Danielle Hanna

Hearth & Homicide Fiction

Category: News (page 1 of 3)

Vote For Your Favorite Cover! Journaling to Become a Better Writer

The poll is now closed. The winner to be announced! Meanwhile, the book is available for purchase at the following retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Blio | Smashwords

Coming in September 2015 to print!

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Book Cover: Journaling to Become a Better WriterWanna be on the Book Cover Committee for a Real Live Book?

People really do judge books by their covers, so I need your help choosing a new design for Journaling to Become a Better Writer.

I’ve posted a poll of the last four finalists in my cover art contest. This is the final opportunity to get involved, and I need all the opinions I can get! So head on over and have your say!

Thanks in advance – you’re totally awesome.

Go to the poll


WorldTech #59 Finalist (640x427)RUDesigns #34 Finalist (640x427)9greenstudio #47 Finalist (427x640)shuma #52 Finalist (640x427)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Blio | Smashwords

Your life is not boring. It is the key to great fiction.

How do you capture that spark of life that lifts your story off the page and resonates with readers in their very soul? You delve into your own soul and learn how to wrap words around your unique human experience, that’s how. And the best way to do that is to keep a journal. These seven techniques to apply to your journal will help you marry the authenticity of the real world to the imaginations of your story worlds:

  • How do you recognize a story worth telling?
  • How do you bring structure and power to a story?
  • How do you tap into your own emotions to fill your novel with heart?
  • How do you hone your observation skills?
  • How do you engagingly describe your world?
  • How do you make your characters real?
  • How do you find your unique purpose as a writer?

Not your average book on the craft of writing, the author bares pages from her own journal to illustrate her techniques and the level of storytelling skill that can be achieved in your journal. These same excerpts unfold, in real time, the story of the most traumatic plot twist of her life: the stripping away of her family and her search for someone to finally call “Daddy”—a quest which almost claimed her life.

Part writing how-to book, part memoir, part self-discovery guide, this volume will show you what the everyday events of your life have to do with great fiction. Your life, after all, is a story.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Blio | Smashwords

Under a New Name: Danielle Lincoln Hanna


2015-07-13 Danielle Lincoln HannaI’d just assumed my books would always be published under the name I was born with, Danielle Hanna. Well, that’s why you should never make assumptions.

My surrogate father, Sam Lincoln, asked me a few days before Valentine’s Day 2015 if I would change my name to Lincoln to more formally acknowledge our relationship. He and his wife Jen essentially adopted me off the streets and were the first genuine family I’d ever known. But I told him I couldn’t give up my father’s name, Hanna. Aside from a photograph, it was the only thing I had that was his.

But I would be willing to add my new Daddy’s name to mine—Danielle Lincoln Hanna. He found this idea agreeable. However, I wasn’t ready to do it for Mama’s Valentine’s Day present, like he’d hoped. I had to overcome my fear first—the fear that something would be upended and I’d find myself used or abandoned again.

2015-07-13 Girl on PierYes, I was still afraid that this dream I was living was nothing but a dream, and I’d wake up one day and find myself in a nightmare. The very thought of commitment scared me. Shook me to my core. The way things currently stood, if I suddenly realized that I’d fallen out of the frying pan, into the fire, I could simply drop everything and run. Literally. I could pack my furkids into the car and disappear overnight, if it came to that.

But if I were to take his name, I could never run without taking a piece of him with me. I would be tethered to him.

Taking his name meant trusting that he would never turn on me. How could I make a judgment like that? I’d trusted my mother for over 20 years before I saw the truth of her emotional abuse. I’d only known Sam for fourteen months.

Daddy gradually understood that this was a massive hurdle for me, and I needed time to vanquish a few dragons. This beast was a particularly challenging one. By and large, dragons are conquered by proving them wrong. But how do you prove this one wrong?

2015-07-13 Dragon“One day,” the dragon whispered, “he will leave you. And what if it’s because he turned on you? Any little thing may tip the scales, and you’ll be forced to make the decision whether you must abandon him. Do you struggle with that? How about this: He could die tomorrow. He would be yet another failed father, and you’d be left fatherless again—but dragging his name about with you as a constant reminder that this father, too, abandoned you.”

How do you answer a dragon like that? The only way to prove it wrong—to kill it—would be to wait thirty years and see if my Daddy was still around. Then what? On his eightieth birthday, do I say, “Well, Daddy, you never used me and you never abandoned me. I guess I can take your name now.”

2015-07-13 BoyfriendWhat did this imply about my future relationships? Let’s say a special someone walked into my life, and we got serious. Let’s say I wanted to marry him. Would I hold back nevertheless, afraid to commit, fearing that he would either turn on me or abandon me someday?

The problem with this dragon is that he can’t be proved wrong, without waiting a lifetime.

But by putting life on hold, would that really be living? By holding the ones I love at arm’s length and threatening to run, is that really loving?

I finally decided that some dragons cannot be killed.

But they can be defied.

2015-07-13 FamilyThree months later, I finally told Daddy and Mama that I had decided to take their name. Mama cried and hugged me close. I cried, too, but for different reasons. I was scared stiff. But I’d said I was gonna do it. Now I had to.

I let another few weeks pass by after that—swallowing a new wave of fear, triggered by the reality hitting home. I am officially adopting these people as my family. We aren’t just pretending anymore. They aren’t “like” a dad and “like” a mom to me, and I’m not “like” a daughter to them.

They are my family. The thing I had once sworn to never let near me again. I’m making it real now.

Because a life without love isn’t living at all, and my greatest regrets will not be the things I did, but the things I did not do.

You’ll see a few changes taking place here at the blog as I switch everything over – book covers, etc. Hopefully the transition will go seamlessly. Wish me luck! And ignore any tortured screams that sound like me fighting with technology. I’m okay. Really.



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