Posted on 03/01/2017 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Dana Fraedrich has been a fantasy writer her entire life (just ask her sixth-grade teachers), but she’ll tell you that magic doesn’t just happen on the pages — it happens off, as well.

Or, rather, that the pages themselves are magic.

Fraedrich’s proudest moment so far as an indie author was the first time she held a printed copy of one of her books — “it’s pure magic,” she says.

She’s gotten to repeat that thrill several times, with three published works under her belt and more to come, now that she’s a full-time writer.

We recently chatted with her about the journey from young scribbler to published author.

SADYE: What convinced you to leave your day job and go full time with writing?

DANA: Weirdly, I think putting out more books made me hungry to pursue a full-time writing life. I firmly believe writing is a self-feeding system — writing births ideas, which leads to more writing and therefore even more ideas. 

When I put out my first book, Skateboards, Magic, and Shamrocks, I think a lot of my motivation was to see if I could do it at all, to try out this whole publishing thing. Then I put out my second, Heroes, Legends, and Villains, because, you know, Taryn and Ozzie’s story wasn’t over from the first book. 

That was when I started getting more serious about myself as an author and really began to consider whether or not I could walk away from the nine-to-five job (which was a pretty good gig, to be honest). The hubs and I discussed the logistics for a long time, but, in the end, the decision was ultimately mine. 

Releasing my third and latest book, Out of the Shadows, last October sealed the deal.  I fell so in love with that new world and the characters and even the process of creation and discovery, I didn’t want to do anything else but create more.

SADYE: If The Writing God came down and could magically make one thing about life as an indie easier, what would you want changed, and why?

DANA: Oh my gosh, marketing and promotion. A big advantage of being an indie author is that I don’t have to wait on anyone else. I get to decide what to put out and when. 

The flip side of that, however, is that I don’t have a team of professional marketers and promoters (read: people who know what the heck they’re doing) to push my books for me. Those people and services are expensive! 

So it falls to me to figure out the best ways to promote my books and then do it affordably while still making time to write more books. Are you there, Writing God? It’s me, Dana.

SADYE: You’ve been writing since you were a kid. What’s the weirdest thing you wrote back then that you’re willing to share?

DANA: In sixth grade, we had an assignment to write a scary story, so I wrote about a kid who gives into peer pressure, invades an evil witch’s territory, and gets captured by said evil witch.

The story ended with the kid never getting free and the witch feeding off of his life force for as long as he lived. Kind of dark for an eleven-year-old! They had asked for something scary, though, so I wrote something that seemed really frightening to me. 

My teacher and the school guidance counselor (who was a big supporter of reading), were both on hand when I read my story. I was kind of embarrassed at the time and worried that they’d laugh since most books for sixth-graders usually have happier endings than that.

They didn’t, though. One of them said something to the effect of, “I think we have a writer on our hands,” and I think that had a really positive impact on me. 

SADYE: What’s the best writing advice you’ve gotten?

DANA: Keep writing and write what you love.

I know that sounds so simple, but some days — ugh. Some days when you’re writing and you know it’s not right and you dislike what you’re doing with your characters, it can be so hard to keep chugging along. 

Maybe you’re scared to write because you don’t think your writing is any good or you don’t know what to write or, if you’re like me, you stay on one scene and struggle with it because you want it right the first time around. Keep at it. ...

Another writer friend of mine said of first drafts, just get it down. You’re going to go back and fix things later anyway. So always keep writing. 

As for writing what you love, you may never make money from your writing, so better to write something that makes you feel fulfilled.

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Learn more about Dana Fraedrich on her website, where you can also purchase her books; like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email sadye (at) with a recommendation!

Categories: Author Interview

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