Monday, 29 August 2016

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Danika Stone!

      D.K. Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, she now writes novels for both adults (Edge of Wild, The Intaglio Series, and Ctrl Z) and teens (All the Feels).
     When not writing, Ms. Stone can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online.
     She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.
    Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

 What she has written:
All the Feels, Icarus, Ctrl Z, 
Edge of Wild, Intaglio: The Snake and the Coins (Intaglio, #1), 
and Intaglio: Dragons All The Way Down (Intaglio, #2)!
Bonus Giveaway!!!
    Heads up, there is an awesome giveaway of Danika's All the Feels going on at another part of the blog. To get there click the All the Feels mini image or the link bellow! The giveaway is restricted to people living in the  US and Canada. Good luck with the giveaway!

      Complete the tasks to earn ballets, upping your chance to win a fabulous physical copy of All the Feels by Danika Stone! This giveaway is open to everybody internationally!

Now on to the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
       I have a distinct memory of being three or four years old and learning to print letters. I made a bunch of letters on the back of an envelope, handed it to my father, and asked him what it said. I was devastated when he told me: “It doesn’t say anything. It’s just letters.” Already at that age, I imagined that there were stories just waiting to be told!
      As to my first ‘real’ writing would have been grade 3, when one of my poems was selected for a poetry anthology. Believe it or not, I still have a copy of that publication!

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
       My first goal is to pull readers into a story that feels REAL to them, and give them the joy of escaping from life for a little while. (That’s certainly why I read!) My second goal is to tell a story that’s an accurate reflection of the world, and expands a reader’s perceptions of life.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
       A) Write whatever gives you the most happiness, because there are times that finishing a story / doing revisions / copyediting a novel will feel more like torture than inspiration, and at the very least, the torture should be something you (sometimes) enjoy.
B) Don’t try to ‘guess’ the upcoming trends. Literature moves too fast for that, and you’ll always be a step behind. (See suggestion A for what you should write.)
C) Learn how to use the active voice. It changes everything about storytelling.

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
        On most days, my favorite novel is whatever I’m writing at the moment, because before it’s finished, it is perfect in my mind. (This all changes once it’s finished and I can pick it apart.)
As to completed novels, I’ll probably say To Kill a Mockingbird, for a couple reasons. First, it’s a timeless story that genuinely changed the world. It’s also a really excellent, fun read. And finally, I always enjoy reading it because of how studiously Harper Lee worked to simply finish writing it. TKAM is one of the 20th century’s iconic coming-of-age novels, but it was very nearly thrown away halfway through. If that’s not inspiring to a writer, I don’t know what is.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
       I have probably a hundred novelists that tie for first place (all the way from Margaret Atwood to Rainbow Rowell and everyone in between.) But if I had to narrow it to one, I’d go with Stephen King. He’s written one of my top 10 fiction novels (The Stand) and one of my top 10 non-fiction novels (On Writing. Honestly? That’s the only reason he edges out people like Barbara Kingsolver or John Green.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
      I am a classically trained painter and I love doing nature painting when time allows. I also enjoy hiking in the autumn (but not the summer, as I’m not fond of heat), travelling to beautiful places and seeing old architecture, and, when I’m feeling particularly lazy, binging on Netflix. (Stranger Things is my current obsession.)

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
      I was lucky to have grown up with a father who encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do, without question of feasibility. My dad had a great way of seeing the world in a childlike way, so differently than most adults I knew. And although he died many years ago, I still think of him often whenever I discover or do new things.

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
                               These are ALWAYS changing, but five on my current list are…
1. Have a cabin in the mountains.
2. Attend Comic Con.
3. Finish the sequel to Edge of Wild. (I’ve been fiddling with that story forever.)
4. Make the New York Times Bestseller list.
5. And, as Kerouac once said: “Be in love with your life, every detail of it.”
Ask me again tomorrow and this list will all be different.

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
      I remember visiting my uncle’s farm and George and my dad playing a practical joke on the group of us kids. They hid in the grass a little ways from the house and tricked us into thinking a bear was coming for us. The shrieks we made as we tore back to the house must have been heard for miles!

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
      Relax. You’ve got this. And if you don’t have it right now, you’ll figure it out along the way.

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