When Yelle Hughes left, and I heard that she had made it home safe and sound, I went upstairs to change my underwear and jeans.
Yelle had made me laugh so hard that I peed myself!
It was quite the contrast between the sweet and quiet Rebecca Odum and the loud, wild and humorous Yelle(who joyfully earns her nickname, god luv her!) and now I am ready for a rest.
I fall into bed and quickly drift off to sleep.
I must have been only asleep for a few minutes when I feel a weight on top of me.
“Come on sleeping beauty, wake up! You have another guest waiting for you in the shed of super hotties.”
I groan, moan, and open one eye to see Frank grinning at me.
“It is the shed of solicitation, and do not forget I had a couple of men by as well!”
“Oh, them. That Nic feller with the Plague and Racey dude who scared the life out of us with those werewolves and O’Keefe with his crazy vampire notions in Newfoundland. Give me a soft woman like Shannon, or Peggy or Rebecca or….”
“Okay, okay, Frank, I get it!” I said irately.
I get up out of bed, wash my face and brush my auburn hair and hurried downstairs and out to the shed to see Danielle, my current visitor.
“You know girl, I got to say, I am impressed with your line up of guests so far, mostly women. Beautiful women, with a whole lot to look at.”
“Well, I want you and the rest of the back yard dummies, try to respect and keep your cool around Danielle please? She is not just an author, but a lawyer and can sue your ass for sexual harassment, so promise me that you all will cool it.”
“I can promise Ti, but I do not speak for the rest of the by’s.”
It was nice to see Danielle already sat in the chair(which I now ‘borrowed’ on a more permanent basis) and chatting with Isobel.
When Isobel sees me approach, she gets up and heads back to her yard to finish hanging out clothes.
“Welcome, Danielle! I see that you were having a nice chat with Jack’s wife Isobel. Could I offer you a beverage?”
“Sure, I’d love a Diet Coke.”
“Thank you for coming, Danielle. Though I have known you for years, this yahoos are unfamiliar with you, share a little about yourself.”
“Well, let’s see. I’m 2_ years old (a woman never reveals her true age) and live in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I have a chocolate lab named Gus, speak Spanish, coach girls’ lacrosse, and am a licensed attorney. I’m also a big sports fan.”
With such an impressive resume, I expected some sort of crude comment from the back of the shed, but they must have been terrified of her status as an licensed attorney.
“I have seen Safe and Sound on Amazon and I would love to pick it up, but before I do, could you tell me a little about it?”
“Absolutely. Safe & Sound is set against the backdrop of the ongoing drug wars in Mexico, and the story centers on a young woman named Amy who travels to Acapulco with some friends for vacation. The girls are kidnapped by a violent drug gang, and the book is about what happens to them while in Mexico and how Amy recovers from the ordeal once she returns home.”
“Safe and Sound sounds like a gripping, on the edge of your seat thriller! Is there a particular part of the story that you really enjoyed writing?”
“There are some pretty emotionally-heavy scenes in the book, so I enjoyed writing the Epilogue because it has a much lighter tone. But I also really liked creating all of the different characters and making them come to life on the page.”
While Safe and Sound was something out of an Oscar nominated movie, Jack still wanted to know the same old scripted question.
I am getting bored, but he bellowed it from the back.
“Hey gorgeous, tell us who your favourite characters are!”
“Well, Jack, my favorite character is probably the main character, Amy. She’s strong yet vulnerable, serious yet kind. She’s also a genuinely good person, which I think is increasingly rare these days both in literature and real life.”
“I have to fully agree with you, Danielle, it is so rare these days to find a person; be it a real life being or a character out of someone’s imagination, that are genuine. Now,
If Safe and Sound were to be optioned for a movie, who do you see playing your main characters?”
“Oh wow, I don’t know. Hmm…that’s a tough question. Safe & Sound kind of has an ensemble cast, so there would be a lot of roles to fill! I’ll do three for you, though. Going mainly on looks, I would pick Blake Lively for Amy, Tina Fey for Dr. Vilsek, and Jesse Metcalfe for Ricky.”
“You are right, hard to come up with a dream cast for a full ensemble! So, Blake Lively, Tina Fey and Jesse Metcalfe are all gifted actors of their genre, so they will be perfect! I was wondering, as a person who writes on the side, during my down time, my writing process starts with forming the story in my head before I put pen to paper, what is your writing process like?”
“My writing process for Safe & Sound was a bit unusual, because the story started out as a dream. I had a nightmare that I was kidnapped in Mexico, and when I woke up the next morning I thought “wow, that would make a great book!” For both Safe & Sound and my second book that I’m currently working on, I start with a detailed outline and then fill in scenes as they’re needed. I don’t go in order…for instance, one of the first things that I wrote in my second book was the ending.”
I know that I should refrain from allowing beer or any alcohol in the shed during these informative and riveting discussions, when Terrance decides to make a full on nuisance of himself.
He staggered over to Danielle, almost landing on her lap, spilling beer on her and probing for the same information.
That yahoo got to find a new question.
“All of this sounds fascinating but I heard writing is a hell of a lot of work, why do you do it, what do you get out of it?”
“Well hey there, Terrance. Usually when a guy offers me a drink he leaves it in the glass!”
Danielle looks at me with bewilderment when I began to laugh at her response and a loud snort came out of my nose.
I blush furiously.
“To answer your question, I love telling stories. I was always that kid playing make-believe or forcing my poor parents to listen to the latest story I made up. When I was little my family visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and on the drive back my saint of a grandmother got stuck listening to me tell a 4 hour ad-lib story about horses. Writing is just a part of who I am…if I don’t write down the stories during the day then I’ll dream them at night.”
“Terrance asked you why you like to write, now I want to ask you, is there anything about writing you don’t like?”
“I self-publish, so all of the formatting work required to get the book ready for sale can be annoying. It’s not that bad, though…it’s just more time consuming than anything else.”
“When you write, what is it that you hope your readers take away from your story?”
“It depends on the story, really. For Safe & Sound, even though it’s a serious book, I hope readers can see that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel and no situation is ever truly hopeless. Also, I really hope that people who read Safe & Sound will gain a little more understanding about the drug war in Mexico and maybe start paying more attention to events down there.”
“Do you have any other stories you are currently writing or are planning to write?”
“Yes, I do! I’m currently writing my second novel, Do No Harm. It’s a medical thriller that I’m planning to publish in April. I also have a couple more novels in the outlining stages, but I haven’t decided which one I want to work on next.”
“Thanks a million for answering all my questions…and the others, Danielle it has been a real pleasure. As I said before, I have seen Safe and Sound online on Amazon is there anywhere else your book is available and what formats?”
“You can find my book on basically every online ebook store (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). You can also go to Smashwords.com and download it in any format you want to, including HTML and PDF. For more traditional readers, there is also a paperback version available from Amazon.”
“You must be frozen solid by now, Danielle, my mates have been pretty greedy with the heat, so I am going to let you go so you can toddle on home and warm up, but before you go is there anything else you want to add?”
“I love interacting with readers and getting their feedback, so I’m active on social media and keep a blog on Goodreads.com. You can find me on Twitter (@auntdanwrites)and Facebook (www.facebook.com/singletondanielle). I’d love to hear from people!”
“I feel the same as you do, Danielle! Thank you for coming, I hope it was enjoyable for you as it was for me, come back anytime.”
She declined my offer and the others to walk her to her car.
I turned around after closing the door, and faced the back of the shed hooligans.
“Thank you for trying your best to behave with Danielle, I know it was hard and I commend your efforts. To reward you, I will give you this present.”
I swipe a piece of cardboard and a marker of the work bench, scrawled a message and tacked it to the back of the door.
STARTING IMMEDIATELY, BEER AND OTHER ALCOHOLIC DRINKS WILL BE BANNED DURING AUTHOR CHATS. APPLICABLE TO YOU, THE BACK OF THE SHED HOOLIGANS.
Laughing, I sauntered back to my house for some dinner and curl up with a good book.