Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Dana Michelle Burnett

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

I’m actually a very boring person, all I ever do is write and play #DanceMom to my daughter (Don’t believe everything you see on television). I’ve always been sort of dark and twisty, so as a writer, the paranormal is just a natural fit. I honestly believe that there is more to the world than what science recognizes.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was actually inspired by My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. I watched a few episodes and became fascinated by the Irish Traveller culture. I did some research into it and then into some Irish legends and before I knew it, I had the outline for Once.

Please tell us about your latest release.

Once is about a young woman named Harmony Jacobson that falls in love with an Irish Traveller named Kieran, that is part of an ancient, almost immortal, tribe called the Tuatha de Danann. Of course, being almost immortal, you know  Kieran and his family have made some enemies.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

There is a scene between Harmony and Kieran at a pond where she talks about how you never see butterflies anymore and how she misses them. He makes a few appear and it’s the first time that he reveals his abilities, but to me it was just the gesture of doing something just to make her smile that really stuck out to me.

“It was,” I said. “Have you ever noticed you never see butterflies that much anymore? I miss them.”
Oh God... That was a stupid thing to say...
Kieran pulled at my hand to stop me just as we reached the edge of the trees.
“Is something wrong?” I asked as I turned around.
“No,” Kieran said as he took my other hand as well and then tilted his head back and closed his eyes. “Just wait.”
Suddenly, into the air rose a cloud of orange and black butterflies. They fluttered all around us, landed on my arms and shoulders.
I looked at him amazed, “How did you do that?”
Kieran stepped forward and brought his lips down on mine in a feathery soft kiss. When I opened my eyes, the butterflies were gone.
“Magic,” he whispered and backed away.

Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?

For this book, I researched the Irish Traveller culture as much as possible, but they are a very secretive culture. The one thing that I could find LOTS of information on was the Dale Farm land dispute. I was horrified by the comments that people would leave about how “the only good traveller, is a dead traveller”, bomb the whole place and be done with it, and why didn’t they just move into homes like “normal people”.  The amount of hate really shocked me.  It was like looking back in time to the way my Native American ancestors were treated and from that point on, I knew that even though my book was fiction, I wanted to touch on that.

With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?

Just like with my Spiritus series, my goal is that the reader could start anywhere, but in Spiritus series the concept was ghosts and reincarnation, this time it’s a little more complicated than that.  It’s hard to get so much back information into each book without it sounding like a recap.

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

The strangest writing ritual I have is that I write everything out in spiral notebooks first, then I use a talk to text program to get it into Word, and then I do my first edit. I don’t know why, but I can’t make the thoughts flow as easily if I just type it directly into the computer. There is something about pen to paper that just works for me. I guess another odd thing would be that I write “out of order”. I may write the ending first, then the beginning, and then the middle.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

I of course love to read, but I’m also into flower gardening (so nerdy, I know), and I LOVE old movies. Yes, I’m that odd person under fifty that can quote long passages from Vivien Leigh movies and can name all of Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands. My biggest passion though has to be spending time with my daughter. Since my husband’s death a few years ago, she has become the center of my world and I love getting to watch her grow up and develop into her own little person.

What was the last amazing book you read?

I really enjoyed Flutter by Melissa Andrea. I read it during a dance convention. I had random time in between taking my daughter back forth to class and bringing her food. It was a great story and easy to dive right back into no matter how many times I had to stop and start.

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

I live out in the middle of the woods and I love to sit out on the back porch and read. My second favorite place to read would have to be in bed.

What can readers expect next from you?

I’m currently working on Far Away, the second book in the Gypsy Fairy Tale series. I’m also in the research phase of another book centered around a pair of witches with a rather unexpected bond that goes back centuries. I definitely very excited about the upcoming year!

Where can readers find you on the web?

Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

I locked the back door and then went to the counter and opened the register. I thumbed through the receipts and placed them under the drawer. It all seemed in order, nothing that couldn’t wait until morning. I grabbed my keys as another rumble of thunder came and shook the very walls.

A loud bang made me jump and drop everything.

What the hell was that?

My heart was pounding as I stood in the center of the room. I waited, listening and trembling, until I heard the sound again.

This time it was more of a slamming sound. I looked around straining my ears until I heard it again, and looked up where it sounded like it came from to see the upper window had come unlatched.

Of course...

I sighed, drop my keys on the counter, and went back into the store room. I was dead tired, tripping over boxes and bumping into barrels as I pulled the ladder out from the back corner.

Every muscle in my body ached as I dragged it out to the front room and under the window. I climbed up, only to realize that it was too short to reach the latch.

Why can’t anything ever just be easy?

I was too tired to go out back into the barn and search in the dark for a taller ladder. Stupidly, I climbed the remaining two rungs and balanced on the very top.

Stretching up on my toes and wobbling, I reached for the latch and grasped it as the bell on the front door rattled.

There was no time to think, but yet it all seemed to happen in slow motion. I heard the ladder crash to the floor, I felt my stomach rise up to my throat as I fell, and then I stopped, cradled in a blur of black that smelled of clover.

There was a low murmur of a voice I did not recognize in my ear, speaking words I did not understand. I wiggled free of the strangers grasp, wobbling on my feet as I tried to stand.
Looking up, I was staring face-to-face with that younger man from the parade. He was breathtaking to see up close with full lips and overpowering emerald eyes. I swallowed a few times, trying to remember how to even form words.

“I’m sorry,” I somehow managed to mumble as I backed away.

He cocked one dark eyebrow and pulled those pouty lips into a smirk.
“You are apologizing for falling then?”

His voice was enchanting. There was a beautiful Irish lilt to it, but also something else, something hypnotic and mesmerizing that made it difficult to think clearly.

“I um... I guess so.” I stammered, almost tripping over myself to get behind the counter and put some distance between us.

He moved closer, his steps graceful and light as a feather.

“Are you afraid of me for some reason?”

“Of course not,” I said with a nervous giggle, hating the sound of my own voice. “But why are you here?”

“Ah, so it is like that is it?”

I could feel the heat coming to my face, “No, I just mean, it’s so late in the storm coming in...”

“Horse and mule feed.”


He smiled; it was a quick flash of white teeth in his tanned face.

“I’m here for horse and mule feed,” he repeated. “Preferably with molasses.”


“You sell feed, do you not?”

“Of course.”

He raised his eyebrow again, “Don’t tell me you’re closed.”

“Yes, but it’s fine.” I said, fidgeting from one foot to the other. “Well, what I mean is that it’s the least I can do.”

He kept looking at me with those amazing green eyes and amused expression.

I pointed to the bags stacked in the corner, “Just go ahead and take what you need.”

“I can’t do that Miss," he said with a shake of his head. “I can’t be taking what I haven’t paid for.”

I didn’t know how to react to his quick change in mood. It was almost like I had offended him or something, but something about it had me wondering how fast the police could get here.

“I’m sorry,” I said quickly and opened up the receipt book. “How many bags do you need?”

“Just two.”

“Okay,” I said and went back to writing out his order, anything to give me something to do so that I wouldn’t have to look at him.

He moved closer, shadowing the counter.

“My name is Kieran,” he said in his musical voice. “Just in case you were curious.”
I didn’t look up, I couldn’t, my hands were trembling and I knew my cheeks were flaming. It would only be worse if I looked up.

Is he actually flirting with me?

He rested his elbows on the counter, close enough that I could smell the rich clover smell again.

“And what would your name be?” He asked, almost teasing me.

“Harmony,” I answered in a shaky voice. “Harmony Jacobson.”

“Well, don’t we have a pair of unusual names?”

I didn’t answer him. To save myself the embarrassment, I pretended that writing out his receipt took all of my concentration.

“I’m just making polite conversation here,” he teased. “You don’t have to be so embarrassed.”

When I looked up, he was staring at me with those intense green eyes. I couldn’t speak, all that I could do was take his money and hand him his receipt.

He went over to the corner and picked up the two bags of feed as if they weighed nothing, hoisting both up on one shoulder. Stopping at the door, he looked back and gave me one last dazzling smile.

“I shall be seeing you, Harmony Jacobson.”

I remained behind the counter after he left; my heart was beating so fast I was afraid to move from that spot.

Did that really just happen?

After what seemed like a long while, my pulse finally stopped thundering in my ears. I was able to let go of the counter edge and walk out to the fallen ladder in the center of the room.
I dragged it back into the storeroom and leaned it against the wall, knowing that it was not where it originally was, but not really caring. My earlier exhaustion was now completely mind numbing. All that I wanted to do was get to bed.

I picked up my keys, switched off the lights and stepped outside. As I locked the door, I could hear the music drifting over from across the street. Even though the rest of the town was dark and quiet, the camp at the fairgrounds was alive with lights and activity.
It was like an entirely different world, brought right here to our tiny little town.

Gypsy Fairy Tale Book One
Dana Michelle Burnett

Beautiful. Secretive. Magical. You envy their freedom, but you are distrustful of their ways. A strange carnival has come to Corydon, Indiana and the Irish Travellers have captured the small town's attention--but it's Harmony who's attracted theirs.

Harmony sees the Travellers everywhere and just like everyone else in town she's curious. But once she meets the mysterious and captivating Kieran, Harmony's life takes an exciting and chilling turn.

Up until now, Harmony never believed that fairy tales or myths were real, but Kieran and his family belong to an ancient tribe called the Tuatha de Dannan and someone else has discovered their secret.

An ancient battle is about to begin again, and now no one is safe, especially Harmony. Can Kieran resist the urge to be with her or will his feelings put her in the crossfire?

About the Author:

Dana Michelle Burnett spent most of her life writing short stories and sharing them with family and friends. Over the years, her work was published in numerous commercial and literary magazines  including Just Labs, Mindprints: A Literary Journal, Foliate Oak, and many more.  Her short story John Lennon and the Chicken Holocaust was include in The Best of Foliate Oak 2006

Dana Michelle's Spiritus Series introduced the idea of a ghostly romance and became a Kindle bestselling series.  She's an avid reader of anything dark and romantic.  Dana Michelle lives in Southern Indiana with her dancing diva daughter and an assortment of pets.

Giveaway is an ecopy of  Once 
and a Gypsy Inspired bookmark bookthong

a Rafflecopter giveaway


C.L. said...

Sounds like a fascinating series. I agree with you about pen and paper, there is something about ink flowing on the page that revs up the ideas flowing in the mind.

bn100 said...

Nice cover and teaser

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Debby said...

I have never heard of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. I shall have to look for it. Thanks for sharing.
debby236 at gmail dot com