Interview with award-winning author Danielle Soucy Mills!
- Danielle, could you please tell about yourself? Where you grew up, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
I grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a small seaside city which can pretty much be considered an island, since it’s surrounded by water on all sides and you have to cross a bridge to get there. It is a very beautiful place, a place I did not totally appreciate until I moved away. I pretty much lived in the same house my whole life until I went to college in Rhode Island. I first ended up at the University of Rhode Island, undeclared as a major and hoping to join their gymnastics team. I was devastated when I did not make the team. Instead of giving up, I continued to practice at a nearby gym, and ended up transferring colleges. Rhode Island College was just 40 minutes away, and so I ended up not only finding a great college gymnastics team to compete with, but also a school which allowed me to focus on English and creative writing. I won my first award for a college of short stories. After I was finished with my undergraduate degree, I followed my yearning to live in a place with warmer weather and palm trees. I got accepted to Chapman University, a small private school in Orange County to pursue my M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and the rest is history. I now live in San Diego, and I absolutely love it beyond what I can express.
- What kind of person are you?
Believe it or not, I’m actually kind of a shy person. As a kid, I was very sensitive, and often kept to myself. I had very low self-esteem, and so I worked through a lot of that only to realize as an adult, most of the stuff you worried about as a kid was pointless. Now, although I am still very sensitive, I channel my emotions into my writing and gymnastics coaching as well. I am a go-getter. I have always known that my purpose here on earth was to become a writer, and also a gymnastics coach. I fell in love with both at a young age, and so I’m working to inspire kids (and adults) to really pursue what lies within the depths of their heart.
- What is your award-winning book “Tina Tumbles” about? Could you please tell from where comes your inspiration for writing?
My children’s book is about a young girl named Tina who sees gymnasts flipping across the TV and wants to try gymnastics herself. It looks easy enough, but when she tries, she just can’t seem to get it right, and is constantly tumbling over. She tries everywhere—on her bed, on the couch, on her swing-set. And she doesn’t want to do anything else. Finally, her mother realizes she needs to sign her daughter up for gymnastics lessons. In the gym, Tina discovers all of the awesome things she couldn’t do at home—the uneven bars, the balance beam, the foam pit. She also learns the power of positive thinking, and how listening and making corrections from her coach finally helps her reach her goal of landing on her feet in her cartwheel. This book was inspired by my own experiences in gymnastics. I began like Tina did, on the furniture in my home. My mom was so afraid I’d get hurt that she signed me up for gymnastics lessons at the age of 3. I loved it so much that over 25 years later, I’m still doing it, and I don’t ever plan to stop.
- You have just launched your second book, “Illusion of an Ending.” Congratulations on it! It hit the top Amazon Best sellers in Visionary Fiction, it was also a hot new release. Amazing! How did you do that?
Thank you so much! After launching my children’s book, I knew it was important to put my novel in the perfect category on Amazon. I also decided to donate the proceeds of my launch to certain non-profit organizations, which also helped spread the word about the book. I went on a few radio shows, and told my friends and family. But the work does not end at the launch. I am planning on doing a blog tour to help raise more awareness within its genre.
- What are you currently working on? Any future plans?
I already have the next book in the “Totally Tina” series, which is actually not gymnastics related. It’s about Tina wanting to lose her first tooth. I do plan to return to the subject of gymnastics in the next book though, and will probably go back and forth between different aspects of what it’s like to be young and to learn to view the world with a positive outlook. I have a few other children’s books that I’ve written that I am going to continue to work on, one in the same genre as my novel, Visionary & Metaphysical fiction. I also plan to write my next novel soon as well, which will follow similar themes.
I absolutely love everything outdoors. The beach and the ocean, the mountains, hiking, biking, and enjoying the beauty and peace in nature. I am lucky to be married to a great guy who loves all of the same. We often go out at nights and throw around our light-up Frisbee. Staying active is important to me, and so I try to “work out” and do gymnastics when I can, although I’m certainly not as limber as I used to be! I also love music, writing anything from blog entries to poetry, and of course, reading books. Especially New Age/metaphysical books which delve into the topics of our life purpose and how to live our best lives. I do not believe in coincidence or that anything that happens to us in life is random.
Thanks for the wonderful interview! You can visit me at my website: http://www.daniellesoucymills.com/