Saturday, December 28, 2019

Interview with Danika Stone, author of Switchback

1. Can you tell us a little about your next book?
The paperback version of Switchback hits stores in May, which is very exciting, but if you mean something new, that would be another mystery-thriller. The final book in my Waterton trilogy – Fall of Night – hits Edge of Wild and The Dark Divide) come together in a dark, edge-of-your-seat finale. Having never written a trilogy before, I was thrilled when my editor and publisher both fell in love with this tale! In it, the main characters, Rich and Louise, are starting their life together when Rich’s past comes to haunt him. He’s not the only one dealing with ‘ghosts’. Sadie Black Plume, the senior police officer in town, is haunted by memories of her one-time partner, even as she is faced with investigating a new rash of murders in the lonely mountain town.
bookstores next fall and brings the series to a close. All readers’ favorite characters from books 1 and 2 (
2. Are you working on anything new?
I am currently editing two YA projects, both of which are departures in genre for me. The first is an action-adventure that circles around a high school student caught up in a high-stakes game of survival when the coffee shop she’s in is taken over by bombers. The second is a m/m science fiction novel about a boy from Mars who is determined to make a new life for himself… even if it means joining the ‘enemy’ on Earth by enlisting in the Terran Forces. They’re projects that are very close to my heart and – fingers crossed! – ones that I hope you’ll be hearing more about in the coming year.
3. What’s your writing process like?
My books always start with a ‘what if?’ question. Once I have this spark of an idea, I mull over potential plots, gathering snippets of ideas for the characters that inhabit the world and spending weeks and months (and sometimes years) just thinking through the idea. Once the characters become absolutely clear to me, I sketch out a rough roadmap of what I’d like to write plotwise. At the twenty-page mark, I stop planning, and jump into manuscript-writing.
For me, that moment is the official starting point of WRITING A BOOK™. In this stage, I am hyper-focused on writing time. I get up at 5:00 AM to write and I sometimes stay up late into the night, but however it happens, I write a minimum of 1000 words a day – Every. Single. Day. – until I finish the last page. It’s the momentum that keeps me going. When I have the (very) rough draft done, I take a break for couple weeks to let it ‘sit’, then come back to it with fresh eyes. I polish it and when that’s done, I send it to alpha-readers. There are replies and another round of polishing, and then it goes out to beta-readers. One more polish and it’s ready to go to my agent… and then the REAL edits begin!
4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
No one tells you how challenging publishing is, even for successful authors. You need to accept that painful, recurring rejection is the norm. You write anyways. If you have the mindset that it’s about chiseling handholds, rather than creating something perfect based on innate talent, you’re more likely to keep at it. Querying / editing / submitting / promoting all comes down to never giving up.
tl;dr – Just. Keep. Going.
5. What are you currently reading?
The last book I read was Wilder Girls (Rory Powers)which was absolutely amazing! Currently on my TBR, I have Wicked Saints (Emily A. Duncan), Scars Like Wings (Erin Stewart), and Advice for Amateur Taxidermists & Beekeepers (Erin Emily Anne Vance).  I’m looking forward to jumping into those over the holidays!
Thank you so much for interviewing me, Tanya. It was great to chat about writing!
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the Switchback (Macmillan, 2019), Internet Famous (Macmillan, 2017) and All the Feels (Macmillan, 2016); and adults: Fall of Night (Stonehouse, 2020), The Dark Divide (Stonehouse, 2018) and Edge Of Wild (Stonehouse, 2016).    
throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens:
When not writing, Danika 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 Moe Ferrara of BookEnds Literary Agency

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