Fantasty/Sci-fi Retellings with Dani Hoots
Hello friends, welcome back to the guest. This month I'll be interviewing a fantasy/sci-fi writer Dani Hoots, the author of Wonderland Chronicles, and other novels.
She and I connected through Instagram and thought it would be fun to ask questions about her self-publishing journey and why she is passionate to write retellings. Let’s welcome her.
Hi Dani. Can you tell us about yourself?
Dani: “Sure! I am an author, herbalist, artist, and am trying to get into voice acting (maybe, we shall see how that goes…). I love anime, manga, and sci-fi & fantasy books, and in my spare time I try to go on hikes, but it is getting pretty hot in Arizona.”
Sounds like you have pretty ambitious goals. I hope it goes well. And yes, I can understand the weather. Here in Ohio, sometimes it feels parching. Mostly humidity.
What hobbies do you like to do when you aren't writing?
Dani: “Art! I love drawing with markers and on my iPad. I also am taking some acting lessons to become a voice actor, and I play the taiko. I love making tea formulas as well and sipping my tea while reading.”
Ooo, nice. I checked out your tea on Etsy and they look lovely. And pretty too. Now, let’s get into writing/publishing questions.
When did you begin writing stories?
Dani: “I began writing stories when I was very little, ever since I can remember. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, so I just had my imagination to keep me company. I finished my first book in high school (THE QUEST) but did a bunch of revisions through college.”
Imagination is important. They have a way to keep us occupied and continue to write creative and imaginative stories. That’s cool you wrote your first book and kept on working on it. What inspired you to do a retelling series?
Dani: “I always loved watching Disney movies as a child. I think, deep down, we all love old stories because we grew up with them—it's how we learned about the world. We connect with them, even after we grow up, so I like to write about them and give them my own spin.”
That is awesome you added your own twist and spin. We could use some of that. It is a fun way to be creative. It can be hard to try not to copy other great stories we know and love, but it doesn’t hurt to be inspired to create stories from different angles.
What do you like to write short or long stories?
Dani: “I write novel-length stories generally, but they are usually on the shorter side. I like reading shorter novels due to having problems with my attention and feeling accomplished when I read something fast, and usually that's how long the story just ends up being.”
Yeah, most people who read short stories want more because they love the characters and their journeys.
Many of the stories you wrote were inspired by other books. Which retelling is your favorite?
Dani: “Of mine, TRAPPED IN WONDERLAND. Of others, I really enjoy SAIYUKI by Kazuya Minekura , which is a retelling of the Monkey King, and also I love ECHO NORTH by Joanna Ruth Meyer, which is a Beauty & the Beast retelling.”
They sound intriguing and I will have to check them out sometime. Most stories I've read in retellings require a lot of research. What do you use to collect sources?
Dani: “I think all stories require a lot of research, honestly. I don't think any book of mine required more research than the other, except THE LEGEND OF AKIKUMO, just because it spanned over centuries. I usually buy books or find an academic-lead website about whatever the subject is. I also know some professors in different subjects and will send them an email or two. Or ask my friend Kaleb. He loves it when I ask him random questions about drugs and plants constantly.”
Glad you have people turn to ask questions and seek for answers. Why are you self-publishing? Would you still consider trying traditional publishing?
Dani: “I like being in charge of what I am doing. I also like having the ability to pick when it comes out and can have a lot of books come out in rapid succession. I do want to be a hybrid, however, and am querying for a novel as we speak. Of course! I would love to be published traditionally, but I like having self-publishing as well.”
I’ll be rooting for you. You got this!
If you were to give other writers that are interested in retellings any advice, what would be your tips for a compelling retelling?
Dani: “Make it your own! Find something you like and use that as a twist.”
Are you planning to self-publish any new novels?
Dani: “For sure! I have the QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD duology coming out this summer, my second book in the HONOR TRILOGY coming out this summer, then this fall I have a horror/dark fantasy YA academy series, along with some serial stories that will be on the new Kindle Vella that will come out whenever that drops.”
Dani, I had a wonderful time having you here and listening to your journey to become an author and continue to retell stories.
Dani: “Thank you for the opportunity to be on your blog and thank everyone for reading.”
If you like to purchase Dani’s novels or listen to audiobooks, tap Amazon or Indiebound to get your copy. Audiobooks are available on Audible, with other retailers coming soon. You can visit her on website danihoots.com or follow her on social media. Facebook: Facebook.com/danihootsauthor