We're back with another author interview, and today we are travelling stateside to meet American fantasy author Daniele Kasper!
PB: Hi! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
DK: Thank you so much for this opportunity. Hello everyone! I grew up in New England, but currently live in Michigan on my funny farm. I’m an avid reader and writer. I love all things Disney. I was once chased by a grizzly bear in Alaska which isn’t nearly as scary as waiting for people to read and review my book.
PB: What made you decide to become an author?
DK: After years of putting it off, I decided it was time. I was terrified to publish because it can be such a tough industry. You are putting your brainchild out there for the world to judge and criticize. It can be a terrifying prospect. Honestly, for years, no one knew I wrote stories. I kept it a big secret from my friends and family because I was genuinely worried that they would tease me for writing science fiction. As I grew older I think I developed a thicker skin and more confidence in my own writing abilities. I knew that I would never be satisfied until I tried to get published.
PB: When did you first start writing?
DK: I have been weaving stories since I was a kid. Growing up I had journals and papers stashed away in every corner of my room. As a kid I had an overactive imagination. I was always playing games of pretend on the playground with my friends and then going home and scribbling plot ideas, character names and titles into my little notebooks. I have been writing for years, but being an author is a whole different ball game. It is much harder to sit and finish a story and so much easier to just daydream about the concept.
PB: What was the first story that you can remember writing?
DK: When I was in my teenage years I wrote a story about a girl who moved to Florida and started working at a dolphin training facility. That was at the height of the “I want to be a dolphin trainer” phase of my life.
PB: What is your writing process? Do you normally plan the story and do research before you start, or do you prefer to just start writing and see where the adventure takes you?
DK: I am most definitely not a planner, although I usually force myself to at least complete an outline otherwise I am all over the place with my ideas. As ideas come to me I will research them extensively throughout the writing process. Cut Her Out In Little Stars required a lot of research into science because I had a lot of things to consider when worldbuilding. I wanted the science to be believable and realistic with a little bit of flair. I tried to imagine how the world would really be in a thousand years based on the reality of the world we live in today, from population breakdowns to theoretical technology.
PB: Tell us about Cut Her Out In Little Stars.
DK: This book was a thirteen-year labor of love. I started writing it back in college and then life got in the way. I went to grad school, moved several times and started working. Life got busy and writing got put on the back burner. About three years ago I decided it was time to finally finish it and publish it. My first attempt at publishing did not go well. I signed a contract with a publishing company that turned out to be a massive scam. Lawyers had to get involved and it almost turned me off from publishing it altogether but I found a new publisher and the rest is history. I always hear author’s talk about how their characters speak to them and that is completely true. In a way, authors hear voices in their heads. As soon as the idea came to me for this book I immediately could hear my two main characters talking to each other and the scenes developed from there.
PB: Where did the idea come from?
DK: I was reading Outlander for the thousandth time and I wondered what a similar story would be like in space. The idea just took shape after that, so thanks Diana for the inspiration! At that time I was struggling finding books I really enjoyed. There is a famous Toni Morrison quote that was shared with me that if there is a book you want to read but hasn’t been published then you have to be the one to write it. I wanted a time travel story to the future, so I wrote it. I am a firm believer that you have to be interested in reading your own book if you happened upon it on the shelves one day.
PB: If you could meet any of your characters, who would you meet, and what would you say to them?
DK: I want to meet Than Theoi. He was my favorite character to write. He is an incredible friend, has an amazing sense of humor and a heart of gold. He really shouldn’t be classified as a sidekick and probably needs his own book. Hmmm, ideas.
PB: Of all your achievements, which are you most proud of?
DK: It sounds cliche but I am so happy to be getting published. It is every writer’s dream and I am really proud of the book I created, the story and the characters. For a long time I thought it would be an impossibility.
PB: What is your favourite book series to read and why?
DK: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind are my top two all time favorites. I could read them every year and never get bored with them. The characters are realistic, flawed and their story draws you in. Both Terry and Diana are incredible story tellers. The plot and pace are consistent and keep you wanting more even once the book ends.
PB: What are your long term ambitions with regards to writing?
DK: I would like to get an agent and sign with a bigger publishing company in the future. Of course, it is every author’s dream to win an award for their work or make the Best Seller list. I would love to win a Nebula award or a Reader’s Choice award. In the long run, as long as people enjoy reading my books, I think I will be more than happy.
PB: If you weren’t an author, what career would you be in?
DK: Dolphin trainer! Maybe I never actually outgrew that phase after all. I have dabbled in several different jobs and am pretty happy with my day job right now. I also run a farm with my husband who is a horse trainer.
PB: What’s the next target for you?
DK: I am hoping to get the sequel to CHOILS published in a year or two and I am also working hard to finish a YA Fantasy novel. I don't want the sequel to take me another thirteen years to finish. I have a couple of fans who would be very angry if I made them wait that long.
PB: Tell us a random fact about yourself.
DK: I can’t grow a garden to save my life. I have the blackest of thumbs. I am especially talented at killing cacti which I have been told is very hard to do. What can I say? It’s my special talent. Also, I get a lot of my best ideas in the shower. Why? I have no idea.
Thank you so much to Daniele Kasper for speaking to us today! If you would like to find out more about her or sample her work, you can do so via the links below:
Until next time, happy reading!