Cate: Please welcome D.M. Slate. Danyelle, will you please share a short bio with us?
Danyelle: Hello! My name is Danyelle and I write under the name of D.M. Slate. I’m 28 years old, have two beautiful children and am married to my high school sweet-heart. We live in Colorado and enjoy all types of outdoor activities. I’ve always loved writing, so last summer I decided to write with the intention of submitting a story for publication. Much to my surprise, in December of last year my first publication was released.
Cate: Tell us about Isolated and where it's available.
Danyelle: My newest mystery/thriller, Isolated, was released earlier this month by Moongypsy Press. It’s available now in e-book format and is scheduled for paperback release later this year. It can be found on the Moongypsy Press website.
Cate: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Danyelle: No one could have foreseen their Mexican honeymoon horror.
As Anthony and Jazmine embark on their honeymoon to southern Mexico, they have no idea the dark trail that'll unfold before them. The couple signs up for an ATV tour and snorkel trip offered by their resort. Two days later Anthony stumbles out of the Mexican jungle bloodied, half dead and suffering from amnesia; he's the prime suspect in Jazmine's disappearance. Through his multiple interrogations, Anthony struggles to regain his memory in order clear his name and discover the whereabouts of his missing wife.
The international search for Jazmine reveals nothing and the F.B.I. are convinced that Anthony is involved, somehow. As bits and pieces of his memory return, he leads F.B.I. Special Agent Monroe on a trail of clues that implicate the couple's ATV tour guides. Further investigation reveals that Jazmine has been sold to a drug-lord in Panama, and nothing will stop Anthony from trying to rescue her. As he enters the foreign country, the distraught husband only causes greater chaos.
With the F.B.I. in fast pursuit to Panama, the race against the clock begins. When the authorities close in on the suspect's home hoping to recover Jazmine, a grueling discovery is made; Anthony is already at the house. As the case comes to a close, Anthony is shocked to discover that this wasn't a random crime.
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Danyelle: My honeymoon in Mexico is the inspiration for this story. My husband and I took an ATV/snorkel trip and found ourselves in a very scary situation in the middle of the Mexican jungle; neither of us spoke Spanish and we had no idea where we were. We drove through a very suspicious encampment and the men there were armed with automatic weapons and sharp gleaming machetes. This gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach that stayed with me long after we left the camp. I used this scenario as the setting of the story, and then imagined the worst thing that could’ve happened from there.
Cate: Yikes, what a harrowing experience. Glad you got out of there!
How do you develop your plots and characters?
Danyelle: As a reader I like fast moving plots and stories that make me refuse to put the book down, so I try to provide that in my writing as well. I come up with a generalized plot, then start creating a web diagram with characters, their back-stories, and new twists and turns for the plot. I generally have an idea of how to end the story, and often let all the things in the middle just happen as I’m inspired. Sometimes the story ends up turning out differently than I originally thought it would, which is always cool to see.
Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Danyelle: Most definitely! I do dream about my characters, and this is often inspiration for new twists in the story. A lot of times I find myself up in the middle of the night writing, because once I have a dream revealing an epiphany, it’s impossible to go back to sleep!
Cate: What's next for you?
Danyelle: My next murder/mystery, Royal Empress, is half finished. I hope to have it completed and submitted for publication by the end of the year.
Cate: Congrats! Any other published works?
Danyelle: My first sci-fi/horror, Day 94, was released by Eternal Press in December of 2009. It was voted the best Sci-fi/Futuristic Book of 2009 by the Love, Romance (and more) Café. I was very honored by the nomination, and completely shocked to win. It can be found at the Eternal Press website.
Cate: Very exciting! Describe your writing in three words.
Danyelle: Bold, real, and shocking.
Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Danyelle: My most challenging aspect is “time”. I work full time and have a busy family life, so finding the time to write is the hardest thing about it. But the most rewarding is to see the finalized copy and think, “Wow – I actually wrote that.”
Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Danyelle: That people actually like the stories – LOL!
Cate: Those comments do make it all worthwhile. :)
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Danyelle: I love Stephen King, Victor Hugo and Diana Gabaldon. Unfortunately, due to my time constraints, I’m not reading anything currently.
Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
Cate: Readers, D.M. Slate is giving away a book to a random commenter... so start commenting. Danyelle will draw the winner’s name notify the winner and post the winner’s name here.
Thanks for being my guest, Danyelle! Best of luck with all your projects.