Get To Know Me!
AUTHOR, BOOK LOVER, AND CANADIAN GIRL, DANA GRICKEN
(Say it like: Day/nah Greek/in)
Some Facts About Me:
I won a $5k dollar writing scholarship to the Vancouver Film School in 2019 from actor and director Kevin Smith! I was so surprised when I won after I submitted some short stories. It inspired MASSIVE confidence in my writing.
My favorite color is red. The color of passion!
My name is pronounced like Day/nah Greek/in. It's German! My ancestors come from Germany and the United States (mostly New York). On my mom's side, I'm also French and Irish.
My books take place in many different cities and worlds. I haven't done much traveling in my life -- I've only been in Ottawa (my hometown), Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Montreal. With the pandemic and my anxiety, it's unlikely that I'll travel again soon, but you never know! It would be super cool to go on a book tour. For now, books is how I travel! It's free, lol.
I was born October 7th, 1998, making me a Libra and born under the year of the Tiger. Although my star sign says I'm outgoing, I'm very shy and introverted! I'm a homebody and rarely like to go out.
I once wrote a Mother's Day poem in sixth grade that was so touching, it made my teacher cry. It was then that I realized there was power in words. I still love poetry and hope to release a poetry anthology one day.
I want to write over a hundred novels in my lifetime! I have tons of ideas, and they never stop coming.
I love video games and play them every day! My favorites are Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Stardew Valley, The Sims, Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, and GTA.
As a child, I wasn't a big reader. But I still loved to write stories! In first grade, we had to write and illustrate our own stories for English class. I wrote a story called "I Lost My Cat" where, you guessed it, my pet cat went missing. Don't worry -- we found him! :) As you can see, writing has always been in my blood.
I was born with red hair after my mother, but it all fell out as a baby and grew in dark. I've had really long hair to my waist since I was a little girl. It's my signature look!
My middle name is Marie. I was named after Dana Scully from the X-Files! My parents used to watch it a lot in the 90's when my mom was pregnant.
As I mentioned above, I'm a homebody. Home is my favorite place! My perfect night consists of a good book, Star Trek on the TV, some tea and chocolate chip cookies, and some games on my Nintendo Switch, PC, or Playstation 5!
As a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian because I loved animals. I wasn't very good at math and science, though -- two important things in veterinary medicine. I also wanted to be a lawyer because I love law and justice. But writing stories has always been my one true love!
I was homeschooled for high school due to my anxiety. I finished four years of high school in two years and graduated early!
Although I'm Canadian, I tend to spell things the American way because my publisher and agent are American.
Some of my goals include: seeing my books in stores, having a reader reach out to tell me they loved my book/getting fan mail, winning a book award, and getting inducted into the Order of Canada! Of course, being published by a big publisher is the ultimate goal. I'd also love to do an interview on live TV about my books. My family and I often watch CTV News Ottawa, so it'd be super cool to get on my hometown's news station!
As a woman writer, I strive to create stories with strong female characters with flaws, goals, and ambitions. I try to write with empathy and inclusivity and draw on my own experiences with anxiety, depression, Asperger's/neurodivergence, being bullied as a child, and more.
I want my books to be a safe place for people of all backgrounds. Everyone is welcome!
My favorite writers are (in no particular order): VE Schwab, Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Richelle Mead, Suzanne Collins, N.K. Jemisin, and more. I also enjoy Edgar Allan Poe. They have all greatly inspired me!
I love reading and writing and do it every day -- seven days a week. Talk about hard work!
I love animals, especially cats and guinea pigs. I've had many pets since I was a little girl that have made my life special.
My favorite foods are (in no particular order): sushi, pizza, falafel wraps, poutine, chocolate, and lots of sweets! I don't drink coffee, but I do enjoy tea.
I don't watch many movies or TV shows, but I love Star Wars, Star Trek, Friends, and The Simpson's. I have to be in love with the franchise to sit down and watch something! I have a short attention span, but luckily, books and my own writing can keep me focused.
My dreams at night are super realistic and often inspire my stories! (The nightmares, too.)
I started off writing short stories as a kid and working my way up to novels. My debut novel and the first in its trilogy, THE GIRL WHO WALKED THROUGH FIRE, is available online! Click here for the link.
My second novel was THE DARK QUEEN, published by a small publisher! I was over the moon when I got a contract offer. You can buy the first in that trilogy here by clicking.