A Life-Long Reader and Writer: An Interview with Award-Winning Author Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Award-winning author and editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books (www.especbooks.com). Anthologies she is in have won or finaled for The Dream Realm Award, The Indy Book Award, and the EPIC Award.
Her published works include six novels, Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Memories, Today’s Promise,The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, and Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the solo collections A Legacy of Stars, Consigned to the Sea,Flash in the Can, and Transcendence, the non-fiction writers’ guide, The Literary Handyman, and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Gaslight & Grimm, Dragon’s Lure, and In an Iron Cage. Her short stories are included in over fifty anthologies and collections.
I would like to thank Danielle for sharing her thoughts and time with Write on Fight on.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing forever. As a young girl I used to continue my favorite books in my head as I fell asleep and often distracted my teachers with my poetry. I have been published for over fifteen years.
What book made you realize you wanted to be a writer?
All of them. Once I knew how to read my mother took me to the library and got me my first card. Then she said,”You can get as many as you can carry.” I have been reading and imagining ever since.
Do you have any quirky writing rituals or odd sources of writing inspiration?
I have been known to write in a completely dark room, with Irish instrumentals playing non-stop in the background. Also, when I am nearing the end of a book I give up sleep, just taking cat naps when I can’t keep my eyes open anymore, but with my mind still working on the story so that ten or fifteen minutes later I get up and keep on writing.
What is the most famous book you’ve never read?
War and Peace.
How is the writer’s life you’re living different than the one you imagined?
Well, two years ago I became a publisher and that was something I had never foreseen. Also, writing used to be effortless, but as I have grown and taken on more responsibilities, being creative takes a bit more effort depending on how much stress I have in my daily life.
If you could build a super-author consisting of three, living or deceased, authors who would you pick and why?
Jonathan Maberry, because he is a marketing mogul who writes real well and is a master of the business, James Chambers who isn’t well known yet, but can write anything and write it well, and Mercedes Lackey because I love here descriptions and characterization on matter what material she is writing.
Of your invented characters, who would you like to meet for lunch? Why?
Beag Scath. He is a pixie with mad magical ability. He started out as comic relief in my first novel, but grew into one of my fans most beloved characters, with unexpected depth and strength, as well as being absolutely adorable.
What are you currently working on that’s got you excited?
A short story called The Windows of the Soul for a short story collection called After-Punk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife. It will be based on the Mexican celebration of The Day of the Dead, and the myths and legends the traditions are based on.
Where can we find your books? Where can we find you?
My books can all be found on Amazon or other major on-line book sites, or in person at science fiction conventions up and down the east coast.
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