Interview with Danielle Rasmussen

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the creative sense of accomplishment I get from writing. It is hard work and sometimes some of the chapters aren't fun to write, but are necessary to the story. No matter what I've completed I feel productive. Trying to get the reader to see what I see is a fun and exciting challenge.
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm working on a post-apocalyptic novel. I'm excited about it because the characters have come to life in my head just like they did with The Talented. It's still in the opening stages so I don't want to give anything away.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many great authors in so many different genres, but I'll list a few of them. Orson Scott Card, J.K. Rowling, Cynthia Voigt, and Amy Tan. I also enjoy epic fantasy so I like Robert Jordan, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Brandon Sanderson.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When writing a book, each day is a little different. It's important to take note of those subtle differences in your life because even though they are just tiny portions of sentences in the book they are still important observations. I like to see the sunrise each day - some days it's gray and uneventful, other days the sky is painted with colors that I like to try to describe in my head. I take note of how I feel when I'm exercising - the feelings in my legs, the way my body feels right before it breaks into a sweat. In turn, each of these observations in their own way make life more rich.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to read. If I could lie around and read all day I would be very happy (and very lazy). I work at a law firm and also teach yoga, but really my family is where I devote most of my time. I love to spend time with my husband. He's a pretty cool guy. My kids are still young and so they still need my attention. When we can, I like to hike, and rock climb. I also have a wonderful group of friends who keep me happily occupied.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't remember the very first story I ever wrote, but I remember in 7th grade we were assigned to write a short story. I was so excited about it I started the very first day. I wrote it all out in long hand on lined paper. It was about 10 pages long, much longer than any of my classmates' stories. It was about a young mother who went camping with her family and while everyone was away she slipped and fell off the side of a cliff, but was luckily caught by an outcropping further down the face. It was about her trying to figure out a way to rescue herself. I don't remember including much about her needing water or food. But hey those are minor details in a survival story.
What is your writing process?
I find I have to start my story. I can't start with character sketches because I get to know them as I write. Once I know them better and where the story is going I will do character sketches and I've learned not to get to attached to the first few chapter I write. It's okay if I cut them out later as long as they provide what I need. Those chapter help me explore my setting, my characters, and the path of the story. It's only after I've started writing that I can make up my outline. I do start to give names to my characters and then tend to forget whose who among the minor characters so I keep a list. I also have brainstorming document that I'm constantly cutting and pasting to and from.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - there are some significant underlying messages in this book that I only discovered as I got older. He writes Ender so well, it's almost impossible not to relate to him, not to love him, and to feel the way he feels. I usually like the main character to be my same gender because that helps me relate, but this book is about being human, being safe but also feeling empathy beyond belief.
The Harry Potter Series - these books have a theme that is found in almost every story of good verses evil, but Rowling writes her characters with such a mix of drama and humor that they are wonderfully entertaining. I also really love some of the female characters and their strong wills. I like how they aren't wishy-washy and are true to their internal nature.
The Help - Katheryn Stockett writes this amazing book that is not at all full of adventure or excitement and yet I could not stop turning the pages. What a fantastic story of seeing the good on the inside of people rather than getting caught up in external appearances! I just love The Help.
Persuasion by Jane Austen - Could I be a typical woman without listing Miss Austen as a favorite? What I loved about Persuasion was that the main character was older. She had a little more experience in life and had really taken time to consider her decisions. She had realized that people she loved weren't always right and often advice that we take can make or break happiness. I liked the slow pace of the romance all the while knowing that the two main love interests already knew each other and had already shared a love.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - I love the way she approaches her memoir. The story starts with her at the age of the three, and the voice of the narrator sounds like a well-versed three-year-old. But as the woman ages so does her voice. Unlike Angela's ashes where the voice of the narrator stays young even as he grows older, Walls changes and so do her observations of her family and her life. An astonishing story of rising from the dump to make something of your life.

There are plenty of other books that I feel are truly life-changing, but the books I listed above are books that I could read over and over again.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm pretty open to a variety of different genres and I will give anything a try that has been recommended to me by what I consider a reliable source. I like young adult fiction, but I also enjoy fantasy and science fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a very first edition nook. It's pretty old school compared to what is out now but I love it. I like that I can turn the pages at the side of the screen because when I'm running on the treadmill and reading (yes I go to the gym just so I have an excuse to read) my fingers get wet and I can't swipe across a screen. It's not backlit so it's easy on my eyes.
Published 2014-03-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Talented
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 129,570. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
A thrilling paranormal fantasy about Guen, a young woman, who uses her special talent to rescue people from the wicked specters who won't leave this life behind. Even among her colleagues, the other talented, Guen finds that she is unique. She learns that while she lacks the ability to recognize other talented easily she finds that she has other skills that make her extraordinary.