Award-Winning Horror/Suspense Author
Dani has accepted the curse of a warped and deviant mind that bends reality, rending the fabric between the real and the unreal. Perhaps a form of schizophrenia, Dani prefers to think of it as wonderful inspiration for some deeply creepy but strangely intellectual horror stories that are pulled from those nightmarish visions. A student of the great horror writers (and filmmakers), Dani has turned a passion for twisted tales that unlock deep truths about humanity into a career focused on scaring the pants off readers.
Dani began feeding that imagination with Wuthering Heights and Poe and moved on quickly to Dean Koontz and Stephen King. With similarities to Showtime's Penny Dreadful and the Twilight Zone, Dani's writing exploded into the kinds of twists and turns that challenge and thrill everyone lucky enough - and brave enough - to devour Dani's writing as it "speeds to the exciting conclusion."
Questions & Answers
What goes through your mind when you sit down to write a new novel?
I begin with the logline. I develop a clear concept for the primary characters, the backdrop, and the key hook or concept that makes this book particularly interesting. I find a song that seems to capture the correct feeling for the book. I start that song playing on repeat. I turn down the lights, close my eyes, and walk into the movie theater of my mind. Suspense builds. Eventually, the movie starts to play, so I watch it. After it’s done and the lights come up, I sit down at the computer and begin to write what I saw.
What types of horror subgenres are you drawn to? Is there anything you won’t touch?
I’m drawn to most genres, but with a particular focus on horror that explores something interesting. This could be an interesting physical phenomenon, a philosophical question, an unusual place, or really anything that is interesting enough to serve as the crystal seed. I’m not a fan of slasher type horror.
Was there any specific event in your life that inspired you to write stories?
As a kid I really enjoyed watching those old monster movies on TV. My favorite was a weekly show called “Shock Theater.” I’d get everything setup for my siblings to watch, with a blanket and pillows on the floor, popcorn, and candy. We’d turn out the lights and enjoy being terrified for a couple of hours. I think that my writing is just an attempt to recapture those feelings.
What has been your favorite story to write so far?
I’m working on a book called The Raven that fractures the reality and dream world in a really interesting way and pays homage to some of those classic films from Shock Theater. I’m thinking in particular of films like The House of Wax, starring Vincent Price.
What makes Level 4 Press the perfect home for your books?
For me, Level 4 Press is the perfect publisher. They’re small enough to allow me to feel like I’m important to them and making a difference. But they’re large enough to be a full-service, traditional publisher with on staff editors, graphic artists, layout people, strong distribution, and so on. They publish in print, eBook, and audio book formats, which would be difficult to do on my own. And they’re actively involved in marketing my books, so I can focus on writing instead of focusing on selling books. I guess I’m saying that I get the services of a big five-star publisher but with the comradery and support of a start-up.