Athena Daniels is the award-winning author of the Beyond the Grave paranormal romance series and the romantic thriller Desperate. In 2016, Athena was nominated for Author of the Year and Best New Author in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Her novel The Seer’s Daughter, was the solo Medalist Winner in the Suspense / Thriller category of the 2016 New Apple Annual Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing.

The Seer’s Daughter was a finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in Suspense.

The Seer’s Daughter was finalist in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards.

The Seer’s Daughter was also nominated for 2016 Book of the Year and 2016 Cover of the Year at the AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

The Seer’s Daughter and Girl Unseen were 5 Star Top Picks at The Romance Reviews and The Seer’s Daughter was featured in AusRom Today’s January 2016 top-twenty list of “Lust-Have Sci-Fi, Paranormal, and Fantasy Novelists.”

Athena has a natural curiosity about the “more” there is in life, and holds several qualifications in metaphysics and natural therapies. She is a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, life coach, and Feng Shui specialist.

Athena lives on the northern beaches of sunny Western Australia where she can be found reading under the shade of a gum tree or writing her next romantic suspense.

“Athena Daniels has earned and cemented her place among the best paranormal and romance authors I have come across.” Faridah Nassozi, Readers Favorite

“I’ll be looking for more of Athena Daniels’ work. An author to watch!” Brutally Honest Reviews.

Athena Daniels has a powerful voice which comes across neatly and clearly, pulling the reader into a somewhat unnerving world where the dead meet the living.” Romuald Dzemo, Readers Favorite

“I will always read anything by Athena Daniels.” Lori, Amazon reviewer

“I’m not one for paranormal reads but if Athena is writing it then I’m reading it!” Tammy, After Dark Book Lovers

“With Ms. Daniels’s ability to vividly write not only the romantic scenes, but the skin-crawling ones, I simply couldn’t get enough.” Amazon Reviewer

 

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Author talks, book signings and presentations:

 

For enquiries in relation to booking Athena for author talks, library and school presentations, writing groups, or inspirational presentations, please email Athena athenadaniels@iinet.net.au

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To create a romance integrating paranormal qualities can be a challenge, but it is a challenge Athena seems to come by naturally. Grady, Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer. Vine Voice.

THE SEER’S DAUGHTER

Award Winner!

THE SEER’S DAUGHTER was the solo medalist winner in Suspense/Thriller in the 2016 Annual New Apple Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing!

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THE SEER’S DAUGHTER

NIEA Finalist Award

THE SEER’S DAUGHTER was awarded Finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in category – Suspense

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THE SEER’S DAUGHTER

Finalist in Readers Favorite 2016 International Book Awards!

THE SEER’S DAUGHTER was the finalist in Fiction-Paranormal category in the Readers Favorite 2016 International Book Awards!

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Author Spotlight 

Questions and Answer

 

How long does it take you to write a book, and how many books have you published so far?

Writing needs to fit around my day job, and I write full-length novels of around 120K each so there’s been approximately nine months between releases. I have published four books so far: The first three books in the Beyond the Grave paranormal romance series; The Seer’s Daughter, The Alchemist’s Son, Girl Unseen, and the romantic thriller; Desperate.

 

What are you working on now?

I am working on the fourth book in the Beyond the Grave series, as well as a contemporary romantic thriller scheduled for release in December 2017.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

I have so many! Some of the authors I will automatically buy without reading the blurb are: Megan Hart, Maya Banks, Sylvia Day, Karina Halle, Dana DeLamar, Kristine Cayne, and JR Ward.

 

You write about the paranormal in your Beyond the Grave series. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes. I believe there is much more to this life than what we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch.

My grandmother’s house was haunted, and I had many unexplainable experiences growing up. I never talked about this until very recently because I did not want to sound flaky or weird. A person’s smile tends to freeze on their face when you mention the paranormal in any context other than fantasy. Unless of course, the person you are talking with has had experiences of their own, then you see the instant spark of recognition. At last! Someone who understands!

 

 Can you tell us about your experiences?

I will write about them some time soon. It has taken me until I was forty to become comfortable enough with who I am to be able to speak about my own experiences. It is somehow easier when I know people are thinking, I know her, she wouldn’t be telling me this if she didn’t believe it to be true. I had buried that part of myself until my fascination with paranormal started coming out through my writing.

Last Christmas, when my mother was visiting from interstate, the conversation turned to my writing and the Beyond the Grave series. I told her I didn’t know why I’ve always had a fascination with all things paranormal and laughed and tried to shrug it off the way I always do. I’m just weird like that, I’d say. But then mum told me something that happened to me when I was only nine months old that shocked me. I had no idea! Which is understandable, because, as I just mentioned, we don’t talk about stuff like that. Sane, rational people don’t talk about ghosts. You sold your house, moved somewhere else and never spoke of it again. Until, of course, your daughter grows up to write ghost stories and wonders where her love of paranormal began!

What made you decide to become a writer?

It wasn’t something I just decided and then set out to do. It certainly wasn’t something I felt free to consider as an appropriate career choice when I was younger. Academic pursuits were valued more highly than creative ones. Writing, for me, was the natural outcome of my search to find my passion. My life was full. I am a wife and work as a partner in a family business. I have three children, two boys still in primary school. My days were crammed, there was no time for anything else. I had so much to be grateful for, so why was there a hole inside of me? Why did I feel there was something missing? It was during this ‘soul searching’ phase I guess you could call it, that I discovered my passion – writing.

My Journey To Writing, Athena Daniels:

One afternoon, I was watching my son build a Lego creation that was years above his age level. He was seven at the time, and the set he was building cost hundreds of dollars, and the recommended age was for a child twice his age. I wasn’t convinced he could do it. I doubted very much that I could do it. I had tried to encourage him to try a less challenging set, something recommended for his age group, but his determination was unwavering. My son worked hard for that specific set, doing jobs and achieving the merits at school I had set as ‘conditions’. His passion and perseverance finally paid off and I bought him the set. When bag after bag containing gazillions of tiny pieces spilled onto the floor, I thought, ‘what have I done?’

My son was undaunted by the enormity of the project, working for many, many hours straight, following a complex manual to build it piece by miniature piece. His focus was astounding, his determination unwavering. He was only seven! It was a struggle for him to simply leave his project to eat his meals, and the moment he finished he was straight back to it. I knew his mind had stayed on his creation with every bite he took.

The expression on my little boy’s face when he finished it brought me to my knees. His smile lit up his whole face, his eyes were twinkling and bright. His whole body seemed to glow as he walked around his impressive accomplishment. He’d transformed, come ‘alive’. It was at that moment that something tugged inside of me.

Did I have that? What did I do that gave me a similar feeling? I wanted the exhilaration my son experienced simply through the focus of bring something to life. I wanted to create something of my own.

I pondered on that for some time, and realised there was already a part of me that had been pondering it for much longer. I just wasn’t listening to it. I was busy, I had a full life, but I realised that no matter how much I crammed into the finite number of hours in one day, it did nothing towards filling that hole inside of me. And now that I’d realised that something was missing, I knew I had to do something about it.

When I look back, I see that I had spent my whole life searching. I am an eternal seeker of knowledge. An avid reader, I have several books on the go at any one time, both fiction and non-fiction. I was taking courses, the qualifications and certificates could wallpaper a room. But what was I doing? What was the thing that lit me up on the inside the way my son’s Lego project did for him? And more importantly, what was holding me back from finding out?

The answer it turns out was as simple as it was complex. Fear. I was scared of making a decision. Of all the pathways my studies opened up, what if I chose the wrong one? What if I couldn’t do it? What if I failed?

I realised there is safety in not giving anything a go, of not risking your heart by putting it on the line. There is a certain security in being the support and encourager of the dreams of those around you. But had I really been doing even that task that as well as I’d thought? I’d like to think I was, but if you remember back to when I was talking about my son and his Lego set, I said I tried to encourage him to try something closer to his age. I recognise now, that what I was was actually doing was discouraging him from trying something he really wanted in case he couldn’t do it. In case he failed.

That was a light bulb moment for me. I didn’t want to inadvertently pass on the same fears that have stopped me following my passions. My words were saying one thing, my actions another.

I don’t want to be the lecturer, I want to be the example.

And that is the change in mindset that freed me, allowed me to embark on my journey as a writer. I gave myself permission to fail. But I also know there is no such thing as failure. Because failing means something has come to an end. Passion and following your dreams is what life is all about. There is no end. If something doesn’t give you the desired results, re-tweak it until it does. You have that freedom. It is your dream.

And once I understood this, not just intellectually, but in a way that I felt as the truth, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

I took the plunge. I became a writer. It is my passion. It lights me up on the inside when I release a book that I have spent countless hours  perfecting so that it can be the best it can be. I put it out into the world and a piece of my heart, my very soul, goes out with it. I take that risk. Any feedback I receive, I hope will be kind. Considerate. Helpful. So that I may grow to be a better person from following my dream. So that my words of encouragement to my children won’t be empty.

I hope you are following your own passion, and you didn’t wait as long as I did before you started. But if you did, that’s OK too. The perfect time is where you are right now.

I wish you happiness, joy and most of all, the sense of wonder and accomplishment that a little seven-year-old boy once got by completing a Lego set.

Love, Athena x