Q&A with Author L. Danny Perez
L. Danny Perez has been writing fiction since the age of 12. Today he teaches inner-city youth in his hometown of Huntington Park, CA.
Danny’s debut short story series, “It Runs at Night Volume 1 The Water Boils,” has just been released on Amazon. The series follows Carolina, a young girl searching for her missing brother, as she journeys across a desolate and dangerous land. Little does she know the mind-bending terror that lies in wait for her.
“It Runs at Night” is available on Amazon.com. Read it on Kindle for 0.99 or in print for $5.99.
Carolina is such a strong young woman. Can you pinpoint any specific sources of inspiration you had while developing her character?
Even though the primary characters are young, there’s a dark tension between life and death that permeates this story. Did you hesitate at placing a young character at the center of such a dark tale?
At first I did hesitate. I wasn’t sure how the audience would react with young characters in this type of story. But in order to keep with the deep cultural elements of the story, I decided to keep their ages as is. Children in Oaxaca are forced to grow up very quickly. There’s no other option. It’s all about learning to survive, and that includes harvesting crops, tending to livestock, firing weapons, and getting out of difficult situations. Keeping these elements alive really shows what the youth in Oaxaca know in order to survive.
On the writing process, how did you go from first draft to final product?
This has been a three year work in progress. At first the story started off with Carolina lost in the valley. It got started right away. Then it just went down in flames after that. It went from being lost in the valley to finding out people have resorted to cannibalism. I put it away for a while because I knew I liked the elements of a female protagonist being lost in the valley, but I just didn’t know what direction to take it. After a few years, I went back to it and wrote it with more at stake. I had several people read it and give me feedback on the new product. Once it was done, I felt confident that this was the story I wanted to publish as my debut publication. I sent it to an editor and finished it a month after I got the edits back.
Do you have any tips or resources you can share for fellow authors who are hoping to self-publish on Amazon?
Save money! Depending on which direction you want to take the story, you will be spending a lot of money. From cover design to editing, from self promo to merchandise. Everything, no matter how small the cost is, will add up. Set up a bank account that will help you distinguish book costs and income vs. personal costs and income. Even if your writing is full time, separate incomes and expenses will help out with tax season (this is the banker in me talking).