Darynda Jones: Writing Mega-Selling Paranormal With a Good Dose of Addicting Fun!

Have you ever meet someone and immediately wished you were best friends?  THAT is what the experience of meeting Darynda is like!  She is warm and funny and down-to-earth and... well, just everything one would love to have in a friend!
Her life hasn’t been easy, yet she keeps that positive attitude and bright outlook. Read on and you’ll discover this extremely hard-working and gifted author is truly one you will love getting to know while discovering the addictive nature of her incredible books!

InD: I remember you saying that growing up, you used to read to your Barbie dolls. I think that is adorable! Where did you grow up?
DJ: Well, I was born in Friona, Texas. I lived there until I was six. That is when my dad died, so we ended up moving to New Mexico when I was seven. But really it was much the same area—right across the border of the Texas Panhandle into New Mexico.
InD: Why did you move to New Mexico when your dad died?
DJ: My mother ended up going back to school and became a beautician (that’s what it was called back then!). When my dad died, my mom had five kids ranging from eleven years to two months.
InD: Oh my goodness. How was that for you?
DJ: I remember, even as a kid, just being amazed by her. She took all of that on and did it by herself, for the most part. She became a little crazy, but that is understandable.
InD: Was it a hard childhood? What are your memories of that?
DJ: You know, even when my dad was alive, we were very poor.  I just remember we got one pair of shoes a year. We were that kind of poor. Still, I remember thinking I had the greatest childhood ever. I fought constantly with my siblings, but it was awesome. We didn't know any different. I didn't even realize that we were poor.
InD: Were you a big reader when you were a child?
DJ: Not really. I wrote, and I told stories. I did read some, mostly fairytales. I remember my godmother bought me a book on fairytales and it was gorgeous, leather bound with gilded edges, and I just cherished that book.
InD: Do you still have it?
DJ: No, I have searched and searched for it because I don't remember the title of it exactly. It was like the real Grimm fairytales, so they didn't always have the happy ending like the Disney version of them. I remembered being kind of shocked by the stories, but I would keep reading them. They just fascinated me. From what I remember, I was five years old when I started making up my own stories.
InD: Can you still remember any of the stories you made up?
DJ: I was obsessed with Cinderella, so a lot of my stories were about a poor young girl with evil stepsisters and an evil stepmother who, of course, finds her Prince. But, really, I wrote anything and everything. I wrote short stories, poems, song lyrics, news stories—you name it. When I was high school age, I remember my mom asking me, “Do you realize that in all of your stories the father has passed away?” I had never made that connection. So, I immediately started throwing fathers in everywhere!
It is amazing how our childhood shapes our stories. I remember being at a conference once and they said that every writer has a theme that she repeats in her stories over and over. Mine are always overcoming the past. It is very subconscious, I don't even realize that I do it.

Read the entire interview in the February 2019 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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