Q&A with Dina James

I’m so excited to have this chance to play a little with Dina James. Her first full length YA novel, All Wounds, was just released and I loved it. You can read my review HERE.

Here’s a little about this, self-proclaimed, “evil” author 🙂

1) When you write, do you prefer quiet, or do you listen to music? If you like music playing, what is your preferred genre? Do certain characters have their own personal “soundtrack”?

It really depends. Sometimes I want it quiet (especially during edits so I can think) and other times I listen to music based on the
scene I’m writing. My preferred genre of music is soundtracks/ambient music when I write, though I have been known to listen to Within Temptation and Evanescence. Certain characters do have their own soundtracks and they’re very particular about listening to “someone else’s music.”

2) Where do you write? In an office, at the dining room table, at a local coffeeshop? Do you prefer to write alone or with a group? If you write with a group, do you also read/critique each other’s work?

I have an office, AKA “my room.” I prefer to write alone and I’m not big on having people see my work in progress. I’m a big believer in the zero draft – that is, just getting the story out – and that draft is just for the writer. No one but the writer is supposed to see the zero. The first draft is the actual readable version that I let a select few people see and give me feedback on if something just isn’t working or I’m not sure about something that happened in the story.

3) How do you prepare for release day? Are you calm and focused, or do you get stressed? Do you like to make promotional appearances or stay at home to watch lists and numbers?

I thrive on stress. I work best under pressure, and as this is my first solo release day (all my previous work has been anthologies with other writers) I’m not sure how I’ll react. I do know I celebrate with a nice dinner/drinks. I do make a promotional appearance at my local bookstore, and usually do something fun for Halloween (because I’m a paranormal author and it just ties in well with the holiday) with a local business or group.

4) What was your favorite Halloween costume (or other costume party costume)?

I really enjoyed my Kaylee (ship’s mechanic on Firefly) costume I did for Dragon*Con one year. I’m a True Goth http://dinajames.com/goth.html and generally wear black/”costume-y” clothes, so it’s fun seeing people dress up as “me” for Halloween. I turned the tables on them a couple years ago and went dressed as a Mundane in a white skirt, top and long
brown wig I braided. The coworkers loved it.

5) If you could go anywhere on vacation (and not interfere with your deadlines), where would you go, and what 3 items (besides food and clothes) would you bring with you?

Greece is next up on my List Of Places To Visit. I would bring my laptop (to write), my camera and my Darth Vader plushie (he goes on all my trips).

6) What song best describes your life? If you can’t think of one, who would you want to write/perform a song just for you?

“When You’re Evil” by Voltaire.

7) If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would be it and what would you do all day?

Oh, that’s a hard one. I really want to say Billy the werewolf because he’s hilarious and fun and drives an old Mustang, and we’d
probably end up eating horrible fast food and hitting a classic car show. But, in fairness, it wouldn’t be a day, it would be a night with the beautiful and enigmatic Kyle. (Lost soul, thank you, not a “vampire.”) We’d just talk. He’s centuries old and has seen a lot of things and has an interesting perspective on humanity.

8) What world record would you love to set for the Guinness Book of World Records? (Remember, they take ALL KINDS of interesting talents into account. Some world records include *fastest 100m sprint, barefoot, on ice = 17.35 secs… *fastest pumpkin carving of a face = 24.03 secs… *longest distance pogo stick jumping = 23.11 miles)

Writer with the most completed knitting projects in a year – 157. (I can dream.)

9) If you could have one word removed from the English language, from all dictionaries and out of everyone’s vocabulary, what would it be, and why? If you could ADD one word, what would it be?

Hate me now. I would remove “Twilight,” because of that sparkly day-walking stalker wannabe-vamp book series by SMeyer I have no love for. I have no idea what word I would add. Probably something inappropriate for those under 18.

10) What is one thing about you that your friends know and you would love your readers to know as well. Or… if you’re in a giving mood… what is one story that your friends LOVE to talk you into telling that you don’t generally volunteer?

So, you’re asking me to be nice? You know that’s impossible, right? Instead of nice, I’ll be…let’s call it “indulgent.” I will indulge this question. One thing that my friends know that I would love (really?) my readers to know is that I’m a former military brat and therefore tend to use “yes, sir” and “no, ma’am” and so on when I’m talking to people, no matter how old they are. It surprises people who aren’t used to being around me, because it’s respectful and polite, and those are not generally words associated with me.

Because I’m evil.

Also, I’m originally from the southern US, and while I don’t have a Southern accent most times, there are certain words you can hear it in and certain instances. You can tell when I’ve just talked to my mother, because I lapse into my Southern. Also when I’m starting to get annoyed, am nervous, or tired, my diction slips. So that’s not a story my friends like me to tell, but they do love it when I start elongating my vowels and dropping the ends off words. I think they think it’s cute.

**Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, to Dina for putting aside her evilness long enough to play nice with us today. She’ll be stopping in from time to time to reply to comments or answer questions. And I have a question for YOU!! If given the choice in a paranormal world, would you be a fighter or a healer? Remember, there are some kickass heroes and heroines out there in the supernatural world… lots of glory to be won and good to be done. However, there’s a different kind of heroism in the act of healing. So… which would YOU be?? Leave your answer, along with your first name and email, in the comments. (And a quick “hi” to Dina :-). ) One random commenter will win their choice of ebook or trade paperback copy of ALL WOUNDS!! Contest ends at midnight, tonight, pacific time. GOOD LUCK!!!


  1. Ping from All Wounds (Stranger Things series, #1) by Dina James | Books Make Me Happy:

    […] by Dina’s Q&A HERE to find out a little more about this new(ish) author, and win a copy of All Wounds! Rate this: […]

  2. Comment by Kathryn Anne Merkel:

    I would choose to be a healer in a paranormal world. Fighting just seems so exhausting, although I suppose the adrenaline rush could be fun for a while. No, definately a healer.

    Congrats Dina on the release of All Wounds. How many Stranger Things books do you have planned?

  3. Comment by Kathryn Anne Merkel:

    oops, too quick on the draw, forgot to include the name & email part.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

  4. Comment by Dina:

    Hi, Kathryn!

    At the moment, there is only one other besides All Wounds that’s contracted, but if the series does well/people want more, there may be a third or more! It will just depend!


  5. Comment by Shellie (@Lover_of_Books):

    I would choose to be a healer. It is part of my nature to help anyone or any doggie ot kitty!

    Congrats on this amazing book Dina! Can’t wait to read it!!

    Shellie Wills

  6. Comment by Dina:

    Thank you, Shellie!

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