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The Easter Bunny is supposed to bring candy. One year he brought a bouncing baby to Dani’s parents instead. She’ll let you make your own association here.
Dani’s parents claim they were elated, but she thinks it just took time for the shock to wear off. As the oldest of what turned out to be six brothers and one sister, Dani grew up amid noise and chaos. Mom thrived on it, Dad thought about immigrating to Australia.
In high school, Dani met a man at the drugstore where she was working the soda fountain. Yes, they really did exist outside old movies. Dani went home and told her sister she’d met the man she was going to marry.
Almost two years later, she did. Two sons came along eventually, and thirty-some years later she’s kept her promise. She told her husband their lives would never be dull. There are times she’s sure he’d like to consider immigrating to Australia as well.
Reading and writing have always been part of her life. As a child she wrote plays and talked neighborhood children into performing for parents and anyone else she could coerce into sitting through them. The rest of the time she spent reading — walking every Saturday to the library to replenish her stack of fiction.
In high school Dani finally began writing her own novel. The murder mystery featured a private investigator and a mysterious, beautiful woman. (Her first romance though she didn’t know it back then.) Written in pen and pencil — no crayon she’s happy to report — on all sorts of notebook paper — her study hall teachers thought her very studious — she finished the story after months of labor. Proudly, she gave it to her sister and best friend to read.
Her sister was furious that Dani had killed off the female lead at the end. Her best friend pointed out the entire story took place in an impossible 24-hour period. Other than that, they both swore they liked it.
Over the years, Dani continued to dabble in writing, particularly after she discovered science fiction. Unfortunately, good science fiction requires a solid scientific background. Not her strong suit.
But the most inhibiting factor was that in the old days writing involved typewriters and carbon paper. For those of you too young to remember, typewriters didn’t all plug into the wall, and none had anything resembling a "memory." They had messy ribbons and sticking keys and bells that went ding when you came to the end of the line. That’s literal, not figurative.
Carbon paper is a vile substance that requires patience, discipline, and strong spelling and accurate typing skills. Dani guarantees you, if man had not invented home computers, she’d still be living the stories in her head. Block and move, and spell check, now done with the click of a mouse button, was an incredible boon to writers the world over, she declares. So when her sister asked her to write her a romance novel while Dani was between jobs, it sounded like a snap.
Ignorance is bliss. Dani says she wrote her first romance novel in something like one week. She was so pleased by the results, she followed it up with two more. Then she discovered a group of writers who met once a week to critique and offer support to one another. Shortly thereafter she discovered a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Of the five writers who formed the initial critique group, the three who were able to persevere are now all published authors. Moreover, Dani is proud to add that all three have been nominated for RITA Awards.
Dani concludes with: "Thanks to the loving support of my very own hero and the two sons we raised, I sold 13 books in five years. I’m proud to call myself a writer. And hopefully, I’ve given to others some of the pleasure I’ve derived from a lifetime of reading."
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