Please give a warm welcome to guest Dani Harper!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Dani Harper] Coffee-fueled author of sizzling and suspenseful paranormal romance. Changelings, shapeshifters and faeries, oh my! 2012 RITA finalist.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about First Bite?
[Dani Harper] First Bite kicks off my new Dark Wolf Series with Montlake Publishing. Here’s the back cover blurb:
Geneva “Neva” Ross never wanted to be a werewolf. Now that she’s been turned against her will, she thinks suicide is her only choice. She can’t risk hurting the people she loves when she takes on her monstrous new form.
After witnessing Neva’s leap from a high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. Days later, Neva wakes up in the hospital as Travis speeds out of town. But he risks everything to turn back and kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy. Soon Travis and Neva go on the run together, desperate to escape the police…and far darker forces.
Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde, vows to find her pack’s runaway. And when she does, Neva will join their murderous ranks…or die.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Dani Harper] The question is more like “How did these characters find me?” FIRST BITE was not a story I planned to write. I was in the Seattle airport during a long layover and I was working on my laptop on a completely different project. That’s when the main characters, Travis and Neva, popped up in my head and started talking. One of the odd things about most of my characters is that they almost always turn up fully formed – they definitely have their own identity and their own opinions! Basically, this couple refused to be quiet until I wrote down everything they said, so I ended up with the first chapter of the book before I boarded the plane!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Neva?
[Dani Harper] Stubborn. Ethical. Courageous.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Travis had a theme song, what would it be?
[Dani Harper] “Bad to the Bone” by the Destroyers certainly fits his appearance, but inside, Travis is more like “Redemption” by Redlight King (featured on the Iron Man 3 – Heroes Fall album)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Dani Harper] Aside from characters attempting to take over my mind, I’m strongly inspired by Alternative Rock. And not enough has been said about the influence of Pugs on writers. I’ve had one next to my laptop (or on it or under it) “helping” me ever since I first started writing fiction. My current writing assistant is Toby the Pug.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Dani Harper] Nothing starts without COFFEE. Quiet is essential if I’m at home, because sounds in my house tend to require my attention! If I’m in public, noise doesn’t matter a bit – like I said, I wrote the first chapter of this book in an airport – because the sound has nothing to do with me, and I can almost always tune it out. Third? An industrial-strength laptop. I’ve literally worn out three of them now.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on First Bite?
[Dani Harper] *Insane laughter…* Snif, sorry, that struck me as funny. The short list would be what WASN’T a distraction during First Bite. During the writing of that story, I had to sell the house, get rid of the furniture and most of our belongings, load up our most irreplaceable items (pugs and all) into two pickup trucks, and move from Alaska to Washington State. Oh, and then there was living in an RV without shower or heat for over a month while we house-hunted…. When we finally found the right place, all we had was a couch for furniture – and only because one was left in the house! So there was a lot of upheaval and stress.
Luckily for me, Travis and Neva came through with the story. I came to like these characters a lot and I’m glad that they’ll return in Book Two. Now if they’ll only tell me what’s going on….
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Dani Harper] I just finished reading Serpent’s Kiss by Thea Harrison. This is part of what I wrote on Goodreads: “The hero, Rune, and heroine, Carling, are one of the most powerful couples I’ve ever encountered. Not powerful magically, although they are, but powerful in an incredibly tender and EMOTIONALLY RICH way. I loved every minute I spent with them.”
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Dani Harper] If I ever have a near-death experience, I’ll probably see all the books I’ve read over my lifetime flash before my eyes instead of events! I was in love with books before I could read; once I learned to read, the world was mine. Fiction, non-fiction, it didn’t matter. I loved science as much as I loved faery tales, and I read my way through every section of my hometown library. So I could never choose one single book.
But writing? I always knew I wanted to be the person who created the story, but two authors inspired me to TRY, and more importantly, to KEEP TRYING. One was science fiction writer Ray Bradbury. I have copies of his magical books on my office shelf, and I’ve read and reread them all countless times since I was a kid. The other author is Stephen King. His autobiographical book “On Writing” is within reach in my office at all times. His story of perseverance in the face of numberless rejections and tough times often inspired me to keep going.
Oh, and who inspired me to start writing paranormal romance? You’ll have to check out my bio on my website for that story…
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Dani Harper] I’m seriously addicted to gardening, to the degree that I plant tree seeds and perennial flowers under grow lights in January! One of the benefits of leaving our rocky island in Alaska is the ability to garden much of the year here – it feels heavenly! Our vegetable garden almost swallowed the entire backyard by the end of the summer (note to self – do NOT plant more than two hills of zucchini).
I’m a farmer at heart, and someday I hope to have a small farm again. For now, I have nine chickens who keep that side of me entertained.
As far as hobbies go, I love drawing and painting and sculpting, but right now, writing takes up all my creativity and most of my time.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Dani Harper] Website – http://www.daniharper.com (where you’ll find lots MORE ways to connect with me)
Facebook Fan Page – https://www.facebook.com/Dani.Harper.Fan.Page
Twitter – @Dani_Harper or https://twitter.com/Dani_Harper
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
Geneva “Neva” Ross doesn’t want to die. But now that she’s been turned into a werewolf against her will, she’ll do anything to protect her family and friends…even if that means taking her own life.
After witnessing Neva’s leap from a high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. He feels a connection to the strong-willed woman whose eyes flash that familiar Changeling green. While Neva is hospitalized, Travis risks everything to kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy.
Bickering constantly to hide their growing attraction, Travis and Neva run from the authorities…and from Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde. Meredith delights in creating new shape-shifters and compelling them to do her dark bidding; now Neva must join Meredith’s murderous wolf pack…or die.
Intensely suspenseful with deliciously sexy twists, this paranormal romance—the first in (the title of series)—intertwines sensual passion with an epic, thrilling battle between good and evil
10 Prizes for the FIRST BITE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR:
8 prizes of "a signed paperback of First Bite plus a black plush Webkinz Wolf" (USA ONLY)
+ two Kindle ebooks plus a wolf (INTERNATIONAL)