Author Interview: Danielle Rose

Danielle Rose headshot

Danielle Rose first became a resident of my book hoard when I reviewed Blood Rose, the first in her Blood Books series, and interviewed her about the experience of writing it. Today, I had the opportunity to ask her questions relating to her short horror story Daemon Academy, which was released on October 27, 2015. Here’s what she had to say:

1)  What inspired you to branch into the horror side of supernatural for Daemon Academy rather than the romance side of things that you chose for the Blood Book series?

I’ve always been fascinated by emotions, and this fascination led to the creation of DAEMON ACADEMY. I think it’s incredibly difficult to truly bring out an emotion in a reader—whether it’s arousal, fear, love, compassion, etc. For me, it’s easier to write a plot that brings out happier emotions, so I wanted to challenge myself by writing something more disturbing and horrific than what I’m used to.

2)  How does writing a short story change your process from when you are writing a novel?

Writing a short story is completely different. For me, it’s much more difficult. In a novel, you have 300+ pages to explore the world, the setting, your characters, themes, and more. You have many chances to draw the reader in. In a short story, you have only a few thousand words to accomplish the same things you try to accomplish in a novel. You don’t have as much time to explore.

3)  Can we look forward to any more stories with this character or world? What about the horror genre; do you have any more forays into the world of the scary planned at this time?

When I wrote this story, I had no intention of returning to this world. However, I’ve gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback from readers, and now, I find myself rethinking my initial decision. I’m not sure if I would write an anthology of short stories set in this world (perhaps following different characters) or a standalone novel that continues the plot line, but this is something I’m now considering.

I most definitely plan to write horror again. I am planning to write a teen paranormal thriller, tentatively titled FORGET ME NOT, which will dance with the horror genre. For me, it’s much more difficult to write horror, so it takes much longer to craft.

4)  If you could peek into one author’s literary hoard, who would you choose and why?

My first instinct would be to choose Richelle Mead. She has had the most influence on me as a writer. I am completely in love with her captivating writing style and the worlds she creates. However, I also wouldn’t mind peeking into Nicholas Sparks’ literary hoard. He too writes captivatingly. What’s so fascinating about Sparks is that he writes one specific genre: contemporary romance. Yet, he is able to pen completely unique novels. I never tire of sinking into the worlds he creates.

Purchase link for Daemon Academy:
Amazon: Buy Here

My other reviews of Ms. Rose’s work:
Blood Rose

Author Bio:
Danielle Rose is writer of fiction and travel, as well as the owner of Narrative Ink Editing LLC. Danielle currently resides in the Midwest, where she spends her days at a local coffee shop planning her next vacation or plotting her next novel.

Danielle holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program. In addition to her Master of Fine Arts, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and certification in professional writing from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

When not writing, traveling, or writing about traveling, Danielle enjoys being outdoors, cheering for her favorite football team (Go Packers!), and spending time with her husband and their furbabies: two dogs and a cat.

Places to find Danielle Rose:
Narrative Ink:


Short Story: Daemon Academy by Danielle Rose

daemon academy

Title: Daemon Academy
Author: Danielle Rose
Genre: Horror
Age: Young Adult (although this will depend on the maturity of the reader to some degree)
Is This Part of a Series?: No

Summary: (*taken from the Daemon Academy page on Goodreads)
Kemper Academy is over a hundred years old, but it has only recently reopened after a series of murders and stories of hauntings shut it down. Avlynn, a new student, refuses to let the rumors scare her, chalking them up to a bit of friendly freshman hazing. But when night falls and screams draw her from her room, she finds the truth is much more horrifying than any ghost story.

Overall Impression:
This was a quick read with just the right amount of scariness to make me tense, but not induce bad dreams.

The Nitty Gritty:
I enjoyed this story from the very first sentence. Ms. Rose clearly put thought into finding heavy duty words. Almost all of the sentences in Daemon Academy do more than just one job: character building, world building, atmosphere building, etc. Which is a very good thing, in this short story. (In any short story, really).

My favorite part of this story was the way it fits within the horror genre. There was plenty of tension and atmosphere, a spooky setting and a great legend to go with it, and even a set of well-developed characters. Despite all of these elements that were appropriate to the horror genre, however, the gore level (and by this I mean level of description of blood, ghosts, hauntings, etc that make horror so horrifying) was at the perfect level for me. It was scary and other-worldly, but not graphic.

The worst part of this story is that it ends. While nothing is as thoroughly developed as in a novel, the perception is that the depth exists for them. And then ending to the story certainly leaves me wanting to know what happens next (although this is a complete story).

Special Considerations:
As this is a horror story, I believe it is important for parents to read this before letting their younger teenagers read it. It is a quick read, so won’t take up too much of your time, and a read-through will allow you to gauge whether or not your child will enjoy this or be disturbed by this. You know your child best, after all.

Goodreads Rating: 4.86 Stars (7 Ratings)
Amazon Rating: 5 Stars (3 Reviews)
My Rating: 5 Stars

My other reviews of Ms. Rose’s work:
Blood Rose

Craft Study: The Shining by Stephen King

the shining

Title: The Shining
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Age: Adult
Part of a Series?: Yes (this is Book 1)

*I checked this book out of my local library as part of my MFA studies

I am much less versed in the horror genre (I have to be very careful about what type of horror I read or I will have nightmares) and when I was thinking about how to summarize this book, this is what I came up with: A young family moves to be the caretakers of a hotel. The youngest member of the family–Danny–is a strong psychic. When odd things start happening and Danny’s dad starts acting strangely, five-year-old Danny is the one with the best grasp on what is happening. Well, he sees what is going on, at any rate. Strangeness and scariness ensues as winter closes in around them and they struggle to survive whatever is going on.

Not bad, but it doesn’t really capture the scope of this book. So here’s the Goodreads summary:

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control. 

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? 

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

Much better. Gives me chills just thinking about all the scenes in the book that it evokes in my memory.

Overall Impressions:
This book was amazing. And terrifying. BUT…not really terrifying in the way I expected, which actually made it easier for me to read than I had anticipated. I “used” Stonecoast as an excuse to “have” to read this book (even though I had other options for the scene pacing seminar I was going to take). Stephen King is, after all, one of the most well-known modern writers and I have NEVER read any of his work. I’m a scaredy cat that way. After reading it, however, it all boiled down to this: I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

The Nitty Gritty:
As I said, this is the first Stephen King book that I have ever read. I have always been scared away by the reputation he has and by how scary his books-turned-movies are. Boy was I wrong to avoid him. This book was captivating from beginning to end. The characters were detailed and rich–including the character that is the hotel. Seriously. Mr. King turned a building into a character. A character with history. Sure, it was a bit one dimensional, but it actually needed to be to fulfill its role in the story. (Yes, I realize that most of the rest of America already knew this, either from the book or the movie or the remake, but I had been living under a rock as far as the horror genre is concerned. No scary movies, books, ghost stories, etc. Prior to reading this book, anyway).

You’re probably wondering if I’m a horror-phobe and I liked this book, then how scary could it be? Well, it was the scariest thing I’ve read, and may stay that way for a long time. But what is important about it is the TYPE of scary that it is. It isn’t the type where you are lulled into a false sense of security and peace only to have something jump out at you from out of nowhere. It isn’t the sort of scary where you feel like you should start locking your doors and checking for “real” serial killer type monsters under bed and in the back seat of your car. And it isn’t the type of horror where you believe there is no possible hope of success for the protagonist (such as how I feel when trying to watch The Walking Dead with my husband). No. This book is the kind of scary that is a slow, creeping dread, based entirely on the idea that you care about the characters, they have a chance to survive, but the odds are severely stacked against them. You want them to survive, and you know they might, but you can’t help but feel that they don’t really have a way out of their bad situation. (And for me, the fact that it is supernatural, and therefore less plausible than say a serial killer, makes it easier for me to deal with.)

As for the craft I learned from reading this book, well, there were lots of things I noticed, but as I was reading it for a seminar about “scenes that move” (Amy Tibbets, Stonecoast MFA Winter 2013 graduate), I tried to focus on the way Mr. King built his scenes. While there were definitely some slower scenes, they were relatively few and were sprinkled amidst fast—but appropriately—paced scenes.

As I read the book, I noticed that he used brief, easy-to-understand sentences. This is not to say that he lacked the description that is frequently found in longer sentences. He simply used no more words than were necessary to say what needed to be said. Most of the time. As with most long books, there were times that I wished he had chosen a different pacing–both with wanting the book to speed up and slow down. However, his “scenes that moved” were always beautiful in the brevity and precision of the word choices.

He also did an excellent job of creating unique, distinct voices for each of his characters. While I would not previously have said that strongly individualized characters would help build strong scenes and intense pacing, I believe that this is in fact one of the key factors for King’s scenes moving forward. With strong characters, you can create movement through the interactions between characters, which in turns creates movements from one scene to the next, keeping the pacing moving forward at a steady pace.

Finally, the thing that has stuck with me most over the past two and a half years is the idea of variety. He didn’t always have short sentences or long sentences, short scenes or long scenes, but he had all different lengths. More specifically, he used the length of the sentences to simulate the emotions the characters were feeling. If a character was walking across a room, needing to reach the other side as quickly as possible, but feeling a sense of dread, then the sentences and scene would be long, forcing the reader to slow down and really begin to wonder if the character would reach his or her goal. And by matching the scene and sentence pacing to what the characters are going through, it makes it easy for the reader to become immersed in the book, the pages flipping quicker and quicker, the story advancing towards it inevitable ending.

Goodreads Rating: 4.12 (638,860 Ratings)
Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars (2,926 Reviews)
My Rating: 5 Stars
I loved it and wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it. I will probably read it again at some point in the future and it expanded both my willingness to explore outside my comfort zones and, specifically, to explore the horror genre.