She has always had a passion for reading and writing. From the time she was an adolescent, she enjoyed curling up with a good paperback, reading genres that ranged from thriller and fantasy, to mystery and romance. She always dreamed of one day writing her own book, but had put her aspirations on hold to focus on her family and a career that would pay the bills.
Although she earned a degree in business and had built a solid reputation in retail sales, her heart continued to be with fictional characters – whether they belonged to a favorite author or if they were just stories that she made up in her own head.
In 2013, Dakota gathered enough courage to turn her dreams into a reality. In between playing chauffeur to two very busy children and working her job during the day, Dakota began to put words on paper. Eventually, she began to describe her life as a book. Everything she saw or heard throughout the day, intertwined with her imagination for the creation of future writings. By 2014, with the support of her husband and two children, she gave up the security of a steady paycheck and began working on her first novel full time.
Dakota Willink is a lover of music, and appreciates the power and stimulating effect it can have on the brain. She often uses lyrics and melodies to help her through bouts of writers block. At the end of her novel, you can find an authors note that recognizes and thanks the artists that gave her inspiration.
Dakota resides in the Western New York area, where she enjoys spending time with family, her two Labrador Retrievers, and her spoiled rotten cat. During the summer months, she can often be found on a boat, soaking up the sun on the Great Lakes with her family.
Heart of Stone is available in paperback and for Kindle eReaders.
What inspires you to write?
I’m a lover of music, and appreciate the power and stimulating effect it can have on the brain. I often use lyrics and melodies to help me through bouts of writers block. At the end of my novel, you can find an authors note that recognizes and thanks the artists that gave me inspiration.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am an author that just writes whatever comes to mind. I once tried outlining the framework for my book, but found that it gets in the way of the creative process. I’m the type of person that will just think of an idea, then let the words flow. I never let the lack of a computer at my fingertips get in the way, and I can often be caught dictating ideas to Siri when I’m driving and my imagination strikes.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to imagine how I would think and feel by putting myself in my characters “shoes”. It helps me to write with emotion.
Who are your favorite authors?
The last time I stayed up all night reading a book was when the last Harry Potter book was released – I am a huge fan. As for other books, I read so many genres and have quite a few favorite authors. Sylvia Day, Ken Follet, Steven Saylor, Nora Roberts, Dan Brown, and Shayla Black are amongst them.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did a lot of research on this, and decided to go with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace. Since I was new to self-publishing, I found Amazon to be the most user friendly. CreateSpace, a partner of Amazon, was a great way to provide paperback versions of my book to those that prefer to turn a page the old fashioned way. However, because my book is a contemporary romance (content for 18 years or older), any potential advertising with Amazon was out. Because of that, I will be looking to expand my audience with Kobo Books, Nook, and other eReader platforms after my agreement with Amazon’s KDP Select is over.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s so easy to self-publish now, that I think some “brick and mortar” publishers will struggle to survive. However, for the reader, buying a book written by an unknown self-published author can have risks because just about anyone can publish today. It becomes a crap shoot – you could end up buying a mismatched story with poor editing, or you could land your new favorite author. That’s why it’s so important for readers to write author reviews. But no matter how good or bad a reader thinks that a book is, they need to remember that it takes a lot for somebody to put themselves out there. Every writer puts their heart and soul into their work.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?