I’m Jean Valjean! No. I’m Dani. And I’m finally, finally, starting to hold my hands up and own the fact that I – for all my successes and all my failures – am a writer.
I guess I should say a little bit about myself – this is my website, so it’s fine. Right? I started writing (here comes a cliché . . .) as a child (of course, that’s what everybody says). But it’s true – I did really nerdy things like keep a diary of the goings on of my virtual cats (I was that child). But my first excursion into novels was when I was 17, and a friend and I decided to pass the time on a school coach trip to Wales by making a comic. The comic never really saw the light of day, but the characters lived on in my head – lived, and wouldn’t shut the hell up.
So I started to write their story. On and off for the next 9 years, through the end of school, uni, and two different careers. My two teenage superheroes stood by me through it all.
Then I finished it, and wrote my next novel in 3 months. Yep – I got the bug. Turns out finishing a novel is pretty motivating – and this book, Good Night, Humans is the book of my heart. It’s the book I wanted to read, and when I couldn’t find it, I wrote it – it’s about advanced human species and innate human behaviours, prophecies and talking vans and crows. Lots of crows.
I knew straight away I wanted to try and get it published. I felt in my heart it was good – and that’s not something I say about my own work very often. I am my own harshest critic, but for once, I believed in myself. In my book. To cut a long story short, I pitched at Winchester Writer’s Festival and had an agent a few weeks later. Yes, I thought. This is it, I thought.
It wasn’t. Much as my agent believed in Good Night, Humans, it didn’t go on to sell to publishers. Dystopia just isn’t selling right now, was the takeaway message. But it was message that left me a little stumped. There’s nothing I can do about that. Is there?
Fast-forward to now. I’m living in Amsterdam with my husband – we’ll be going back to London soon, so I’m goddamn gonna make the most of every second here. And I’ve started to use Wattpad. Maybe at some point I’ll self-publish, if trad publishing doesn’t work out – I haven’t given up hope, and I’m still writing ‘not-dystopia’ in the hopes of publication – but I’m not going to hold my breathe. It’s a fierce market, and you need luck. But I like to be proactive, so I’ve started adding another novel of mine onto Wattpad; I’m testing the waters, so to say.
So if you haven’t been bored to death by this ‘who am I’ rant – welcome, and enjoy. Feel free to check out ‘The Elementalists’ – there’s a link in my ‘books’ tab. Play an interactive game. I’ll be posting on this blog with some (mainly YA) book reviews.
And feel free to say hi. I’m here to connect 🙂