Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of An Unofficial Overworld Adventure Series Box Set! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the six-volume series of books, and what inspired you to dive into the Minecraft world?
Danica Davidson: Thank you! I was inspired to write fun, adventurous kids books that take place as if Minecraft is a real world. (Because it is, right?) The main character is 11-year-old Stevie, and he accidentally finds a portal to Earth. There, he befriends Maison, a creative girl who’s struggling to find into her new school. The series follows them as they go on different adventures through the worlds --- the Overworld, the Nether, and the End --- fighting everything from cyberbullies who hack into Minecraft to the mythical villain Herobrine, who is trying to take over all the worlds. I try to end most of my chapters with cliffhangers to keep things exciting, and I also mix in real-world stuff, like friendship and school woes.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing each book, and what have been some of your creative influences?
DD: Each book starts with an outline that gets approved by my publisher. Then, I usually spend about a week writing the rough draft. I make myself write at least 2,000 words at day before I can take a break, telling myself I can go back and rewrite any shaky scenes later. I just need to get it down on paper. Some days go better than others, which is how I tend to get it done in a week. Then, I take a step back and send it out to friends who like Minecraft to look over and give me their thoughts. Then, with a fresh pair of eyes, I go back and revise the book and turn it in. The rinse and repeat for the next book. I usually have very strict deadlines for these books, like six weeks to two months.
I’m influenced by the type of stories I enjoyed as a kid --- fast-paced but personable, with twists and action. I started playing video games around the age of eight, so I’m also influenced by an early enjoyment of gaming and how I can turn it into a story.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
DD: First and foremost, I just hope they have a good time reading. The Minecrafter books are aimed for ages 7-12 (though I do have younger and older readers), and I’m excited when I hear kids can’t put the books down. I hear a lot from parents who say, “My kids don’t like to read, but they can’t stop reading yours.” That is a treasure to hear, because a writer’s greatest dream is for someone to become engaged in their work.
BD: On the same release date as the box set, you will also be releasing the first volume of the spinoff series, Adventure Against the Endermen: An Unofficial Overworld Heroes Adventure. What can you share with readers about the upcoming books in the collection?
DD: The spinoff series takes place right after the first series ends, and it has the same main characters and setting, but is has new villains and adventures. Stevie and Maison are up against a monster like they’ve never seen before, and while each book has a self-contained story, the whole six books have a story arc that connects them all. Stevie will also be uncovering mysteries about the history of Minecraft and how it got to be the way it is today, so I made up a whole back story that’s going to be revealed bit by bit. By the final book, all the mysteries and questions will be answered. So, Adventure Against the Endermen is just the start, and I hope it whets the appetites of readers to keep going!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
DD: Right now, I’m concentrating on this spinoff series, but I have other books already out, and I’m interested in writing in more genres and for more age groups. Besides my Minecrafter books, I have a Barbie graphic novel called Barbie: Puppy Party (where Barbie and her sisters put on a puppy party to get all the local shelter pets adopted), a Tales from the Crypt comic called “Picture Perfect” about cyberbullying, and a manga how-to-draw book called Manga Art for Beginners. Its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, comes out next year and has art from Rena Saiya, a very talented professional artist in Japan. So, yeah, I’m kind of all over the place, but I like that.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about your work?
DD: Please check out my website at www.danicadavidson.com or my Twitter handle, @DanicaDavidson. Thanks so much!