In the Spotlight: Dan Hanks

Featured in the Spotlight today, and pulping his fiction for you so you don’t have to is, Dan Hanks, author of the hugely enjoyable, Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire.

Q&A

To start with, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Dan Hanks, a writer and editor who lives in the Peak District, UK, with my family – and I’m very lucky to be able to say that my debut novel is out in September. Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire is my take on the old school Indiana Jones style adventures I grew up obsessing over. I actually studied archaeology because of those films and video games, so it’s really fun to be able to say I’ve now written an archaeology-adjacent book! Although there is admittedly some destruction of archaeology in the story, so it’s not exactly a handbook or anything.

From editor to storyteller, why the leap or was it a natural progression?

It was actually the other way around. I started writing long ago and learned the craft over many years, which led into lots of different avenues of writing: from telling stories to digital copywriting and content writing to drafting freelance editorial pieces. I also had the good fortune to work as an editor for a heritage consultancy during my time in Australia, which was hard work but pretty much combined my two great passions, so it was great fun. But storytelling was always in the background and I worked hard all that time to become a better writer of stories, which eventually led to me writing a book that got my dream agent – Sara Megibow. After that I tried to move more into solely freelance fiction editing to throw myself completely into fiction and that’s been a lot of fun, to help others to see things they might have missed in their work, while learning a few things myself too. So until recently I’ve been balancing these two sides of book writing and it’s been a great experience.

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In the Spotlight: Dan Fitzgerald

In the Author Spotlight this month is HOLLOW ROAD author, Dan Fitzgerald, talking about what his experience was like heading towards publication, and finding the balance in creating believable and representative characters with the help of a sensitivity reader.

Q&A

Hi, Dan, first let me say a big thank you for taking part in the Book Blurb Q&A series. To start with, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

I turned 50 on September 17, the day my debut novel was born, so I’m now living my second life. I am a high school French teacher, I do yoga almost daily, I grow vegetables in my community garden in Washington, DC, and I live with my wife, twin boys, and two cats named Happy and Overlord. I am obsessed with language, nature, and the mysteries of the human mind. I am also a huge fan of Vietnamese food, and sour beer is my jam. 

What drew you to writing fantasy as opposed to any other genre?

I have always been drawn to the idea of another world beyond this one. Like any proper nerd, I played D&D and read Tolkein from a pretty early age, but I took somewhat of a hiatus from classical nerdery in my college years. I studied medieval French literature in grad school, which only deepened my love of stories that whisper of a distant, magical past. I wrote a lot of crime fiction before I tried my hand at fantasy, but it was often inspired by some of the narrative structures of medieval stories. 

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