Once again I have tricked an author into an interview! May you find it informative, entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring to go out and locate her books!
This interview is with author Danielle Rose-West.
Dear Danielle, can you offer us a little insight into who you are?
My name is Danielle Rose-West and I live in the United Kingdom with my family and our small dog. I am something of a romantic dreamer and always have been. I have always been a rather shy person. When I was growing up, books were often my best friends.
I have loved reading since I was a small child. My very first books were by Enid Blyton. She completely fascinated me with all the different worlds she introduced me to. My very favourite books were her Far Away Tree series. I still remember every story in those books even now! They were just magical.
I love to read still, of course, and I enjoy spending time with my husband when we both have time off from work. I love to get out and about. I walk every day for exercise and it really helps me to plot my books. I really am a very ordinary person getting to live the dream of being a writer!
What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?
I have always had a huge imagination and it’s been my dream for forever to be a writer. I tried several times to write a book, but never thought I could manage it. Then my husband bought me my own laptop and told me he believed I could do it. I haven’t looked back since. I still pinch myself that I am actually doing this!
Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?
I do use a pen name. I decided to use one because my real name just doesn’t sound like a romance novelist to my ears! I only have books out under one name currently, but who knows about the future!
What do you think is your best book?
That one is easy. The book that is just coming out now, Phoenix Rising, is by best book so far in my eyes. I have loved everything about writing it. In some ways it was the hardest book to write and also the easiest. Quite a contradiction I know, but it’s true.
I first had the idea for this novel almost a year ago when I was writing my first book. I knew it would be the third book in the Fairy Tale Match series, but there were other books I wanted to write first. It sat on the back burner for a while. Then I tried to start writing it after I completed Hidden in Shadows. I wrote forty five pages and I didn’t like any of it. Rhys just wasn’t showing himself to me and his and Taylor’s relationship was all wrong. Needless to say I left it alone and wrote the second book in the Haunted by the Past Series instead.
When I went back to Phoenix Rising, I binned the entire forty five pages that I had previously written, changed some of the motivation and storyline, and altered some of the characters roles, but names did survive! What I ended up with was a story that excited me and simply flowed from my head to the pages. This book is very dear to my heart. I loved everything about it, from the characters to the plotline. It is a very character driven piece with plenty of laughs, tears, and heart. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I loved writing it. For me, it’s a treasure.
Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?
I wouldn’t say that I have a worst book, except for one that I have never published, or finished for that matter. I have loved writing them all. What I would say is I feel I have come a long way as a writer since my first book. There were things I didn’t know when I wrote Wild Fire, changes I perhaps would have made in hindsight. I was so happy to have completed that first book, the one that started it all for me, that it holds a special place in my heart too. I just know I have learned a lot since writing it! I would have made it shorter for a start. Wild Fire is a long book, but some readers have told me they would have liked it longer! That’s a great compliment.
How do you think your writing has changed over time? Did it change at all?
I think my style is the same, but the technique has improved immensely. There was a lot that I didn’t know or realise when I wrote my first book. I think writing is a skill that you practise. Each book I do, I want the quality to increase. That way I know I am growing as an author. I like to stretch myself.
And can you say that writing has changed you?
Yes, without a doubt. Becoming an author is the achievement of a lifetime. I have dreamed of this since I was a child. To actually make it happen, after years of thinking I couldn’t, that changes a person. I have more confidence and belief in myself than I ever did before. I always encourage people to try and achieve at least one dream they have always had. There is no feeling like it when you accomplish your goals.
What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?
I am always trying to challenge myself in my writing. I found the Haunted by the Past series fun to work with. It is always a challenge to weave in a mystery into a story and not give away who the villain is until the end. I am sure some people will work out who the culprit is, but I hope that both my stories kept many readers guessing. It certainly worked with my test readers. The most daring thing I wrote involves one of those books, but I won’t say what, as I won’t spoil things for readers by revealing something that would give the plot away.
And, if your feel up to it, what is the most daring thing you ever did in your life?
It depends on what someone calls daring. I believe that pushing past personal fears is always daring. I have accomplished a lot in that area. Just becoming a published author was daring for me! I have been a horribly shy person my whole life, but I did manage to give a lecture to an entire hall full of people. I was sick with fear, but I still did it. That was an accomplishment.
Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?
I am currently challenging myself to write a time travel novel. It is taking a lot of research and effort, but I am loving it. It is very different to writing a modern day romance. I will keep on stretching my imagination and pushing the boundaries as I write. I dream up different series ideas and different plots all the time. I just want to love writing every book, and to entertain my readers. There is nothing better.
Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?
Not that I’m aware of. If I was compared to someone famous, I think it would be very flattering and a huge compliment.
Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?
I have a ton of favourite books. Most of them are romances! However, I would say that I am a big admirer of Agatha Christie. I think she was an amazing story teller and created the most incredible characters and plots. I love her Miss Marple and Poirot stories. They are incredible. She was a master! I also admire David Gemmell. He was another author that blew me away with the characters that he wrote. I really believed in them as real people. There are many that have blasted him for being an uneducated man, but to me his stories always sparkled with something special. He was also a master story teller and is greatly missed since his passing.
Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.
There was one book I can recall that actually inspired me to write. It was so bad, I couldn’t help thinking I could do better. I won’t name it, but the book had the heroine’s name in almost every sentence, and it was a complicated name at that. It drove me crazy. There was nothing really happening in the plot and the characters were weak, and that book had been accepted by a publisher! It made me feel that I couldn’t possibly do worse.
Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?
Any book that has only a few pages, but the author is charging a fair amount of money, should not be published in my opinion. I always believe in value for money for the reader.
Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?
I have no idea how co-writing would work. Maybe, sometime in the future, but I can’t think of anyone right now. It would have to be a romance writer and someone that loves unusual plots. Although, I have to admit I tend to be a control freak when it comes to my work. It’s why I am an indie author. I couldn’t bear to be told to change my characters or my story in a way that I didn’t agree with. I even do my own covers now! If I wrote with someone, they would have to be on my wave length or it could be a disaster.
Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. 😉
I always remember wise words my dad used to say to me when things got tough in my life. He would hug me close and say ‘remember, this too shall pass’. It helped me through the hardest times in my life and I have never forgotten them. He was a very wise man and I miss him every day.
And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?
I have a few things I am working on. There is one more book that will be on its way for the Fairy Tale Match and then a whole new series will spring up for my fairy godmothers. I am taking them on a new journey! Can’t wait for that.
I have another book in the works for Haunted by the Past and I have two new series in the pipeline. One is a time travel with magic thrown in. That is proving quite a challenge, but I’m loving it. The second I won’t say anything about right now, except that it has to do with a magical statue! I am really excited about it. There is a third series I have been toying with for some time, but I don’t know when I will start that. Believe me, my imagination has plenty yet to come.
If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!
I would like to share the synopsis and an excerpt from my new book, Phoenix Rising. I hope you enjoy it.
How can Fairy Godmothers help their charges find love in the modern world when nobody believes in magic anymore? Simple, they run a dating agency!
Rhys Spencer is determined to prevent his rich father from shutting down the charity he set up for kids in gangs, but he needs the money from a trust fund to do it. However, his grandmother has withheld the funds until he proves himself to be a mature, responsible person. To her mind, that means Rhys being in a serious relationship. Rhys turns to the Fairy Tale Match to find a woman he can use as a fake girlfriend. He will do all it takes to claim the money that will thwart his father’s selfish plans. The feisty woman the agency sets him up with, will not stand in his way.
Taylor Shore has more complications in her life than anyone should have to deal with. Guardian to her two half-siblings since their parents’ deaths, she has her hands full with their constant troublemaking. The last thing she needs is to win the prize in a dating agency competition she never entered. Furious to find her friend entered for her, Taylor is determined to send her prize packing. The guy that turns up to stay with her for three weeks, however, has other plans in mind. Refusing to be ordered from her house, the arrogant man offers her a deal she’d be a fool to refuse.
As Rhys inserts himself into Taylor’s problems, he begins to turn her life around. The angry fireworks between them gives way to a passionate love. Just as they find happiness, a vicious lie told by Taylor’s sister breaks them apart. Flo and Lotta have their work cut out for them to bring Rhys and Taylor back together. Time is against them and tragedy lurks on the horizon. Can Flo and Lotta save the day, or will Rhys and Taylor lose the precious love they have found forever….
Although the third book in the series, this can be read as a stand alone novel.
Her jaw dropped open and she stared at him disbelievingly. “You can’t be serious. You want me to be a fake girlfriend and lie to your grandmother? Why?”
He folded his arms over his chest. “You didn’t want to tell me why you were hanging from a window earlier, and I don’t want to tell you why I need you to do this.” He gazed at her with one eyebrow cocked. “I’ll stay out of your business if you stay out of mine.”
“It’s hardly the same thing!” she protested. “You expect me to lie for you. I should at least know why. It’s a despicable thing to pull the wool over your own grandmother’s eyes. I knew there had to be some reason why you’d joined a dating agency! It’s because of this, whatever this is, isn’t it?” She didn’t even wait for a reply. “Why am I not surprised?”
Her tone told him she expected nothing less from him. Rhys contemplated her reaction. She was unlikely to help him just because he’d saved her from that fall. He needed to sweeten the deal.
“I tell you what, you do this for me and I’ll not only call us even on the favour front, but I’ll pay you five grand if you pull it off. What do you say?”
She gaped at him and shook her head. “I have to have heard you wrong. Did you say you’d pay me five grand to be your fake girlfriend?”
“I did,” he confirmed, “but only if you are convincing enough that my grandmother believes it.”
Taylor stared into space. He could almost see the wheels whirling round in her head. “I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this. Do you guarantee me that this is nothing untoward? I don’t want to find out that I’ve helped you do something illegal or immoral.”
“You wound me with your lack of trust.” He clasped a hand to his chest.
She snorted. “Like I care. Well?”
“I can guarantee you that nobody will be hurt by this, nor are my reasons immoral or illegal.” He held out a hand. “Do we have an agreement?”
“How do I know that you’ll pay me? I could do everything you ask and then you could simply renege on the deal.” She ignored his hand and cast him a challenging glare.
Taylor obviously had severe trust issues. Rhys could relate. “I will pay you half in good faith, now. You will receive the other half when the task is complete. Sound fair?”
Taylor gazed at him for several moments. Her lips twisted to one side and she chewed on the corner of her mouth. Finally, she held out her hand. “Okay, you have a deal. God knows what I’m getting myself into, but I’ll do it.”
Other Books in The Fairy Tale Match Series:
- Wild Fire – Book 1
- Forever You – Book 2
Books in the Haunted by the Past Series:
- Hidden in Shadows – Book 1
- Shadow of Suspicion – Book 2
Thank you, Danielle, for your time, and for sharing your words with us!
You can find out more about Danielle Rose-West in the following places:
Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/author/daniellerosewest
Amazon Author Page UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Danielle-Rose-West/e/B00EF5GXSO