Hi all, we’re back today with another author interview from the Cat Tales #2 bundle; this time I’m talking to Danielle Williams.
Sherry: Welcome, Danielle! First off, please tell us a little about the story you have in Cat Tales #2.
Danielle: Hi, my name is Danielle Williams, and my story What the Cat Brought Back (found in Cat Tales Issue #2) is about a woman whose klepto kitty stops stealing random socks and toys from around the neighborhood and starts bringing her some really creepy objects from parts unknown.
Sherry: I’ve read this story, and I can confirm that it’s definitely creepy! Now, I love to know where other writers work. Can you describe your current writing workspace(s)?
Danielle: I rotate writing stations depending on my mood. Some days I’m in our hobby room, sitting on the floor using my step aerobics bench as a desk (I write by hand in a jumbo Leuchtturm 1917 lined notebook, then type the stories up later), other times I’m at the kitchen table. My hands-down favorite place to write when I’m out and about, though, is the hair salon! They’ve always got some great dance tunes I can groove to.
Sherry: So I guess the answer to this question is at least partly answered: do you prefer music, silence, or some other noise in the background when you write? If music, what kind?
Danielle: Silence is fine, but some days I use music to set the atmosphere of a particular scene or overcome any hesitations I’m having in getting started…or to just drown out the TV running in the next room! My go-to ambience right now is “New Space Music” by Brian Eno. If I’m feeling really stuck, I put on Mannheim Steamroller’s “Fresh Aire IV”, or an album by Kraftwerk. They help me fall into the page when it’s difficult to break away from real life.
Sherry: I love movie and game soundtracks myself–anything without words! So, what’s your current writing project? How do you feel about it right this minute?
Danielle: I’ve always got a lot of irons in the fire. I just finished a short called The Witching License today. (I’d really like to know why the ending made me cry so much, I knew it was coming!) Once it’s polished, I’m going to submit it to some fantasy magazines. But now that it’s written, I can work on finishing another couple of fantasy shorts I started in February, including one about magical goats! So I guess you can say I’m feeling that “aaaah” feeling when you’ve done a good job on something.
Sherry: I always say my two favourite words to type are “the end.” ;) Do you remember what sparked the idea for your story in Cat Tales? What was it?
Danielle: There was a segment on TV once where night vision cameras caught a housecat stealing items (including a bra!) from around the neighborhood. That was rattling around my brain and got mixed up with some other ideas about technology and daytime horror.
Sherry: What’s the most challenging thing about being a writer in 2019? What’s the best thing?
Danielle: The biggest challenge is all the distraction that comes from the Internet. Unlike a newspaper or a book, there’s never a “stopping place” when you read or watch something on the ‘net. It can quickly turn into a huge timesuck. That’s why I refuse to have a smartphone. My tablet is bad enough, even with an app blocker on there.
The bestest-best thing about being a writer in 2019 is how easy it is to get your work out there. If you can write, there are ways to get your formatting and covers done so you can sell. You no longer have to wait for a gatekeeper to pick you. Marketing guru Seth Godin says, “Don’t wait to get picked, pick yourself.” Indie writing and publishing is how I’m picking myself.
Sherry: Many writers also put their creativity to use in ways other than writing. Do you consider yourself a “creative person?” What other creative outlets do you have?
Yup, I’m a “creative”, all right! Been playing piano since I was 6 and drawing and doing digital art since I was 11. (That background in digital art comes in REAL handy when I’m designing my own covers!) I also started coding webpages around that age, which is very similar to coding eBooks. And when I’m not writing, I teach piano lessons.
Basically I grew up to do all the stuff I loved doing when I was a kid!
Sherry: Tell us about your other works, projects, publications, and what’s on the horizon next. This is the shameless self-promotion portion of the interview. :)
Danielle: My website’s got a full listing of what I’ve written so far. But if you’re an animal fan, I’ve written a short novel called Love Potion Commotion! starring two talking French bulldogs who are the familiars to a fashionista witch who also fosters other dogs. It’s like a Hallmark movie, but with way more magic.
If you like PG-13 horror, I’ve written a short for anybody who’s ever wanted to burn down a call center, The Bureaucrat. If you want something longer, I wrote another novella called The Girlfriend Who wasn’t from Delaware, about a guy hearing strange noises from the apartment above him.
If you’re into sci-fi/fantasy, you’ll wanna keep an eye out for my science-fantasy Steel City, Veiled Kingdom. I’m determined to publish it this year ‘cuz I’m WAY excited for people to finally meet the fantastic characters I’ve come to love and see all the craziness in it (including teleporting rabbits… and Hawai’i in space?!).
The easiest way to keep up with my new releases is to sign up for my newsletter over at http://PixelvaniaPublishing.com, but you can also catch me (and art!) more casually at http://mastodon.art/@AesAthena. I’d love to hear from y’all!
And to anybody who reads CAT TALES ISSUE #2, thank you for reading my work! :3
Sherry: Thanks for stopping by to chat, Danielle!
Danielle Williams writes scifi/fantasy/horror/comedy/??! stories! The tagline on her website reads, “Wonder. Horror. Humor.” so that gives you a pretty good idea about her stories. She’s a BYU grad who majored in Visual Arts, then inadvertently double-minored in German and English. You can find Danielle online at her website, PixelvaniaPublishing.com, as well as over at Goodreads. Instead of tweeting on Twitter, she toots at Mastodon, and her official Amazon author page is right here.
But don’t get so distracted by following her around online that you forget to check out Cat Tales #2 while you can! :) I’ll be back with more interviews soon!