It’s official: The Fanstastic Blog Hop has begun!!
This means that for the next nine days it will be my absolute pleasure to present some awesome authors to you via interviews, book excerpts, character interviews as well as author bios and pics! Tag along, it’s bound to be an entertaining ride 😉
Today we’re kicking things off with Author Dellani Oakes.
Where do your ideas come from?
I wish I knew. The ideas just come to me. Sometimes, it’s a full plot idea, other times I get a starting sentence that I have to begin writing or it’s gone.
I can write anywhere under just about any circumstances – although I have trouble if it’s completely quiet. I have four kids & their friends, plus a husband. My “office” used to be in the dining room. Phones ring, people are in & out talking, yelling, making noise, fixing food in the kitchen directly behind me. I got used to drowning it all out. I have to have music playing, though, or I will go insane.
What is the easiest aspect of writing? The Hardest?
The easiest aspect for me is starting the story. I love having my characters meet and fall in love. The hardest part is keeping the momentum going and not making every story a cookie cutter plot. I don’t like reading it, I hate writing it.
What is your favorite line from one of your books?
It’s from Love, Death or Pizza (unpublished) the opening paragraph:
Who knows what drives a person to kill. Why does one man die and another lives? Does everyone who gets murdered deserve it? Does everyone who deserves it get murdered? I can sum those questions up in one quick, easy answer. Who knows? However, in the case of Tack Carmichael, it wasn’t so much how someone was driven to kill him, or if he deserved it, but who got to him first?
Do you have any favorite characters?
I have several, but I’ll name off the ones from my published novels.
From Indian Summer, my historical romance, my favorite character is Sailfish. He’s caught in a difficult position. He falls for Gabriella, but she will only love Manuel. He gives her up, breaking his own heart, to make her happy.
In Lone Wolf & Shakazhan, my favorite character is Caprilla Mayeese, one of the Fellician warriors. He’s a large cat with an attitude, who is also friendly and funny.
From Ninja Tattoo, I have to admit that I am totally, head over heels in love with Teague. To know him is to love him.
From Under the Western Sky, I love Bobby. He’s family oriented and courageous. He does what’s needed because he’s “That Guy”.
I’m sure a psychologist would find it very telling that all my favorite characters are male.
I think I’d most like to invite Gabriella’s father, Governor Deza, out to dinner. Why? Because he’s such a gentleman and would know how to treat a lady right.
What are your hopes and dreams for your future in the writing world?
I hope to make more than $20.00 off a royalty check. I’m not asking to be famous, but I’d like people to read and enjoy my stories.
How do you define success as an author?
I define success by telling a good story the best way I know how. I also measure my success by how people react to them.
Favorite writing quote?
From Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. “Poo-too-weet”.
What are you working on now?
I am always working on a variety of books. I’m juggling the sequel to Indian Summer, called Savage Heart. I’m also working on edits for book 3 in the Lone Wolf series, The Maker. Still in the mix, one of many different unfinished novels. But I’m proud to say that I finished another novel last night. I’m pretty excited about that.
Book Excerpt from Shakazhan – Lone Wolf Series book 2 – by Dellani Oakes
Picking up where Lone Wolf ends, Shakazhan follows the further adventures of Wil VanLipsig and Matilda Dulac. Having chased the evil John Riley to a far off planet known as Iyundo, they find themselves once more confronted with a problem of John’s making. However, this time they have powerful allies – the Kindred. These people put them in touch with a race of sentient ships. In the following excerpt, Wil and Matilda meet their ship for the first time.
The cavern they entered dwarfed the other one. The ships inside were enormous. Flotilla and Hannibal could fit in there easily with room to spare. The design was unlike anything Wil had ever seen. The ships were shaped like horizontal teardrops, the narrow end foremost and the full end aft. The colors ranged from dull gray to a lustrous blue. The hulls shifted color as they walked by, particularly if Wil and Matilda spoke or touched them.
Wil laid his hand on one. It throbbed like a gigantic heart. To their right, a green light flashed rapidly, accompanied with odd, piercing, urgent sounds. The High Elder motioned them to follow. It took several minutes, but soon they were close enough to see blue and red and amber yellow had joined the display.
“Wil, I think it’s singing to us! Listen!” Matilda approached, mesmerized.
The ship was a deep, rich peacock blue. Larger than those below, it dwarfed any ship Wil had seen. Even the huge Guild ore transports weren’t this big. He felt like an ant in comparison.
Reaching up to the ship, Matilda’s hand smoothed the side. “It is singing!”
The tune changed when she touched it. Removing her hand, she heard the sounds modulate yet again. She stroked the hull of the ship, the colors shifted, altered and realigned themselves following the movement of her hand. A contented purr vibrated under her palm.
“Wil, it’s alive! Feel it!”
She grabbed his hand before he could pull away. Their two left hands brushed the hull together, hers atop his. The skin of the ship glowed a vibrant red, changing gradually to orange, flickered to dark yellow, settling to blue again.
Wil laid both his hands beside each other, leaning against the ship, placing his cheek to the side. As he moved back from it, the imprint of the outline of his face and hands remained for a moment, gradually receding.
“By God, Matilda, you’re right!”
The smiles of Felix and the High Elder confirmed their suspicions.
“I’ve heard legends of ships like this, but never expected to see one! This is incredible!”
Grabbing Matilda’s hand, Wil dragged her around the side of the ship, looking for an opening. About twenty feet from the point, a doorway appeared where none had been before. Steps descended, the ship molding them from its skin, forming depressions for their feet. They entered excitedly.
Moments later, Felix, The High Elder and Aisulov joined them.
The sight greeting their eyes was one they hardly expected. The inside was ultra high tech, the instrumentation so advanced, they could only imagine what most of it was. The consoles had an Art Nouveau feel, with flowing lines and organic shapes. Here too, the colors melded and shifted.
“She’s beautiful!” Matilda’s eyes glowed happily as she walked around.
Meet The Author
Dellani Oakes is a former A.P. English teacher and photo journalist. Now working as a substitute teacher and Mary Kay consultant, she can give skin care & makeup advice, correct grammar, take pictures and write an article while controlling a classroom full of rowdy children.
Dellani was making up stories before she could read. Her first really cohesive work began when her older sister started school. Left to entertain herself, she invented an imaginary friend and would regale her mother with tales of Snowy Green and Rainbow School. These stories paved the way for songs and poems in elementary school and short stories in high school and college.
A college theatre major, Dellani took play writing. It became her new love. Scripts being dialog heavy and character driven, this aspect has followed her into her novel writing. She uses verbal exchanges & sparring as a way of revealing both plot and characterization.
Dellani had to set aside her love of writing when she began working as a teacher. Her creative energies were channeled into writing exams to make her students cry—although this wasn’t usually intentional. Unfortunately, between that and motherhood, she didn’t have time to write.
However, once her youngest son started school in 2001, she was able to write full time. Her first novel, “Indian Summer”, was published in 2008 by Second Wind Publishing. Also from Second Wind, her second novel, “Lone Wolf” made its debut in September 2011. “Lone Wolf” is the first in her science-fiction series.
When asked recently how she thought of all those stories, she replied: “There are more ideas in my head than I can get written down in one lifetime. I’ll have to live forever.”
Dellani can be contacted via –
All of her books are available on Amazon.com