Monday, October 11, 2010

Interview with Romance Author Danielle Thorne

Danielle lives south of Atlanta, Georgia. In 2006, she won Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s Annual Writing Competition and won the 2008 Awe-Struck Short Novel Contest. She was Co-Chair for the New Voices Competition for young writers and reviews books for online review sites. Her husband is an air traffic controller, she has four sons, is involved with BSA Scouting, and is the author of four books.

Hello Danielle. Tell us about your new book, By Heart and Compass.

By Heart and Compass is a sweet romance novel about letting go of your fears and moving forward in life with courage to take on new adventures. It's set in a small town in central Georgia and then moves to sea off the coast of Antigua. Here's the cover blurb:  
When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a screeching halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again. But will finding it cost her heart?

Your book sounds fascinating. Where did you get your inspiration for your novel?

I'm quite the daydreamer, but when stories pop into my imagination I do everything I can to research anything I haven't experienced. Since writing sea-themed fiction, I've received my scuba certification and spent some time traveling to different places in the Caribbean. I also like to choose interests for my characters that I am already familiar with—for example, in my sweet romance, Turtle Soup, I made my heroine a caterer and deli owner, because I love to cook and know my Southern cuisine. In By Heart and Compass, I chose genealogy for my bookish main character, because I am in fact, a genealogist. It's a wonderful way to share my passions with other people. I try to not just write what I know, but to write what I care about. And writing has given me the opportunity to care about a lot of new things.

I love the idea of writing what you care about. A reviewer wrote, "I especially like the sayings before each chapter. Read as a pirate would say it.” You must have done a lot of research. Tell me your thoughts about this.

In doing some research on Antigua, I came across a clever saying, "Spider and fly can't make bargain." I started researching West Indies proverbs (which have African roots) and found so many thoughtful ones, I decided to collect them and use them for chapter headings. Trying to decide which ones fit with the action in each chapter was a challenge, but they all worked out wonderfully. Actually, each chapter's proverb should be read with a Caribbean accent. But a pirate's voice would work just as well. They're very close!

Wow! That must have been a lot of work to find all the right quotes, but very rewarding at the end. What does your family think?

My family is very supportive of the long hours I put into writing. They haven't actually read all my books, but having four sons, that's understandable. Nothing makes me happier than when someone mentions they heard from one of my boys that I'm an author. I suppose the idea that I'm a romance writer must be a bit embarrassing for them but they've never questioned it and they are all very good listeners when Mom needs to vent.

That’s wonderful your boys care so much. Can you tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Wow, that's a tough one. How about the first saltwater dive I ever did after getting my scuba certification? I'd only been exposed to lakes and rock quarries, so when I made my first descent off the coast of Destin, Florida, and was surrounded by a school of barracuda, I had one of the most intense conversations with God I've ever had. The fish were all around me (very curious fellows), and they followed me all the way down the ninety foot descent. Then later they returned and followed me back up! I'm not scared of them anymore, but it's not a comfortable situation to be in if you've seen the teeth on those bad boys.

Oh my gosh! I can’t even imagine the fear I’d have being face to face with just one. I can just imagine your prayers and how wide your eyes must have been at the sight of them. Now we know the real you, the author who swims with barracudas!!!


Mozi Esme said...

Looks fascinating! And I'm not too inspired to join my husband in the scuba thing right now... :)

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings:

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

apple blossom said...

Sounds like a good book. thanks for the interview.
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Danielle Thorne said...

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Linda, one swim with barracudas was enough. I've marked that off my bucket list, haha.

Miss Mae said...

Oh Danielle, I didn't know about those barracudas! Eeek, I think I would have died right then and there. Forget about a burial, folks, just drop me down like an anchor! Shew, how scary!

I agree. That had to be a challenge with finding the right "pirate" saying to head each chapter, but what a clever idea! :)


Anonymous said...

The book sounds really good and I'd love to have a PDF of it. I was intrigued by all of the research Danielle did. The proverbs sound like a great idea for each chapter.


Gail Pallotta said...

Congratulations on your new book, Danielle. I hope you don't see any more barracudas.

JoAnn said...

Sounds like a great book! Please enter me into your contest.

I have 4 boys as well. I had to chuckle at a few of your comments. :)

Best wishes for much success~

Larry Hammersley said...

Danielle: I can't swim and am scared of water. I can't imagine that scary experience. I wish you many downloads of your new story. It is really great that your family supports you in your writing. That's important. Keep writing and I repeat I like your Privateer Newsletter. Larry

Anne Patrick said...

Swimming with that's something I've never read about you, Danielle. Girl, you've got nerves of steel. I'm sure the prayers did help. Best of luck with your new release. It's a great story. I absolutely loved it!

Danielle Thorne said...

Thanks for coming by, Sweeties. Big hugs.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Add me to the list. Thanks.

Joyce Dipastena

Anonymous said...

DANIELLE, I loved the interview. Swimming with barracudas? I do NOT envy you for
that experience.

Your characters are so real they jump off the page. I love it when a writer
delves inside their characters' minds. It makes you feel like you really know
them. It pulls me into the story.

Great going, Girlfriend!


Sherry Gloag said...

So, will your next heroine be swimming with barracudas too?
My sister is a geneologist too. I keep trying to persuade her to write about the research she's done in the various branches of our family, those folk had amazing lives, but she keeps refusing. Very frustrating.
I enjoyed yur interview and your book sounds wonderful. And, yes please, I would love to be entered into your contest.

Serena said...

Wow! Great interview! The book sounds very good! I would love to read it. I think it is awesome that you give your characters experiences that you know about and do the research to make it realistic.

flchen1 said...

Wow, Danielle, I can't imagine swimming with barracudas :)

I do love the fact that you used quotes to introduce each chapter--that's one more thing to look forward to when I pick up your book! Thanks for taking the time to visit!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Danielle,
Great interview. Ooh swimming with barracudas, you must be brave, count me out on that one. My sister is into geneology and I think she is addicted to it. Once it gets a hold on you it doesn't want to let you go, as I understand it.But hey, I write historicals, and geneology is very handy sometimes.
Your story sounds great, stories with pirates in thema re always intrigue me.



Danielle Thorne said...

Just wanted to thank the last flurry of visitors who stopped by. Thanks for taking the time to visit Linda's blog and read the interview. She's such a sweet lady.

I don't get out but every year or two to the Caribbean/sea but it has been a wonderful experience and I'm thankful for it--even for the barracuda! lol

Rhonda Splear said...

Wow...great interview, Danielle! Congratulations on another new book!! =)

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you for the interview and giveaway, Danielle and Linda. Please enter me in the contest. Your books sound like wonderful reads, Danielle.

I especially dig your statement, "I try to not just write what I know, but to write what I care about. And writing has given me the opportunity to care about a lot of new things."

Now that you've marked swimming with barracudas off your bucket list, what's next? Whatever it is, I'm sure it will result in a memorable novel.

Keep up the good work!

Glynis said...

Great post and interview. Thanks for sharing.

Kristi said...

I really want to read this book now! I love books that take you to another place and time. Please enter me in the contest.

Anonymous said...

After reading this interview I would love to win this book. Thanks


Cathy W said...

Great interview. Add me to the list. Thanks.

Phantom Paragrapher said...

Great Interview , Im a new follower of the blog

barbjan10 said...

Hope I'm not too late to post a comment on Danielle's interesting book. She is a brave lady to swim with barracudas...I'm heard the expression that "so and so is a real barracuda." Has she ever known a real one? Good interview and great sounding story. Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to win this interesting book. I hope I do!

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Joyce. You have won the PDF of By Heart and Compass. I know you'll enjoy it. Take care!