Eating Authors: Danielle Ackley-McPhail

1 Comment » Written on September 1st, 2014 by
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Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Welcome to September (and if you’re in the US, Happy Labor Day). I finished my novel revisions yesterday so I’ll be spending the day doing absolutely nothing! Well, okay, that’s not true, I’ll do my morning workout and maybe go to the local zoo to have a chat with some otters but really, that’s it. For those of you without access to otters, I present the latest installment of EATING AUTHORS instead.

Our guest this week is Danielle Ackley-McPhail. She’s probably best known for her work editing the Bad-Ass Faeries series, and she’s something of a legend at conventions up and down the northeast for organizing the most impressive book launches any small press has ever seen.

In addition to editing and being a short story writer, Danielle is also a novelist, and it’s here that she shows off one of the most impressive talents any author can possess: tenacity. Danielle doesn’t know how to quit. As an example of this, I offer up her Eternal Wanderings trilogy, each book of which was originally released by a different small press. Not only have her fans followed her from publisher to publisher, in under a week they’ve already funded a Kickstarter project to pay for a new novella in the series. I encourage you to check it out because if she’s applying the same enthusiasm to her stretch goals as she does to her book launches you won’t want to miss it.

LMS: Welcome, Danielle. Before you get too caught up managing your Kickstarter, tell me about your most memorable meal.

DA-M: Food is a very sensual experience. It engages us, locking in memories of those we are with and the circumstances surrounding the meal, for good or bad.

Yesterday's Dreams

One of my most memorable meals was my first true Irish breakfast.

See, my first novel, Yesterday’s Dreams, is based on Irish mythology. To celebrate the release of the book and the completion of the sequel, Tomorrow’s Memories, my husband and I went to Ireland on our own mini book tour. (Basically we went to be guests at an Irish science fiction convention—I highly recommend it, they will bring you Baileys while you are on your panel—but that’s another matter all together, back to the food, shall we?)

Irish breakfast, wasn’t it? There are good things about this, and bad things. One of my favorite parts of the meal was the bread. Thick, hearty brown bread with a nutty flavor and substance to it, with fresh, creamy butter. I could enjoy the meal for this alone… by the end of my trip, I nearly had to.

Bad-Ass Faeries

See, one of the major things about Irish breakfast… it’s *always* the same: eggs, sausage, grilled tomato, white and black pudding, and beans. There were other things you could have with it, like my lovely bread, but there were no substance to most of those things.

With the exception of the white and black pudding, I really enjoyed my Irish breakfast, even when I was wishing for the variety we in America are spoiled by, but for me what made this my most memorable meal was the experience and what it represented.

One of the reasons I wrote my novel is I am mostly Irish. I’ve been fiercely proud of that fact all of my life, and never even once had a clue what that meant from a cultural standpoint. All my family history was lost, and there was never anyone around to share with me what it was to be Irish. It’s in the blood though, thrumming in me every time I hear the music or hear the tales, so when I succeeded in not only writing a tale based on my Irish heritage, but in getting it published, no better way was there to celebrate than to visit the homeland and feel and experience what my blood had only hinted at before.

Consigned to the Sea

I love Ireland, and every time I have an Irish breakfast I will remember that magical time.

And who knows, when my newest work is done, a novella in the same universe as Yesterday’s Dreams…perhaps I’ll get to go back and sample the fare once more, immersed in the magic of Eire. Until then…I’ll dream.

Thanks, Danielle. You’ve explained a mystery that has puzzled me for years. I spent a long weekend in Dublin once, and I never understood why every morning breakfast in my hotel was the same damn thing. Huh.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!



One Response to “Eating Authors: Danielle Ackley-McPhail”

Thanks for having me, Lawrence!

This was fun.

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