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MEANWHILE … is this on the record?

books

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed over at the Infinite House of Books as part of the Summer of Pro Se. I encourage you to visit and check out the myriad author interviews, blog tours, book events and more. Shannon Muir runs a great website, Actually I should say websites as you might find these of interest too: Discover Words, Spontaneous Choices, and The Willowbroos Saga.

Following is the interview in its entirety. I plan to elaborate on same of my answers here at MEANWHILE in the foreseeable future.

author interview

Shannon Muir: What initially got you interested in writing?

Greg Daniel: Reading begets writing. Do enough of the former and eventually you start thinking about the latter. I was a voracious reader.

One day after consuming more than my fair share of the Three Musketeers or the Three Investigators or a Robert Heinlein juvenile or a pile of comic books, new characters and new stories rampaged through my mind with enough strength and vigor that I had to do something about them. Next thing I knew, I was a writer.

SM: How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?

GD: Honestly, I cannot imagine why anyone would write fiction without intending to publish. From the day I transitioned from ruled notebook paper and pencil to my dad’s old Royal manual typewriter, I wrote to be published.

That does not mean that everything I wrote was publishable – far from it! But if I finished it, I tried to get it published. As a teenager, I accumulated rejections letters from Ben Bova and George Scithers, Paul Levitz and Jack C. Harris, and others. If I bothered to sit down at the keyboard, it was to write something that I wanted to publish.

My problem was there were some very, very, very long stretches when I did not sit down at the keyboard. I read like a writer and I thought like a writer, but I did not write like a writer.

One day I finally realized that I cannot paste the days back onto the calendar or pour the hours back into the clock. If I was a writer, I needed to write and I needed to do so now. A couple of years later, my work is starting to appear in print with more waiting in the wings.

The most recent is “Mike Fink and the River Round-Up” in TALL PULP (Pro Se Productions).

Tall Pulp logo typeset cover

SM: What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

GD: My goal is to entertain. I am not a prophet, priest, or philosopher (actually I have enough credit hours to be the latter, but that’s another story). I am a storyteller. I tell stories to entertain.

Entertainment can educate, elucidate, encourage, or simply provide escape. But unless it entertains, no one will stick around long enough to realize any other benefits.

SM: What do you find most rewarding about writing?

GD: There are three things that thrill me equally.

One is when I am writing and hear a character’s dialogue in my head and the voice is unmistakably theirs, not mine. At that moment, I know I got them right and if I got them right, there is a good chance, the rest of the story will be right too.

The second is seeing my name on the cover or the table of contents. As I mentioned earlier, I write to be published. Seeing my name is proof that I accomplished that goal.

The third, and the one that I hope never gets old, is hearing someone say they enjoyed my story.

SM: What do you find most challenging about writing?

GD: Writing is like exercise. It takes time and consistency to see results. But if you do it regularly, you will not only realize the benefits, you will enjoy the process. You will look forward to doing it. But miss a day and it can become a week or a month. Then you dread it. You know you need to do it, but you have grown lazy and lethargic.

When you do get back to it, you find you are neither as limber nor as strong as you were and it is frustrating to have to work hard and long to just get back to where you were before you skipped that day.

There are very few full-time writers. Most of my peers, present and past, juggle job(s) and family and other daily demands. If they can find the time and consistency, then I have no excuse. Still, I find it a challenge.

SM: What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

GD: The standard answers are still the best: READ and WRITE.

But let me elaborate by saying:

Read broadly. If all you ever read is within the genre or subgenre in which you wish to write, you will bring nothing new to the reader. To use an antiquated analogy, your writing will be the equivalent of a photocopy of a photocopy. Eventually it will fade to nothing.

Write regularly. I am not saying that you have to write every day and I am not saying that you cannot take breaks. But I am saying that if you establish some sort of regular schedule and adhere to it, you will be a better and more productive writer.

SM: Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

GD: In the “Brush with Greatness” category: I’ve had afternoon tea with Neil Gaiman, tossed darts with Garth Ennis, and taken Chris Claremont and Dan Jurgens to a haunted house.

In the “More Closely Related to Writing than You Might Think” category: I used to be an avid backgammon and poker tournament player and actually cashed on the World Poker Tour.

In the “Interesting to Me” category: I am happily married to the love of my life and best friend, Judy. We have two amazing children, Alec and Kylie, who are growing up much too fast.

SM: What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

GD: I invite everyone to friend/follow me at the usual social media haunts.

Facebook: Greg Daniel

Twitter: @GregDanielWrite

My blog (Meanwhile … ) is updated semi-regularly at: GregDanielWrites.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Mike Fink and the River Round-Up

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Tall Pulp logo typeset cover

 

My latest story, “Mike Fink and the River Round-Up,” appears in Tall Pulp from Pro Se Production. It was an absolute blast building a pulp adventure around a tall tale character and I will tell you more about that … some day in the foreseeable future. But for now, I am going to turn things over to the Pro Se Productions P.R. Express:

 

“Tall tales,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “are familiar in some form or fashion to every American, and some even have a worldwide presence.  And they lend themselves really well to being wrapped in the Pulp style and taken to another level.  Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Mike Fink, and more already stand well as over the top characters taking on insurmountable odds.  It makes perfect sense to throw six top notch Genre Fiction authors at these wonderfully realized characters and see what works of art they paint using a Pulp Fiction style brush.”

Tall Tales.  Stories of larger than life characters, heroes who stand above everyone else and perform great feats.  From digging the Grand Canyon to reversing the flow of the Mississippi River itself, there are figures woven into American history and lore that seem ready made for the classic Pulp magazines of yesteryear! Now, today’s best and brightest writers of Genre Fiction take those classic legends and shine a new light on them.  Pro Se Productions proudly presents Tall Pulp.

Thrill as characters like Jim Bowie, Joe Magarac, Anne Bonny, and Mike Fink come to life in two fisted action adventure tales!  Learn of the mysterious Leatherman and thrill to his wild adventures! And discover a whole new take on the concept of Paul Bunyan! Authors D. Alan Lewis, Gordon Dymowski, Nancy A. Hansen, Phillip Drayer Duncan, David White, and Greg Daniel take characters, both historic and fictional, and give them a treatment like no other.  Tall Pulp from Pro Se Productions.

Tall Pulp featuring a fantastic cover by Jeffrey Hayes and cover design and print formatting by Percival Constantine is now available in print on Amazon and via Pro Se’s own store at https://www.createspace.com/4891804 for $12.00. The collection of Pulped up Tall Tales will be available in ebook format in the coming days.

For more information on this title, interviews with the authors, or digital copies for review, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at: directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to http://www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

What are you? Lost?

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You are probably wondering how you got here. Frankly I am too. But since we are both here, pull up a seat and get comfortable, We can be lost confused together.

A quick circuit of the interwebs will reveal that the last thing we need is another blog about writing and books and movies and television and [insert blog topic of your own choosing], so here is another one to throw on the e-pile. What is going to make this one any different? I guess that’s where I come in.

If you got here without having any idea of who I am or are just dying to know more, check out the “About” page elsewhere on this blog. But if you really want to get to know me, come back here on a semi-regular basis and read.

And if you do just that, what might you discover things like…

Why I write and why I read and, of course, why all right thinking people must agree with my views on these subjects.

The Future that Never Was but, oh, how I still want it to be.

The influencers and the influences that you can blame for me being the way I am.

The Good Old Days and how I misremember then.

Recommendations (but rarely reviews) of things I watch, read, and listen to and why, as one of the aforementioned right thinking people, you should too.

Other various and sundry topics ranging from New Pulp to College Basketball to Singing Cowboys to Disney World to Games (mostly not the video kind) to Publishing to Whatever Shiny Object catches my attention.

In short, me writing about all kinds of stuff instead of writing the stuff I should be writing (like the stories and books that have already been promised to editors).

That’s probably more of an introduction than you wanted, but don’t say you weren’t warned. If you ramble around and end up back here again, that will be entirely on you. But if you do, I’ll have a seat waiting for you.

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