Studioenp: Silence or noise when writing?
Daniel: I can’t do silence at all when I’m writing, and it also depends on what I’m writing or what mood I’m in that decides what kind of noise I prefer. Sometimes it can just be simple background noise, or a television program playing in the background. I do love listening to mediation music when I’m working, I find it soothing and helps the creative process.
Studioenp: Ah, we can imagine how the meditation music could work. No lyrics to put you off your stride. So, what’s your latest release?
Daniel: My latest release is my debut poetry collection My Raven Heart, and I am super proud of it. I do hope people find it inspiring and take something from each poem.
Studioenp: How did the idea come about for it?
Daniel: Because it’s a poetry book there is no conventional plot as you would have with a novel. But the message and the ‘story’ comes from my life and personal experiences. It is the most honest and emotionally raw that I have been, and it is equal parts scary and liberating.
Studioenp: We can imagine putting your heart on the page must indeed have been scary. But cathartic, right? Bringing the demons out so you can face them and kick them in the nuts. That’s how Em would view it, anyway. How long did it take you to write it?
Daniel: Only a few months. I have written poetry for years, but due to ongoing health issues my creative well in regard to poems has been blocked for a few years. Only recently has the inspiration started flowing again, and it makes me so happy to be writing and publishing something so creatively satisfying. I love to write poetry.
Studioenp: That’s great to hear, because writing is so therapeutic, but if there are health issues, the need to write kind of walks away—not helpful! Lovely that it all came back for you. What’s next on your writing list?
Daniel: A couple of things. I also write children’s books and I am currently about halfway through the first draft in the next book of my Naughty Cat series. I have also started writing poems for my second collection, which I am very excited about.
Studioenp: Yay for being excited. Brilliant! Are you a plotter or panster?
Daniel: For my children’s books I am a plotter, but not super controlled or structured. I write a few notes for the basic plot of the book, and then I write a few pointers for each chapter. This way I still have the freedom to be creative and not get stifled by a super-strict plan.
Poetry is so natural in the way I write. I guess it could be called pantsing but in a more emotional sense. I can have a moment where a memory hits me, and from there a poem comes into fruition, or I can hear a word or a line from a song and then inspiration runs with it.
Studioenp: Then it’s a quick dash to the computer to write it all down, we imagine, before it disappears! What is your go-to form of procrastination?
Daniel: Social Media, straight away. Simply because it is the easiest and most accessible form of procrastination. I also love watching bad reality TV—at the moment I am obsessed with The Real Housewives of New York, Atlanta and New Jersey. Thank GOD for my HayU subscription.
Studioenp: Hahaha! There’s something about reality TV that is fascinating. Em likes studying all the people and their personalities. Trying to work out how they tick. How many hours per week do you write?
Daniel: I don’t have a set amount to be honest. As I write children’s books and poetry, the variation between writing mediums means my time writing varies as well. I tend to just write when I want to. That’s one blessing of being self-published, I can create my own deadlines.
Studioenp: Less pressure! What’s one genre you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t—and will you ever write it?
Daniel: I have always loved reading fantasy novels and would one day like to write something like this. I admire people who can write this kind of thing because to build a completely new world seems scary for me. One day I will be brave and try something like that.
Studioenp: You can do it! It’s like a middle finger to rules. Your world, your rules, not ones others have decided you should follow. Try it! What’s the best book you’ve written?
Daniel: I have to say my current release My Raven Heart. It is my most open, honest, and raw, and I am super proud of it.
Studioenp: And so you should be! Thank you so much for being with us today. It’s been lovely getting to know you a little better. [Em waves!] Long may you write!
Dear readers, please feast your eyes on these blurbs and also on the doughnuts over there on the table. Scoff them at your leisure while you read—but you can’t lick the sugar off your lips until you’re done. Go!