Read and Write with Natasha

From nursing to fantasy writing

April 01, 2024 Natasha Tynes Episode 51
From nursing to fantasy writing
Read and Write with Natasha
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Read and Write with Natasha
From nursing to fantasy writing
Apr 01, 2024 Episode 51
Natasha Tynes

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When a patient's desire for distraction developed into a realm of magic, fantasy author Danielle Orsino, who was working as a nurse, discovered her true passion. 

Join us as Danielle recounts her extraordinary journey from nursing to becoming a novelist, revealing the unexpected turns life can take.  Her stories transcend tales of the mystical Fae and their cosmic conflicts and companionship.

Listen to this episode, which is brimmed with the magic of storytelling and the reality of making dreams come true.

Support the Show.

****************************************************************************

➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

When a patient's desire for distraction developed into a realm of magic, fantasy author Danielle Orsino, who was working as a nurse, discovered her true passion. 

Join us as Danielle recounts her extraordinary journey from nursing to becoming a novelist, revealing the unexpected turns life can take.  Her stories transcend tales of the mystical Fae and their cosmic conflicts and companionship.

Listen to this episode, which is brimmed with the magic of storytelling and the reality of making dreams come true.

Support the Show.

****************************************************************************

➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


Speaker 1:

know your brand, figure out who you are as a writer and figure out your brand. You can't go out and just be like I'm an author, I write a book, cool, that's all I do. Know your brand, know your message and figure out your niche that's the other thing. And understand that your publisher is probably not going to do it. They're not going to going to market you. It's not like days where it used to be, where you used to get a big fat, like here's your check, you know, and then you just go write the books, we'll handle the rest. That's not it.

Speaker 2:

Hi friends, this is Read and Write with Natasha podcast. My name is Natasha Tynes and I'm an author and a journalist. In this channel I talk about the writing life, review books and interview authors. Hope you enjoy the journey. Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Read and Write with Natasha. So today I have with me fantasy author Danielle Orsino.

Speaker 2:

So the creative work of storytelling has been with Danielle ever since she was a child. So, danielle M Orsino, she loved martial arts and she had her nursing career. And then one day, like any others, what happened is she was treating one of her patients and then she realized that she wanted some distraction, and that's how she delved into the world of fantasy. Fantasy. So danielle took it upon herself to tell her patients a story, a fantastical narrative that would leave the confines of the ivy room walls and land upon a page. Before she knew it. What started as an imaginative tale to pass the time turned into a book, followed by an entire series. Here we go, the birth of faith. So, danielle, thank you for joining me. What a tale. So you were a nurse and then you decided to go into the fantasy world. So welcome, welcome, and if you can tell me about your transition if you can start how you went from being a nurse to being an author of fantasy books.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. First and foremost, it was a bit of an unorthodox journey. I didn't set out and think, oh, one day I'm going to be an author. I was a martial artist, competitive, transferred into nursing, and then I just met a patient who just needed a distraction and as we were having a conversation he mentioned little factoids about himself that after a year of treating him I just didn't know about. And that just turned into a conversation. As we were talking, he just said, uh, we made a conversation, a comment about Lyme disease, which is what he was being treated for, and I said, oh well, you know where Lyme comes from. And he kind of we went down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and all this stuff and for some reason out of my mouth came no, the Faye. I don't know to this day why I said it. I wasn't reading any books about Faye, nothing like that. It was actually on a vampire kick. And he looked at me and he went well, who are the Faye? And I just started telling this story off the top of my head, just making it up, and he just settled back in his chair and we just started kind of telling this story and from there it took on a life of its own.

Speaker 1:

But I still didn't think I would be an author. I was going to go to physician assistant school. I had like my life planned out. I was going to go pump some faces full of Restylane, you know, it was all, it was all set. And he kept encouraging me go home, write this down. Because every day he came in I told him another chapter and we just and he was the one who was like, go home and write this down, I'm telling you. And I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then eventually I took his advice and wrote it down and the story kind of came from there. So it was just the universe.

Speaker 1:

And who are the Fae? The Fae in this, in this version of you know, the Fae are, uh, fallen angels. Or, you know, the fellowship ages of earth, the defenders of the Fellowship Aegis of Earth, the Defenders of Earth. In this story they are angels who did not one side did not get involved in the war with Lucifer. They were sent by the creator to prep the earth for the creator's next experiment, which is humans. And then the other side are the Power Brigade angels, who are the foot soldiers of the Archangels. They were actually fighting. And then both sides are promised you know you're going to go home. Of course you know, as soon as your job is done, of course you're coming back to the shining kingdom. And then one day they hear they both hear the gates lock and you can't go home and they're just like Whoa wait, what just happened?

Speaker 1:

And they can't get an answer. So each side blames the other one and they develop into the court of light and dark. Each side blames the other one and they develop into the court of light and dark and they then take the acronym of FAY. Some say the fallen angels of earth, some say the fellowship ages of earth. The court of light calls it that as the defenders of earth, since they were there protecting it from day one and then, as they sit here, they kind of watch humanity develop and some take on more of a nurturing aspect.

Speaker 1:

Okay, others say no, no, we're not going to do that, and you know things develop. But the only thing they both agree on is that as they are worshipped by the humans as the primal kind of pagan gods and goddesses, they find that they get power from that worship. Their elemental gifts and you know, defending gifts kind of expand. So now they realize human worship equals power and they don't feel there's enough for both sides. So a war breaks out and we kind of watch what happens.

Speaker 2:

Oh, and I love the outfit, by the way. And are you dressed as who? Are you dressed as a Faye, or giving a little queen Aurora? You can tell us a bit out, you know about your outfit yeah, yeah, I, I like to.

Speaker 1:

I'm a cosplayer to begin with, so, uh, the idea of dressing as the fae whenever I can bring a little sparkle into my life, you know. So I always dress up as characters or as a fa whenever I do interviews or whenever I can, because it makes me smile.

Speaker 2:

And what did you actually? Did you make it yourself or did you purchase it? Like, how, where did you get the dress I made?

Speaker 1:

the dress. I actually made this. Oh, this the shoulder piece. This piece is from Aconite designs. And then the crown is actually Aurora's crown. That enchanting earth made after she read the book. Jamie is a crystal shop owner. She actually read the book and decided Aurora needs a crown and made the crown. And now she sells it in the store as Aurora's crown.

Speaker 2:

So anyone who loves the.

Speaker 1:

Fae can have a piece of the Fae.

Speaker 2:

And it looks like the cover as well. It's similar, except for the horns, I guess.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I have that headpiece. That is Lady Serena, who is Queen Aurora's best friend.

Speaker 2:

Ah, okay, this is amazing. What influenced you Like? How did you delve into this world? You know, growing up, what kind of books did you read that made you gravitate towards fantasy?

Speaker 1:

I don't know that I necessarily went towards fantasy consciously. I didn't know that's where I was going, but I'm a huge comic book geek.

Speaker 2:

That's just where.

Speaker 1:

I, you know, I did, I do. You know, as a kid I read like Secret of NIMH and things like that, which I enjoyed. But Chris Claremont said you know is one of my biggest influences. I just I love comic books, george Perez, I was always into the comic book side and that probably influenced me more writing this than anything else. A lot of the characters in the book, king Jarbok, things like that. They can be traced back to specific characters you know from comic books, like Magneto, from X-Men. King Jarbok and Magneto are very, very similar in the sense that you may not agree with their methods, but they are doing what they feel is right for their kin.

Speaker 1:

You might not agree with them, but it's there. So a lot of times, even in my style, I leave little Easter eggs. Okay, and that really comes from comic books more than anything else.

Speaker 2:

Oh, interesting. So this is the first in a three-book series, correct?

Speaker 1:

I've actually finished seven altogether. Now, volume one is complete. I finished it plus one novella, so there's eight. Uh, it's locked out of heaven. Thine eyes of mercy from the ashes kingdom. Come a fey is done and forgive us, that's the sixth in volume one. Uh, then there's a novella, uh, fire, ice, acid and heart, which is a dragon tournament, which you could read on the side or in between. But uh, volume one is complete now and I'm actually already working on volume two, but uh, kind of just exploded.

Speaker 1:

I see that you know where I was going with it. You know, I'd like to tell you I had this whole plan, but no, there wasn't a plan. You know, if you want to learn how not to write a book, come talk to me. I can give you all the insight on that. No, it just it went. But I knew as I finished forgive us, this was the end, like that was volume one.

Speaker 1:

Volume one was done at that point because I did jump genres. At the end I jumped more to urban fantasy and took it into modern world. So at the end of forgive us, I jumped more to urban fantasy and took it into modern world. So at the end of Forgive Us, there's four little short stories that take you through time, to wind up at the end in modern day, in New York modern day, to lead you into the next set of characters. So I did kind of give this little timeline jump and that's when I knew, ok, volume one is done, we're going to move on to some new characters, we'll bring back some old favorites, but it's a whole new set.

Speaker 2:

So what is your writing routine? Do you still work as a nurse?

Speaker 1:

No, I don't, I'm a writer now. I don't work as a nurse anymore. I was good with nurse and healthcare kind of burned you out. I did think I was going to go to PA school. I got in and it was all this like yes, I'm going, and then they hit you with how much it costs. And then you're like, oh, okay, it's not planning on $250,000 up front, so let me give this writing thing a shot. That's when, all of a sudden, I turned to my patient. So you think this make a good book. Huh, you know, it turned quick.

Speaker 1:

But my writing routine for the first couple of books I wrote all simultaneously by hand. I did not have a plan. I just sat down, started writing, and then I'd pick up a journal, write, and then I'd be like, oh, people are going to want to know how this happened, and I pick up another journal and start writing. So that was how I started and I still kind of stick to that, in the sense that all the books are handwritten first. That's what I do, everything. So then I take the computer, so you're a full-time writer.

Speaker 1:

Now, yeah, I do, um, I write and then I do social media work and stuff like that for my publisher as well.

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 1:

Mark, you know I do that. And uh, then with another partner of mine CR Rice is another amazing young adult author I run the pop up bookshop with her where we take it through the galaxy con circuit, introducing indie authors to an audience, maybe get a chance, and we run that as well Four or five times a year, you know, when we go through galaxy con. So I have other things that keep me within the publishing author realm plus writing.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow, yeah, I'm interested in how, you know, writers can sustain themselves, you know, and it's you know. These days, you know, the Stephen Kings of the world who can live off their writing are very few, right. So I'm really interested in the side gigs, all the stuff that you know make authors pursue their dream, right. So that's good to know that you do other publishing related things, and I think that's a really nice blend of both.

Speaker 1:

I have to keep it in the realm. I think this way you stay relevant too.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, true, true. I like this. So how many hours do you write a day?

Speaker 1:

Depends on what I'm working on. When I was doing, I just turned in a novella, probably about a month and a half ago, yeah, and that one took me a lot longer than I thought it would. You know, I had great ideas but actually and I know that I would spend depending on when kind of hit me three and a half, four hours trying to get things in and out. But, um, if I'm really like for volume two, when I really get something, uh I can spend hours just just writing. It, just kind of depends.

Speaker 1:

But I also don't have a set time where I'm like no-transcript, and then it's like I need something to write it down, where I get that hint of something. Like literally, I think I was in the bath last night and I'm like I had an idea for a series yeah, I'm like that's what I want to do. And series, yeah, I'm like that's what I want to do. And then I'm looking around I'm like where is you know? So it was one of those where it's like remember, remember, don't forget, don't forget, don't forget. So I don't really, I can't really say, oh, this is like this is. I know people have processes and they're like, yeah, now I'm not one of those. It's when it hits. The real housewives are on in the background RuPaul's Drag Race. Like I can't. I can't write in silence. I need the chaos. Okay, it just helps my brain work.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow. So how are the books doing in terms of the sales, if, if you don't mind sharing with us, um, oh, no, um, you know it's hard to stand out.

Speaker 1:

Uh, I was on the Tamron Hall show. Oh, wow, Good for you. Yeah, march, yes, and that was that was very helpful. You know, obviously you see a bump and then every time the show replays you see another bump. Uh, so, and doing the podcast, things like that it definitely helps.

Speaker 1:

Uh, I remember the first time I never knew you could check, like I didn't know, kindle had a bestseller list for your niche. And the first time I got the alert, you know, somebody was like, oh, do you know your number? Like, time I got the alert, you know somebody was like, oh, do you know your number? Like 50 on the Kindle bestseller for like dragons. I was just like what? And like, oh, this existed. You know you're screenshotting it everywhere and you're like did you see this? You know. So I I've made the bestseller list a couple of times now, uh, for different, for my different, uh, you know, niches and stuff which is awesome and I've been really excited about that. Uh, so I I've made like little lists here and there about like the best fave books you're you're not reading and stuff like that. So that's been really, really cool. I've gotten, um, you know shout outs on Instagram from like David Mack, from Marvel and things. So it's been really great I the response has been awesome.

Speaker 1:

Obviously, we all want to be on a bestseller list. You know you want to see your name on USA today, new York times. But then the more you learn about these lists and you realize well, it's not exactly about sales kind of who you know you're just like look, I just want people, I want to make money obviously off of it. But I've learned that it takes time, a lot time, which you know everybody thinks, when you're first getting into this world, that you're just going to be that viral sensation you all want to be, that you really think like, just gonna, one person, yeah. And then reality hits you and you go, oh, like all the overnight sensations. You then dig on them and you realize, oh, they've been writing since like 2004. And they're just now and you're like, oh, okay, so it really didn't happen overnight. Like that's just what you're told, like Hollywood kind of glams it up, so I have to just wait my turn. But I'm getting momentum, I'm getting steam.

Speaker 1:

You know I don't like Barnes Noble signings, which is really cool, and when I go to GalaxyCon I have people run up with my book and they're like, oh my God, you're here. And I'm like, oh, I'm here, you know I had. I was at GalaxyCon I think it was Richmond no-transcript. Like there's still that moment of you went out and bought my book and read it. Like you still have to go, you spent money on that, okay, cool. So you know, like I said, you still want to make a million dollars, but then you get a reaction like that and you're like, yeah, it's kind of worth it. Like just for that moment, you're just like this is kind of cool, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So how did you get these high profile interviews like the Tamron Hall? How did that work out?

Speaker 1:

One of the associate producers just happened to read my book. And then a producer on the show I worked with years ago, the associate producer walked in with the book and they were going to do like I think she does the segment is called let's Get Lit. It's like you know all the books that they're reading and she was kind of like nervous to say anything. And then the producer went I know her, I worked with her years ago and that's how it just it just gelled. It was like one of those serendipity moments where you were just like, oh, and the girl was like I read this book, it's really good. And then Beth was like I know, danielle, she's like I can call her right now if you want.

Speaker 1:

And they were like, well, let's do a pre-interview, like she's still got to go through everything. And they pre-interviewed me and came back and they were like she's actually kind of cool and so I had to still go through approvals and it just happened. It was like a minute segment on authors you should know about, and so they did my story and it was really cool. And, you know, people wrote in and was like we want to hear more from the nurse. So you know, I'm hoping they'll have me back and do a more in-depth interview, but yeah, it was. It was really cool.

Speaker 2:

Very cool what happened to the patients. I'm just curious that started all of this.

Speaker 1:

I'm best friends with him. I talk to him every day in 10 years and we speak every day and volume two is where he, his literary persona, is actually the hero of it. Agent Graham is my patient. So the way the whole thing started was he had mentioned that he was recruited by the CIA out of college. So volume two is actually our quote, unquote story. We joke about where I made it in a Lyme disease clinic, about a nurse and the CIA agent you know goes undercover to find out if the nurse is a fake human hybrid. That was the original story that we kind of talked about and I told him.

Speaker 1:

So volume two is urban fantasy and he is agent Graham. So, uh, how he was recruited by the CIA, all those little nuggets are in that story. So, yeah, he's now a literary hero, as I call him, you know it's a secret agent persona. Uh, he can't wait. So when, forgive us came out, the last short story is Graham, the first time you meet him. So I sent it to him and he called me right after he read it and he was like I love it. He's like I love Graham. I'm so excited. So he can't wait and I'm trying I'm still trying to convince him to be on the cover of that volume. So he would be Agent Graham, because I feel like that's you know, it's apropos, but we're working on it because he likes being patient, he likes, you know the anonymity, but we're working on it.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, I talk to him all the time. How does he feel about your success? He's probably one of my biggest cheerleaders, aside from my husband. He has all the books he gives he loved. He's probably one of my biggest cheerleaders, aside from my husband. He's he has all the books. He gives them out for christmas gifts. Uh, yeah, he loves it, you know, but he doesn't tell anybody. He's the patient, which I find funny uh. But yeah, he's been really great about it. He read most of them uh, he read like in the first draft stages. But you know, volume two obviously he's more excited about because it's him uh, but you know he's been, he's been great about it, he's very excited. So it's it's fun has.

Speaker 2:

Uh, has he healed or how is his Lyme disease go?

Speaker 1:

it's, it's better, you know, with Lyme. Depends on when you catch it. Okay is how you you know how you are with it, but he's, he's much better.

Speaker 2:

Yes, okay, okay, that's good, that's good. Yeah, my husband has Lyme, um, but we we got it pretty early, so he's fine now, all right. So I want to talk about marketing. You seem like you know really good at marketing your, your books, so if you want to give advice to writers, you can give me also an advice. You know, like I, I always try marketing different ways of doing it.

Speaker 1:

What works best for you. With marketing, I am still I'm still always experimenting, but I find one. There are enough readers out there for all of us. Authors have gotten very competitive, teaming up. You know, cr Rice is an amazing author and her and I have teamed up and people still find that amazing that we've teamed up. They're like you guys are and I'm like we're what we're allowed as women to lift each other up. So I think that's that's one thing is it's okay to team up with another author. No one's going to steal each other's readers. You know there's more than enough. Know your brand, figure out who you are as a writer and figure out your brand.

Speaker 1:

You can't go out and just be like I'm an author, I write a book, cool, that's all I do. Know your brand, know your message and figure out your niche that's the other thing and understand that your publisher is probably not going to do it. They're not going to market you, it's just. It's not like days where it used to be, where you used to get a big fat like here's your check, you know, and then you just go write the books. We'll handle the rest. That's not it.

Speaker 1:

Uh, you don't have to be an expert on every platform social media. Pick one, know it, stick to it. You don't have to be on the next big thing, like you know, everybody's like Tik TOK's the way to go. Oh my God, I, I'm not on Tik TOK, I, you know, it's just like. Instagram's what I do, that's it I, I. They made me get a Facebook page. I'll be honest, I don't even check it. It's like, yeah, I've got a presence, but Instagram's what I know. I don't jump to the newest, latest thing. I stick to one thing, unless it's a dinosaur, that's what I do. So I think it's more of knowing who you are, knowing your brand, knowing your audience and not being afraid to uh kind of expand your audience.

Speaker 1:

For a long time I was told I could not be young adult because I have uh, I challenge religion in the book. So it was like, okay, not be young adult. And I'm like, but why not? And then I went into a Barnes and Noble recently, probably about six months ago, and they were like please jump into the young adult category. They said, cause we're tired of having moms come in here throwing a Sarah J Moss and saying why is my kid reading this? I'm getting in trouble when they're trying to do a book report on it. And he was like I would love a Faye book that has no smut.

Speaker 1:

So I would love to put you in that category. So I went back and like really pushed my publisher to say, just try me in young adult and see what happens. And then I started seeing more sales and things like that. So I think you have to be your own advocate at times and do your research. Okay. So that would be another kind of way to go and you have to try new things. You know I, being on the cover, was I had my own version of what was going to happen. You know, being a cosplayer, just jumping into that realm and saying I'm going to take this risk, was another thing that I tried and it's paid off.

Speaker 1:

Um, these covers were all limited edition. The deal we made was once the first run was done, that's it. We're going back to typeset and I have people now like writing the publisher saying no, no, no, put her back on the cover. We don't want the typeset cover. Go back to, you know, go back to the cosplay, because a lot of people thought it was going to be a failed experiment. So you just have to be willing to try different things and go out there. And when everybody's like nobody does that, because when we did these covers there were a lot of people who were like an author on the cover and it's not non-fiction, and I was like, oh, that's right.

Speaker 2:

so this one. Is that you? That's me, oh wow, uh, yeah, it's the blonde hair that kind of threw me, oh okay yeah, my dad didn't even recognize me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I, I put her on on the covers. Uh, I'm on all of them except for the novella because that's the dragon. But yeah, and they said we'll do one run like that and we'll see. And so when they, they just changed it back to typeset and there's people writing and going no, no, no, put her back, we want her back on the cover, and a lot of people were like it's weird because it's it's not a nonfiction.

Speaker 1:

You know it's a nonfiction, it's a fiction book, but it should be nonfiction. And now people are like, no, that was really cool. So I think you just have to be willing to take some chances and realize at the end of the day, it's your word, it's you have to commit a hundred percent. So yeah, take the chances.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. So you, how do you talk to your audience on Instagram, dms or like? How do you interact with them? What is?

Speaker 1:

they DM me, I always respond. I also have a football podcast, so I'm I'm active. You know we have people like call in with that and sometimes they have book questions, so I've answered those. But uh, no, I'm very active on Instagram. It's me answering. It's very rarely not me, you know, I can't think of any.

Speaker 1:

I think there's maybe one, one or two times when I was just busy. It wasn't, I wasn't able to get to it, but no, that's me I do. Instagram lives, things like that. Uh, I know everybody who reaches out. You know I'm pretty active with the readers that are constant, so I know who they are.

Speaker 1:

Uh, and I'll always answer a question. I don't. I don't shy away from controversy either. You know, when things have happened, I've been one to step up and just say okay, this is what's going on. Guys, here we are, this is where we're at, whatever, and I've taken it head on. So I love, you know, I love talking to the readers.

Speaker 2:

How many followers do you have?

Speaker 1:

About 12,000. Oh wow. But a lot of them were following me from cosplay. So they were caught people who knew me from cosplay and a lot of them just were jumped in. And that's one thing I could say about the cosplay community is that they're very supportive, very supportive. So when one of us tries something new, everybody jumps in and is like all right, cool, you're trying something, go for it. The pom poms are out. And you know, when I've done've done more uh podcasts for like cosplay alliance and I've been guests on they're, they're right there to plug the book.

Speaker 2:

they know, you know you're making that chance so the number one sales come from where you think, from like media appearances, or is it from it's?

Speaker 1:

usually word of mouth. Uh, I don't find book tours do as much as people think. But you know it's, it will be a podcast. That'll usually push it. I think sometimes it depends if where the media appearances, that really depends. If I've done a galaxy cons, I will jump because somebody's walked by the booth, they've taken a card or you know they seen us on a panel, okay, and they've gone from there and it's, you know, if they didn't buy it at the event. You know, because I can't sell a kindle at an event, obviously yeah, and you know they'll go and they'll purchase it because people love their ebooks. I don't, you know, I don't sell those at events. So we usually see a jump after a GalaxyCon event.

Speaker 2:

Oh interesting. So your publishing journey. How did you find your publisher? And do you have an agent? How did that work?

Speaker 1:

Initially for Locked Out of Heaven for the first edition. I knew somebody who wanted to rep me and so I let them rep me, and I had an offer from one of the big three for their metaphysical imprint.

Speaker 1:

And they had made the offer and they said but we just signed. We only signed two to three nonfiction books I mean fiction books a year just closed our third one. They said so if you come back in January we'll sign you. We want some changes, but we'll sign you. At that point it was March. I didn't want to wait a year. So I was like, all right, I'll think about it, whatever. And then a friend of mine who had a nonfiction publishing house said you know what? We'll take a chance, we'll publish you as our first fiction book.

Speaker 1:

That was a mistake. I said yes, we released the first edition of Locked Out of Heaven and I was with them for about a year and then I just wasn't. It was doing, the book was doing well, there was no problem. But the process of getting the book out, they didn't know how to edit a fiction book. There was editing mistakes, grammatical errors, things like that. It just wasn't the right place.

Speaker 1:

And then I happened to be doing a podcast, drinking with authors, and that's where four horsemen met me and after the interview she had already heard rumblings of the other publisher and she's like are you happy with them? And I'm like, yeah, everything's great. And she's like, yeah, it's not what I heard. And she's like, we do fiction, come with us. And so they offered me a contract, I think, um, a week later, and took me about two or three months of hemming and hawing if I was going to sign. And then I signed with them. I didn't do a lot of querying. I think the only place I queried was, uh, a DAW with a penguin. That was the only place that I was like really considering going at one point. You know, everybody wants to be a penguin, so I had considered that at one point, um, but that was really it okay, okay.

Speaker 2:

So what? What are you working on these days?

Speaker 1:

uh, right now I have. I just finished, uh, like I said, the novella which is still in within volume one same characters and then I am finishing volume two. Working on that, I have three books in that volume. And then I am discussing with two Marvel I'll call them icons that want to write the forwards for volume two books for two of them. So I'm talking to them right now to see if their schedules will allow for it, and if it will, that will be amazing. If it won't, c'est la vie, we'll figure out another time. We can work together.

Speaker 1:

So I'm working on that and I'm doing panels for a possible graphic novel to, for an iteration for book one locked out of heaven, looking at that right now, and then I'm looking. I've done some Oracle cards for for that. So I've got a couple things in the hopper. And then I'm always. You know, we're always with the pop-up bookshop. We have galaxy con, columbus, december 1st through the 3rd in Columbus, ohio, where we'll be with a bunch of other authors that are great and we'll see people there which are always. We have readers that come from everywhere just to come to the GalaxyCons and see us and we do a bunch of panels, cocktails with creatives and all these great things. So we'll be at that. I'm always getting that ready with CR Rice, and then CR and I are doing a crossover event between our two worlds, between the Realm and the Vale. We're doing that. We're working on that right now as well. Wow, you're busy.

Speaker 2:

I'm trying to stay busy. Good for you. So for anyone who wants to get into that genre, to start writing. You know fantasy novels, fantasy books. What kind of advice would you give them?

Speaker 1:

I think it would be the same for anybody who just wants to start writing. In general, the first thing is is to think of, not think of fantasy or writing as anything more than interpersonal dynamics. When you write, that's all it really is. Whether you put a pair of horns on them or some scales, it's really all it is. In my books, a lot of the characters are people I know and interactions I've had with them. So whether I throw a tail on them, you know. In the case of Lady Serena, she's inspired by my best friend from high school, jennifer. So there's a chapter in Locked Out of Heaven called Girl Talk. That's me and Jen sitting on the beach when we thought we knew everything. At 16 years old, you know how we all are and you know it's really deep. That's the same thing. So I just pulled from real life.

Speaker 1:

I think if you start with that, then you can decide what whatever fantastic world you want to put it in. If you're going to stick in fantasy, make sure, though, you have the world building. Think about you know the magic system and all that stuff, because fantasy readers will pull you apart. You know they want they still want it to be logical. It still has to work. You can't just be like oh, the coin flipped and it turned the whole world upside down. Well, why, like? They want to know. Okay, what's the magic involved? You still have to do research. I think there's a misconception that if you write fantasy, there's no research. You still have to have a map. You still have to give them the basic information. Think of it as if you told somebody oh, you have to go to the store, okay, you're going to go down here, you're going to make a left, you're going to do that. They still want direction to get there. You can't just be like oh, it's a world, it doesn't work that way. You stop the world build and kind of go down the street.

Speaker 1:

I did that even with my dragon. I couldn't just have dragons that breathe fire. And everybody was like well, there they are, they breathe fire. I did a lot of research to make sure the dragons were plausible, like if I was ever on Mythbusters, I don't have to be confirmed, just plausible. Like they just have to exist. And here's, here's why they breathe fire. It can't just be magical. It's like why give them reasons? You know, go from there.

Speaker 2:

And how. How do you do the research? Like Google, or do you like go to the library Like, how do you, how, how is your research?

Speaker 1:

Everywhere. I also watched really bad fantasy movies.

Speaker 2:

Really bad ones.

Speaker 1:

Because sometimes the really bad ones show you what not to do but they also have nuggets of what's good. So I did that. I watched really bad ones. I watched a lot of 80s ones, because sometimes those have the best story veins and you can kind of see where the good ideas were. You got to read a lot, obviously, For my dragons.

Speaker 1:

I worked with a mechanical engineer, physics professor and my vet, gil Stanzione. I sat down, I went in with him one day when my dog had an appointment and I literally said I have an idea for a dragon. And I remember taking his glasses off and he went oh my God, danielle, what you know? He was just like what now? And I said I want to build it from the digestive system out. I don't care what they look like, yet I want to start with their stomach. And he went what Okay? And I remember he opened up. He was like I'm going to be late at the next appointment and close the door. Go back to this idea. And I said what if I build it from bacteria? And he was like we're onto something now. And we wound up sitting there talking and that's how I started.

Speaker 1:

Then I moved on to I went to a professor at Westchester community college, talked to him about I want them to fly, but I'm going to base it on the Albatross theory of gliding. And then he presented it to his classes, their midterms, once. I found, okay, they can fly, but they can only be as big as a giraffe. Now, now I went to Pandy Van, who's this amazing dragon illustrator. Now I could figure out what do they look like.

Speaker 1:

So I took it in stages and that's how I did the research and I read a lot of stuff on dragons. I mean a lot of stuff on dragons, mean a lot of stuff on dragons. What did you read? To the point where I also bought like the little. I went to Michael's and I bought like all the little figures, the action figures, and I played with them to figure out like how do they move, what do they do. But I took probably took way too much time on my dragons, to be honest. But at the end of the day I was proud of them and I felt like, okay, if somebody reads, they're not going to be like they're dragons, okay, let me breathe fire, whatever. It was like, oh, I've got dragons that breathe fire, ice and acid. Cool, I got like I got some good dragons that I can now write stories about down the line and it gave me a good base, oh wow.

Speaker 2:

Fascinating. So the before we conclude where do people find your books work? On your website or on Amazon? What is the best place to get your books?

Speaker 1:

You can get the books on it's at amazonbornsonnoblecom, targetcom, bookshoporg. Uh, kobu Scribed basically wherever you get your books. You can find them. Uh, in stores, they're online, you know. You can always check birth of the Fayecom and then you can follow me on Instagram at birth of the Faye underscore novel, and that's where all the latest information is. Locked out of heaven is on audible. It's produced by skyboat media. I have two phenomenal narrators. So if you're into your audio books, you can check it out there.

Speaker 2:

Ah, fascinating. Okay, great, I love audio books. I listen to audio books all the time when I walk my dog and, you know, doing chores. I love audio books. It's just such a time saver. Any last word before we conclude to anyone who like an aspiring writer you know any.

Speaker 1:

Just write the story that you want to tell. Don't write what you think is the next game of thrones, the next twilight. Just write the story authentically that you want to tell and the rest will follow. It'll all fall into place. Don't write by committee. Just write whatever you want to write and then let it go. Just put it out there, because you can't edit what's not on paper.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's true, it's true. Well, thank you very much. This has been fascinating, especially the research part. Oh, my God, this is like really blew my mind. Best of luck, and thank you very much for joining us today and for anyone who's listening or watching. Thank you for joining us and, you know, for spending an hour with us and until we meet again. Thank you for joining us and you know, for spending an hour with us and until we meet again. Thank you, thank you for tuning in to Read and Write with Natasha. I'm your host, natasha Tynes. If today's episode inspired you in any way, please take the time to review the podcast. Remember to subscribe and share this podcast with fellow book lovers. Until next time. Happy reading, happy writing.

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