Honestly, I woke up one Sunday morning in 2009 and Daisy was in my head, frowning about her accidentally dyed red hair. She was telling me it wasn’t her fault that she was in trouble with the principal, and I had to find out why. So I let her talk to me (in a non-crazy way) and she told me her story.
3.How much are you and the characters alike?
Daisy is a nice girl who doesn’t cope with injustice, so she comes with a temper, which I think we all have but don’t necessarily show it like Daisy does. She has a supportive family like me. She gets to do all the things I’d only think about doing but couldn’t actually do it. She does remind me of myself a little when I was 17 but of course we are completely different. I have 5 older brothers so it was easy to write about what Daisy’s brothers would say and do in different situations. I have a friend called Rachael and she’s a ‘ranga’, but she’s nothing like the Rachael in the story…
4.Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
I do try to read a lot, more so in the last 3 years, but I find it hard to steal the time away from other things. I’m half way through ‘House Rules’ by Jodi Picoult right now and I wish I could spend my whole day reading!
5. What made you decide to go YA?
It speaks to me. I can get bored very easily by other genres as they’re dense and I get bogged down in them. To write YA was never a choice for me, it’s just what comes naturally. The stories I think up are always based around a young adult navigating their way through to adulthood. Often their plans don’t work out, but they still have hope before they become a cynical adult!
6. How did the cover come about?
My layout designer, Luke from Chameleon Print Designs in Melbourne, made it. I was scared at first that he wouldn’t get the flavour of the story, or that the cover would be weird but it wasn’t at all! The only thing I asked for was that there be a beach setting on the back cover instead of a repeated, smaller version of the front cover. Daisy’s favourite place is the beach and the front cover makes you think she’s at a beach anyway at sunset, so the back cover follows on from that.
7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
I’ve finished book 2 which isn’t related to FoF at all and that’s with my agent at the moment so fingers crossed. I’m currently doing a second draft of book 3 which might just be my favourite so far. I’m always hoping.
8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
I’m a high school teacher in Perth. If I had all the time in the world to write, I think I’d churn out a lot more books. Unfortunately, unless you’re Stephenie Meyer or Jodi Picoult or J.K. Rowling, you don’t make enough money as an author to quit your day job. But I don’t mind. The kids keep me sane and they make me laugh a lot.
9. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
I didn’t do any specific writing course but I’ve been keeping a diary since I was very young. I was editor of the student magazine at my university so I’ve always been doing some kind of writing. I studied English and History. I absolutely was worried about what people would think, especially my target audience! I still am. I’m quite confident people will like them as I’ve had enough feedback by now but when I send off that first draft to my first readers I always feel nervous that I’ll develop ‘writer fail’. There are some random occasions where someone has said they didn’t like my character names or chapter titles but as one very nice author told me once, there’s something called Reader Fail and that’s what it is. You can’t be paranoid about what everyone thinks. Just write about what you like.
10. One last thing. Do you collect anything personally?
I really like little funky notebooks. I don’t use them all but I have the best of intentions. I try not to hoard things. I do however love surf clothes – Roxy, Rip Curl, Billabong…so I suppose I collect those ☺
Thanks Danielle for stopping by our blog and taking time for us to get to know you better, Check out Danielles book Friendship on fire HERE!