1) Please tell the readers a bit more about you.
My name is Daniel Dinnie. I’m from Durban, South Africa, where it is rather sunny today. I’m 28 and have been writing for about a year.
2) What types of books do you write?
I write non-fiction, semi-autobiographical books primarily aimed at parents. I’ve chronicled my life to show parents what effect the decision they make has on their children.
3) Who's your main audience?
Parents, soon to be parents, other people who grew up in dysfunction or were lonely, and to a lesser extent psychologists and other professionals who work with the mind, as a lot of what I write about is psychological dysfunction.
4) When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
My strong point is honesty. I say what needs to be said, not what is politically correct. My weak points is the computer… I learned to write on a computer, with its many aids. Therefore, my grasp of grammar and punctuation isn’t what some of the masters would call brilliant. Fortunately, my computer does keep me in line and I have two great editors, who are looking out for me.
5) What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?
I don’t get much writers block. I carry around a little A6 book and write every thought that enters my head. That way I have an endless stream of idea’s. Whenever I’m stuck I just look at my ramblings and can flesh something out. I’d imagine in fiction writing people might get writers block. I’d guess it would be difficult to flesh out idea’s for the end of the book before you have finished the beginning and middle. Take a break, go for a walk, find some inspiration (it’s all around).
6) How many books have you written?
I’m currently writing three books. They are my first. The first of the trilogy is coming out at the end of April or beginning of May.
7) How many are published?
Exactly the same answer as number 6.
8) Are you self published or traditionally published?
I am self-published. I used to be a programmer, so doing all the computer work isn’t a problem for me. In addition, I have a diploma in marketing, so I can also do the marketing as well. The sad reality is that publishers don’t pay authors enough, and I want to make my books and the message that I write within, my career. The aim of my books is to help children have a better start to life that what I did. Therefore, it’s important that I can make a living from it. It’s something that I really want to do, so I’m going for it whole-heartedly. In addition, with print-on-demand and all the other printing aids today, it’s much easier for a writer to self-publish.
9) What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Opening up my life. Writing semi-autobiographical non-fiction leaves you very exposed and vulnerable. It’s rather daunting.
10)What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Mostly non-fiction about psychology, success, happiness, evolution of Man, and other interesting people. I just finished Thrive by Dan Buettner, On Writing by Stephen King, and Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown. All good books.
11) Who's your favorite Author?
Don’t really know. Probably Stephen King. I’m currently reading The Shining. I don’t stick to one specific author. However, I will say that Stephen King is really easy to read. I breezed through On Writing. He forms sentences in such a way that you are able to just flow through the pages. Pow! (people who have read the book will get that reference) He’s a great author.
12) What's your all time favorite book?
Um… As above I’m not really a favorites kind of person. There are so many good books out there—Sperm Wars by Robin Baker, Virus of the Mind by Richard Brodie, Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich (finished it in two days, awesome book), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (my favorite Harry Potter book).
13) How long does it take you to write a book?
I’ve been writing the trilogy I’m currently working on since October 2011. So that’s seven or eight months to get the first one out. The second book is already seventy per cent done, and the third one is maybe forty per cent done. I don’t think you can put a definite number of this though. It takes as long as it takes… I’ve heard of some people who took 21 years to finish their book (which is currently being published).
14) Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
Well my books are non-fiction, so my characters are real people, mostly me. Therefore, I’m going to have to say “me” J
15) What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?
Writing a book is hard! It takes so much out of you. Before I wrote a book, I’d see all the books on the shelves and didn’t appreciate how much work goes into them, and how much soul goes into the good ones. It’s really a shame that publishers take most of the money from book sales, and the poor artists starve…
16) What does your family think of your writing?
When I started out, they weren’t too keen on the idea. I got the impression that they though it was a pipe-dream. They are coming around though, and are anxious to read. I have kept my work fairly close to my chest though. Only my editors have seen it, and one or two other people have seen select bits and pieces.
17) What does your writing schedule look like?
8:00, write, gym, write, write, break, write, write, break, write, write, write, 21:00 Self-publishing takes a lot of work!
18) Do you manage to write every day?
Yes most days. Sometimes I take a break from it though. I need to. Sometimes my brain is overflowing and needs to get away from the computer and thinking. I guess it’s like any muscle in your body, it needs a break too! I do also write for ten minutes each morning. I just write whatever nonsense comes out of my mind. It’s a recommendation from a book (can’t remember the name) on being more creative.
19) What's the latest news you'd like to share?
I just did the cover shoot on the weekend. That was awesome! I’ve included one picture (which won’t be on the book). Alternatively, see my website for pictures in the next few days. In addition, my book is coming out soon, YAY J Very happy to just about be at the end. Much relief. See my website for all the details.
20) Do you have any advice for new writers?
Yes. Always carry around a book to write in, and a pen (don’t forget the pen). Anytime an idea comes into your head, write it down. Then categorise and store them somewhere. When you feel writers block coming on, check your stash of ideas. O and also, if you want to write, just start! In addition, join a writers club or something similar. Find other people who write. It’s great moral support.