Interview: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Romance Author Dani Hoots

Hi friends! With just three weeks to go until Once Upon a Name is released into the world (so exciting!), I wanted to introduce you to another of my fabulous coauthors.

Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story.

Keep reading to find out all about Dani’s books, and her upcoming story in OUAN.

Hi Dani, welcome to my blog! Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

I am Dani Hoots and I am a YA sci fi and fantasy author with over 20 books published. I live in Arizona with my husband where we spend our time hiking and finding new bookstores to check out and restaurants to eat at. I love manga and anime and learning new recipes. 

Reading and eating, my two favourite pastimes! When did you start writing and what inspired you? 

I started writing when I was very young. I always loved stories and wanted to create my own.

I can totally see little Dani reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and dreaming up her own version! What are some of your favourite tropes?

The punk boy with a soft heart. Also the badass female lead who doesn’t stick to gender norms. Enemies to lovers is also a fav.

Those are such good ones! I’m a big enemies to lovers fan too, and who doesn’t love a tough female main character? Tell us about your first published book, or your favourite or most recent release.

It’s not my first book published, but the first book I ever wrote and finished was The Quest and although my newest book always ends up being my favorite, I really love that one and it is dear to my heart.

That’s so heartwarming, it’s a really special moment when you finish a book and this just shows how important that feeling of achievement can be. Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings? 

For The Quest, I think I was inspired by some dreams I had when I was in high school, along with actors/actresses. I always end up getting inspired by some actor/actress and make up a story for them. For The Quest it was Anna Van Hooft and Taylor Kitsch.

I can definitely see that, I probably did the same and just never wrote my imaginings down. Are you a plotter, pantser or plantser? 

Plantser! I make some outlines and then let the characters go like squirrels.

Haha! That’s a brilliant image. Those pesky plot bunnies are definitely nothing like nice little ducks that will sit in a row! So, what are you working on right now?

I am working on the next books of my City of Kaus series.

I’m excited for that, Revenge has such a cool concept and is a really fresh take on the space western genre. I loved Firefly and your City of Kaus series gives me serious Firefly vibes! What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Keep writing and don’t listen to people who say you can’t do it. You can and you will. Also take some marketing classes.

I completely agree! Especially on the marketing classes. Just kidding, but my day job as a marketer has definitely come in handy as an indie author!

Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Dani! Before I let you get back to creating worlds, how can we find out more about you and your books? 

Which of Dani’s books are you going to read first? I have to admit, I’m torn between Trapped in Wonderland, Revenge, and Endangered! All of Dani’s covers are just so gorgeous, I’m going to need them all.

You can support both me and Dani by buying our anthology, Once Upon a Name, which comes out on 20 April and all profits go to Book Aid International.

Happy reading!



My publishing plans for the next five years

Everyone has a five year plan, right? Just me? I like to have a few goals to work towards in the short and long term, to keep me on track.

After all, if you don’t know where you’re headed, you’ll never get there, but if you have a destination in mind you’ll eventually reach it, even if you take the scenic route.

Okay, enough of the driving metaphors. Here’s what you can expect to see from me in the next five years:


January: The Solitary King, The Fair Chronicles #2

April: Baroness of Blood and Bone (Once Upon a Name anthology)

July: One Fair Eve (Enchanted Forests anthology)

December: The Fair War, The Fair Chronicles #3


April: Twice Upon a Name anthology

July: Enchanted Flames anthology


The Rose and the Serpent

April: Thrice Upon a Name anthology

July: Enchanted Anthologies (possibly Enchanted Winds)


The first three books in a new prequel series to The Fair Chronicles, tentatively titled the Crowns of the Fair Saga:

A Crown of Thorns

A Crown of Embers

A Crown of Pearls


The final two books in the Crowns of the Fair Saga (titles TBD)

So, there you have it! Which book are you most excited about?

I’m really looking forward to writing The Rose and the Serpent (historical fantasy set in Victorian England, for fans of Stalking Jack the Ripper) and plotting my next five book series, the Crowns of the Fair Saga! It’s going to be set a few decades after the creation of the Fair Realm, and follow the five children of Queen Oriana as they each marry into the Five Kingdoms and face the challenges and politics that come with royal life!



Interview: Debut Fantasy and Sci-Fi Author Marie Reed

Hello lovely people! We’re down to single digits until release day for The Solitary King and I cannot wait for you all to get your hands on the second chapter of Aria’s story. You can get your hands on it here:

Today, I’m chatting with another one of my Once Upon a Name anthology coauthors, Marie Reed, so keep reading to find out more about our upcoming collection of fantasy short stories…

Hi Marie! Thank you so much for speaking to me today. Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Ohio but have lived in Illinois as long as I can remember. I met my husband in high school; we have 2 kids who are both in school. My major in college was Archaeology and Classical Studies, and I would love to work in a museum or library.

That sounds absolutely fascinating! And a perfect background for creating fantasy stories. Working in a library would be such a dream job! When did you start writing and what inspired you?

I’ve been writing on and off since elementary school. My school had an author contest every year and we’d get to write and illustrate our books in hardback form. In fifth grade, mine was voted Best In Show and I got to go meet published authors and show them my book. I still have a signed copy of a book I got that day as well. I went through a poetry phase in high school and have since thrown all evidence of that away. Now that the kids are in school, I have quiet time to sit and write down the ideas that have been swirling around my head for years.

What an amazing opportunity your school gave you! I’m very jealous. My school had us write poems in the style of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, and when the school assessor came round they liked mine so much they took a copy to show round other schools. I was (and still am) so proud, but I didn’t get to meet a published author or get a signed book!! What are your favourite books that you’ve read?

I’ve read so many books that it’s hard to pick favorites. I read mostly urban and epic fantasy and sci-fi. However, Pride and Prejudice will forever be one of my favorite books. Terry Brooks is also one of my absolute favorite authors. And so many indie authors that I’ve come to find in the past few years!

I’ve loved reading more indie books over the last couple of years, both of my absolute favourite reads from 2021 were indie. Tell us about your upcoming debut publication!

My story about Callie Azuresmith in Once Upon a Name will be my first published story, but I am working on an urban fantasy/superhero story that I hope to have finished in the next year. I love reading about fantastic, magical places, so that’s what I write about.

I’m really excited to read your story, Forged in Fire, in Once Upon a Name, and your first novel! Where do you find the inspiration for your characters and story?

I’m not really sure where my characters come from; I usually start with a random scene in the middle of my story and the character builds themselves a history from that.

For my debut series, The Fair Chronicles, it was actually the setting that came first and then the story and characters came out of that, so there’s infinite ways inspiration for a story can strike. Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser?

I’m definitely more of a pantser, but am trying to outline and plan more to help with the pacing of my stories, and to make sure I can hit novel length word counts.

I’m a chronic underwriter, hitting word count goals is such a challenge for me, even as a card carrying plotter. What’s your current WIP?

My superhero story is about a girl named Natasha, who wanted to go into law enforcement, but found that no one trusts her in her hometown because of her…shocking outbursts. So she leaves home and decides to fight crime in the big city, and of course gets in over her head.

That sounds so cool, I love a good superhero movie so I’ll definitely be reading that when you publish! What one piece of advice would you give to fellow aspiring authors?

I would say to stay at your own pace and do your own thing. One person might tell you that you need to write a thousand words every day, another might say you need a detailed outline before you can write. Do whatever feels natural.

Brilliant advice, I love that. It can be really disheartening to hear some writers say you need to write every single day, or showing off their huge daily word counts, especially when some of us work full time and have young kids. Staying in your own lane and keeping your eyes on your own paper can be challenging, but it’s so important if you want to achieve your own goals and not be distracted by what everyone else is doing.

Thank you so much for chatting with me today Marie! Before you go, where can we find out more about you and keep up to date with your works-in-progress?

I’m still starting out, but I have an author page on Facebook and Instagram, and have profiles on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub. There isn’t much there yet, but hopefully that will change soon!

How lovely is Marie? I’m excited for Once Upon a Name’s release so you can read both Marie’s story, Forged in Fire, and mine, Baroness of Blood and Bone!

Have you seen the 2022 reading planner we’ve put together to raise even more money for Book Aid International? It’s full of really useful layouts like habit trackers, month at a glance, a year in books and review pages to help you keep track of your reading and make notes on the books you read. It also features quotes and illustrations from our stories in the anthology, which you could even colour in if you fancied!

Click here to get your copy: