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Daily Inspiration: Meet Dana Claire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Claire.

Hi Dana, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
It started when I was a young girl when my mother, an elementary school teacher, inspired me to create imaginary worlds between the pages. My room overflowed with books, a sea of rainbow-colored spines. And every night, we’d cuddle and read together.

My mother encouraged me to pursue a life-long dream to be a published author and write stories that would appeal to young people. We had made a promise to write a book together, but unfortunately it never came to fruition. After I graduated college, my mother became fatally ill dying two years later of cancer at a relatively young age. It took some time before I processed my grief, but I knew that my writing dreams needed to be fulfilled; as much for myself as for my mother. It wasn’t until 2020 that I made good on my promise. I was between jobs at the time and decided to buckle down and write the stories that had consumed my mind for years. My first book, The Connection, book one of a trilogy was published later that year. Today, I have three published books with another purchased by CamCat Books to be released early 2023.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
When I set out to accomplish my mother and my shared dreams, I had no idea that writing the book would be the easy part. I soon learned that there are many moving targets to the publishing world. I struggled in the beginning, getting rejection after rejection from my query letters to literary agents. Then I started attending author workshops, conferences, and events. I met agents, publishers and took some courses giving me better insight to the ins and outs of my new industry. The first manuscript I ever wrote, I lost in a flood. My computer took a swim in ten feet of water that emerged from Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. It took me almost a decade to revisit my dream having dealt with so much loss but when I did those experiences made me better prepared. I decided to self-publish my first book and take on the role of author, marketer, salesperson, and publicist. I soon learned there’s a reason people have these titles as a living … it’s hard freaking work. Three years into my author journey, I am now a traditionally published author with a publisher, a PR firm, and a global book distributor. I still am a huge part of my sales team, all authors are, but I now have a team of people working with me, supporting me, and encouraging me as well as many author friends and confidents whom I consider a huge part of my success.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
These days, I’m living the dream I had once promised my mother. My love for writing romantic tension, the supernatural and non-stop action has elicited very positive feedback from many readers, as their online reviews reveal my flair for spine-tingling action and unforgettable characters. But it’s not just readers who have spoken my praise; literary critics have also taken note, and I received the Children’s Moonbeam award for The Connection in 2021.

I am now sharing my stories through speaking events and book signings, introducing more readers to the worlds I’ve created in The Blood-light Trilogy and The Reclaimed Kingdom. I recently attended Wondercon in Anaheim, CA for a book signing and promoting my new novel, Hunterland. This is only the beginning: I will also attend other writers’ events this year, including Comic Con, Authors in the Bluegrass, and Writer’s Digest. Being amongst my peers has humbled me. There are so many accomplished authors out there with truly amazing stories of intrigue. I’m honored to be in their company.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
I have so much advice, I could take up the whole magazine with it. But I’ll shorten my answer to save the readers who aren’t looking to be a best-seller time. Aspiring authors, hear me roar! Take the time to learn the industry. Go to conferences, on-line/virtual events, speak to other authors, and do your research. And stay positive! Do not let self-doubt cloud your ability to fulfill your dream. You are good enough. Your story does need to be heard. And you do have an audience for it. Many writers get caught up in the insecurity of a lonely occupation. Make friends in the industry by joining writer groups, going to events, and staying connected online. My success as a writer is only partially from my deliciously captivating stories, the rest is from the love of my fans, my friends, and my family. Without them, I’d be still living my stories in my head rather than seeing them in print.

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