I know Dannie and was excited to hear she had written a book. When I first started to read Desert Heat, I did so with a critical eye because it was...
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Our book club had the opportunity and privilege to meet and have a lively discussion of "Desert Heat" with Dannie Marsden...a great story with strong...
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I am waiting for the next book to come out! The story was a page turner and I also enjoyed the portrayal of a variety of lesbians and how we interact...
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Wow! Such a good story.I enjoyed it so much.I think what got me the most was that I don`t think most people would give a second thought to what kind...
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NANCY: When did you know you wanted to write?
DANNIE: That would have had to of been my freshman year in high school. I've been writing off and on, short stories now and then. I took a break when I got married, then decided what the heck, I might as well get back to it. For one thing, it silenced the voices, and no, I’m not crazy lol.
NANCY: When you said you were writing short stories, were you writing before your freshman year, or did you just start all of this in your fresh-man year?
DANNIE: It all started with an essay we had to write. I really enjoyed it, and like I said, I just started writing two and three page stories, started compiling notebooks and stuff like that.
NANCY: Who or what inspired you the most to write?
DANNIE: I don't know what inspired me to be honest. Like I said, it silences the voices in my head.
NANCY: So there was no person or thing that made you think this is what I want to do?
DANNIE: No, it wasn't anything like that. I really started writing seriously when going through a relationship break-up, figuring out why, figuring out how to deal with it. The characters would help me through it, working out the issues and deciding this wasn't going to work, just walk away type of thing.
NANCY:Where do your ideas come from?
DANNIE: The ideas just come to me. I will come up with a character, and think, that would be cool if that character was an FBI agent, or a female rancher back in the 1800's.
NANCY: So you actually think of the characters before you think of the story.
NANCY: Oh really?
DANNIE: Ironic as it is, yeah, I think up the characters first.
NANCY: That's different and definitely cool.
DANNIE: Right now, I'm thinking of possibly doing a forensic scientist type character.
NANCY: That would be cool, but you had better get to work on part two of Desert Heat. I have people constantly asking me when that's coming out!
DANNIE: (Laughing) I'm working on that one too.
NANCY: Ok-Good. Now I won't have to go into hiding!
DANNIE: It's coming along.
NANCY: When you are writing, do you have any big or little quirks? Like you have to use a favorite pen a pencil a certain type of paper. Or do you just sit down and write?
DANNIE: I have a favorite pen that I have to use.
NANCY: Oh do you? What's so special about this pen?
DANNIE: I don't know. I just like the way it feels, the way it writes, the way it flows.
NANCY: I can understand that. When I write I use a pencil, and not just any pencil. It has to be a Ticonderoga. I refuse to use anything else, I guess using a pencil with Pentel or Office Depot on it, just isn't butch enough for me. (Laughing)
DANNIE: I totally understand that. If I could find a fountain pen that I absolutely loved, I would do all my writing with that. There is just something about a fountain pen that I really like.
NANCY: Do you like music or background noise when you write, or do you need complete silence?
DANNIE: Background noise.
NANCY: Any kind of noise?
DANNIE: Depending on the story I'm writing. With Rayne's New Beginning, I listened to the sound track of the Man from Snowy River. Other than that it's classical or instrumental.
NANCY: Classical huh?
DANNIE: Yes, I prefer classical. For writing I don't like the pop tunes, otherwise yes, I do. I sing along terribly lol.
NANCY: You don't like pop-songs period, or just to write with?
DANNIE: I don't like them period. But I do need the background noise
NANCY: I like the pop-songs, but find if they are playing while I try to write I find myself singing and dancing-not writing.
DANNIE: Exactly. Every now and then I'll try to write with the TV on, but I catch myself watching and not writing.
NANCY:Are you often a character in your book?
DANNIE: Am I a character? No, the characters are totally different, they are not me. I did just decide I'm going to write a story based on Dannie-After Rayne's New Beginning becomes popular and they turn it into a movie. But that's on the back-burner.
NANCY: Now are you talking Dannie the Author or Dannie the person?
DANNIE: Dannie the author. Dannie the author and Dannie the person have similarities. She's fiction with some facts thrown in there. Dannie is my alter ego, but still shy.
NANCY: Do you base any of your characters on people you know?
DANNIE: There's a couple characters in Desert Heat that were based on people I know, with their permission of course. Otherwise, for the most part they are people that are in my head, that I admire.
NANCY: If you see someone walking down the street and you like the way they walk, move, look or sound-do you remember them a write that down so you can use it later? And do you work what you saw and liked into your story?
NANCY: Did you do that in Desert Heat?
DANNIE: Desert Heat-that's kinda hard, but I don't think so. Now Rayne, that was definitely Lucy Lawless. I could just see her as a cowgirl back in the 1800's.
** Please no hate mail for this next question ‘in my defense, I thought she said Lucy Wallace!**
NANCY:OK-Now who the heck is Lucy Lawless?
NANCY:Well Crap. No excuse, I guess I didn't know her name, because I never really watched that show.
DANNIE: Oh my god, how could you not watch Xena?
NANCY: I was sheltered? In my defense, I didn't even know about the show, I was never one for TV. Hell, I didn't even find the on-line fanfic sites until I was in my 40's. When I started reading them, I had no idea Xena and Gabrielle was based on a TV show until I saw some references to season 1 or 2 and googled it.
DANNIE:Right. So Xena was loosely based for Rayne. And I noticed that a lot of the main characters have the dark hair a blue eyes.
NANCY: Do you find it easy to name your characters?
DANNIE: That’s easy. I can”t write unless the names have a certain ring to them. Heidi, my wife, came up with some of the names in Rayne”s New Beginning. When I envisioned Rayne, I wanted a play on words. I saw the prairie with a cowboy looking over it, I wanted a name that stood out, that wasn”t very common. Rayne just came to me.
NANCY: And you have all of your characters figured out before you start the story, or do they just come and go at will when you need them?
DANNIE: They kinda come at will.
NANCY: What do you do when a story stops flowing?
DANNIE: Generally I have two or three stories going at once. I have one that I sent in, it is a work in process, and Lee is starting to beta read that. I have been working on that one for three or four years.
I started Rayne, that is going to be a trilogy, I've got the first part of that going. And I have Luce’s story going. So at the moment, I have three stories going, so if one stalls, I will work on another.
NANCY: I've heard some authors say that the characters control the story. Is that true with you when you write…or do you have total control?
DANNIE: My characters tell me the story. I start out with the character, and I think it would be cool if they did this and this, or maybe this. I will start writing with this in mind and the next thing I know the characters are doing something totally different from what I had planned. But, that usually works better than what I had planned.
NANCY: How much research do you put into your books?
DANNIE: Depending on what it is. Rayne I didn't do a whole lot of research, it was a fictional town and character, that kind of thing. But I did the researching on the cooking-did they have stoves, what kind, how did they cook, that kind of thing. With Desert Heat, I did do more research. I think the more in depth the book goes, the more research I would have to do and want to do, that just makes sense. So if I decide to go with the forensic book, I have thought about actually taking a forensics course. Will I go that far? I have No Idea, it all depends. The book has to be believable.
NANCY: True, I know it's fiction, but it has to be based on some facts.
DANNIE: Yeah, it has to be believable or you are going to read the first chapter or so and think 'this is crap- I'm not going to read it.?
DANNIE: And I don't want my books thought of as crap.
NANCY: Yeah, who does?
NANCY: Do you read your reviews?
DANNIE: Yes I do, I have read all the reviews I could find. I have had several people read my books and email me, I read all those and I have responded to all of them.
NANCY: That's cool. I know what it's like to write an author and get no response-after a few time, you just don't bother anymore. And that's not fair to authors like you who answer them all.
NANCY: How do you handle a bad review?
DANNIE: The first bad review I had was upsetting, but you know what, everybody has their opinion. I figure if I have more good reviews than bad, I’m ahead of the curve. No one is going to like everything.
NANCY:If someone sent you an email saying they thought your book sucked, but were nice about it, would you respond to that email too?
DANNIE: Well, yeah. They took the time to read my book and took the time to write me, I think the least I can do is take the time to respond to them, 'I appreciate your criticism, sorry you thought it sucked, but thanks for reading it'. It really doesn't take that much time to answer an email good or bad, it's the least I can do. They had a lot more time invested reading the book and then writing to me.
NANCY: If there were no outlets for your books, would you still write?
DANNIE: Yes, I write for me, that's the bottom line.. I was talking to a friend of mine, she was writing, and wasn't sure if she wanted to publish or not. She was afraid it wasn’t good enough and nobody would like it. So I asked who she was writing for, for them or for herself. She said she wrote for herself, so I asked why what they think make a difference.
The fact that I have a publisher that likes my books and believes in me, is a bonus. I would still write regardless.
NANCY: Even if you couldn't put them on the internet for free stories, you would still write huh?
NANCY: Is there any kind of book you would never write?
DANNIE: Science fiction.
NANCY: Really? How come?
DANNIE: I don't like science fiction, I can't get into it, therefore I can't write it.
NANCY: True-if you tried, you would probably write a real sucky book. LOL.
DANNIE: True. Even if nobody read it, it would still be sucky, so why write it.
NANCY: When you first start a book, do you write an outline, plot synopsis or anything?
DANNIE: I cannot do an outline to save my life, so it's not a plotted book. What comes out is what comes out. For instance, the book Lee is reading now, I thought it up, started writing, and did an ending for it. Now is the ending going to be the ending I planned, I'm thinking not. Just like with Luce’s story, it had a perfect ending, is it the original ending I thought of. No-the readers are going to be surprised with the ending.
NANCY: In what Book?
DANNIE: The sequel to Desert Heat.
NANCY: Ohh-Gonna be a surprise huh?
DANNIE: Oh yeah, it's going to be a surprise.
NANCY:Well hurry up will ya, I'm dying to read the next part, and you teasing me like this isn't making it any better.
DANNIE: Ok (laughing) that's going to be the next book after Ryan’s New Beginning.
NANCY:No pressure, but hurry it up!
NANCY: Do you edit as you write or do you just let it flow?
DANNIE: I'll let it flow. Then I go through it and do a rough edit. Typically I would let my wife read it next, but she has been so damn busy, it doesn't make sense anymore.
NANCY: What do you find the most challenging when writing?
DANNIE: I'm not sure ...I find I have a hard time keeping time lines. Like when you have certain things happen, and you have sequences that follow. I have a hard time following that.
NANCY: And without any kind of outline, it makes it even harder.
NANCY: When you are writing your sex or love scenes, do you find that easy or not?
DANNIE: I don't think I can write a love scene at all. I find it very hard. It's like the technical side kicks in, is that possible, how do you do that? How will that look? A love scene is supposed to be sexy, erotic, and I don't think I can do that.
NANCY:Is it because you are uncomfortable writing it on you don't think you have the skills?
DANNIE: I just don't think I have the skills.
NANCY: So many people say that and I find it amazing.
DANNIE: Why-Can you write sex scenes?
NANCY:I did once on a bet and I had a great time doing it.
DANNIE: (Laughing) Maybe I'll have you be my ghost.
NANCY:(laughing) Cool, a ghost sex writer, I like it.
NANCY: Did you take any formal writing classes?
DANNIE: No I haven’t. Just what was offered in school.
NANCY: Now that you are a published author, does it change the way you write?
DANNIE: I don't think so. I still write what I want, when I want, with-in reason. I know I have deadlines, so I know I NEED to get this done. Do I write all day or do I stay up at night and write? Not really. But no, it really hasn't changed how to write.
I don't want to make it sound that I don't take it seriously that I have a publisher, I take that very seriously. But if I change my writing, the way I write, that's changing why they picked me. And I would be forcing it, and if I force it, it's not going to be any good, and my publisher isn't going to be happy with it or me.
NANCY: How did it feel to hold your first book?
DANNIE: (Laughing) Exciting-unreal-very surreal. I got the book, I looked at it and said 'Oh my god, this is mine. This came out of my head, it's my work, nobody else’s, it's mine.?
NANCY: A little happy dance maybe?
DANNIE: Oh-a total happy dance!
NANCY: I think that every author should put up a YouTube of them getting their new book. Imagine the hits it would get. (their first book Happy dance!)
DANNIE: My wife looked at me and asked 'Are you really doing a happy dance’? And all I said was 'yes I am', and continued dancing.
NANCY: Why did you decide to go with a small publisher like Affinity?
DANNIE: Well, we're both just starting out, and I think there is a lot of potential for us to help each other.
NANCY: For your personal preference-an eBook or paperback?
NANCY: Really. Do you have an e-reader?
DANNIE: I love a paper back, it's tangible, it's something you can hold. And I do have a kindle-fire, but prefer a book.
NANCY:You've already answered but just to repeat, Are you in a relationship?
DANNIE: Yes-I am in a relationship.
DANNIE: Together for almost three years, will be three in Oct, long distance for a year before that.
NANCY: Do you have any pets?
DANNIE: We have two cats and one dog.
NANCY: What kind and what are their names?
DANNIE: Pouncer is a short haired domestic. Tai is a long haired domestic cat. And then we have Jenna, is half Min-Pin and half pug, also known as Muggin.. Oh and we have a beta fish named Seuss.
NANCY: Morning person a night owl?
DANNIE: Night owl-I hate mornings!
NANCY: Do you own a Mac or Pc?
NANCY:Do you use your real name or pen name?
DANNIE: Pen name.
NANCY: How did you choose your pen name?
DANNIE: My wife came up with it. We were talking one day about if I was ever published, would I use my real name. I said probably not because of my location. Where I’m at is a very small rural town, and everybody knows the family name. I have kids and I didn’t want them to be bullied because of what their mom does or who their mom is. They shouldn’t have to deal with that. So Heidi came up with Dannie.
NANCY: And Marsden?
DANNIE: She came up with both of them, I have no idea how she came up with them, but they had a ring to them, so I said Ok, let's go for it.
NANCY: This is me being nosey again and you don't have to answer, but you said you have kids, and earlier you said you were married. So were you married to a guy?
DANNIE: Yes, I was married to a man for 18 years.
NANCY: Holy Crop. Kind of a slow learner aren't you? LOL.
DANNIE: (laughing) There again, I was doing what was expected. At that time, getting married and having kids was what was done, so that's what I did.
NANCY: How many kids do you have?
DANNIE: I have 3 sons and one granddaughter.
NANCY: How old are your boys and the grand daughter?
DANNIE: my oldest is 24, 22 and then 18 my grand-daughter is 2 1/3. In fact she was born the day before I left to move Heidi to Colorado.
NANCY: What do you do for relaxation?
DANNIE: I Read. I love to read!
NANCY: Any hobbies?
DANNIE: Fishing, I love putting puzzles together. Putzing around in the yard. I found out I have a green thumb. I never knew that before and really enjoy it.
NANCY: Me, I can kill a plastic flower, I’m that good!
DANNIE: (laughing) Well my grandma said if you're gonna do it, do it right.
NANCY: What's your favorite meal?
DANNIE: Prime rib, or steak and crab legs.
NANCY: Are you an accomplished cook a fast food foodie?
DANNIE: I think I'm an accomplished cook, fast food is fine but my wife doesn't like it very much and it doesn't fit with her diet very well. And I do enjoy to cook.
NANCY: For a getaway, would you go to the water on the woods?
DANNIE: Woods. Something about the quiet and the bids a trees that's relaxing.
NANCY: If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be?
DANNIE: I have no Idea.
NANCY: None? A million bucks, a new car, a new house, a cabana boy?
DANNIE: Probably a sports car, a nice sporty BMW. The wife would want the cabana boy.
NANCY: I know you only have one book published, but you have several in the works. Which one would you want to become a movie?
DANNIE: Rayne’s New Beginning.
DANNIE: It's a western, I like westerns. I like the idea of a tough woman cowboy.
NANCY: Don't we all.
DANNIE: Yeah, I think that would make a good movie.
NANCY: Who are your three favorite authors.
DANNIE: Patricia Cornwall, James Pattison and John Sanford.
NANCY: Who would be your favorite lesbian authors?
DANNIE: Lori Lake, Missy Good and Laurie Maddison.
NANCY: Huh. Lauren Maddison, I don't think I know who that is.
DANNIE: She has written several books. Deception, 11th Hour.
NANCY:: Hmm, I will have to look her up.
DANNIE: Yes you should. She is a former policewoman with Physic abilities.
NANCY: Gee thanks Dannie. You are keeping my record at 100%. Every time I do an interview, the person I am interviewing mentions a. book or an author that interests me and I end up buying a book a two. Every time!
DANNIE: I think you will like her, she was one of the first lesbian authors I read.
NANCY: What are you working on now?
DANNIE: Rayne's New Beginning.
NANCY: That's going to come out before the sequel to Desert Heat?
DANNIE: Yes, but only by a month or two.
NANCY: Ok give me a little about Rayne’s book and the Desert Heat sequel.
DANNIE: Book one is Rayne's New Beginnings. That is about Rayne dealing with the loss of Emma. After 20 years, she still hasn't let go. She's in town meeting one of the saloon ladies and she runs in to Lisbet who she catches trying to steal her horse. She takes Lisbet home instead of having her arrested (she is a 19 year old girl who doesn't know any better-she is just trying to make it on her own.) Rayne takes her home and tries to help her along. In comes James Dobson who hates Rayne just because she's a lesbian. He goes to Rayne’s house trying to cause trouble and he ends up dead of course. Murder and mayhem.
NANCY: And this is coming out when?
DANNIE: I think we set the release date for that for August /September.
NANCY: What about the sequel to Desert Heat?
DANNIE: That will come out in October/November.
NANCY: OK-We have Desert Heat on special this month, so can you give is a teaser on that book?
DANNIE: For Desert Heat? What happens and how do you get away with your life when you fall for the drug lords girl? Can she be faithful to you and how do you deal with all your ghosts especially the one of your best friend who is murdered and had doubts about your loyalty.
And in the sequel, Jessica needing to come to terms with her feelings toward Luce, and Luce coming to terms with her feelings toward Jessica. And a little bit of what's going to happen to Beth. Is Beth a good guy or a bad guy?
NANCY: Dannie was great to talk to, once she got over her shyness...yes, I know, a shy author is almost an oxymoron! It never ceases to amaze me the different ways authors go about writing a book. I can honestly say, Dannie was the first person, let along published author, that I heard of ever writing a story around a character, that truly fascinated me.
And yes, Dannie did talk up the Lauren Maddison books enough that I had to get one. So far I am batting 1000, 8 interviews, and 8 books purchased!
For those of you that haven't read Desert Heat yet, you really should. It was a great read, and I am anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to be released. The book is on sale this month, both at Affinity and at Amazon, so make sure you pick yourself up a copy.
Review of Desert Heat.
To purchase Desert Heat.