An Interview with Jane Danger

Dominic by Jane Danger
Dominic by Jane Danger
If you’ve been following along, then you know I’ve been interviewing as many artists and parents and artists/parents as I can get my hands on.
There are equally as many challenges as moments of joy in making a living as an artist and I believe the same can be said of parenting. I’ve been curious to know how other artists and parents manage. So naturally, I found a bunch of them and asked a ton of questions! Since I’m a giver, I thought I’d share them with you.
I post the interviews each Friday. Did you miss a few? Catch up!

R. M. Webb – former ballerina turned teacher turned choreographer turned author and host of this blog. She wrote these books. And this post about raising kids. And this short story.

Greg Tremblay – voice actor and homesteader.

ML Larson – the awesome uncle who uses British spellings despite living his whole life in the States.

Christine Tate – the Navy wife and homeschool mom who’s published her own bible study series.

Did you read ’em? Liked what you saw? Good! Now, let’s learn about Jane Danger!

R. M. Webb: Tell me about yourself.

I’m a novelist and a mom to four children.

R. M. Webb: Why do you create?

I have created stories in my head since childhood and have always needed to get those stories out. I wrote plays and skits as a child. Soon, that sparked a desire to write books.

R. M. Webb: Quick! Chocolate or chips?

Chocolate!

R. M. Webb: Is your art your business? Do you make money (or try to!) for the things you create? Do you have a day job?

I’m a full-time writer as of May 2014. Writing is my life!

R. M. Webb: When did you start writing seriously? When did you publish?

I started writing seriously during Camp Nanowrimo in April 2014. I published my first work in June of 2014 (under my own name)

R. M. Webb: Congratulations on transitioning to full time writer! What, if any, challenges did you encounter when you ‘quit the day job’?
My day job was also at home. I was a freelance proofreader/editor. The biggest challenge was creating a schedule that worked for my family. Not having a client’s deadline to adhere to required adjustments. I had to make my own work a priority.

R. M. Webb: What caused you to want to market your art? 2014 was a year of incredible changes for me personally and one of those was to finally let go of my fear and make this writing gig work.

R. M. Webb: Where/when does inspiration strike?

All the time. I find inspiration in the news, in my dreams, in my very vivid imagination. I carry notebooks and pens everywhere to jot down ideas as they come.

R. M. Webb: How do you react to negative feedback?

I take it with a grain of salt. No two people will ever feel the same way. If many people were to make the same comments, I would take heed, but luckily, I haven’t had that happen yet.

R. M. Webb: What’s your greatest obstacle as an artist?

The internet. I have to stay clear of the internet or I get absolutely nothing accomplished. I write on an Alphasmart for that reason.

R. M. Webb: Who’s your biggest champion?

My closest friend.

R. M. Webb: Quick! Red or blue?

Red.

R. M. Webb: Do you have kids? If not, do you want to have kids?

I have four between the ages of 23 and 9.

R. M. Webb: Do you find that you’re parenting your oldest differently than you parent your youngest? Why or why not?

I definitely parent differently with my youngest. I’d like to think that I’m older and wiser, but it probably has more to do with the fact that I realize just how quickly time goes by, so I cherish every moment with him a little more than I may have with the older three. Not that’s he’s loved more. I am just more cognizant of time now.

R. M. Webb: If your child showed talent in an artistic endeavor, would you help her pursue a career in that field after having worked in a creative field yourself? Why or why not?

Yes, absolutely. Whatever their dreams are, I support them 100%. I wish I’d had that kind of support growing up.

R. M. Webb: How do you structure your day as an artist/entrepreneur/person/parent? How do you get it all done?

I used to be a pantser and wait for inspiration to strike but my production slowed down drastically. Now, I have created a detailed writing schedule and daily word count goal that I adhere to everyday. I outline now too. I don’t always follow that but it gives my writing some kind of basic structure. My nine-year-old is the only one at home now and we homeschool, so I wake up early, educate him, then, write throughout the evening.

R. M. Webb: What led you to homeschool? Do you create your own curriculum or do you use an online service? What advice would you give to someone considering homeschooling their child?

My older three children all went to public school in a small town. We now live in a large city and the school system, unfortunately, leaves a lot to be desired, so I chose to homeschool my youngest child. We use a hybrid approach for his schooling. He does public school online through a nationally accredited program. We love it. It suits his learning style and the flexibility with scheduling is fantastic for our family. I would tell anyone who is considering to do their homework, learn the ins and outs of various systems and programs, and figure in time for social interaction for yourself and your child.

 

R. M. Webb: Describe yourself as a parent.

I’m ridiculously silly most of the time and a staunch believer in letting kids be kids. That’s not to say my little one doesn’t have rules or chores. I just don’t expect adult behavior out of a nine year old.

R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about raising kids?

The time I get to spend with them has been the best time of my life. Not everyone chooses to be a parent and, in our case, one parent walked away. I cherish every single moment, good or bad, with my kids.

R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about raising kids?

The fear of making a mistake is the hardest part. I’ve made plenty, but I try to learn from them and make sure my kids know they are loved.

R. M. Webb: How do you manage that fear?

Fear is a double edged sword. I believe you need a healthy amount of fear to propel you forward. Balancing healthy versus stifling is a little trickier. I think my kids help me break past barriers. I don’t want them to live in fear and have regrets later in life, so I strive to do something out of my comfort zone all the time and, hopefully, inspire them to not be stifled by their fears.

 

R. M. Webb: Are your kids ever involved with your art? Do they inspire you? Work with you? Would you like to include them in your business as they grow?

My youngest tries to be very involved. He helps choose some characters names and loves it. My adult daughter makes my book covers and will throw ideas at me from time to time.

R. M. Webb: How cool to get to showcase your daughter’s work! Does she have a website for cover design you’d like to link to or does she only work for you?

Right now, my daughter is a college freshman and just does graphic design work for me. We are in the process of building connections to have her branch out and do cover designing for other authors as a part-time gig for her.

R. M. Webb: What advice would you give someone dreaming of making it in your field?

I would say, just write. Don’t let anything or anyone tell you that you can’t. Live your dream. Make it happen and write.

R. M. Webb: If you could pass one thing on to the next generation in general, what would it be?

Let go of fear.

R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about your life?

My kids are the best thing about my life.

R. M. Webb: Quick! Eat out or cook at home?

Cook at home.

R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about your craft?

The hardest thing is moving past your own insecurities.

R. M. Webb: I think insecurities plague artists. Do you have any advice on how you manage to move past your own?

To move past my own insecurities my life had to nearly come crashing down on me. My marriage ended abruptly in a way that may someday end up in a novel.  My life was completely turned upside down and, after I battled depression for six months, I slowly picked myself back up and decided enough was enough. It was my time. Everyday there is a tinge of self-doubt, but I have mantras to help me move past them and I let my own pain seep out in the pages that I write. Each new page motivates me to keep moving forward. I am in control and I have what it takes to succeed on my own.

I think we all need an outlet. For me, it was writing. For someone else it may be drawing or painting. Whatever it is that makes you happy, you must do. There’s healing in art. I wholeheartedly believe anyone can move past anything with self-love and a deep commitment to working toward a goal that matters.

R. M. Webb: Good for you! What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger… The harshest winds makes for the strongest roots… Calm seas don’t make good sailors… Favorite quotes of mine. 🙂  What’s the best thing about your craft?

The freedom I have as a writer is the best thing.

R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about the business side of your craft?

It takes up so much time!

R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about the business side of your craft?

The best thing is all of the time it takes is worth it as soon as one person buys your work.

R. M. Webb: Right? Now…quick! Your peanut butter’s on your banana. What do you do?

Eat it!

Want to learn more about Jane Danger? Check the links below!

Amazon

Twitter

Facebook

Have a question for Jane? Leave a comment!

**Standard disclaimer: The views expressed in this interview don’t necessarily reflect the views of R. M. Webb.

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