While it hasn't always been part of my occupation, writing has always been part of my life. Poetry and song lyrics through teenage angst (no you won't get to read any of them), short stories in college classes (perhaps you will get to read some of them), and random marketing material during my stint as a flower shop owner. Even with all of that writing in my life, ten chapters of a book stayed buried in my file cabinet until I closed my flower shop and my children were grown. When I went back to school (at an undisclosed age), the pages came out and the plot was re-developed. The timing was finally right for me. The Power of Four series was born and my first book, Sea of Dreams, was drafted.
Now onto some fun questions!
If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?
I feel our world could benefit from a smidge more empathy, since putting yourself in the situations of those around you can make you more patient, loving and understanding. It also makes you a good listener, which I feel we sometimes forget to do when communicating with others. I have found other writers to be amazing listeners and observers, perhaps its because we are alone so often, dissecting our own thoughts and actions.
If you knew the exact date of your death down to the minute, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow?
I would work less, write more and travel the world! Life threw a curveball at me a few years back, and it fundamentally changed the way I experience life. It also affected the things I will tolerate, a list which seems to be shrinking daily. :)
I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish back then, I call it a Treasure Map, and managed to tick quite a few things off over the last few years including publishing the first two books of my series and earning my first-ever college degree. My list is ever-changing, so if I had the date of my death, I would be sure to allow myself enough time to finish everything on it.
When was the last time you felt alive? I mean really alive!
The most recent moment that comes to mind, was when I received my very first proof of Sea of Dreams and held it in my hands. So much time and effort went into that project, and seeing it come alive was the most amazing feeling! I jumped up and down, cried and laughed, and the pride I felt at actually completing something was something I will never forget. It was a super important milestone for me!
When was the last time you helped someone that was desperately in need? What did you do? Was this person grateful?
I am lucky in that I am surrounded in my life by amazing people, and anytime I can help, I do. Because my core group of friends and family have seen me through some pretty major challenges (and helped me along the way), I am of the mindset that help should always be “paid forward.” Gratitude is definitely a huge part of my current lifestyle. I find things to be thankful for every day.
What television sitcom is most like your family? Why?
Hate to say this but I rarely watch T.V. and when I do it is generally a series I can binge watch on Charter on Demand or Netflix. Sitcoms were never my thing, but any show family that has you laughing would probably be the closest to mine.
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
I often get lost when writing, and find it really relaxing when the words flow. I have to admit though, nothing tops a spa day with your BFF!
Let’s find out a little bit about you as an author.
Did you always want to be an author?
I didn’t always want to be an author, but I have always loved to write! Life took me in a number of directions, and I have had a few more careers than I would like to admit, but through it all, producing content has been at the core of what I do. Writing found me again when I went back to school to earn my degree, and I haven’t looked back since!
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
I absolutely adore Stephen King, which may seem weird for a Romance writer, but a lot of what I write is fantasy and he is amazing at creating alternate realities! For romance, I grew up reading Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Jude Deveraux, now I read practically anything I can get my hands on. My “go-to” authors include: Nora Roberts, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan & Christie Craig. I am constantly adding books to my Goodreads list and doing reviews, and I tend to read in pretty much every genre, traditional and independent.
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Laptop of course, with my cell phone nearby for quick lookups. The room I am in must be quiet with white noise going to drown out reality, and the door is always shut. Right now I work where ever and when ever I can, and if I can’t find a quiet spot at home, I take my writing to the library. I typically have a pad and pen to jot down notes and, when at home, there may or may not be an alcoholic beverage of choice nearby.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business?
I’ve learned that while your book is never done, at some point you need to let it go. I’ve also learned, that you never stop learning. There is always a new technique, a better way to market, another group or reader to connect to, and that at some point you just need to take the leap and get your stuff out there. I’ve learned that the subsequent books will always be better than the one before, if you keep an open mind and welcome opportunities to challenge yourself.
My latest book, Winds of Change, is book 2 in the Power of Four Series and blends Romance, Fantasy and Magical Realisim. The series is about 4 women, who find out through crazy things happening to them, that they are destined to embody the power of an element. Each book represents a separate couple’s journey, and the series as a whole, is about how they all must come together to defeat a common threat.
Here is a blurb from Winds of Change:
Amie Petridis isn’t looking for love when it comes breezing into her life; her job as a full-time pilot leaves little time for dating. But when a charming air marshal walks onto her plane and into her life, magical things start to happen. When Amie receives a tarot card reading from an ancient gypsy during a layover in England, her eyes are opened to a world of possibilities.
U.S. Air Marshal Aleck Eyres has always taken his job seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he hasn’t allowed himself to be tied down. His occupation allows for the freedom to travel and to visit his friends, but the day he helps a captivating pilot with her persistent ex-boyfriend – everything changes. Love finds him quickly and affects him deeply. Will it be enough to overcome the painful secret that has kept him from sharing his heart for so long?
Fate has conjured the winds of change and blown them Amie’s way. These changes will not only affect Amie and Aleck, but also the magical beings in a land called Wisteria. Suddenly Amie’s world is filled with winged creatures and she learns that she is meant to harness the element of Air. As she discovers her power, the gypsy’s warning haunts her. Should she follow her head or her heart? And when she makes the choice, will it be the right one?
How did you decide on your story plot?
On a girls trip, at a bar, after several cocktails! :) The four of us were discussing qualities in partners and what our ideal “dream guy”would be like in each of our stories. At the time, we were near the ocean, which is my very favorite place to be, and it occurred to me that all of the elements came together at the very spot I stood. One thing led to another, and the Power of Four series was born!
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
I have always had a connection to water. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you, anytime I plan anything … it rains. I knew that the first book would include water, and I needed to select locations that allowed my character Brooke to connect with that element, long before she knew what she was destined for. I lived in Hawaii when I was younger, so using it as a destination was a natural fit.
I knew by the end of the first book that Amie’s story would be next, and I had always been fascinated by Greek Mythology, so her portal ended up in Greece. When developing each of my characters names, I look closely at heritage and meaning, and have had fun matching names with the qualities/powers that they develop.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
My favorite scene in Winds of Change is when Amie finds herself in a magical prison cell and has to pick the lock with the contents of her purse. It is amazing how many offbeat topics you can find videos for on YouTube, and just what types of things you can pick a lock with!
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
I identify with each of my characters, but have the most fun writing and engaging with Zilla. She is beautiful and capable (and knows it), using her appeal to mess with poor Erebos. She has a naughty spirit and is wildly passionate, and I like to think that at the bottom of all of her conniving, she is a person who is only trying to help.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
On Amazon my author page is: amazon.com/author/dahenneman
For Facebook users, you can follow my page at: saraybooksllc
For Twitter users, you can follow me or send tweets at: @SarayBooksDA
On Pinterest, you can see my inspiration boards at: www.pinterest.com/daauthor/
On Instagram, posts can be followed at: dahenneman
Google Plus users can find me at: D.A. Henneman – Author
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free!!
Thank you for giving me this opportunity, and a special thanks for anyone who decides to give my series a try! There is more to come so stay tuned!