by Allison Maruska In April, I was a judge for two writing contests – Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver contest and Ryan Lanz’s short story contest. I was honored to be asked to fill the role once, let alone twice. And while I enjoyed judging great stories, I also learned a few things about […]
on The Creative Penn: There are thousands of new books being published every day, but many self-published books quickly sink to the bottom of the pile. Many authors are frustrated because there are so many options for self-publishing, and they don’t know which one to choose or what will be best for their book. Others […]
Please welcome Dana Littlejohn to my blog. Hello Dana. I’m happy to have you on my blog today. Shall we sit for a spell and discuss your book(s) and you?
Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Hi everyone. I am Dana Littlejohn. I write sensual romance with several Sub-genres like FLR, contemporary, interracial and Urban fantasy to name a few.
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I was the kid that said I wanted to grow up to be a writer. I started out writing “hickory dickory dock” type poems and then advanced to an ongoing story that I wrote weekly installments to while in middle school.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
The first one was super easy. I just wanted to get it out of my head and onto paper because it was driving me crazy! Once it was out my head the editing was excruciating!
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
Never! This is my gift. Lucky folk get more than one, but everybody gets one. The ability to create these worlds in my head and share them with others is mine. So I have to do it. The story flow won’t stop, so I can’t stop.
Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
My children. They were teenagers when I first started and were like, “eww, Mom, do you have to be so nasty in your books?” Now that they’re all grown up, they’re more like, “ Read my Mom’s books y’all. She writes nasty!” LOL
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I have free reads on my site, three different Sub-genres so you can get an idea of my writing style.
What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
I had the chance to chat with a multi-published, USA and NY times best seller. She told me, “above all, improve your craft.” Editor, publishing house or movie director, none of them will want to read your work if it is riddled with mistakes.
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
I feel like reading is food for your brain. I choose to write dessert. Because my dessert has adult situations you, one should be of legal adult age to read them.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
I gave Dawne’, of Dusk til Dawn designs, a few details of what I wanted and she created the beautiful cover I now have.
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
I am actually putting the last edits on my upcoming release, Aphrodite’s Day Off. It is a mix of Urban fantasy and Greek mythology. Here is your peek…
Aphrodite walked into the warm glowing light illuminating from at the entrance to the Chamber of the Gods. The radiance in the room emulated from Zeus’s chair, filling the immediate area. The portal, an opening in the floor that Zeus used to look down on Earth, lay in the center of the room. Zeus sat on the throne looking majestic in his gold and white robes. The gleaming gold and ruby crown resting on his brow tilted some when he gave her a simple nod inviting her closer. Zeus’s smile revealed the fondness he had for her. Aphrodite went around the gateway to Earth to stand before him and bowed low.
“Greetings my lord. You called for me?”
“Greetings lovely Aphrodite. You may rise. It has reached my ears that you would like to leave Mount Olympus for a time to frolic with Poseidon in his watery depths. Is this true?”
“It is, my lord,” she replied.
“I’m afraid I cannot allow such a thing again.”
Her brows lifted. “My lord—”
Zeus held a hand up. “Don’t you remember the last time you took time off, Aphrodite? My Earth suffered greatly without your influence. The humans have come to call it the Dark Ages for goodness sake,” he added in an exasperated tone.
“Yes, I know, but this time the Earth won’t be without love while I’m gone.”
Zeus’s brow rose skeptically. “Oh? How do you intend to handle matters of love during that time if you are not here?”
“The Erotes are capable, my lord,” she told him with a smile. “Eros is a God of Love and Himeros a God of Desire. Together the twin’s powers are just as strong as my own.”
Zeus thought for a moment then nodded. “Very well then. You are—”
“My lord, if I may…”
Hera reached over taking Zeus’s hand gaining his attention. Aphrodite pressed her lips together to silence her frustration.
“Great Zeus, would it not be wise to test the boys’ abilities before setting them free upon your precious Earth? Though they are the children of the powerful goddess Aphrodite…” She paused to send a smile in Aphrodite’s direction before continuing. “They are young and their gifts are untried.”
Zeus turned wide eyes to Aphrodite. “Their skills have not been tested?”
Aphrodite swallowed. “Well no, my lord, not yet. They haven’t really had the chance since I have always handled the duties on my own.”
“That is true.” Zeus stroked his beard for a moment. “But you are satisfied that they can perform your duties sufficiently?”
“I am, my lord.”
“All powerful Zeus.”
Aphrodite pressed her lips together harder silencing a groan as she clenched her fists at Hera’s interjection.
“With all your wisdom I’m sure you would find it prudent to test their abilities first, before allowing them to take on such a daunting task.”
“My sons are fully matured,” Aphrodite insisted. “They would be able to handle any issues that could possibly arise in my absence.”
“I’m sure they could, dear. However,” She paused to turn back to Zeus. “Don’t you think such testing should take place while the goddess is still on Mount Olympus, just in case there are things that only she can fix, my lord?”, she inquired sweetly.
Zeus kissed the top of Hera’s hand. “You are as wise as you are beautiful, my darling wife. Aphrodite, I will give your sons a task to test their power. If they complete their mission with positive results you will be free to go, but if they fall short…”
“I understand, my lord. I will send Eros to you for instruction.”
I am Dana Littlejohn, author of sensual romance. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I was the kid that wanted to grow up to be a writer. I published my first story in 2006 and have no plans on stopping. Take this wild ride with me through my imagination and you will not be disappointed.
Any last words before we wrap things up?
Follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter to find out about contests and where I will be next for a signing.
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on Jane Friedman site: One of my first creative writing professors in college was Margaret McMullan. While I took several meaningful classes from her, the one I most appreciated was an independent study on creative nonfiction. At the time, there were no university classes offered on the “fourth genre,” and she was willing to put […]