Nano Spotlight: Danielle Shipley

Today’s spotlight comes to you from a creature of many names: Danielle E. Shipley, Deshipley for short, and/or the Mastermaid.

Danielle’s experience with Nanowrimo:
An aunt who knew I loved to write linked me to NaNo in October of 2010. I decided to give it a try, and it’s one of my favorite decisions I ever made. I enjoyed a mini-addiction to the discussions in the forums; I wrote like the wind; I met some of my best friends, real and fictional, and started what would become a story I love above all others I’ve written or read. Since then, I’ve also taken part in a couple of Camp NaNo summers, as well as NaNo 2012. Here’s hoping I can do it all again this year!

What are you writing about this year?
After wrestling with indecision for weeks, I think I’ve settled on a quiet tale about a young lady whose afternoon walk along a forest preserve trail takes a couple unexpected turns when she 1) accidentally makes everyone worry that she’s dead, and 2) befriends a fellow who is actually dead.

Who’s the best character in your Nano novel?
Probably the dead guy. It’s seems I’ve accumulated quite a collection of great characters who are technically dead, formerly dead, or in some way undead. This one may be among the noblest of them, and he’s cute and friendly to boot.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
1) Whatever it is you want to be writing, write that. 2) Figure out what works for you (which, who knows, may not be the same as what worked for you in years past), and just run with it, full speed. And of course, 3) have fun! 3.5) Stay committed! 3.75) Commit to fun!

Sneaky Ninja question! Who is the most important person in your life?
I’d say God, but I’m a horrible brat with attachment issues, so it wouldn’t feel as true as I’d like. So instead, I’ll say Will Scarlet. We met when I wrote him into my first NaNo project (to be published…eventually!), and he’s been a wonderful, supportive friend of a character ever since. I’d be lost without him.

Forest Pic

Danielle’s ramble and plug…
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it. Her first two published fairytale novellas, The Swan Prince and The Stone Kingdom (Books One and Two of The Wilderhark Tales) are available now! Visit the books page on her website,, for information on these and other exciting upcoming titles!

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