Author spotlight: Danielle L. Jensen.


Today I want to welcome Danielle L. Jensen to my blog.

bio-photo-1Danielle is the author for the upcoming YA fantasy novel Stolen songbird. This book will be published by Strange Chemistry on April 1st 2014. It’s about a trapped troll kingdom called Trollus and they are desperately trying to break the curse. They hope that Cécile is the girl from the prophecy and she is bonded to their prince, Tristan, against her will. But things aren’t as peaceful as they might look..

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination. Source: author website.


1. Hello Danielle! How are you doing? I bet you are very excited about your upcoming book.
I’m doing well, although I am extremely busy trying to promote Stolen Songbird while writing the sequel. It’s hard to believe it will be out in a month – it seems like just yesterday I was signing my book deal.

2.What was the most fun part to write? 
My favourite part of any story is the relationships between characters. The romance between Cécile and Tristan is important, but so are the friendships between them and the other characters, especially with Marc. Having well developed secondary characters who play a meaningful role in the trilogy is something I put a lot of effort into.

3. I found Trollus a very interesting world, would you like to live there?
Certainly not as a human! I think Trollus is an extremely difficult place to live, even for the powerful trolls. You constantly have to be on your toes, and because it’s such a small world, everyone is constantly in each other’s business. I wouldn’t like that.

4. Who is your favorite character in Stolen Songbird?
Marc is my favourite character. I love him! I quite like Anaïs as well.

5. Could you tell us something about the next book? 
The second book has a more even split in POV between Cécile and Tristan. I probably could have written Stolen Songbird without including Tristan’s POV, but I thought it was important that readers get inside his head in the first book.

6. Do you see yourself writing a story in another genre too, let's say contemporary?
I’d love to write historical fiction, but it would be highly unlikely I’d write a contemporary. As a reader and a writer, I prefer to escape to a world that is not one I live in.

I also asked her to include an excerpt:
This snippet occurs shortly after Cécile arrives in Trollus and her kidnapper, Luc, is receiving payment for her delivery. I chose a scene with Marc, and it includes one of my favourite lines from the book.

17926775The bargain truly was for my weight in gold. Our procession continued through the hallways and into enormous rooms piled high with treasure of every sort. Gold and silver in heavy chests, amethysts and opals spilling across tables or adorning priceless jewelry. Stacks of precious plate and beautiful glassworks sat on tables or the floor. In the center stood a giant copper scale, and a warm coil of power gently lifted and deposited me on one side. Luc leapt to sort through the treasure, piling up select pieces on the other side of the scale, a grin plastered on his face. Gold coins, gold plates, gold jewelry, and even a golden duck statuette, but when he tossed up a jeweled necklace, the King snapped his fingers.

“Gold only, boy!” Marc plucked the offending jewels off the scale (I didn’t think the King moved if he could help it) and tossed the necklace back into the piles of treasure. Then they dithered. A coin here, a coin there, all in an attempt to secure a perfect alignment. My incessant shivering set the scale to trembling and did not speed along the process. They had deprived me of my cloak and boots, leaving me in only a shift and my mother’s necklace. The King certainly would have stripped me naked if not for the intervention of the Queen and her sister. As it was, I was frozen and hungry and I desperately had to pee. No doubt the King would have sent me to the privy to rid myself of the extra weight, but I wasn’t about to share my discomfort. And I was done with crying – tears accomplished nothing but exhausting me further and I needed my wits about me if I were going to escape this place. Perhaps not today, tomorrow, or even the next day, but I would stand beneath the sun again. I swore it to myself. My scowl deepened as I brooded on the various ways I would see Luc punished for his actions. I did not realize the weighing process had concluded until I was abruptly lifted off the scale and set next to Marc. He wrapped the cloak around my shoulders and pulled the hood up, obscuring my face.

“Your mien is of one who is plotting murder,” he said in a quiet voice, handing over my battered boots.
“More than one,” I replied, struggling with numb fingers to tie the laces. To my shock, he knelt at my feet and tied them for me, black hair falling forward to hide his face from me.
“Your feelings are understandable, Cécile,” he said, “but for your sake, it would be best if you kept them to yourself. Tristan is my cousin and closest friend. I assure you that he will allow no harm to come to you. Although you did not choose this life, perhaps, over time, you might come to find it satisfactory.” He stood up. I met his gaze.
“Is that what you aim for in life, my lord? Satisfactory?” He was being kind, I knew, but I had never had a good grasp over my temper. “For I have always aimed for something more. Happiness, for instance.”
“I aim to live, my lady,” he replied, turning to the shadows. “You should do the same.” The King’s voice silenced us.
“You needn’t take payment all at once, boy. No doubt it would be easier to make several trips.” Luc snorted.
“You think I trust you to give me the rest if I leave my gold here? Stones and sky, you must take me for a fool.” He continued shoving the treasure into his pack. I was convinced his rudeness would garner the King’s ire, but His Majesty seemed only amused.
“As you wish.” He gestured in our direction. “Get her cleaned up and dressed, Marc. The moon reaches its zenith in only a few hours.”
“What happens then?” I asked, feeling my hands turn colder still. Marc took hold of my arm and led me from the room.
“You’ll be bonded.”


So what do you think, are you interested in the book? I truly loved it and rated it with 4.5 stars! My review will be published closer to the publication date.

28 comments

  1. Wow, what a fun interview! I have been seeing this book EVERYWHERE in the blogosphere lately, and I know Mel is protective of her high ratings, so her 4.5 stars means I probably need to pick this one up sometime soon! Thanks for the post, ladies.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  2. Friendships and romance!! Whoop! "Having well developed secondary characters who play a meaningful role in the trilogy is something I put a lot of effort into." YES to this. I love me some great secondary characters:) I wonder how Danielle's contemporary would look like, but since she writes fantasy so well, I can't wait to see what's next for her in this genre after this series is done and through. Two of my friends who have already read this loved it as well and I can't wait for your review, Mel. Thanks so much for sharing the interview and this wonderful excerpt with us:)

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    1. And I have to agree that she definitely nailed that part!

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  3. I really loved this one and I'm glad Ms. Jensen's working on the sequel--with more of Tristan's POV, eeeep! That cliffhanger, really. x.x I also loved both Marc and Anais. All the characters were wonderful, though :)

    Aimee @ Read by the Undead

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  4. Ahh I am currently reading Stolen Songbird and so far Marc is also my favorite character. I love how the author said that secondary characters are important because from what I've seen so far, they are well developed!

    Thank you so much for sharing the interview, Mel! :)

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  5. [ Smiles ] I never knew, Danielle L. Jensen, until now. Thank you for introducing me to a new author.

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  6. You're right. It's amazing how we asked different questions and I love yours. I totally agree with Danielle I too enjoy escaping this world and that's why fantasy is my fave genre. Great interview, Mel :)

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  7. I totally adored this book, also gave it 4.5 stars. It was interesting to read this interview and I gained more knowledge about the author and the book ^.^ I'm really excited for the sequel of Stolen Songbird after that ending. I can definitley tell that Danielle put a lot of effort into her secondary characters, namely Anais and Marc. That attention made Stolen Songbird stand out to me. That, and of course Trollus.

    Awesome interview (:

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  8. I have this book right now, and seeing the praising reviews left and right, I can't wait to get started on it! The fact that much thought and effort were given to secondary characters, which I think not a lot of YA authors do and who oftentimes cast them aside to make way for the romances, is highly appeciated. I can't wait to read it! ><

    Faye @ The Social Potato

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  9. AH! I just read an awesome review of this, and I was already excited, but now I'm kind of flipping out. Luckily, I have a copy! :) She mentioned the romance in the review, so I like to see that the relationships are a priority. Such a great interview!

    Rachel @ Paper Cuts

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  10. I'm seriously excited about this book. YA Fantasy seems to be gaining ground, but there are too few series available in this genre (IM humble O). Of course, I don't think there will ever be enough for me :)

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  11. I've been seeing this book so much lately! I'm really curious about it. I like when secondary characters are just as good as the main : ) Great interview!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  12. I've heard AMAZING things about this book and I can't wait to read it even more after this spotlight post! It's very nice to hear that the favorite thing the author loved to write is the characters and their relationships because that's SUPER important. Sometimes authors get too caught up in the setting or narration or even the plot and forget about the characters and their relationships. Such a great post!

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    1. It's indeed very important to pay attention to characters & relationships :)

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  13. "As a reader and a writer, I prefer to escape to a world that is not one I live in. " Writers who can pick a genre early on have a good focus and strong build-up. I cant wait to read this book! The secondary characters caught my attention as well.

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  14. I completely agree with her - no contemporary! haha. I feel the same way about the books I choose...I always stick with fantasy and sci fi genres/subgenres because really whenever I don't I find I don't enjoy it as much. I like those unreal/fantasy elements you know!? Can't wait to read Stolen Songbird!

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  15. I'm really excited for this one! Fantasy is, of course, my favorite genre! I'm glad you loved it so much. I really like excerpt and the promise of good character relationships:)

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