I gotta be honest — this is one of those books I’ve been waiting to read for quite some time. It’s got, as the kids call it, “buzz.” It’s now available in the States so that means my greedy little ink-fingers are gonna go get grabby. Here’s Danie to talk about the book:
Tell Us About Yourself: Who The Hell Are You?
I’m Danie, full name Daniella (don’t tell anyone) aka @Danacea. You’ll find me at the head offices of Forbidden Planet in London, or at home with my son. You might also find me on a bicycle trying not to get hit by London traffic, in a gym trying to beat the rush to an elliptical trainer, or, you know, in the pub.
I’ve been everything from a Viking warrior to a kiss-a-gram girl to a professional mathematician – and I’ve found out that I’m pretty happy where I am!
Give Us The 140-Character Pitch:
A little sex, a little violence, a little sarcasm – this is a tongue-in-cheek sideswipe at the genres we know and love!
Where Does This Story Come From?
From years of wacky creative projects with my mates, from endless evenings of throwing everything at the wall just to see what stuck, from the darkest depths of our sugar-fuelled imaginations. The core and concept of the story is more than twenty years old; it’s something I never really left behind, and something I had to come back to when I started writing again.
I guess I needed to let it out!
How Is This A Story Only You Could’ve Written?
Because no-one else has the mates I do! Humorous, but pretty much true – in our twenties we explored our collaborative creativity to its outermost limit. Some of it was genius, some of it was awful, some it exploded under the weight of its own pretentiousness and should never be mentioned in polite company again – but it’s all fuel of the best kind.
Though your question says ‘only you’… though perhaps any of that coterie could have taken the concepts we played with and breathed life into them!
What Was The Hardest Thing About Writing Ecko Rising?
Two answers to that question. The first one is Ecko himself, who can be both the hardest and the easiest thing to write, depending on mood. He’s angry, he’s vitriolic, he’s sarcastic – he’s that part of all of us that doesn’t want to do what it’s told, and, in the right mood, writing him is freeing, it’s a real rush. If I’m not in the right frame of mind, though, trying to reach for it is very hard.
The other thing has always been the sheer size and ambition of the project. There are several critical story threads that work right through the whole Ecko sequence and they needed to be woven in and together early on. This was a very hard thing to get right!
What Did You Learn Writing Ecko Rising?
Mostly, just how much work a book really is and how many people’s time and energy – and love – go into making it happen. You may have a book in your head, and you may be the one writing it – but it also comes to life in the hands of everyone that meets it along the way. From my mates at the beginning, to the friends that helped me start writing again, to the editors and the proof-readers and the agent and the publicist that brought it all to life. To the cover artist who drew Ecko and scared me out of my skin (he’d never looked back at me before), and to all the people who have bought it in the UK and offered feedback.
…the book you write is a piece of your heart – dark or light or any combination, it’s something of yourself and your soul. What I’ve learned is the absolute wonder that occurs when other people can see it too.
What Do You Love About Ecko Rising?
I love Ecko – he runs away with himself. He doesn’t care, does exactly what he wants to do and doesn’t give a toss about the consequences. This can land me in some interesting places as a writer, and sometimes I have no idea how to get out of them again… but there’s never a dull moment!
What Don’t You Like About It?
That’s a hard one! The honest answer to that one is that it’s nearly over – for me anyway as I’m finishing the initial draft of the third book. This idea has been with me for such a long time that I’m going to be oddly bereft when it’s over – and I had no idea where I’ll head next.
Though I’m sure every author must feel like that!
Give Us Your Favorite Paragraph From The Story:
…he tweaked back the edge of the curtain.
A slice of bright illumination made the colours of his skin recoil.
His oculars defending his vision, he looked out at the polluted, halogen-blazing –
The sky was dark, untouched by advertising – unobscured by clouds or buildings, by the Tate’s ever-cycling LED. It was pitch-black, crystal-vision clear and completely starless.
That wasn’t right.
The moon was half-full, low, brilliant and shimmering silver. It was way too close and way too bright – that wasn’t right either. The second moon, a little higher and glowing a fantastic yellow-gold, was also half-full. That was getting beyond not right.
What freaked Ecko right out was that it was the other half.
What’s Next For You As A Storyteller?
The sequel, Ecko Burning, will be out from Titan Books in the UK in October this year, and I’m halfway through writing the third book of the sequence. After that, we shall see!