Danielle A. M. Takeshita
When did you decide to be a writer?
I think the first time I considered being a writer was in intermediate school. A lot of my friends were artsy and loved to draw and write back then but I wrote my first short story in high school for an assignment and absolutely loved it. During college, I'd procrastinate writing actual papers and doing homework by writing and knew I wanted to be a writer but I also had a realistic view on how hard it is to get by as a writer so I pursed Japanese Studies to get into tourism. It wasn't really my cup of tea so I decided to do other things and still write on my spare time.
What did you most recently publish (title and genre)?
I just published a Young Adult/Supernatural Thriller called '5 Senses' on July 17. It's my first book and I'm very excited about it!
What is your next project?
I'm working on a short story called, 'Beat' and mulling around the idea of writing play.
Which path(s) have you taken: traditional publishing, self-publishing, or both?
I published through Word Branch Publishing (WBP), an indie publishing company. This company seems to have traits of both traditional publishing and self publishing where they offered me the help I need to get started but I do most of my promotions and advertising. I like working with WBP and wouldn't mind doing it again.
Why should people consider reading your work?
The one thing I tell people as a plus is it's really short. One of my greatest excuses about not reading enough is that I don't have as much time as I would like to read. At least with this book, it's short enough to provide entertainment and if you put it down for an extended period of time (which I do ALL THE TIME), I'll either be able to catch up easily if I have to skim through it or it's just short enough to remember what happened last.
It's something I would have loved to read when I was in my teens. I don't remember too many YA books that had a bit of supernatural/fantasy themes as much as books about growing pains and dealing with puberty. I remember there were many books geared for grade school and adults, but not many for the in between years and definitely a lot less with having to do with fantasy and supernatural themes.
Thankfully, that has YA has expanded with the popularity of Harry Potter & Twilight and the demand for YA books have really expanded.
How do you describe your writing style?
Fanciful...? That's how I'll describe it for the sake of this interview because I don't think I have much of a style for my writing other than write what comes to mind. And it varies depending on my mood or influences.
Where and when do you like to write?
I like to write in total silence and apparently, I have knack for writing when I'm under pressure for something completely unrelated. I think it's referred to as procrastination, but honestly, when I'm supposed to be thinking about deadlines and other things, the BEST ideas pop into my head. Procrastination + early hours in the morning as I fight insomnia and total silence = the equivalent of the goldilocks zone for my imagination.
At what time, day or night, do you feel the most creative?
As I've mentioned above, my favorite time to write is after 10 pm when everyone in my household is asleep. The quiet helps me think without interruption.
Which authors inspire you the most, and how?
I know this is going to sound cliche but what author doesn't? I sometimes read a certain passage in a book and think, 'wow! I love how they wrote that. I need to try that next time I write'. Overall, Rumiko Takahashi is one of my most influential writers out there. Technically she's not a writer but a mangaka but her writing and timing for comedy is impeccable and the fact that she draws it all out is inspiring as well! I can always pick up on of her books and laugh at the same jokes, even if I'm anticipating it.
How do you overcome the writer's demons: Procrastination and Self-Doubt?
I'm a habitual procrastinator as I've mentioned above but I also tend to curve my procrastination by working on another writing project or draw to see if it sparks any ideas for my current project. As for the self-doubt, I'm only human and there's no way to really stop from hearing that voice of self-doubt in your head. I try to take advantage of my good days and write with gusto but on my bad days, I probably don't get much done. I'm still working on that though.
What aspect of your writing do you feel is strongest, and what needs the most improvement?
I can't really say what I'm strongest at but I do prefer to write from a girl's or woman's perspective. That being said, I do need to work on writing from a boy's or man's perspective and even experimenting with different styles of writing.
What was the best part of the worst thing you've ever written?
Having a good laugh when I read some of my worst work. In that respect, maybe it's not too bad and has a purpose.
What advice do you have for others who want to be writers?
I know it sounds a bit redundant, but there is some merit to it:
It's taken me about a decade to complete something and actually have the courage to turn it in to someone for edit. After I had it edited, I had more confidence to query WBP and I was fortunate enough to be published. I would also suggest researching what type of publishing you would like to use. I went with an indie company because they are more likely to accept manuscripts without agent representation and help out first time authors a lot.
What form of marketing works best for promoting your work(s)?
I've been finding that social media, mainly Facebook works really well for me so far. Granted, it's mainly getting the word out to those that I know but it's been really successful so far.
If life is a bowl of cherries, what does your life as a bowl of cherries look like?
A surprise mix with Rainier and Yellow and topped with Bing. Nom Nom Nom! I have a lot of opportunities before me at the moment and I can pick and choose what I want before me.
Who is your rock, the one who encourages you the most to keep writing, and why?
My husband, Rico. He's been encouraging me from the very beginning and has been my greatest fan and critic. I can't put into words how much he has helped me through this whole process.
What do you do apart from writing?
I study acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine and should be graduating by the spring. I'll also be moving to Thailand at the end of the year, hopefully to practice there.
Where can people find more about you and your work(s)?
I'm mainly on Facebook and Blogger and I regularly update both of those sites.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Hopefully, I'll have traveled to 5 different countries I've never been to and have at least 3 more books under my belt.
Thank you very much for this interview! I had a great time answering your questions.