Thursday, 12 August 2010

Author Interview with Danielle Lee + GIVEAWAY

Hey Everyone! Today I would like to introduce to you Danielle Lee very nice person and author of the paranormal/sci-fi novels: Dimensions of Genesis, Inhuman, Butterfly and Nightmara. So read on to get to know Danielle Lee and discover her extraordinary novels. (You can read my review of Inhuman here.)

For your chance to win a copy of Inhuman, scroll down.

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you discover/decide you wanted to become a writer?

I’m the mother of two really cool kids and married to an awesome guy. We live in central Alberta, so we see a lot of winter.

I’ve known since I was eleven that I wanted to be a writer. I won the Young Author’s Contest in grade six and spent the day in a writing workshop with several well-known authors. If my memory serves me correctly, one of them was Robert Munsch.

2. When did you write your first story, and what was it about?

Other than the story I wrote in grade six about a lost unicorn, my first attempt at writing a novel was when I was in my early twenties. It was about a young woman who becomes possessed by an evil spirit because she was so unhappy with her life that her soul was empty. With her soul broken and unguarded, a demon found its way in. I made it about five chapters then grew bored of it.

The next story I wrote, however, started my journey. It was about a young girl who was born deaf but learned that she could hear one thing…the voices of the dead. I still have that one on the back burner but I’ll return to it someday soon.

3. Could you tell us about your book, Inhuman?

Inhuman is about a young woman who decides to volunteer in the medical wing of a university in order to raise money for her tuition. After enduring a few painful and annoying tests performed by future doctors and nurses, she suddenly finds herself kidnapped by a secret government organization. Oblivious to the reasons for her captivity, she learns that her blood test revealed secrets even she didn’t know. From there, she escapes their clutches and even though she’s now a fugitive, her goal is to find out the secrets surrounding her birth and exactly what she really is.

4. What inspired the story of Inhuman? Was there a specific moment/event/idea that started everything?

Actually, there were two times in my life when I needed surgery. When I sixteen, I had a biopsy done and when I was thirty-one I had a scheduled C-section. Both times I wasn’t worried about the scars or the perils of going under anesthesia; I was afraid that the doctors would cut me open and discover I wasn’t human or had a strange anatomy of some sort. I’ve always remembered those instances and they’ve followed me around ever since. It always made me wonder how someone would be treated if they were to discover they were vastly different than the rest of humanity.

5. Inhuman is not a light novel, it has its fair share of dark moments, what was the hardest part to write?

Honestly, I have the hardest time writing the love scenes. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that my mother or grandmother will likely read it and it makes me nervous and embarrassed.

6. Are you familiar with the culture and traditions of Native Americans or did you go purely by research?

I had a little knowledge of Native Cultures but I researched some of it to be sure I was doing their beliefs justice. One of the main things I focused on was the landscape of the Sedona desert, I wanted to be sure I had the plants and temperature correct when describing them.

7. How did you name your characters?
My sister has a friend named Cassia; I thought it was beautiful and different. I keep a list of cool and lovely names, adding to it whenever I hear a new one. I chose Keanu’s name because I wanted the readers to envision a very handsome, dark-skinned Hawaiian guy.

8. Could you tell us about any work-in-progress, current projects, what we can expect from you in the future?

My current book is a horror novel. Other than scaring myself which prevents me from sleeping, I’m having so much fun writing this one.

Nightmara was inspired by a documentary I watched about sleep paralysis. All cultures from thousands of years ago up until today experience this phenomenon. Awakening from a deep sleep, the victims find themselves physically paralyzed except for their eyes. Shortly after awakening, they experience what they define as a physical attack by dark creatures. All of this could very well be summed up as a hallucination except…everyone sees the same thing. Even the medical communities are baffled by this notion.

So my story begins with two characters, Grayson, who experiences these nightly attacks and his sleep psychiatrist, Zoe, who absolutely does not believe in the paranormal. I take the readers on a psychological examination of the logical and the unbelievable, intermingling fact and folklore.

9. As a paranormal author, I guess you love reading paranormal novels. But besides them, what other genres do you enjoy? Who are some of your favourite authors/novels?

I’ll read anything other than westerns or romance. I really loved Twilight, despite the romance. The Host was really good too. I enjoy books that grab you from the very beginning and won’t let go. Unfortunately, I really don’t find many that hold my short attention span for very long.

I love to read books about true ghost stories. Anything paranormal, but I must admit, I’m getting a little tired of vampires. My husband says I’m not allowed to write about vampires, especially sparkly ones, and I’m okay with that.

10. What are you most proud of (can be an achievement, a great quality trait, etc.)? And what is your worst fault?

One of my proudest moments was when I held my first book in my hands. Dimensions of Genesis was a true labor of love and holds so much meaning for me. While Inhuman has a powerful message to deliver, it’s nothing compared to Dimensions.

My worst fault is that I allow the voices of self-doubt get to me too often. It drives me crazy that I have to fend them off every single day. I hope that as my career blossoms, I won’t have to worry about that as much.

11. I know I can't ask you to choose a favourite work of yours, but do you have a favourite character from one of your stories, someone who you either loved writing or simply love as a character?

Lily. Lily from Dimensions of Genesis. She’s beautiful, funny, naïve, charming and so child-like. She was the first character that I ever created that felt like a real person, almost like a third child for me. I just love her!

12. Besides writing (and reading) what other hobbies do you have?

Hmmm…do laundry and doing dishes count as hobbies?

My sister in law and I have gone on a few ghost hunting expeditions. While we haven’t been able to go for quite a while, we hope to embark on some soon. Scary but exhilarating, I love to hear the scary stories from the homeowners or business owners and then try to capture paranormal activity on film, or just experience it.

13. What question do you wish people would ask you in interviews?

I loved all your questions! :)

You can find out more about Danielle and her novels at her official website or contact her at her Facebook page.

Thank you Danielle for answering my questions and for providing me with a review copy of Inhuman! It was truly an extraordinary read, you can read my review of Inhuman here.


Danielle has very generously offered 5 copies of Inhuman to Ex Libris readers: 2 hardback copies can be won by US&Canadian residents and 3 ebooks can be won internationally.

There will be 2 drawing (1 US&Canada and 1 for international entrants) so PLEASE STATE whether you are a US&Candian or international entrant!

Rules: To enter

1. You have to be a follower of Ex Libris
2. Leave a (meaningful) comment/question to Danielle
3. Leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win (or if you don't want to post it, you can send it to me by e-mail: stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com)
4. Please state whether you live in the US&Canada or if you are an international entrant

Giveaway ends August 19

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