the ramblings of a struggling writer

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Blog Hop 5!

So my good friend and fellow writer, RJ Keller invited me to participate in a Blog Hop. (I had no idea what that meant either, so don’t feel bad.)  Apparently it is when an author answers four questions, then links to the blog of the author who invited her (or him) who has previously answered those same questions, as well as the blog of an author she (or he) has invited to answer the four questions.

Follow??? Well, today is my turn to Hop!


You can find RJ Questions Answered post here. You can find her other places online as well:

RJ Keller’s, Blog/website: http://rjkeller.org 
Twitter: @rjkeller

I’ve invited my friend  T.L. Manning to participate, which she will do next week. I’ll edit this post to include her answers then. In the meantime, you can read more of her stuff here.

Here are my 4 Questions Answered:

1) What am I working on?

Currently, I am partnering up with author Amy Miles  to co-write a fantasy trilogy.  The first book, Netherworld, is in editing and will be out later this year.  Here is a teaser picture from that one:

NW2 (2)

I also have a stand alone women’s fiction I’m working on and I’m toying with another idea, too. :)

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I am a sort of less-is-more sort of writer.  I like dialogue to convey the story (probably because of my acting background) so I sort of see everything as though it could be filmed or performed. I see the ‘action’ of the scene. I also love DRAMA, so my stories tend to be a tad…heightened or suspenseful?  I like to keep readers on the edge of their seat, throw curve balls.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write books that I want to read. I like books that get inside people’s mind and hits some darker subjects. I like to explore how minds work.

4) How does my writing process work?

Some days it doesn’t, ha!  When I do sit down to write though, it is typically in silence. I don’t often write to music. I find myself singing along instead of writing. I type for a bit, then read it out loud, making corrections to what doesn’t sound right as I go. I try really hard to write a full first draft, then a second, then third.  I used to edit one chapter at a time (to death) and then never move forward.  I need to know how the story is going to flow before I edit. Hard lesson to learn.  I don’t outline (well, I did with the co-written book because we kind of had to). I tend to write as my characters want, which can be frustrating when you don’t where your characters are going to travel, but it tends to be my process.

Well, that’s all folks. Be sure to watch out for TL Manning’s post on the 21st!

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And the SWAG winner is…..


So yesterday I posted on da blog that I was giving away a TON of signed swag that I snagged from the North Shore Author Event in Boston.  In case you can’t recall what’s at stake: Here is da loot.






I plugged the names of those who commented in the blog and plugged them into Random.org.  Samantha!  You are the winner!!!!!  A big ol package will be on it’s way to you soon. :)



Didn’t win? Not to worry. You’ll get another chance to win a signed PAPERBACK on my other blog Whine & Wine.  Watch the FB for that post coming soon!

Danielle Bannister, Author and no longer owner of a ton of swag




Swag me!

For those who didn’t know, I went to Boston on Saturday to attend the North Shore Author Event.

Amy, Mindy and Me

Mindy there, organized the whole event which ran as smooth as silk.  Hard to do when you have 300 people walking around and THIS many authors to stop and talk to:

The Whole Gang

The Whole Gang

The event ran from 10:30 until 2:00 and it was a non-stop ride of smiling, taking pictures, signing books and smiling some more.  I brought my roommate, Jen, with me to be my assistant. Basically, she was my legs since I couldn’t leave my table!  I sent her around to ALL of the authors there and asked her to get some SIGNED SWAG from each table. And she did!



That’s a lot of swag.  And I’m giving it all away to one lucky winner!!!! (the three paperback books will be given away on my other blog: Whine & Wine  later this week)

To enter, all you need to do is write a comment below. That’s it! Easy.  Check back tomorrow to find out who one. Soooooo easy.


Danielle, Author and Swag give-away-er

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So, if you aren’t on the face book, you wouldn’t have seen that I’ve changed the covers to all of my Pulled books.

WHY did I decide to change the covers, might you ask? Did I not like the old ones? (See below)


Oh no! I LOVED my old covers. I wish I didn’t have to change them. Sadly, the images are stock images, which means anyone and everyone can use the same image as me. And they have. I have seen no less then nine covers in the last year with the cover I used for PULLED since 2011! It just got to the point where I didn’t like seeing my cover with a different title on it. Haha. So, I got a a photographer and a few willing models and we did a shoot. At first I wasn’t sure how they would look, but after playing around with the edges and wording, I fell in love with them.

I am HOPING that these new ones fit the bill even better, since I had the ultimate say in how they looked.

For Pulled, I wanted to show Naya with her boyfriend, Seth. I wanted to see his fingers digging into her flesh, so I tried to make that the focal point of the image. I’m hoping it is subtle, but I wanted that to be on the cover. That possessiveness.


 For Pulled Back, there is a tenderness that I wanted to capture, but also a sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop. You know those moments when things are just going along too well? That’s what I was trying to get with that one.


And Pulled Back Again, well, that other shoe drops. Ha!


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Bahama Bound

WOW. It’s been a LONG time since my last post. I have no honest excuse except that I forgot???

Sigh. Getting old folks. Getting old.  But I DID want to put in a post before I went to the BAHAMAS!  That’s right, I said the BAHAMAS!!!!

This is where I will sit and read. ahhhhhh

This is where I will sit and read. ahhhhhh

Now HOW do you ask can I afford such a trip? Well, because my dear friend and co-author, Amy Miles, thought that since we didn’t LIVE in the same state, that perhaps we should spend some time together to finish our book. And what better place than the Bahamas to get work done? (stop laughing…we WILL finish it). So, she bought us a 5 day cruise. Cause she rocks.

This will be my first trip like this. I don’t even know what one brings on a cruise. I mean, I’ll be leaving Maine in boots and arriving in her home state of  South Carolina in sandals. How does one dress for THAT flight???

So, that’s where I’ll be from March 2-9, so there will be no posts, no wifi, just writing…and sun.

If you need to be amused in my absence, you can always catch up on the posts that I’ve been writing with my roommate over at Whine & Wine: How we learned to embrace one and ignore the other

When I return, it should be with a book that is ready to send off to beta readers…. or with a lot of sand between my toes. One of those two things for sure.

Danielle Bannister,

Author and Bahama Mama!

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From Celtic Cross to Truffela Trees: A true story

Those of you who read my posts know that I seem to be plagued with oddness. Don’t believe me? See this post  or This one or even this  post for a little taste of what is my life.  One great novel after another in the making.  This week was no different.

It started innocently enough, as it always does. I was at home, I had my kiddos that night and my roommate’s son as well. I was waiting for her to arrive home with Chinese. mmmmm. I was getting my daughter some markers to make a hand made card to her Great Aunt. The me crashing down the last two steps. My first thought after OUCH!!!!!!!!!!! Was, I am all alone in the house with three kids under ten. Oh, and the oven was running. My second thought was to scream. Cause it hurt. A lot. I crawled down the last step and lay flat on my back praying that I didn’t hurt my back which chronically goes out when I do far less stupid things.

After my two children came rushing to my aide, I stayed in bed for the rest of the night, just in case. I knew a bruise was in my future, but I had no idea how COOL the bruise was gonna look.

Celtic BruiseI soooooooooooooooo wish this was a tattoo and not the result of me falling on my ass, but sadly this is what I get for loving fuzzy socks.

The next day I was thinking maybe it had morphed into something even better…maybe a rocket or a spiderweb… No. The next morning I get a downed Truffela Tree.

Truffela Tree

Bye awesome bruise. I will miss you. :(

Danielle Bannister, Author, and sore butted mamma

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The B side (Soundtrack of my life (so far) part two)

Okay, today comes the flip side of the soundtrack of my life (so far). Missed the A side? Check it out here

The soundtrack wouldn’t be complete with a little Lada Gaga (I mean, after all, my daughter is going to be her personal assistant when she grows up–before she’s a teacher but after she is a signer)

gagaThe one I picked, however, never became a big hit and it soooo should have. It has the funkiest sound ever, and the song isn’t bad either!  If you haven’t heard TEETH and you enjoy Lady Gaga, give this one a listen. I used to have this cd but I lost it and it has bothered me beyond comprehension that I can’t find it. I don’t like misplacing things! I had to buy the download for this post but now I have it forever and always, so I’m happy.

Listen here: TEETH,


Next up, P!nk. If you know me at all you know I wanna be P!nk when I grow up.


That chick is bad ass, and has the chops of no other performer I’ve ever seen. But which song? I love them all! But in the end I have to go with Glitter in the Air. It’s so full of emotion that I get da chills. Then after seeing this video of her singing it???? Please, this woman is a goddess. Take the 3 min and watch the link attached. You’ll love it. Watch HERE. Trust. The lyrics of her songs are what get me. Straight from the gut, the stuff we think but never say. Well, she says it, and she rocks it when she does it.

We now jump to eminem and Rihanna’s Love the Way You Lie.

"that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano"

“that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano”

Now I KNOW the subject matter of the song is of a very unhealthy relationship, but I always look at things from the dramatic side. That song reminds me of one of my favorite plays, Sam Shepard’s Fool For Love.  One of these days I’m gonna write a book based on that song. I like pushing limits, in case you hadn’t figured it out when reading my stuff.

Messed up movie. Me likey

Messed up movie. Me likey

The B side wouldn’t be complete without a Beatle’s song. This was easy.BLACKBIRD Love the simplicity and the hidden message in the lyrics. Easy entry.

and last, but not least…..

Dancing Queen by ABBA.


This song always brings me back to college cast parties. This song was a staple at each one, and I went to  a lot of them. I was typically one of the few who wasn’t stoned or drunk off my ass at these parties so we usually had the dance floor to ourselves. Good times.

So what about you? What songs are a must have on your soundtrack? Post in the comments if you dare.


Danielle Bannister, Author and mixed tape lover


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