What’s your favourite book of all time?
Oh my gosh, that’s hard. If we’re talking the book I keep returning to, my true-north for comfort reading… The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta.
Why do you love books/reading?
That could be like asking why do I love breathing? Storytelling is elemental and instrumental to being human – we are our stories, and we crave them; be they family tales handed down, a summary of what we last weekend with our friends (I’m talking pre-2020 here), Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue, or bingeing Dawson’s Creek – story is how we understand ourselves and other people. We are the sum of our stories; the ones we tell, create and remember. We are story.
Why did you decide to start writing?
In the very beginning? I just wanted to write Twilight FanFiction and create (what I personally thought) was a better ending to Breaking Dawn, lol (more vampires should have died, even fan-favourites; stakes were raised but without consequences, there’s no lasting impression and everything ultimately felt pointless. Also: RENESMEE?!?!). I think lots of authors start out that way; studying other writers and stories, and eventually the belief creeps in of “maybe if you *adjusted* this here, or if *I* was doing it, I’d do it this way…” and then you’re off to the races. Once you start thinking *you* could do a better job, and if they were *your* characters – well. It’s all over. You’ve caught the bug.
What is your favourite book that you have written?
Well, since it’s my first and the one that’s partly inspired by memories of my childhood and family – my debut, The Year the Maps Changed. Out on April 28 with Hachette.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Oh gosh; well given that I’ve been working in publishing in some capacity (as freelancer, editor, publicist, now agent) since 2009 – I have amassed quite a few friends. Even in my role as agent, I spitball and bounce off of my own authors a fair bit. But I was particularly floored when Melina Marchette started becoming someone I could shoot an email to and we’ve become friendly. I still have the impulse when I see her in-person (even catching up for coffee!) to say “Hi, Ms Marchette – my name is Danielle Binks and I’m a big fan!” At one point she did say to me “Danielle, I know who you are!” – but truly truly; she’s one of the kindest people, and I’m so glad I met my hero. She’s one of the most deserving and hard-working creators in Australia. I think she has showed me how to share my knowledge and be generous in our publishing and writing communities.
Who is your favourite author?
I feel like Melina has been the answer to too many questions already! But, obvs – Queen Marchetta. I probably own the most books by Charlaine Harris, because I love her *and* her output is incredible. I’m also a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of comic-book author Brian K. Vaughan. That man’s mind … WOW!
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I studied it at uni, so it wouldn’t be outlandish to say – journalist. Possibly also teacher – high school English/Lit, or History, most likely.