Danica Davidson has published thousands of articles over her career as a journalist. Some of these outlets being MTV, The Onion, CNN, and over fifty other publications. She has also published an array of novels, such as Escape from the Overworld and Attack on the Overworld; both set in the world of Minecraft. Her latest projects are Chalk Art Manga: A Step-by-Step Guide and Manga Art for Everyone, the sequel to the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners. Wanting to learn more about this book, Scifipulse was lucky to be able to interview Davidson.
Nicholas Yanes: 2020 was the last time I talked to you about work. How has life been for you? Any superpowers?
Danica Davidson: It might be a superpower that I’m still standing after the past two years! Things have been really hard. But I’m so relieved to be moving forward, and glad to be getting new books out.
Yanes: I first interviewed you in 2015. How has your approach to the business of writing changed over the years?
Davidson: I think I’ve gotten more savvy to the business side of writing. I love writing, but in the business side of thing, you have to deal with trends and company politics. I’ve also learned how much you have to pound the pavement to get yourself out there.
Yanes: On this note, in your opinion, what has been the biggest shift in the publishing industry since 2015?
Davidson: More and more, authors are expected to do their own promotions. It used to be that publishers would do all that for you and writers could just write.
Yanes: You have a writing career that has lasted more than a decade. What are some of the key lessons you learned on this journey?
Davidson: I started writing professionally in high school as a journalist, so it’s been more than a decade. I learned to keep building on what I’ve created. You don’t show up one day and get a book published. There’s a lot of work and networking that goes into it.
Yanes: Your latest work is Chalk Art Manga: A Step-by-Step Guide. What was the inspiration for this book?
Davidson: This is my third book on manga, and the eighteenth book altogether. It started when Julie Ganz, an editor at Skyhorse Publishing, approached me with the idea of doing a manga book with chalk art. As soon as I heard that, I thought, Why has no one done this before? Of course, I wanted to work on it! I loved chalk art as a kid, and it’s bringing all that back, along with my love of manga.
Yanes: Manga has an incredibly rich history. Who are some of your favorite manga artists? For instance, if you were given $10k that you could only spend on historic manga art, which artists would you buy?
Davidson: Oh, wow, $10,000 to spend on manga? You have me drooling.
How far back do we go for historic? If you’re talking older manga art, I’d have to start with Osamu Tezuka. I’d want early shojo art, too, like Moto Hagio and Keiko Takemiya and others from the Year 24 group.
Yanes: While crafting this book, how did your opinion of manga evolve?
Davidson: I wouldn’t say my opinion on manga really evolved, but it did bring back my love of chalk art, which I hadn’t experienced in years. I do think one of the cool things about manga chalk art is that you get to use all sorts of colors, whereas manga tend to be in black-and-white. Having manga characters in chalk really makes them pop with their vibrancy.
Yanes: Rena Saiya is a great artist for this book. When did you know that Saiya was the perfect fit for the project?
Davidson: Rena and I worked together before on Manga Art for Intermediates, which is the sequel to my best-selling Manga Art for Beginners. So as soon as Julie mentioned a manga chalk book, I thought of Rena. She’s an amazing artist and a true professional, and she speaks English, so that takes away the language barrier. I’m glad Rena wanted to work on this project with me, and you can see that her artwork is beautiful.
In fact, our book Manga Art for Intermediates is being re-launched as Manga Art for Everyone. It’s a different cover, but everything inside is the same. The “Intermediates” part of the title was just to show it was a sequel to Beginners, but some people found it intimidating, and we don’t want that. Manga Art for Everyone is a better title because it’s just a continuation of Manga Art for Beginners.
Yanes: When people finish Chalk Art Manga, what do you hope they take away from the experience?
Davidson: I hope it gives them lots of outdoor fun creating these drawings. If they want to do more manga drawings (on regular paper) we can also keep them busy with Manga Art for Beginners and Manga Art for Everyone.
Yanes: Finally, what else are you working on that people can look forward to?
Davidson: Manga Art for Everyone is my next book, which comes out July 19.
I’m also spending a lot of time promoting my other new book, I Will Protect You, which is different from everything else I’ve published. I worked on it with Auschwitz twin survivor Eva Kor, and it tells her story of surviving the Holocaust to kids ages 8-12.
After this, we’ll see what’s next! People can check out my website www.danicdavidson.com to learn more.