Dani April is a pseudonym for a writer who lives and works in the Midwest. Raven’s Ranch was the first published work by Dani April.

    Dani’s hobby is writing fiction, particularly erotic romances, and Dani is always working on a new story.

    Dani was a computer programmer for over ten years and then gave up the profession to teach English in China and Thailand. Now living back home in the USA Dani owns a house in the country and has a full-time job.

Q: When did you first get started writing fiction, and when did you develop the interest to write steamy romance stories?

A: I have been writing fiction since I was in high school. I have always liked to write romances, but I took pride in showing my early stories to my mother and my aunt, and so of course there was nothing sexually explicated in any of them. I would say it was about ten years ago that I wrote my first erotic romance. It really wasn’t any different than writing a regular romance. I came up with the stories in the same way, only I included scenes that took place in the bedroom. That adds a lot of spice to the story, but doesn’t really change the story any.

Q: How do you come up with your stories?

A: I come up with my story ideas pretty quickly actually. I have insomnia and can’t sleep sometimes and so I’ll lie awake and entertain myself by thinking of a story. Sometimes I can come up with ten stories a night if I am having a really hard time falling to sleep. Now I don’t necessarily write all of them down. I think I have forgotten more of them than have actually been written down somewhere. The ones that are really interesting to me I’ll work on.

Q: Are you an avid reader, as most authors tend to be, and what sort of novels do you enjoy reading?

A: I go through phases where I will read a great deal, maybe three books a week, and then at other times I’ll go a couple of months and not read anything. When I read I’ll read anything. I don’t even think you could say I have a preferred genre. I’ll read fantasy, science fiction, horror, spy novels, you name it and I’ll read it. But I’m not ashamed to admit that I like to read an occasional erotic romance with a happy ending. Now that I’ve gotten onto e-readers just about everything I read is in electronic format.

Q: You spent some time living and working abroad in Asia. Have you incorporated that into any of your writing?

A: I may set a story in Asia someday, but right now unless I learn to write in Mandarin Chinese or Thai I probably won’t. However, I had a lot of adventures during the years I lived in China and then again in Thailand. I incorporate elements of those adventures in every story I write. The setting just isn’t Southeast Asia. A lot of my stories are fish out of water stories, and that’s how I felt for a long time when I was living overseas. So now when I write a story like that it gives me something personal to draw on.

Q: What are important elements of a heroine and a hero for you?

A: They have to be beautiful and handsome respectively in each other’s eyes and hopefully also in the eyes of the reader. They also have to be real, down-to-earth people with a few little everyday problems to make them believable. And the only reason I mention the physical quality first is because my characters spend a lot of time without their clothes on, so I hope everyone will find them physically attractive.

Q: What is your typical writing day like?

A: I don’t write every day. I work a full-time job and have two days a week off. I do all of my writing on my days off. On those days I tend to write a lot, and I’ll turn out as many words as I can until I just can’t stand to type anymore. That isn’t to say I’m not thinking about my story at other times during the week. In fact when I’m at work I’ll often be rehearsing a scene in my mind during my down time. So by the time my days off arrive I know exactly what it is I want to write and I just physically have to sit down and start typing.

Q: When you were working on Raven’s Ranch did you ever think it would be published?

A: I wasn’t certain. I wrote it with Siren in mind. I had read a lot of their books and loved them all. They have a whole lot of really good romance novels, and so the competition was pretty fierce. But that just made it all the more satisfying when they offered to publish Raven’s Ranch.

Q: Now that you’ve been published do you view writing as a hobby or a profession?

A: Writing has always been my favorite hobby. It is a form of escapism. When reading a novel isn’t enough of an escape I write one instead. But when Siren offered to publish Raven’s Ranch, that put my writing into the professional sphere. I still write as a hobby, but in the future I hope I’ll be lucky enough to be able to publish more of my stories through Siren.

Q: When someone reads one of your stories, what, if anything, do you want them to take away from it?

A: My stories are basically romantic fantasies. Not fantasies in the sense that they have mythical creatures in them. But fantasies in the sense that the characters meet and fall head over heels in love. They normally develop a strong physical attraction in the first few pages when they meet each other and their relationship blossoms from there. That’s not typically how the real world works, but I think it is fun to read about. Also they have incredible sex all the time. I want a reader to have an enjoyable two to four hour reading experience where they can be in another world for a little while and forget about this one.

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