Interview with Danielle Kazemi

Danielle Kazemi

Interview Date: 4/4/2012


Danielle Kazemi is a native of Louisiana where she grew up writing. She enjoys writing in a simplistic style so that the reader does not have to trudge through miles of description just to know that the characters are walking down the road. Her first publishing credit was through Chicken Soup which convinced her she could actually do it. Now she spends her time writing various books while chasing after her own kids who believe that they are the superheroes she is writing about.

Join her on Twitter or Facebook - she loves hearing from readers.

1. When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing when I was really little. I can't remember exactly when. As for writing professionally, I set an arbitrary goal for myself to have something published before I turned 26. It could be anything. I submitted a few short stories, only one or two being accepted. I pushed publish on my novel about a month after my birthday and had a party then.

Kev's response:  So ... you started writing when you were a hobbit?  When did you stop being a hobbit?  How does that even work?!


2. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably “powerful.”)

Ooo, hard. Either telepathy or flight. I might have to lean more towards telepathy. I always wanted to read people's minds. I think it would help me better understand where people are coming from when we talk.

Kev's response:  I think you'd find that they are coming from crazy-land, and probably run screaming....


3. Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

Jean Gray as the Phoenix. I am not too much of a fan of her in regular form but once she transforms, I am completely on her team. I didn't like it too much in the movie but in the comics it plays out great.

Kev's response:  *thumbs up*


4. Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

A lot of my inspiration comes from talking with other people. Sometimes in conversation a topic gets thrown around and my brain immediately goes into the creative mode, fleshing out parts of a plot. My motivation is wanting to share a great story with people. It sounds pretty conceited but that's what I think about when I start writing.


5. Do you pre-plan your stories or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

It's a loose mix of both. I plan the overall story and maybe one or two incidents in it. Once I sit down though, a lot of seat of the pants. It also means a lot gets deleted during the editing phase. I don't mind that though – I always find its better to let my muse just have at it instead of trying to make everything fit into a specific timeline. Some of my favorite scenes were random additions.

Kev's response:  If you had telepathy, you could just read your muse's mind, but then you'd find that it's crazy....  Doh!


6. Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down and write?

I have a set goal everyday to write at least a thousand words. If I am feeling really inspired, I'll keep going.


7. Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

I like reading non-fiction. It's weird. I am also a fan of urban fantasy and stories based off of myths. Writing that makes me sound like such a nerd girl. But I always claim it was preemptive research for something. No idea what. I like writing in all sorts of different scenarios although I will be the first to admit I am not a romance writer or reader. I tried reading a few but it always leaves me wanting a good action scene in there somewhere. I need something to be exploded or tension somewhere.


8. What do you enjoy the most about writing?

When the characters take over the story and you realize you are only chronicling what you see in front of you. I don't think an average person understands this experience – it's something I have seen a lot of writers talk about. There is always one part where your characters start behaving like themselves, finding out missing pieces of your plot, and even solving them before you want them to. It's a great moment because it let's you know you created something enjoyable.

Kev's response:  I find the same thing in my writing.  It's often more like I'm watching a television in my head than me making up the story.


9. Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

The first sentence. I hate it. I can never come up with a great first sentence no matter what I am writing. I think for my first book I edited the first sentence twenty times and I was still not sold on it. They are the main point of the entire book. That first sentence lets people know where the novel is headed.


10. Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I try to focus on one. I really do. I might abandon a story for something else if I think I can work on it faster but that's pretty rare. I have ideas for other novels written down in various places like a journal I keep and even small pieces of napkin folded in there. If I write it down, I won't forget it and feel so compelled to write about it right now.


11. Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital books?

Digital books will be the immediate gratification for people. You can get a digital copy much faster than a paperback. There will most likely always be paper books though because nothing beats holding something in your hand. I see digital books also moving towards a smaller content which will make them more of a magazine submission if it makes sense. People will want to download short story, novelettes, anything to read when they have a few moments.


12. What are your current projects?

I am halfway through my Soldiers of Legend series (3 of 5) and plotting out the second season of Dragon's Fire (a fantasy series). I have a few more novels I am trying to get polished and out this year. Hopefully I can start some new projects later this year and slate them to be published in 2013 or 2014.


13. Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

It's not a sprint. You're not going to have overnight success. I have talked with more than enough people to know that striking it rich is a lucky break even with the best novel ever. People are still going to look down on you for not being traditionally published but when they see your paycheck, then they'll shut up. Make sure it is the best possible work before putting it out. You only get one chance to make a great first impression.

Kev's response:  You know, I've read that the average number of books sold by a self-published person is 150 books.  Including those they purchase themselves (for friends).  The only thing that wasn't clear is if that was speaking to printed self-published, or if it included e-books.  Still interesting stuff.


14. Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

I have a blog but I will admit I am not the best at updating. It is I also have a Facebook page ( and I tweet a lot. I'm @DaniKazemi and they range from talking about books to anything else which crosses my path.

Kev's response:  I'd like to thank Danielle for her time on the interview, and wish her the best!
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