Interview With Author Danielle Jensen

What is your favorite writing and reading genre?

I (so far) prefer to write YA fantasy, but adult fantasy and adult historical are my favorite genres to read. Writing a historical is on my bucket list.

Where and how did you get your idea for your books?

Inspiration comes from everywhere and everything. The subconscious collects all these little details, and then they come burbling up in the form of an idea. For Stolen Songbird, the inspiration came as setting. I had a dream about a city buried by rock that stuck in my mind for days until I started populating it with a story.

If a movie or TV show would be created for your books, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead roles for your books?

I avoid answering this particular question, because I prefer readers to be able to imagine what the characters look like themselves. I feel that if I give them a specific image that I’m robbing them of the enjoyment of casting the character. But I always love hearing which actors/models/famous people readers would choose cast!

When did you decide to become a writer?

I began my first attempts to write a novel in 2006, but I didn’t decide to put serious effort into writing as a profession until 2010. Even then, it has only been for the last two years that I haven’t had another full time job, and the only reason I gave that up was because I had a baby (which is more than a full time job!).

How did you get your book published? How long did it take for you to get it published?

Stolen Songbird took about 1.5 years to write, and my agent read it the first time as the result of a pitch contest. She asked me to make some revisions, which I did, and she subsequently signed me in 2012. Stolen Songbird sold to my publisher in 2013 and was published in 2014.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, which book did you get the worst while writing?

I don’t really get writer’s block. If I’m having trouble writing something, it’s usually because it’s the wrong path for the story to take. I step away from the computer and brainstorm options and alternatives, which sometimes takes a few weeks. The middle portion of Warrior Witch was probably the most challenging to write because I was writing on a tighter deadline than the other two books, so I was under a lot of pressure.

What is the average time for you to write a book?

I don’t have one! I’ve written books in three months, and I’m currently working on a project that I’ve been working on for about eight years. Typically when writing a YA series, a writer has about a year to draft each book.

For your own reading, do you prefer kindle or paperback books?

I prefer to read physical books, but I’m trying to transition to Kindle for the sake of space constraints. I now only purchase physical books when they are written by a favorite author.

How are the covers made for your books?

My publisher, with a little bit of input from me, comes up with a concept, which they then provide to an artist. The artist who designed The Malediction Trilogy covers is Steve Stone.

What advice would you give writer wannabes and future/young authors?

Read and write as often as you can. Seek out criticism. LEARN from that criticism. Be stubborn and persistent, because becoming a professional author is one of the hardest careers out there. But it’s worth it!

What do you do during your free time, how do you relax?

I never have any free time! This speaks a bit to the prior question, but one of the things I had to give up in order to pursue writing was most of my hobbies. All my free time was dedicated to writing, which remains the case. But when I’m not writing or parenting, I enjoy watching TV with my husband (so exciting!), going out for coffee or cocktails with my friends, or taking weekend trips to the mountains. And I always set aside at least half an hour every day (usually before bed) to read.

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