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  • Writer's pictureBrandie June

Interview With Author Dana Claire

Dana Claire is an author with a wealth of advice on writing, publishing, and telling stories. I recently got to chat with her about her latest book, writing in different genres, her experience with hybrid publishing and more! 


Headshot of author Dana Claire
Author Dana Claire

Can you tell us a bit about your Olympian Wars series and the premise of the newest installment, War of the Mind?

Absolutely. Drawing from my enduring fascination with Greek Mythology and a desire to infuse romance into the narratives, I embarked on crafting a sweeping high fantasy series, the Olympian Wars, featuring three couples across different generations and mythological characters within the same captivating world.

 

War of the Mind, the latest installment, delves into the tumultuous journey of demigod Calli Bordeaux. Consumed by grief and driven by vengeance, Calli makes a harrowing decision to erase herself from the memories of her beloved, Henrik, to shield him from the dangers of her quest to hunt down the infamous pirate Captain Fredrick, Henrik's own father. Despite the shattered remnants of her heart, Calli forges ahead, gathering allies aboard her parents' ship to confront her nemesis, only to discover an unexpected connection to Henrik that she thought severed.

 

Meanwhile, Henrik, unaware of his loss, embarks on a perilous mission with Cava's navy to track down Medusa, a figure both forsaken by gods and feared by mortals. Her destructive rampage is revealed to be a desperate bid for survival against pirate assailants, with the demigod Perseus orchestrating a sinister plot to claim her severed head and wield its power for humanity's destruction.

 

As fate intertwines their paths once more, Calli and Henrik find themselves united by the crown's decree to thwart Perseus and his treacherous allies. Yet, echoes of their past passion and the wounds of their separation threaten to unravel their resolve amidst the chaos engulfing the world. Can they navigate the turbulent seas of their emotions and reunite in time to prevent catastrophe, or will the barriers erected by their choices condemn them to a fate as cold and unyielding as stone? 


What made you decide to write stories with Greek mythology influences?

I've always been captivated by the rich tapestry of Greek mythology since childhood. The stories of gods, heroes, and monsters have an enduring allure, filled with drama, adventure, and timeless themes. Growing up, I found myself drawn to these tales repeatedly, finding new layers of meaning and inspiration each time. When it came to crafting my own stories, it felt natural to draw upon the vast reservoir of myths and legends that have fascinated me for so long. Greek mythology provides a rich and fertile ground for storytelling, offering a treasure trove of characters, conflicts, and motifs to explore. It allows for endless possibilities of reinvention, reinterpretation, and creativity, making it an inexhaustible source of inspiration for writers and storytellers throughout the ages. Ultimately, my decision to weave Greek mythology influences into my stories stems from a deep love and reverence for these timeless tales and the desire to share their magic with others through my own creative endeavors.

You’ve written fantasy, contemporary romance, and science fiction. What do you love about each genre? How is writing in each of those genres different and how are they the same?

In fantasy, I relish the opportunity to create entirely new worlds, complete with their own rules, magic systems, and cultures. The freedom to let my imagination run wild and craft epic quests, mythical creatures, and larger-than-life heroes is incredibly gratifying. Writing fantasy allows me to delve into themes of heroism, destiny, and the eternal struggle between good and evil.

 

Contemporary romance, on the other hand, captivates me with its focus on human emotions and relationships set against the backdrop of everyday life, especially in the young adult genre. There's something deeply satisfying about exploring the complexities of love, desire, and personal growth within the context of modern society. Crafting compelling characters and heartfelt interactions that resonate with readers is a rewarding challenge in this genre.

 

In science fiction, I'm drawn to the exploration of speculative ideas and their impact on society, technology, and the human condition. Science fiction allows me to envision alternate realities and contemplate the possibilities of scientific advancements, alien encounters, and existential questions. Writing science fiction challenges me to think critically about the intersection of humanity and technology, morality and progress.

 

While each genre presents its own set of conventions and expectations, there are common threads that bind them together. At their core, all genres are driven by storytelling — the art of crafting compelling narratives that engage, entertain, and provoke thought. Whether I'm writing fantasy, contemporary romance, or science fiction, I strive to create authentic characters, immersive worlds, and gripping plots that resonate with readers. Additionally, regardless of genre, the importance of strong pacing, vivid imagery, and effective storytelling techniques remains consistent. Ultimately, while the settings and themes may vary, the fundamental principles of good writing transcend genre boundaries.


I read that your mom initially inspired your love of writing. How did she foster that love for you?

My mother played a pivotal role in nurturing my love for writing from a young age. She recognized my early fascination with storytelling and encouraged me to explore my creativity through writing. From providing me with books and reading materials that sparked my imagination to patiently listening to my imaginative tales, she created an environment where storytelling was celebrated and encouraged.

 

Beyond simply providing the tools and resources for me to develop my writing skills, my mother also served as a constant source of encouragement and support. She believed in my potential as a writer and always made me feel valued and validated in my creative pursuits. Whether it was offering constructive feedback on my stories or cheering me on during writing contests and school projects, her unwavering belief in me gave me the confidence to pursue my passion for writing.

 

Moreover, my mother wanted her own career in writing and thought how special it would be to co-write together. 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. But the pain of her loss was too great that I didn’t revisit our shared dream until 2020.

 

Determined and inspired by my mother’s memory, I buckled down and wrote the stories that had consumed my mind for years. My first book, The Connection, book one of a trilogy was published later that year and won the Young Adult Moonbeam Award in 2021. Every time I get overwhelmed or think about giving up, I remember my mom. I think about what she’d say and inspiration kicks back in. Sometimes when I’m writing, I’m tearing up, wondering if she’s over my shoulder inspiring the words on the page.

 

What has been your path to publishing?

I’m a hybrid author, traditional published and self-published. I would suggest this path to any writer. While I deeply value my partnership with my publishing house, Cam Cat Books, I also take pride in managing my own store. We’ve had an overwhelming response to all of our products and have triple business this year. It’s been a wild success. For anyone wondering what’s right for them, I implore you to do your research. Make a list of pros and cons and see what matters to you. Every path is different, every journey unique. You need to pave your own way.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I love helping people. It’s my passion so I’d love to be asked more what advice I’d give to new authors or those considering the profession. I have so many little nuggets of information to pass on I could talk about it for an entire week and still not be done. But I’ll shorten my answer to save the readers from my soapbox. Aspiring authors, hear me roar! Take the time to learn the industry. Go to conferences, online/virtual events, speak to other authors, and do your research. And stay positive! Let me say that again, 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.

 

Where can readers get your books?

I’m on all major retailers but I also have my own shop. www.danaclairebooks.com 

 

What’s the best place to follow you? 

TikTok

 

Instagram

 

Website

 

Facebook

 

GoodReads

 

Amazon

 

BookBub

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