Mapped @ Image Mapper

Monday, June 20, 2011

Indie Author Interview: Danielle Raver

This is the first of what I hope will be a semi-regular segment on my blog where I interview great new up-and-coming indie authors. I got this idea from Stacey Turner, who recently interviewed me and who does a fantastic job every week showcasing new authors.

I first discovered Danielle Raver in May when I came across a blog post of hers where she explained why she had chosen to write fantasy. It turned out that she and I both shared a love for the amazing (and under-appreciated) Patricia McKillip, and that we'd also both published our first books in April.

Danielle's book is a dark epic fantasy titled Brother, Betrayed. I just started reading her book this past weekend, but already I can tell that she's a fantastic writer who has a real knack for creating compelling characters who live in a very believable world.

So let's get started with the interview!

1. Your debut novel, Brother, Betrayed, is an epic fantasy. Tell me a little bit about it.
I started writing it about seven years ago to prove to myself that I could finish a novel. It was quite an undertaking. The characters are three brothers, probably because my siblings are so important to me. It is set in a fantasy world called Miscia where magic and dragons are real, but no one knows it.

2. How long did it take you to plan out the world in Brother, Betrayed?
Because I wrote Brother, Betrayed as a sequel to a work in progress that I actually started when I was a child, I've been writing about the world, Miscia, my entire life. It was the first thing I ever started writing, and hopefully it won't take me the rest of my life to finish it.

3. What is your writing schedule? With two baby boys, I imagine you've got a full schedule!
You aren't the first person to ask me that Scott, but actually I have lots of time to write. That is because when I ever have a free moment, I find myself writing. It is my favorite hobby, and my retreat from the pressures of “real life”.

4. Have you always been a fantasy fan?
Yes, and it is my older brother's doing. We used to act out scenes from the Dragonlance books and Final Fantasy games as we played outside as children. It just stuck with me.

5. Are there any authors who are particularly inspiring to you?
There are many. As I'm writing to you I'm actually staring at my beat up copy of The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia Mckillip, who as you know is my favorite author. It is easy to slip away into her books. But my first response to your question, and some might find this odd because I am in my twenties, is Charles Dickens. I love the classics, and Dickens developed his characters so well that I can only aspire to write as well as he did, someday.

6. I love the artwork featured in your trailer and on the cover of your book. Did you draw the artwork yourself?
Thank you! And no, I commissioned an artist from DeviantArt. His name is Walt Barna. I sent him descriptions of the brothers and some excerpts to my books and he worked his magic.

7. What made you decide to go the indie publishing route?
Fantasy Island Book Publishing found me as I was taking the steps to self-publish. Publishing with an Indie publisher is different from a traditional publisher on many aspects, but the most important I have found is that there is an opportunity for authors to collaborate within an Indie Publisher Company, whereas with a traditional publisher you won't receive that kind of attention.

8. I know lots of indie authors struggle when it comes time to price their books. How did you arrive at the $2.99 price point for Brother, Betrayed?
That is the standard kindle price for all Kindle and Nook books at Fantasy Island Book Publishing. I am happy with the price, because I think that Kindle books being priced at $15.99 is outrageous.

9. What advice do you have for newbie writers who are also considering self-publishing their own books?
I would advise new authors not to try to do it on your own. There are great author communities through social media sites, and plenty of these authors are willing to offer advice about all the stages of writing and publishing.

10. What's next for you?
That is a great question. The act of finishing and “letting go” of my first novel was actually quite jarring. I miss not being able to work on it, and delve into the minds of Syah, Oman, and Fasime. I've got several projects in the works, and I'm sure I'll settle on one of them eventually. The most likely will be Flight Moon, my life's work (literally). It will be a great feeling to get that one down on paper.

Thanks, Danielle! Here's where you can find Danielle on the web: