Interview with Dani (DJ) Clifton

How do you approach cover design?
When I began thinking about cover art for the Dark Rose Chronicles, I wanted an image that was both recognizably Portland, Oregon aka the Rose City, but with a dark and ominous twist. The resulting photograph is an artist manipulation and exactly what I had imagined. Thanks Ronnicker!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Interestingly enough, most of the books I have on my shelf are nonfiction - from the Kolbrin Bible and Issac Newton, to Michio Kaku and Graham Hancock, to Deepak Chopra and Silver Ravenwolf. I've always been driven to seek answers outside of what society allows to be 'norm'. I believe humanity is much, much older than we've been taught to believe, and that there are energies all around us that are invisible to our 3rd dimensional perspective.
When it comes to fiction, my favorite authors are Marion Zimmer Bradley, Charles de Lint, Lee Child and Alex Kava - fantasy and law enforcement. I pull from my nonfiction interests, and my favorite genres, and stew them together for my story lines.
What do you read for pleasure?
As stated in the previous answer, nonfiction and fantasy/crime.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Yes, I do see the irony in my answer, publishing online and all, but I prefer the good old fashioned paper book. I love the feel of the paper between my fingers, that sound of a turning page, the smell of the book - whether its new off the shelf, or well read from the thrift store. That, and I'm a self-professed computer-challenged entity, still clinging to the organic roots of pen and paper and bound books.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm just joining this rodeo so I've yet to discover what will be most effective.
Describe your desk
Disaster with an ever present black feline mascot and sticky notes galore.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I didn't grow up in the middle of nowhere, but I could see it from the front porch. Home was off an 8-mile gravel road above a river in the Cascade mountains of SW Washington. I remember playing Nancy Drew with my own little detective kit: a microscope out of a cereal box, a notebook and pencil and tape for lifting finger prints all in a small metal tin. As a Nancy Drew wannabe, I hunted Bigfoot - mixing story lines even then. I was the (much) youngest of 4 siblings, so I spent most of my childhood alone with my three dogs, exploring the mountainside, discovering old wooden buildings in the woods from a long-gone era, stumbling across bleached-white bones of fallen deer, all the while listening to my inner narrator. Now I've given that storyteller an outside voice.
When did you first start writing?
I put my first story down in 2001, though I've always been a storyteller, if not just inside my own head. It's been a long time coming.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My upcoming novel, DEATH BY ASSOCIATION, is purely p/i without any hint of supernatural and is set in Portland, Oregon but is NOT part of the Dark Rose Chronicles. The Dark Rose Chronicles are noir fantasy short stories told from the perspective of a colorful cast of immortal Fae beings living inside the human world of the Rose City (Portland).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'd played with writing, but had a very successful healing practice and didn't see my writing as anything more than something I enjoyed doing. At the urging of a client, I submitted a short story to the Clackamas Literary Review out of Clackamas Community College and was discovered by Nat Sobel, of Sobel Weber Associates in New York. Nat sent me an email saying he was a fan of my work and believed I had the talent to write a publishable novel. He worked directly with me, mentored me, and taught me a lot - I will be forever grateful for his guidance. It was at Nat's suggestion that I self-publish to push my work out into the world and build an audience. When I educated myself further on the contrast of indie publishing vs big-house publishing (and being a rebel who doesn't like to be told what to do) I find I'm drawn more to self-publishing, though I would like to eventually hook up with Nat and his firm and let him do what he does best so I can focus on what I do best - tell stories.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It gave me an avenue to push my work out into the world that doesn't feel intimidating.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is an avenue of escape for me. Like reading. When I close my eyes and let my mind wander and my fingers fly across the keyboard, there is nothing better. It's pure joy. And, I've found, it's akin to breathing; I can't live without it.
Published 2014-10-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Deadly Deals
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,970. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Isa expected it to be just another shift at the Diablo, the only supernatural gentleman's club in Portland where not a single patron is of the human persuasion. But it's never just another day when you're sleeping with a boss who rubs elbows with the city's seedy underbelly. When Roane's back-alley deal goes sideways, it's his touch alone that can bring Isa back from the brink of true death.
Nightmares & Sins
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,790. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
MJ-12 necromancer, Agent Lillianna Renfield enters a realm few humans ever escape from and finds herself the unwilling participant in a battle she is unprepared to fight.
The Good the Bad & the Deadly
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,690. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Agent Lillianna Renfield goes up against the dark side Fae when she infiltrates the nightclub owned by a renegade mafia boss. When things go sideways, she comes face to face with her bloodline's dark curse that threatens the balance between the Dark and Light, with humanity sitting helplessly in the middle.
Sins of a Father
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,270. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
SINS OF A FATHER is a noir fantasy short story (3, 085 words). Agent Renfield is called to a crime scene at night in a dark alley but when she arrives, she discovers the city she’s sworn to protect, is in peril from a force that threatens to unsettle the balance of reality and the global perception of what it is to be human.