I was fortunate to be interviewed at QueenTutt's World of Escapism, a great new review blog and website! The interview was so great that I decided to repost it here. Enjoy!
Ronda – Hi Danielle, it is such a pleasure and honor to have you on the blog to interview. Thank you so much.
Danielle – Thanks for having me, Ronda! I am more than honored to be here!
Ronda - Would you tell us a little about yourself?
Danielle – I'm a tattooed, horror-loving, avid-reading author and artist living in San Diego, CA. with my buff man candy hubby and a big collection of books, indie flicks, and documentaries. I can be found writing dark fantasy, horror, and dark erotica stories primarily based on angel and demon lore. Artistically, I paint, draw, and do some digital design, and have studied everything from theatrical costuming to tattooing. I am also pregnant with my first wee one, so add mommy to that list of activities!
Ronda – I just had the pleasure of reading your new release “In the Neon” and it was absolutely fantastic. Can you tell our viewers a little about it?
Danielle – In The Neon is a prequel to all other books I have written thus far--the true beginning of the story! This darkly sordid tale follows Faust, a sexier-than-Hell Collector demon born directly from the flames of the Pit. He has tempted kings and queens, wizards and peasants since the dawn of civilization and has always been proud of his wicked duties.
One rainy night, while wandering the red light district of a nameless urban wasteland, he stumbles upon a young woman smoking on the back alley step of a strip club and peep show called The Neon, and is inexorably drawn in to her web.
The woman he comes to love is named Annie, and she is one of The Neon's most popular dancers. A Swedish beauty, she is not your stereotypical idiot sex worker--she is clever, kind, multilingual, and well-read--a stripper with a heart of gold. When fate brings Faust and Annie together, they each come to realize that the other is a key to personal redemption.
This story is frequently dark, at times violent, and achingly romantic. There is steamy sex to be had, but this story is hardly sex-driven--there is much personality in these two characters, much for the reader to delve into besides the sensual parts.
Ronda - The Art Work created for the book is absolutely fantastic. Can you tell us a little more about your talented passion for the art you have created?
Danielle - I have been drawing since I was 18 moths old (per my mother), and I was thrilled to at last be able to merge my art with my writing. My painting style can usually be described as "stylized realism", but for In The Neon I chose to do more of a graphic novel style of artwork, which seemed to fit the theme quite well.
The final B&W interior illustrations (over 30 individual pieces total) were created using a combination of ink, graphite pencil, and Photoshop. Illustrations were sketched and inked by hand, then scanned into my computer for basic shading and highlight laydown, then printed out, retouched with graphite, rescanned, and final touches were once again added digitally.
I actually hated computer artwork up until recently, when I discovered that Photoshop could cut my work time in half when it came to illustration. There is still a big part of me that really prefers painting by hand--something amazing that cannot be achieved with digital means (in my opinion).
Ultimately, I'm really proud of how the artwork came out for In The Neon, and I think my readers will like it, too. It will appeal to fans of graphic novels, comic books, and picture books for grownups. :-)
Ronda – “Psyche’s Gate” and “Black Dog & Rebel Rose” are two of your previous releases; can you tell us a little about these two great books?
Danielle – Psyche's Gate was my first novel, the first book in what will eventually be a five book series. It tells the story of Alexius, a banished warrior angel who is desperately trying to earn back his place in Heaven.
To retrieve his stolen wings, he has been given the task of stopping a talented human artist, Psyche, from creating a commission for a powerful demon. Instead of harming or killing her, Alexius falls deeply in love with her, and the tale spirals down into darkness and desperation as he fights to save his mortal love from angels and demons alike.
Black Dog and Rebel Rose is a "spinoff" from the Psyche's Gate Saga and is my first "true" erotica story. This story follows Skriker, a tattooed, Harley riding half-demon bad boy who loves breaking hearts and hunting the evils that dwell in the dark, including his own demonic kind. He loves being a lady's man (and make that VARIOUS ladies) and a total badass, and never expects things to be different. When he gets word of a tantalizing vampyre hunt in a rotten abandoned town, he rides out to explore what he sees as a blow-'em-away live carnival game, and runs (literally) into his destiny: a fierce and beautiful huntress named Rose, who is scouting the same prey.
They start out as rivals, and quickly end up falling in love. Having found the girl of his dreams, Skriker is willing to follow his new soul mate to the ends of the earth...but loving Rose may end up being his undoing, considering what her ancestry is... Black Dog and Rebel Rose is probably my most popular book to date. My fans can't get enough of Skriker and Rose...they are always asking for more!
Ronda – Can you give us a hint of what you might be working on next?
Danielle – My first anthology--a very exciting project! Titled HUNT, this collection will include 5 or 6 short stories and novellas chronicling Skriker and Rose's various adventures as they hunt supernatural prey.
Thus far I have sent them to New Mexico, Sweden, Italy, England, and Israel, and two of these tales center on the hunters before they met each other. Stories range mythologically from Navajo skinwalkers to Swedish utburds to English demon hounds, giving my readers a nice entertaining collection to curl up under the covers with.
There is plenty of rollicking fun, hot sex, crazy adventures, well-researched world folklore, and a few good one-liners from the half-demon bad boy himself...I can't wait to release this collection on the masses! I think it will be well-received.
Oh, and this one will include a smattering of illustration, as well. I am also working on the screenplay adaption of Black Dog and Rebel Rose, slated to be submitted to over 30 production companies worldwide this summer. Stay tuned for all the news on my website: http://www.Danielledsmith.com
Personal Fun Questions
Ronda – Do you have a favorite restaurant that you love to go to?
Danielle – Oh, dreadfully complicated question! San Diego is fast becoming a foodie haven, so I have a ton of restaraunts that I count as favorites. I adore Cafe Chloe and Blue Boheme for French, Alchemy for fusion, Barrio Star for Mexican, Zia's Bistro and Alexander's for Italian, and Sea Rocket for vegetarian and seafood.
Ronda – Any special pets?
Danielle - My husband and I are expecting our first child, so no pets right now. We both love bunnies; our most recent pet was a sweet Netherland Dwarf that we adored and who sadly passed away. We're thinking the adoption of a puppy, kitten, chinchilla, or bunny will be in order when our wee devil spawn is, maybe, three years old or so. Til then, baby only! I don't have the energy to potty train a bunny AND a kid at the same time! LOL!
Ronda – What is your favorite type of Music?
Danielle - I am a music nut, and I love all sorts of genres. I love grunge, metal, classic rock and old-school punk on one end, and on the other I love classical, opera, and ethnic music. It really depends on my mood. Music is a big influence on what I write, and every one of my books has a "soundtrack"--the soundtrack to Black Dog and Rebel Rose included everything from Rooster by Alice in Chains to Kashmir by Led Zeppelin to Puscifer to 16 Horsepower. In The Neon's sountrack was even more diverse, and included such musical selections as Billy Talent, Portishead, and Diablo Swing Orchestra, a spectacular Swedish avante garde metal band that I utterly adore. I'm really very open to all kinds of music.
Ronda – Do you have a favorite song?
Danielle - Too many to list! Some songs that have inspired me recently include "Dozo" by Puscifer, "Sunken Dreams" by And They Shall Know Us By the Trail of Dead, and "Devil in A Midnight Mass" by Billy Talent. That's only a few, though--I have about a hundred favorite songs! It's all just dictated by my mood.
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