Interview with Dani Collins

Published 2015-01-05.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing. I woke up early to write when I had a day job and now that it is my day job, I HAVE to get up and go to work.
But I can stay in my PJs so that's okay.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spent so many years using all my spare time to write, before I was published, I now struggle to walk away from the computer and do other things. Usually only things I have to do, like chores or errands or working out, pull me away from writing. I used to golf and garden. I wouldn't mind taking up both again. All part of my 2015 plan to find a better work-life balance.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
There was a terrible short story for English 9. Does that count? I remember trying to write a Harlequin Presents in Grade 11 which started out with a stranded heroine standing on her car. That's as far as it got. Writing is hard.
What is your writing process?
That's a big answer. I'll keep it short and say that I do write from a synopsis most of the time, but I often stray from it. I like to revise as I go so I don't have a big mess to work through afterward. Writing is hard :)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My first favourite book was called Alice, The Cat Who Was Haunted. It's the first book that I wanted to keep and the school librarian had to explain to me how we could renew three weeks in a row, then I had to let other children have a chance. Sharing is also hard.
What do you read for pleasure?
Reading is always a little bit of research for me, so I wind up reading authors in my genres. If we're talking strictly for kicks, I read gossip magazines. But I swear I mostly buy them for the sudoku puzzles.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My phone, which is not a choice many share, but I really like that I always have it not matter when I'm stuck waiting somewhere and I can read really fast on it. Those little pages fly by.
Describe your desk
Pig sty. For me. I'm probably not as bad as some, but I don't like to be this disorganized. I'm wrapping up a book right now. As soon as I finish, I'll clear the decks and start again.
When did you first start writing?
High school. I submitted my first Harlequin Presents at 21 and received The Call from them when I was 46. I tried a lot of different genres in those 25 years, which is how I happen to have a long romcom for sale here.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The writing is the joy part. Everything else is actual work. After 25 years of rejection, I am fully aware that publishing is NOT the road to happiness. Writing is mine, I get to do what I want with it, no one can take it away from me. I don't have to show it to anyone if I don't want to. It is pure creativity.
If I choose to publish, I have to be willing to make allowances for publisher and reader tastes. I accept that and revise my stellar genius works accordingly so they are marketable and appealing. (I hope!)
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Thank you for spending your valuable time reading my stories. It validates all my years of rejection and hard work.
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