Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Interview with Author Kate Danley and Release of QUEEN MAB!

I have the great pleasure of interviewing Kate Danley, author of The Woodcutter, on the blog today! Kate's new novel, Queen Mab, is releasing TODAY--this is one you'll want to read about.

First and foremost, tell us about yourself and your publishing journey!

Author Kate Danley
I've been writing since elementary school. It was always something I fell back on to blow off steam, but never really took seriously. The publishing world was impenetrable and I figured I had a better chance at becoming an Oscar award winning actress than getting a book published (I've been acting for the past twenty-five years, so that isn't hyperbole). In 2003, I was taking a horrible anatomy class and, in an effort to stave off the awfulness, I started writing The Woodcutter instead of taking notes. I shopped that book around for five years and received rejection letter after rejection letter after rejection letter. For five years. I knew it was good, but the doors were closed. It physically hurt to think that this particular story would die a quiet death on my hard drive, so in 2010, I decided to self-publish. It was the single most important decision I have ever made in my lifeThe Woodcutter did very well and I was approached by the wonderful people at 47North asking if I would consider partnering with them for a re-release. I am now what people consider a "hybrid author" with both indie and traditionally published titles.

Your novel, Queen Mab, is coming out October 1st. What’s the premise of the book?

In Romeo & Juliet, Mercutio has a monologue about Queen Mab. Now, scholars say that this speech was written purely as a performance opportunity for the original actor.  It has no bearing on the play.

But the more I study Shakespeare, the more I believe that every word is written for a reason.

So, I posed the question: What if Queen Mab was real and responsible for everything that happened to the Capulets and Montagues? I then took the text of Romeo & Juliet and wove it into a period story from Queen Mab's point of view, with her love for Mercutio at the heart of everything.

How did you get the idea for Queen Mab?

I saw a terrible film. It had a horrible plot and a horrible script, but it had this queen figure who intrigued me. I thought to myself, "Hmmm… I'd like to tell a story with her." Now, I thought this queen was very similar to Queen Mab, but then I started doing some research. I realized other authors were getting Mab (the queen of dreams that Shakespeare invented) confused with Maeve (the Irish fairy queen of the Unseelie--dark fairy--court). So, I decided to set the record straight and bring Queen Mab back to her original roots.

Where can we buy the book?

It is available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo. I will also be doing signing in
Los Angeles and San Diego throughout October  If interested, my schedule can be found at

What tips can you give to us fellow writers?

The best bit of writing advice I have was given to me from my mom via an organizational website called The Fly Lady. The premise is that you can do anything for 15 minutes, be it cleaning your house or writing a book  So set a timer and write.  Fifteen minutes!  That's all it takes! If you write for longer, fantastic. But you are free to get up after fifteen minutes  If you do it every day, pretty soon you'll have a book done  I am also a proud participant of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). You commit to writing five pages a day, and by the end of 30 days, you have an entire novel written. Queen Mab started off as a NaNoWriMo book, and while it took me a year to complete the research and edits, NaNoWriMo gave this book its start. If your readers are interested, more information can be found at

And, of course, where can we find you?

The best place is to go to my website at  There I have links to my newsletter, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.  One stop shopping for all your Kate Danley needs!


  1. Congrats on the book release! Interesting story about how you came up with the idea. I've always found great ideas from other stories.

    1. Thank you, S.P.! And isn't funny how other stories can do that? We used to get a thing in the 4th grade called a "story starter" where our teacher would show us a picture or give us our first sentence and then set us free to write the rest. Nowadays, I like to think of these terrible movies that get my brain humming or movies or books that I fall in love with and want to continue as grown-up story starters. :)

  2. Awesome interview. Loved the advice about doing things for 15 minutes. Congrats on your book!

    1. Moms really do know best. :) My timer even has it written on the front, "You can do anything for fifteen minutes" to nag me when no one is around.

  3. Your mom's advise is right on. I CAN do anything for 15 minutes. Thanks for the reminder. (today I need it more for cleaning this house than for writing-lol) Great interview and I LOVE how you can up with your idea for this book-from the awful movie and from Romeo and Juliet.

    Best of luck to you!!!

    1. Thank you for the kind words! If I was feeling poetic, I'd say that the terrible movie was like a grain of sand in an oyster and this book is the pearl that came from it. But it was SUCH a lousy movie, that's a stretch. ;) I joke with my friends that when asked what genre I write, I should start saying, "High brow fan fiction." Boy, I love remixing old tales.

  4. I'm a Shakespeare junkie ("high brow fan fiction" - yes!!), so I love the idea for this book. I'm totally intrigued. And thank you for the NaNoWriMo advice!

    1. Shakespeare junkies unite! YAY! Seriously, I can't even tell you how much fun I had researching this book. I spent three days a week, nine hours a day for five weeks out in the middle of this outdoor forest theater training in Shakespeare. And then on my off days, signed up for this Improvising Shakespeare class where we'd have to improv in iambic pentameter. I just got back from a pilgrimage to The Globe and Stratford. This whole year has just been one long love letter to the Bard. I'm a bit in mourning that this book is done.

      But I hope you end up doing NaNo! Such a WONDERFUL experience. I started participating in my local write-ins and made some great friends (including one gal who randomly ended up also being in that Shakespeare Improv class). It's a great community with so many kindred souls! Let me know if you do it!

  5. What a great interview! Queen Mab sounds like such a good read. Nice to meet you, Kate!


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