Gail's Book Nook

Monday, March 8, 2010

Looking Out the Window: An Interview with Danielle Thorne






First, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi Gail! Thank you so much for having me today. A little snippet? I’m an author of historical and romantic fiction. Writing from south of Atlanta, I’m also a full time mom to four boys, and wife to a devoted air traffic controller. My life is very suburban, but we all relish travel, the arts, and outdoors.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Sweet Romantic Adventure!

What themes do you write about?

Besides overcoming personal demons, I strive to incorporate unique settings that make the reader want to visit there. I am also a bit of a tree hugger, so working environmental encouragement into my themes is a challenge I like toying with. I care about people, and the planet. I guess you could say I try to share the love.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

I work 4 to 6 hours a day while my children are at school. Usually when I’m in the midst of a manuscript that can turn into 7 to 10 hours, breaking only to see to my family.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?

Balancing any part to full-time job as a parent is a challenge. I’ve learned to put my family first and make sacrifices to get the writing done. This means housework and other duties take a third row seat, but prioritizing what’s really important on a weekly basis helps me keep things in perspective. Sometimes the oven has to be cleaned before the computer can be turned on. I’m a list maker.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I’m definitely a plotter. Even before I grasped the concept, I was thinking ahead and writing down notes where my stories should go. Usually I write the first three chapters by the seat of my pants, so inspiration can set direction then I take it to paper and work out a plot map for the overall picture.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

Although I am a very religious person, I haven’t felt drawn to writing true Inspirationals. I am deeply romantic, and so writing romances full of adventure is what satisfies me. My faith requires me to keep certain standards and I write my romantic elements knowing that I am setting an example, and free speech or not, I answer to God for my moral conduct, here and in the next life.

Do you put yourself in your books?

No (laughs). I have struggled with shyness and social anxieties since I was a teenager--I don’t think I would make an interesting romantic heroine. However, many of my life experiences and empathies are written into characters. Because I understand the challenges I give out, I’m able to help my heroes resolve them because I’ve been there before.

What are you working on right now?

I am finishing up final edits for my July 1st release, BY HEART AND COMPASS (Desert Breeze Publishing). It’s a sea romance set off the coast of Antigua. Research is like candy--I love exercising the brain cells, so this underwater archeology adventure was “sweet” to write. Here’s the blurb:

When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a screeching halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

The answers are very simple: Believe, Study, Write, and Never, Never Quit.

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?

A few years ago my husband talked me into taking a scuba diving class. At first, I thought he was crazy then I realized that it would open new doors for me as I continued to learn and experience life at sea. I’m still pretty green, but I’ve had a couple great experiences I will never forget. This April we are planning to dive off Costa Maya, so I’m trying to prepare myself for that.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Yes, there is! Readers can find out about my current novel, Turtle Soup, and one of my favorite reader and author groups, The Sweetest Romance Authors, by visiting my site:

They can also check out my blog, The Balanced Writer, at or sign up for my newsletter which is chock full of news, reviews, recipes, and corny jokes:

Also, for more information about my faith, visit


Jana Richards said...

Hi Danielle,
Congratulations on your upcoming release in July. That's great news!

Lovely interview. It was nice to get to know you a little better.

All the best,

Linda Swift said...

Hi Danielle,
This was a great interview and I learned new things about you even though I've known you quite a while already. I am still in awe that you dive. Wow. That takes courage, almost as much as writing and submitting manuscripts! I wish you much success with your July release.

Miss Mae said...

What a treat to learn these new details, Danielle! Oh, how I sympathize about being shy and those social issues...uh huh (nods head) same here! Get me up to speak in front of a group? No way!

I marvel at your new diving adventure. Sounds absolutely thrilling. I think there is a whole wonderful universe there in the sea, and find it incredible that it's so close. Don't forget to share your experiences with us!

Best of luck on all your books. I can't wait to read them all! :)

Anonymous said...

Great Interview.
Its always so nice to learn about all the authors that I have met.
Over the past year I have really met quite a few new authors and the Sweet Romance authors are the best

Danielle Thorne said...

Thanks for the comments. It's so nice meeting other romance writers and readers. I really appreciate Gail sharing her blog with me today. She is definitely a "sweetie" to be sure!

Yes, diving is a little scary, but once you're actually beneath the surface and doing it, it's amazing, relaxing, and fun. Although I'm not very experienced, I am very proud of it as an accomplishment--not exactly the bungee jumping type!

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Danielle and Gail,

I think a lot of us writers have social anxiety! Maybe that's part of why we write?

My husband wants me to scuba dive with him, but although I adore the water, I'm not sure I want to do that. Snorkeling would be fine. ;-)

Good luck with your newest!

Anne Patrick said...

Great interview, ladies!
Danielle, I so envy you and your diving experiences. As a kid I always wanted to go diving in the ocean. But after a near-drowning incident, when I was a teenager, I'm now terrified of deep water (heavy sigh). I do plan to go skydiving this summer though.

Your upcoming release is already on my TBR list and I wish you all the best with your writing.

Celia Yeary said...

Danielle--such a nice interview. I admire your philosophy and principles. And I enjoyed getting a little peek into your dialy life--four boys!! Wow.Now, I know you're super woman. Good luck with all your books! Celia Yeary

Romance…and a little bit o' Texas

Danielle Thorne said...

Hi Ladies. @LKHunsaker--Did you know they offer "Try Scuba' classes where you can go to a dive shop and just try it out? They provide everything and it's usually free. Call your local dive shop and see.

@Anne...Skydiving?? No thanks! I'm scared of heights. I get wigged out just driving over high bridges!

Thanks for stopping by Celia!

Laurean Brooks said...


I didn't realize that you could be a combo plotter/pantzer. But hey, I guess it's possible. Maybe even the best way to go to obtain balance.

You may not write inspirational, but what you believe comes through, and you may reach a larger reading audience by writing sweet.

Great interview and good luck with Turtle Soup and all your endeavors.

Gail Pallotta said...

It's a pleasure having you on Peering Through Life's Window. Thanks for joining me. Isn't the phrase writer / speaker an oxymoron?

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Congratulations on your book and your upcoming release! This was a fun interview. It is nice to find other sweet romance authors.

Danielle Thorne said...

Thanks, Gail. I really enjoyed your questions, they were fun to answer. Best wishes on watching this blog grow and grow!

StephB said...

Gail and Danielle, what a great interview. Danielle, I loved what you said about finding balance, that's how I basically do it as well and it can be challenging. I would have never guessed you were shy when younger, but then, so was I. Trust me. I also connected with what you said about religion in the writing. I'm religous myself, but I don't incorporate faith elements unless the story kind of goes that way. My religious beliefs do help to set a standard for the type of romance I do, though. That's important to me. It was really nice to get to know you a little better through this interview.

Diane Craver said...

Interesting interview! Thanks, Gail and Danielle!

Gail Pallotta said...

Thanks for stopping by, Diane.

LK Hunsaker said...

Danielle, how interesting! We don't have a local dive shop but I'll try to remember that in a vacation spot. ;-)

Tushar said...

this blog is awesome, thanx for all those learning content

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Tushar,
Thanks so much for stopping by.