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Swoon Author Danielle Banas: Behind the Spandex of THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME

The most common question that I get from my family, friends, coworkers, neighbors who walk their dogs the same time that I walk mine, etc. is this: “Danielle, how on earth did you write a book?”

That’s not meant to be a rude question either—it’s just an honest question. “Danielle, how is it possible to string together tens of thousands of words and create people and places that somehow form a coherent storyline?”

More often than not, I think to myself, “Golly gee, I don’t really know.” There are so many little moments when a story seems to write itself, whether that be a line of dialogue that fits perfectly or a joke that comes out of my head faster than my fingers can type the words. Sometimes I think it’s a miracle; other times I think I’m just getting lucky. But I guess that’s not really what people want to hear when they ask the “How did you write a book?” question, so today I’m going to try something a little different. Here are 5 fun facts about my writing process that may or may not finally explain how The Supervillain and Me went from just a vague idea in my head to an actual book.

1.) I often type really sloppy rough drafts of scenes into the notes app on my phone before I ever open my laptop—usually because I do my best thinking when I’m not staring at my computer screen. Primarily it occurs while I’m in the shower. (Must be something about all that steam.) I’m not one of those people who takes their phone in the bathroom with them, so I’m always stuck reciting a few paragraphs of a scene over and over and over again to commit it to memory until I can shut off the water and type it out. The same thing happens when I’m out shopping, eating, with friends, pretty much wherever. My phone has saved my butt more times than I can count.


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2.) I’m in the minority that absolutely cannot write with music playing. Noise distracts me, music even more so. If I’m listening to music, then I’m likely listening to show tunes, and I can’t resist singing along. It’s a great way to procrastinate, but an awful way to get work done. Instead of listening to music while writing, I go back afterward and make a playlist. The playlist for The Supervillain and Me has The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, Queen, half of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, and a bunch of Disney songs.


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3.) I love to eat chocolate while I’m writing and editing (because I have a misguided belief that sugar helps me think better). I used to eat two little chocolate chip cookies every day when I sat down to write, and I immediately noticed a difference in my ability to focus–or so I thought. At the moment I’m trying to eat healthier, so I sadly don’t do that anymore. I’ve turned to applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon instead.


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4. I base my stories on real-life experiences as much as I can. For example, I was a theatre kid in high school, although I was nowhere near as accomplished as my main character Abby. Not only was I a theater kid, I was also a HUGE fangirl. Nick Jonas was my main victim, but honestly I could fangirl over almost anything. I still can, to an extent. Any and all fangirling moments that happen in The Supervillain and Me, from the “I can’t even’s!” to the “Is it really him’s?” are direct quotes from me, my friends, and even my mother. (I have this otherworldly ability to drag just about anyone onto the fangirling bandwagon.) Other references to real life include Abby’s theatre director yelling at students to “stand in the windows,” Abby’s principal and his questionable hairstyle, a student and their intense fear of butterflies, and also a somewhat violent Iron Phantom quote that I don’t want to write here because of spoilers.


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5.) Lastly, I write the stories that I want to read. The first draft of The Supervillain and Me came about because of my intense love for Spider-Man–something that I’ll gush about to anyone who will listen. But to spare you the pain of having to hear that, I’ll just say that this book was my ultimate form of wish fulfillment. Living in a city full of superheroes? Amazing. Hanging out with a “supervillain” all day? Yeeeahh… I can’t say I would mind that either.


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Author spotlight

Danielle Banas

Danielle Banas, a Pittsburgh native, earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University. After years spent dreaming up characters ...

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