series & Alpha and Omega Series
Tanya Huff: Blood Series
Laurell K Hamilton: Anita Blake Series & Merry Gentry Series
Jennifer Rardin: Jaz Parks Series
Lilith Saintcrow: Dante Valentine Series

Aurian said...

Great interview, thanks ladies.
My favourite series is the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Even with 20 books, I still love it.


+ follower + subscriber + advertising on my own blog

JenM said...

I love shifters and I've got this series on my wishlist. I'll be looking forward to reading it. As for favorite series, it changes all the time but in UF, I'd say both of Patricia Briggs' series, Mercy Thompson and Alpha/Omega and Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. In PNR, I'm loving Thea Harrison's Elder Races books. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

alainala said...

im DYING to read this one!

some of my fav series.. Nalini Singh (anything by her!!) Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels and edge series.. Jennifer estep's Elemental Assassin series is wonderful (so is her YA one too!) i love jayne ann krentz' paranormal romances as well!

alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

elaing8 said...

Great interview.
Now that is a tough question.I have lots of favorites.
Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen series
Rachel Vincents Shifter series
Richelle Meads Vampire Academy series
Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series.


Starr K said...

My favorite series would have to be the Signs of the Zodiac series by Vickie Pettersson. With Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson coming in second. I haven't Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series but feels that needs to be mentioned.

Starr.k.griggs AT gmail.com

Diane said...

My favorite paranormal series? That's an easy question:
The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh, the first book titled Angel's Kiss.
I have read Dani's books also, werewolves or as she calls them Changelings are always fascinating.

dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

Dani Harper, Author said...

I should add to my list that I like Kelley Armstrong too. Just read the first book in Jeaniene Frost's series, "Halfway to the Grave" --- Omigosh, I think I have a new favorite!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the interview. Kresley Cole's IAD series is my favorite. Thanks for the giveaway.
GFC follower and Liked you on FB

latishajean said...

My favorite is Vampire academy by Richelle Mead I love that one so much! I also love Jeaniene Frost's books bones and cat! Thank you for the great giveaway I look forward to reading your books!
tishajean@ charter.net

Kayla Eklund said...

My favorite series is The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.


Cindy said...

Talk about making things difficult. I love so many series but you forced my hand so for my favorite PNR/UF series...drum roll please...Elle Jasper's Dark Ink Chronicles.
Dani; I love this series...bought them both from B&N and read them both right away...sooo looking forward to book three. I'm glad it's about one of the girls. Awesome series.
ctrim at ww dot rr dot com

Patti P said...

I have never read there books but I do have them on my wish list. I don't which series go under which catagories but my favorite series are Dark Hunters and the Carpathians. Does that count? I get so confused by all of the different kinds.
musicalfrog at comcast dot net

Kate Douglas said...

No need to enter me in the contest, Dani, as I've already pre-ordered the next book. I was lucky enough to get to read an ARC of this series and absolutely fell in love with the MacLeods. Loved your interview, too.

I swear we must be related--our journey to print is much the same, (I was a newspaper reporter, too!) and we write the same way, by turning the computer over to our characters. Personally, mine have been an absolute pain in the ass recently, but I wanted to wish you luck with the newest release.

Kate Douglas said...

Oops...forgot to mention my favorite series besides yours, probably because there are way too many. Love JR Ward's BDB and her Fallen Angels. Also anything by Nalini Singh, Eileen Wilkes Lupi series, Yasmine Galenorn's Otherworld, Angela Knight's Mageverse, Erin Kellison's Shadowlands series, Meljean Brooks Guardians and her Iron Seas, all of Christine Feehan's books, Jennifer Estep's new YA series...and the list goes on. And yes, I did just buy a new bookcase for my office this week! I'm still hooked on print, not digital, but I'm running out of room.

Chrisbails said...

I have a couple that I have loved. Love Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry, The Hallows by Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega, Ashlyn Chase's Strange Neighbors series, and Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse series. Just found a good author by the name of Jodi Redford's called That Old Black Magic. Read the first two books and loved them.
Dani is a new author for me and would love to win and read her books. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
He is a sweet heart..........don't run if he treats you nice!! I will shoot you!!

Mary Preston said...

My favorite right now would have to be the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.


Barbara E. said...

There are just too many to pick just one! My favorite urban fantasy series are Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin, Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid and Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock. Paranormal romances are Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series and Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen.

Sharon Stogner said...

Supernatural fans in the house!!! Team Dean here. We have the same taste in authors.
I am also Team Shifter and I have a "thing" for the fae. Sounds like we were separated at birth . I have a secret crush on Fae Prince Nuada from Hellboy II. Here is a link to a montage of him:

(not entering, just giving some love!)

Becky said...

Great interview! I enjoyed learning more about Dani. I have a lot of favorite paranormal/urban fantasy series. I love reading shifter stories. I have Changeling Moon on my wishlist. I like Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson Series, Vivian Arend's Granite Lake Wolves series, Kresley Cole's The Immortals After Dark Series and Terry Spear's Werewolf series to mention a few.


Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I tend to collect most of a series before reading it and generally my favorite is the one I just read. In this instance it's the Changeling series as I just read books 1 & 2 back to back. An awesome start to this shifter world





alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Victoria said...

I can't do that. I love so many, making me choose is wrong ;).
I love Larissa, Kresley, Gena, Stephanie, Frost, Armstrong, Sands, McCray, Arthur etc. series.

SandyG265 said...

My favorite is the Walker sereis by C.E. Murphy

sgiden at verizon.net

Unknown said...

I love Robin Owen's Summoning Series, the first being Guardian of Honor! Great series!

Julie S said...

I'm really into the Sabina Kane series by Jaye Wells. It is funny and really cool :)

clynsg said...

I like several of them but I guess the favorite is the Argeneau series by Sands.

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Meep! I like too many to name, so my top five are (in no particular order)

1. Smoke series - Tanya Huff
2. Fever - Karen Marie Moning
3. Women of the Otherworld = Kelley Armstrong
4. Kate Daniel - Ilona Andrews
5. Rachel Morgan - Kim Harrison

and so many more lol!
faefever25 at hotmail dot com

Dovile said...

My favorite paranormal romance series would be Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series.

spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

Twilight is my absolute favorite paranormal series. I love it. I wish there was more books coming out. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Stephanie said...

My favorite one right now is the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill.


Nylez said...

Lets see....Im a big Brothers fan so my faorite Pranormal romance is The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward! Its the reason why ive gotten into reading adult paranormal romance!(that and/or Lords of te Underorld by Gena Showalter)
Thanks for thhis giveaway!

tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/chixmoza/status/128522280463642625


In Julie's Opinion said...

My favorite paranormal romance series would be The Mortal Instruments! They have a little bit of something for everyone in that series :)
Thanks for a great interview and giveaway!
jwitt33 at live dot com

Amy said...

My favorite paranormal romance/urban fantasy series are both of Nalini Singh's series, the Psy/Changeling series and the Guild Hunter series.


Amber Hughes said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks to you & Dani for the giveaway!

I have many favorites, but my Ultimate favorite series is The Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward. It rocks!

New follower :-)

Tweeted the giveaway:


Bethany C. said...

I think my favorite right now is Jaye Wells's Sabina Kane series.


Brenda Demko said...

I have many favorites. At the top of the list is the Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neill and the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Thanks for the giveaway! brendem7@comcast.net

My Life With Books - Jennifer K Jovus said...

Mercy Thompson was my first UF read and love. She got me hooked. :) A newer UF fave is The Iron Druid Chronicles.
Jennifer K Jovus
kjovus at gmail dot com

chey said...

Great interview!
I enjoy many series. I think my favourite series is Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld.
chey127 at hotmail dot com

donnas said...

I have a lot of favorites. And cant pick just one. A few of them are: Night Huntress series, Kate Daniels series, Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series, Kim Harrisons The Hallows, and Lara Adrians Breed series.

tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/129364938610327552

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Tiffany Rochelle said...

Oh gosh!
I have a lot of favs but I guess to pick one I would say Kim Harrison's The Hollows. I love Rachel, she's an amazing lead character! :)

Thanks for the chance to win.

Tiffany Hollett

Unknown said...

I love the fever series..Barrons and Mac make for a wonderfully intriguing story!
I aam a new follower
tweeted it...http://twitter.com/#!/harley_chick883/status/129630653531688960

facebook post...http://amberkatze.blogspot.com/2011/10/author-interview-contest-with-dani.html

Thanks for the giveaway!


whitewolfreads said...

Some of my facourite series are The Othewold series by Kelley Armstrong, the Hallows series by Kim Harrison, Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, and the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/whitewolfreads/status/129633268155953152

Ren said...

Thanks for the interview!, My favorite series? Wow so many. I love Lords of The Underworld by Gena Showalter, Immortal After Dark by Kresley Cole, JRWard's BDB, Demonica's Larissa Ione, Guild Hunter's Nalini Singh, and the list is go on and on.

Thanks for the giveaway too!
sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

All-time fave would be Karen Marie Moning's Highlander Series.

And Changeling Moon is awesome - would love to read Changeling Dream!

annalisa said...

Enjoyed the interview! :)

My fave is the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. Ever since I read Bitten years ago, I have been hooked on this series. I also like the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison, the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, and the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.


Julie Robinson said...

Dani, I enjoyed the interview. Too late for the contest, but that's okay, since I already have the first two Changelings and am eagerly awaiting Changeling Dawn in December!