Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Danielle Bannister!
Danielle Bannister lives with her two children in Midcoast Maine along with her precious coffee pot and peppermint-mocha creamer. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Southern Maine and her Masters degree in Literary Education from the University of Orono. She has written: a collection of short stories called: SHORT SHORTS, The Twin Flames Trilogy: PULLED, PULLED BACK, and PULLED BACK AGAIN, THE ABC’S OF DEE, ENIGMA and DOPPELGANGER. She is also a contributing writer to the website, Venus Scribe. In addition, her work can also be found in the following anthologies: 2012 Goose River Anthology, 2012 Writeous Anthology, 2013 Maine Writes: Maine National Writing Project Anthology; and, 2013 The Stroke of Midnight: A Supernatural New Year’s Anthology.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Nope. Haha. I was going to be an actor on the stages of Broadway, baby! Then I had kids and well, that dream didn’t happen. When the kids were about 2 and 3 I found that my creative itch was coming back with a vengeance but they were still much too young to leave to go and do a play so I turned to writing to let go some of that energy and I haven’t turned back since.
Why did you choose to write your genre? Well, I’m all over the map with genre, which is probably a bad thing. I write what the muse wants and try not to question her. hehe.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? My book ENIGMA took a really dark turn on me. I wasn’t anticipating that. For months I debated releasing it. It was unlike anything I had written before. It scared me, which is, ultimately, why I published it.
What are you currently working on? Oh, I have one book in edits, one in outlining form. I try to always have that ratio going. One to polish and one to create. That way I’m always working on new content.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? The plot is all up to the muse. I don’t go into any book with a set plan in mind. I get glimpses of the story a few pages ahead of what I’m writing and that’s about it. The ends are always a surprise for me, too. Except for my first book. I knew from the get go how that one was going to end.
What was the hardest story for you to write? Each book I’ve written has been hard because there is a little bit of me in each of the book. It exposes you in a very personal way even if you are the only one to ever know it. Writing forces you to look at your flaws or your doubts and try to write through them. That’s the most terrifying and invigorating thing about writing: discovering the truth.
What process do you use to plan your novels? Does fly by the seat of my pants work? I’ve outlined a few books AFTER I’d written them, mostly to discover where the holes in the story were. I love the idea of an outline but I have yet to make one work for me from the get go. They do help with synopsis writing though!
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? Probably Sarah from ENIGMA. She’s just so broken and alone…it was challenging to explore how her mind worked.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Oh, probably Dee (From The ABC’s of Dee). She’s the most like me in some ways, snarky and loyal to a fault. She’s a lot stronger than I am though. Speaks her mind.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Oh sure. On the days that the story just doesn’t come, I work on another project. If the muse doesn’t wanna play with me, I’ll play somewhere else until she forces me back. Sometimes the muse needs time to daydream and come up with the story. That’s why working on more than one project at once can be beneficial.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Probaby Fantasy because it terrifies me. The idea of all that world building makes my head spin.
Which authors inspire you? The ones who don’t give up. The ones that keep going despite the rejection and lack of traditional success. The ones who do it because they love it.
What novel would you read multiple times? The Harry Potter Series, anything by S.E. Hinton or Lois Lowry, or Stephenie Meyer.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Elephants. They are just such gentle giants.
What is your favorite color? Navy blue. No clue why.
When you’re not writing… I am a part time writer, single mom and work part time as well.
Catch up with Danielle online at:
Twitter at: @dbannisterbooks
You can also join her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/bNvK7D
It was such a pleasure meeting you at last year’s Penned Con, Danielle!
Next week, Ryan Hill will be stopping by!