The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Author Interview: Danielle Thorne

Hello folks,
Today I get to introduce you to Danielle Thorne. I recently read her latest release, By Heart and Compass, and you guys can NOT pass this one up. It was just a great, fun and romantic adventure that I totally got caught up in. It's a sweet romance with plenty of action, that will appeal to all ages, and readers of genres other than romance. (Would it surprise you guys if I told you I'm not a big romance reader, even though it's "technically" what I write?) Well, it's true, and Danielle's book is my kind of romance, which is one where there's a good solid, entertaining story to carry everything else along.

Okay, enough of my ramble. Let's get to Danielle.
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Absolutely. I'm a Southern US author settled in Georgia. I write contemporary and historical sweet romance, and when I'm not hunkered down in the office, I try to balance my life raising four sons along with my supportive husband. We have a cat named "Sparky". He's a slightly mental Bombay, who thinks he's human. High school marching band and Scouting takes up a lot of our free time, but we love to travel and try new things.

When did you first become interested in writing?
I can remember my first story writing assignment in second grade. My teacher kept it and showed it to my mother. She told her I'd be a writer someday. That first nugget of positive reinforcement made an impact in how I felt about myself. My creative writing continued throughout my school years and both my parents and teachers were always supportive.

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
I wrote poetry for the newspaper in high school and won an Honorable Mention in a National Scholastic contest when I was a young teenager. Sadly, though, I never truly believed I could ever be a "real" author. As I began raising babies as a young mother, I continued writing and submitting poetry and short stories the old-fashioned way, with a typewriter and envelopes. When the Internet came along, everything changed. I could work from home and pursue my dream. I did a lot of reviewing and freelance writing, but when my last child started kindergarten I took the leap into writing novels.

And it has been an up and down journey—of rejections and near-successes and finally accomplishments. My first contract was issued from Awestruck Publishing in 2007 after many frustrating, though sometimes positive, submissions to New York. This year will see the release of my third and fourth novels.

Wow, that's impressive! And congratulations too!
How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?
When I start a new project, I spend the first few weeks daydreaming and imagining faces and scenarios. When I have the setting, characters and a firm story problem in my head, I write out the first few pages until I run out of steam. Then I sit down and create a story map with all of my important turning points from beginning to end. The creative writing process takes over once I have a road map, and the characters get me to where I need to go.

Tell us about your latest release?
Here's a little cover blurb:
When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a dead halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again. But will finding it cost her heart?

What inspired you to write this story?
BY HEART AND COMPASS is a story I have always wanted to write since I saw the movie "Goonies" in the eighties. Of course, as a teenager I thought that finding a pirate ship would be the most romantic adventure in the world. I never forgot that, and after I wrapped up my first historical, THE PRIVATEER, I realized that I didn't have to quite let go of my beloved hero. I could bring him into the present by having his ship discovered by future generations in a contemporary romance. Coming up with new characters was easy. Every bookworm dreams of such an adventure and every cynical, disappointed hero needs to have his dreams come true, too.

That's whose ship Lacey and Max find! That settles it, I'm buying The Privateer as soon as I publish this interview. I loved the Goonies, btw.
Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them , and what endears them to you?
I'm a big believer in the archetype theory. Two years ago, I took a class from Tami Howden, the author of "Heroes and Heroines," and was able to see in black and white what I already knew instinctively—that characters, just like people, fit into some type of personality mold and each has strengths, weaknesses and attractions to different types of other archetypes.
After my characters, Lacey and Max, were created in my imagination, I thought long and hard about their personalities and how they would butt heads and be able to grow—as individuals and as a couple. Lacey fits the Librarian archetype and Max is somewhat of a Bad Boy with a little Lost Soul. There is a lot of myself in Lacey's personality, and though Max is a complete individual, a lot of his personality was inspired by Sawyer on the program "LOST"—though I must say for his description I chose to use some physical features I admire in one of my own brothers—who would be mortified to know that!

Very interesting! I use Jung's Personalty theory, and MBTI type my characters. It helps alot, especially in regard to how they interpret one another. You're the first writer I've talked to who does something similar. Dare I say that I've learned a lot about myself through this process too. (Intuitor)
What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals?
With my third novel out and a Regency romance set for release this winter, some of my next goals include releasing a poetry chapbook and cookbook, along with several other novels on the backburner. I also hope to grab an award for one of my novels in the next two years, and I eventually plan to start an editing business because I love giving feedback.

Any ideas for future projects?
I have three projects in the immediate queue: The first is a story is about a young girl who has lost her mother to a drug overdose-- a serious contemporary romance set in Pensacola, Florida. The other two include a second Regency and a children's novel set in a Chicago orphanage in the 1940's.

And now for some light-hearted stuff. What's your favorite movie, food, and place to vacation? Also, do you have any other hobbies you'd like to share?
Favorite movie is a toss up between PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and MASTER AND COMMANDER. I pretty much can't survive without chips and salsa—and I love summer so I can sneak in some guacamole every week. As far as hobbies, besides historical research and genealogy, I've learned how to geocache this year and I really enjoy it. When I'm not doing that I'm always planning my next trip. We started cruising a few years ago and I absolutely love it.

Other than your book, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along? There are so many fantastic e-published authors out there right now I can't get enough of them. As far as anything I've just read, I have to recommend a short story collection from UK author, Nik Morton, titled SPANISH EYE. It is about an Indiana Jones-type private eye in Spain who's out to save the world, and it's available at Solstice Publishing this month. As far as a disclaimer, I have to add that I helped edit this collection but there was little to do. It's a fantastic book with the most intriguing character. Nik Morton has a lot to say and the stories are thought-provoking and entertaining. I do believe he is one to watch.

Thank you, Shawna, for letting me visit today. You have a great blog and I always enjoy what you and your friends have to say—so it's an honor to be featured with your father's Oldsmobile!
Thank you, Danielle. This was fun, and I really hope to have you back. Like maybe to talk about The Privateer, which I'm about to go buy.


  1. This is a great interview. It was fun getting to know you a little better, Danielle. You're a talented writer, and I wish you much success with your new book.

  2. I watched the Goonies over and over, of course my children thought it was the greatest. I too had a fascination with finding hidden treasure. We had some property and I kept dreaming about finding gold. So I took my metal detector up and starting looking for my prize. I found a couple of dimes and some old cans. And we sold the property, but I still like to look.

    And today I found a bit of a treasure in the interview. It was fun and informative and brought back memories of movies past.


  3. Oh, this interview was so much FUN! Danielle, just from the excerpt you've given us about Max, I can definitely see the resemblance to Sawyer! LOL

    I'm still reading the Privateer, and can't wait to read about Max either! :)

  4. Hi, what a great interview! It was very enjoyable. Thanks and hugs, Regina

  5. Hi Shawna and Danielle,
    Great interview. Good luck with all your ventures Danielle.



  6. great interview. book sounds great.

  7. Shawna and Dani, what a great interview. You know, I never did see the Goonies. I just missed out on it. I love the water though. I grew up 1 hour away from the Atlantic ocean and now I live an hour away from the Pacific. I totally understand the passion to have water in your writing, Dani. I'm looking forward to reading By Heart & Compass.


  8. Hi Danielle and Shawna, I love that you both use Jung's archetypes for your characters.

    Enjoyed this and will have to grab this one.

    Oh, isn't keeping up with marching band interesting? ;-)

  9. Ever since I posted this, I keep hearing, "Hey...! Guys...!" in my head. I haven't watched The Goonies in years, but for some reason that sticks with me.

  10. What a wonderful interview! The new book sounds amazing as well. I enjoyed stopping in today and getting a chance to know more about Danielle. Thank you for sharing from your heart.
    Blessings to you and to you Shawna girl.

  11. Robin, your post took me back in time. My grandmother calls me, Shawna girl. Lol! Fun to remember.

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  13. Thanks all for coming by and a special thanks to Shawna for having me here. I haven't heard about Jung so I'm excited to go check that out. I love learning more about the technique of putting stories together. I'm glad I'm not the only one who still remembers GOONIES fondly. It's on my DVD shelf.

    Thanks to all for visiting!


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If you're curious about the story behind the name of my blog, click on the car. :)