Feature Friday

Hey Pen Friends! Today’s feature is an aspiring Young Adult author.



SP: Who are you?

My name is Dana Black,  and I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I’ve had a love of story for as long as I can remember, but I’ve been seriously pursuing fiction writing for the last four years. In my spare time, I enjoy photography and baking, and a few times over the years I considered going to pastry school or film school. Writing ended up winning out, and it continues to do so. But I make it a point of including food and baking in my stories as often as possible, and I dream of adapting my novels into screenplays.

SP: What do you write?

After trying out a few different genres, I have found a home writing young adult speculative novels, and I focus on fantasy. I’ve also got a time travel series in the works as well as a dystopian/fantasy waiting to be written.

SP: What are you working on now? 

My current project is a YA Fantasy novel titled The Heir of Draven.

In the Commonwealth of Draven, a land grounded in logic and reason, anything out of the ordinary is considered suspect. In the case of magic, it’s more than suspect—it’s illegal. When the crown princess develops an unnatural ability on her seventeenth birthday, she must hide it at all costs (and keep herself one step ahead of an assassin). But it isn’t long before a secret society focused on restoring magic and light to the gray kingdom recruits her to their cause. When a spark of hope to help restore her broken family and the kingdom ignites, Princess Livy must choose whether to repress her abilities or step into a dangerous and wonder-filled new world.

SP: Sounds fun! Where can we learn more about you? Read your work? 

You can find me on social media (Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) @missdanablack.
One of my flash fiction stories, “The Larchmont Garden Club,” is on the Splickety Publishing Group’s Lightning Blog: http://splicketypubgroup.com/the-larchmont-garden-club/

SP: We’d love to check it out! What is your writing tip for us, Dana?

My best writing tip is this: Don’t throw anything away!
I mean this two ways:
1. If you decide you don’t want to keep a scene, a chapter, or sometimes even a sentence, cut it from your manuscript and paste it into a separate file to save for later. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been so thankful that I’ve done this. During a recent revision of Heir of Draven, I actually searched my archives and reinserted an entire scene I’d removed a couple years ago. You never know when you might need something later.
2. If someone gives you a critique you don’t agree with, thank them and set it aside. If you’ve had a negative emotional reaction to something they said (and it happens to all of us), try to let it roll off and come back to it once the emotions have settled. In the light of a new day, you may find that they had something valid to say, and it might even help improve your work in a way you wouldn’t have expected! This doesn’t mean you have to use their ideas if you don’t think they serve your story, but it could end up being the push in the right direction you needed.

SP: Great advice. Thanks for sharing with us Dana! Good luck with The Heir of Draven!

Thank you so much for inviting me to visit the Spinning Pen!


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