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Friday, June 25, 2010

Guest Post & Giveaway with Dakota Banks



Today Dakota Banks, author of Dark Time and it’s soon-to-be-released sequel Sacrifice (August 31st,  2010) stopped by to let us know what a day in her life is like! She’s saying her schedule is weird, but it’s actually a lot like mine, minus the nap at 8PM lol. Read on to learn more and don’t miss the giveaway!



Writing is like a box of chocolates.You never know what you're gonna get.

That nails a writing career in general, and my writing day specifically. Hello, I'm Dakota Banks and I have a weird working day. Sounds a bit like an introduction at a rehab group, doesn't it? Trust me, it's just life as usual for me.

My day starts at noon. Yes, noon. But don't bother with the "I knew it! Writers goof off all day." So woodpecker-pileated_350there I am at noon, in my t-shirt and comfy shorts, drinking coffee and reading a newspaper or magazine. What appears to be goofing off is actually research. Between bites of bagel, I scan for story ideas. Research includes watching the birds at the bird feeders outside my window. On some days I am thrilled to see a Pileated Woodpecker, an uncommon sight where I live. Almost twenty inches long, with a red crest, black body, and white underneath the wings, pileateds make a spectacular appearance. I'm still trying to fit one into a book, but the right time hasn't come up yet. Not all research is of immediate use. Sometimes it has to ferment in the brain for a time.

After breakfast, I walk down the hall to my office. Sounds good to those with jobs outside the home, I'm sure--no commute, no cubicles, no office gossip. The downside is my work is always steps away. A-l-w-a-y-s. Weekends off? Forget it. Vacations? Nope. Sick days? Only if I'm in the hospital. I have limped, dragged, sniffled, and throbbed my way to my desk. I have fallen asleep at my computer and awakened with an imprint of the keyboard on my face. But it's all good, because I'm doing what I love--writing.

Sacrifice front cover 245x400In the afternoon, I deal with the business of writing. That means answering email, communicating  with my agent and editor, and the big assortment of tasks under the umbrella of promotion. I have a book release in two months, so I've been busy with plastering my book cover on anything that doesn't move, setting up book signings, and so on. At the same time, I'm working on a synopsis of the next book with my editor, getting a general direction for the book established. I changed agents recently and have some issues left to resolve with my former agent. These things don't all come naturally to me. They've been learned over time and sometimes at cost. I think a lot of new writers are starry-eyed about long days listening to their muse, when in fact writing has a business side as well as a creative one. In my case, and it's common with other writers I have talked to, time is generally split about forty percent on business and sixty percent on writing.

It's now about five p.m., and I take a break for dinner with my family. After that I might watch an hour or so of TV (recorded or DVDs) or might not have time for that. TV time has no place in a busy schedule, along with lots of time with friends, either in person or on the phone, and aimless Internet use. An interesting thing about friends. My long-term friends had no problem adjusting to the new demands in my life. Casual friends dropped away because I couldn't be there for them often enough. I find that I don't mind. Writing has taught me to take quality of relationship over quantity.

Dakota Office It's eight p.m. and time for a nap. What! A nap! I said I had a weird working day, and this is what works for me. I take a two hour nap, get up about ten p.m., and make some coffee. I head for the office, where I write during the quiet hours of the night. I use a synopsis of the entire book, developed in advance and submitted to my editor for comments. For me it's much better to let the editor know where I'm going with the book, and get her input up front on a fifteen page synopsis, than to submit a finished manuscript and get hit with revisions. At night, the house belongs to me and my two cats, Peanut and Marble. Sometimes I write a lot of pages, sometimes struggle to complete one page. Night Writer is my nickname, and I've earned it. When I take a break, I step outside and look at the stars. Or my frozen breath on a winter night or the full moon making a patch of white daisies glow like little ghost faces.I generally write until four or five a.m., sometimes longer. I take a long, hot shower (The hot water's all mine! Bliss.), meditate to clear my head of the frantic rush of words, and go to bed.

Up at noon--repeat.


Thank you Dakota! It’s great to get to know you I little better!  Best of luck with Sacrifice’s release =D


Now onto some Giveaway love!

Dakota and Harper Collins Canada are offering a total of 3 copies of Sacrifice!

2 copies available worldwide and 1 copy to Canada Only.

Books will be shipped around release date (so end of August)

Sacrifice front cover 245x400

A Sumerian demon's enslaved executioner--a ravager of lives and souls--Maliha Crayne has been reborn, willing to sacrifice her immortality for a chance at freedom ... and salvation.
Now she has an opportunity to prevent the death of thousands to help balance the countless lives she has obliterated over the centuries. To do so, she must locate and destroy an evil cabal of madmen in possession of a weapon of unspeakable power--and survive the immortal assassins who are now after her blood.
But it means reverting to the old ways and surrendering once more to the darkness. And if Maliha dies before the mission is accomplished, the hell she once knew will seem like a picnic compared to the eternal torments awaiting her.

to enter, Please FILL THE FORM

Ends July 4th, 2010.


Don’t forget to leave a comment and show some love to Dakota <3

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

19 People left their mark' :

  1. Dakota, your work day sounds perfectly fine to me, since I'm a total night owl. If I never had to see morning, that would be fine with me, I feel much more aware and productive in the afternoon, evening hours, so that kind of schedule fits me. Unfortunately, most employers don't feel the same way, they expect me to be there bright and early are raring to go.

    I hadn't heard of this series before, so I'm eager to check your books out.

  2. Aloha Dakota!=)

    I am very excited to see this book up for giveaway!=)

    Mahalo Mahalo!!=)

  3. I saw something about this book about a week ago for the first time and it went straight onto my wishlist.

  4. Thanks for the terrific post, Dakota! It was very interesting to learn about your daily routine. And I'm very interested in reading your series, particularly since it involves Sumerian mythology.
    I hope you find a book to put that woodpecker in some day!

  5. This looks great! I LOVE the cover!! :D

  6. Hi Dakota! I have Sacrifice on my wish list! I can't wait to read it! It sounds awesome!

  7. Wonderful interview. It was fun to learn about your day. You are a new author to me. Will be adding your books to my to read list.
    Sue B

  8. Hi everybody! Thanks for the comments, even though you are morning posters and should have your keyboards disconnected until a decent time of day. :-)

    First, thank you, Tynga, for giving me space on your blog to reach your readers.

    - Aloha, Chas. I'm very excited about this release and glad that it's time for giveaways. I'd like to give everyone a copy but Harper Collins expects some sales!

    - Bethany, thanks for putting Sacrifice on your wish list. Aren't wish lists grand? Mine just keeps getting longer and longer.

    - Kimberly, I felt like I'd fallen into a writer's paradise when I began researching Sumerian myths. Something different from the usual vampires & werewolves - a place I could blaze a trail.

    - Barbara, hi fellow night owl! If only bosses would come to their senses and realize that some people aren't at their best at 8 am. Solution: become a writer, ditch the boss!

    - Natasha, I love the cover, too. An interesting story about it. When I saw the cover of the first book, Dark Time, I noticed that Maliha had a tattoo of an eagle or hawk on her back. I liked it so much, I put the tattoo into the book. When I first saw the cover for Sacrifice, she was missing her tattoo. Even though the cover was already done, I was able to get the tattoo added.

    - Adelina, I'm glad Sacrifice is on your wish list. I hope it not only sounds awesome but turns out to be awesome for you!

  9. Dakota, I can totally picture your schedule because my spouse is a complete night owl. He's a programmer and he honestly can't get anything done until about 10PM, but then he goes on a tear and is amazingly productive for about 4 hours, then falls asleep around 3-4AM.

  10. Sue, love your icon of the little kitten and your name, Kats R Us. You read my post, but I learned something about you too, fellow cat lover! Thanks for giving a new-to-you author a try.

  11. I recently purchased the first book in the Mortal Path series and can't wait to get started! Wonderful interview!

  12. JenM,there must be something magic about 10pm. I used to be a programmer, too, first in an office and then as an independent consultant who worked from home. Being a consultant was great because I could work my own hours as long as I met the deadline for the project. That's when I discovered my natural working rhythm, as your husband has done. Maybe he's practicing to be a writer!

  13. Simple Love of Reading, thanks a bunch for getting Dark Time and I hope you get hooked on the series. I am! :-)

  14. I want to read the book! Thanks for making the contest international

  15. w00t! Girl power! Thanks for sharing this <3

  16. Still haven't read Dark Time, but I will, so thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Hey Dakota , your schedule doesn't sound weird to me . Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Thanks so much for the read. I enjoyed it...and thanks for the giveaway. This looks so good.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  19. Hi Dakota, I love your books. Keep up the great work (writing)

    Thanks for the great giveaway