Today I have the luxury of visiting with a new writer friend, Thyra Dane. Some may recognize her name from her years of writing fanfiction. Welcome to the Creekside Café, Thyra. It’s almost fifty degrees here, I imagine our North Carolina winter seems more like spring to you.
Thyra: Yes, I was born in Denmark and grew up just south of Copenhagen. We traveled a lot when I was a kid. When I was 18 I moved to California and then to Norway when I was 19. I met my husband in Norway and live in Oslo now.
Thyra: Thank you so much for having me here, too bad it is only by way of our computers.
Sherri: What would you like to drink today?
Thyra: Tea, tea and tea. I drink different kinds of tea at different times of the day. High on caffeine in the morning, no caffeine in the evening. Right now I’ll take tea with ginger. Yum. And just to be clear, to those of us who live in cold climates, tea is always hot. I’m not yet quite over the shock of people serving me iced tea when I ordered tea in North Carolina.
Sherri: I have a terrible secret that could get me tossed out of the south. I don’t like iced tea, sweet or otherwise. You’ve been to North Carolina before?
Thyra: I have. Several times, actually. One time I drove down the coast from Washington DC to Florida with my husband and two friends. Later I visited my good friend, author Suki McMinn, in Tryon. She and her husband opened their home to me and my family, which was incredibly nice. That last trip was part of a vacation where we visited nine southern states in one summer.
Sherri: Wow that gave you a lot to write about. How long have you been writing?
Thyra: I’ve been writing for a long time but it wasn’t until I found fanfiction that I realized that romance was my genre.
Sherri: I’m not familiar with fanfiction.
Thyra: Fanfiction is huge and is essentially about taking characters from books, movies, TV shows etcetera and playing with them.
50 Shades was originally a Twilight fanfiction named Master of the Universe and one of the most popular fanfictions. It’s the same place I published my fanfiction.
We were a great writer’s group. We encouraged each other and quite a few have branched out and become published authors. Suki McMinn and others have done very well by self-publishing, which is very encouraging.
Sherri: Have you published a novel yet?
Thyra: I did have a nibble with a publisher but they went out of business just as I was finishing my story. They wanted a Viking romance and I did write one, but I wasn’t pleased with it so it was probably just the same that it was never published. I am planning on writing a Viking series about three sisters. I have the titles ready: The Shieldmaiden, The Healer and The Wife. I also have the stories outlined but I always stumble over some historical details. I LOVE the Viking age and don’t want to mess up on historical facts. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible not to since we know so little about the Vikings.
Sherri: Write the stories. Continue to research but don’t let the details hold you back. I believe we often let our fears cripple us. As we’ve been emailing back and forth for this interview, I have enjoyed your sense of humor.
Thyra: I’ve been reading a lot of romance and I feel that this is what has made me a better writer. I have found my voice, so to speak, and know that I need to write stories with a dash of humor or it just won’t work for me. This is why most of what I’m writing these days is contemporary romance.
Sherri: Do you have another job or do you write full time?
Thyra: I am the manager of a PR agency that does PR and marketing for schools for young adults. I love my job and I love writing. What I don’t love is the fact that the day only has 24 hours and a week only has 7 days. I need moooore time.
Sherri: Don’t we all. I work full time, write and chair my local writers’ group, plus have a very large family, six sons and nineteen grandchildren. Some days feel like there is no end and others need another twelve hours just so I can finish what needs to be done.
Thyra: Wow, 19 grandchildren! That must be a lot of fun!
I have two kids, one is 17 and one is 19. The oldest is away for school and is actually leaving for a school trip to Japan tomorrow. My husband and I met each other when I was 19 and he was 20. We’ve been married for 29 years now.
Sherri: What do you enjoy about writing?
Thyra: I love creating characters and making them do fun things. I love the creative outlet, I love thinking about my characters, trying to solve a difficult situation and suddenly having a great idea. Unfortunately, my great ideas usually come just as I’m closing my eyes and going to sleep.
Sherri: What do you feel are your writing strengths and weaknesses?
Thyra: I would like to think that my humor is my strength and, of course, that I have inside knowledge to Scandinavia. My weakness is procrastination.
Sherri: Who are your favorite authors/genres?
Thyra: I have a lot of favorite authors. I love Suki McMinn’s books and also authors like Laura Kinsale, Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, L.H. Cosway, Mhairi McFarlane and Roni Loren. I read all subgenres in romance and the only thing I look for is quality writing and well written characters. Historical, contemporary, urban fiction and even alien romance – I’ll read anything as long as the story is good.
Sherri: Would you like to tell everyone how we met?
Thyra: We met through The New Romance Café (Facebook Group) and through the anthology project we’re both participating in. I’m very excited about that book project because I finally managed to finish a story. I’m terrible at beginning new stories instead of actually finishing some of the many I’ve started over the years. I guess, I needed the deadline.
I have an old blog that was very popular (over a million readers of one of the blog posts) but it doesn’t fit my writing now. It was for my fanfiction. So I’m currently moving the best parts to a new blog I’m currently creating: thyradaneauthor.com I hope to have it up and running in a few weeks.
Sherri: Thanks, Thyra for visiting with me today. I’m looking forward to reading your story in our spring romance anthology, Love in Bloom. The anthology is due out in March 2019. The proceeds will go to Pink Ribbon International.