Interview: Danielle L. Jensen, YA Author

daniellejensenDanielle L. Jensen 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.

Danielle’s debut, Stolen Songbird will be published by Strange Chemistry in April 2014.

Keep up with Danielle on her website!

Now, let’s see how Danielle answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
Enjoying what I am doing now instead of looking forward to a time in the future. I’ve had moments in my past where I felt like I was wishing my life away. Wishing for the workday to be over. Wishing for it to be Friday. Wishing I wasn’t doing what I was doing.  Happiness is when the present feels as good as your imagined future.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event. I heard it for the first time while I was waitressing at bar I worked at for a few years.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could sing. I have the worst voice ever, and I’m extremely envious of anyone who can carry a tune. The main character of my novel is an opera singer, so I live vicariously through her! I’ve actually considered taking some lessons for the purposes of “research.”

On what occasion do you lie?
Not often. I’m more of a truth-bender than an outright liar. I’m most likely to do it when I’m trying to avoid a conflict or trying not to hurt someone’s feelings.

Stolen songbird actualWhat is your present state of mind?
A bit stressed. But honestly, even though I sometimes complain about how busy my life is, I actually thrive on it. I like my life better when it’s full of challenges. I get a bit crazy when I have free time, so I avoid it as much as possible.

What is your motto?
I would rather have an accomplished life than a comfortable one.

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Intelligence and a good sense of humour. All of my girlfriends are excellent conversationalists.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Every book I’ve written has a few phrases that I overuse. I’m currently working on Stolen Songbird’s sequel, and I’ve noticed that my characters are constantly “sucking in deep breaths.” In the past, it has been shrugging, arm grabbing, narrowing of eyes, and carrying heavy loads/burdens. And every silence “hangs long and heavy.” 

This is why every author needs a good editor.

Your favorite painting?
I thought about making something up, but truthfully, I don’t have one. I like art, but I don’t know much about it.

What is your favorite time of day? 
Late morning, when I’m sitting on the couch with a big cup of coffee and a book.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Harry Dresden, from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. He’s hilarious, and I’m pretty sure some crazy shit would go down. And we wouldn’t go for coffee – we’d totally go for beers.

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
I wish I had an answer to that question.

What’s your favorite journey?
I like witnessing people overcoming adversity, whether it be physical or mental.

Who or what is your first love?
Reading. We will never ever break up.

What’s the last dream you remember?
I dream all the time, but I had a pretty crazy one the other night. The closet door was open, and I dreamed that arms were coming out of it and reaching for me. I jumped out of bed, slammed the door shut, and yelled really loudly. I woke up with one foot braced against the bed and my shoulder pressed against the closet door.

What’s your madeleine?
A winter day, when it is so painfully cold and clear that the mountains seem almost close enough to touch. Days like that transport me back in time to when I was a kid walking to school.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?