Scarberryfields: Can you tell us a little about your nationality?
Dan: English and Italian. English going back to the second ship after the Mayflower, for which offense the stinking Brits confiscated our estates and homes and forced my relatives to work for their living in the New Country. (Actually, I like the English, everything but their food, but depriving me of estates and a solid middle class country gentleman birthright has always seemed a little anal on their part for the crime of wanting to worship God as my ancestors pleased.) I’m Italian going back to Rome and Naples from whence my mother came. I’ve been back three times, the last as part of a continent crawl. I love the people of Italy, the four-hour meals, the mozzarella di bufala cheese, you can buy in the countryside between Rome and Naples, the Iodine-smell of the Neapolitan harbor, the plunging mountain roads of coastal Italy, and not least the fact that the bustiest women on earth throng the cities and towns of Italy. That is a fact. Has to be something in the water.
Scarberryfields: When you finish a novel, do you miss the characters?
Dan: Oddly enough, no. Until you asked that question, I’d never thought about it. I’ve written five novels, prior to completing the pair I’m selling on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Amazon right now. I can enjoy re-reading them and I like meeting the old characters again, but I don’t miss them. Probably because they’ve never gone anywhere. They’re all still In my head. There are worse things than saying goodbye. One of the saddest little existential dramas I ever saw was a long forgotten horror schlockfest of a movie called “Seven Keys to Baldpate” about a writer locking himself in a scary old mansion to finish a novel on deadline. The viewer thinks that all the murders and mayhem are really happening when they’re all in the writer’s mind. Including a winsome young woman who the writer falls for-in his story. And you’re left pondering the question of whether a writer can fall in love with a figment of his imagination. Or maybe just realize that he needs to fall in love with somebody. It was much too good a concept for the movie.
Scarberryfields: While writing, if you need help with punctuation or grammar, where do you turn?
Dan: I was a newspaper reporter, editor, and high school English teacher and that stuff is so ingrained I seldom look it up. And if I make mistakes, I should sweat them, but honestly, I don’t.
Scarberryfields: With the number of hours spent writing, do family members support you or complain about the time spent away from them?
Dan: They’re fairly supportive, but I’ve been doing this for a long time. Sometimes it causes friction. I used a line from my wife, who is still married to me, in my novel about a spectacular marital disaster and a wife who left her workaholic husband. The wife in the story says about her husband, a prosecutor, “even when he’s here, he’s not here.” And my wife used those exact same words to me.
Scarberryfields: Does writing benefit you in any way and if so, how?
Dan: Let me count the ways. Like breathing. I literally wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I did not write. I’ve written for fun, for money, for women. Above and beyond all of those, when you’re writing (if you’re lucky) you enter a different world, a different realm of being. In those moments, you’re literally transported in your mind into a different skin, a different life. We all know we’re mortal and we’re going to die, but when you’re in that other place you’re godlike and you forgot those realities for a little while.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing, do you shut-off all social networks?
Dan: In the act of writing, I shut out everything. You can’t stay under forever, but in my younger years, I could shut out the world for a long time. Today, I’m going to be on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn when I’m not writing, eating, or doing something with my wife. And the great thing is I can tell her that ‘I’m doing this to sell my books,” and that’s a strong argument.
Scarberryfields: Did you use any family members as Beta readers for your debut novel?
Dan: No. My wife is one of those people that will read anything medical, but doesn’t read fiction.
Scarberryfields: Do you feel social networking is a beneficial marketing tool for books?
Dan: It’s the best tool I’ve ever found. My last two books started out as an internet serial that grew like crazy from an avocation – I just had some ideas I wanted to write down – to a never ending demand from readers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, England, France, Germany to POST MORE OF THE STORY – FASTER. When I reworked them into currently two novels, I used social media to let the readers who’d followed the story know through Facebook and a website and then Twitter that the re-done books were available for sale. And I’ve used the same resources to try to keep reader interest up and hopefully bring in new readers.
Scarberryfields: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? Have any hobbies?
Dan: Travel, the beach, movies, comic books. I’ve always been a gypsy. If my wife said, “let’s go” we’d be out the door. Most of the time, I never knew when I walked back in our house after work where I’d be that night. And really didn’t care. If not for kids, there is no way on earth to know where we might have wound up. We’ve slept on picnic benches at the beach when there were no rooms. We wound up spending nearly six months a year at a North Florida camping resort, rubbing elbows with Snowbirds. We’ve cruised the Caribbean and took the slow route from Los Angeles to Hawaii on a cruise ship, and watched the whales mating off Maui. We’ve driven through a snowstorm in the Alps when there wasn’t supposed to be one and I came the closest to dying, or I wanted to anyway, of any time in my life when I received food poisoning from Paella cooked in insufficiently sterilized local water in the coastal resort of La Manga in Spain.
Closer to home, I’ve always loved the beaches of Northeast Florida, particularly St. Augustine, and that’s why that area plays such a large part in the courthouse/crime/adult love story being told in “When We Were Married.” I’ve always been a movie buff and did as much movie reviewing as I could while working for the Florida Times-Union and other newspapers in Northeast Florida. And, I had read and collected comic books since I was a kid and still love them. I’ve even written a few scripts for comics that got published.
Scarberryfields: Where can readers go to find your books?
Dan: You can find WHEN WE WERE MARRIED - VOLUME ONE – THE LONG FALL
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008YPL9R6 OR
BARNES AND NOBEL: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-we-were-married-volume-1-the-long-fall-daniel-quentin-steele/1112570691?ean=2940013654587
AND you can find WHEN WE WERE MARRIED – VOLUME TWO – SECOND ACTS
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0091FOWWC OR
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/124503 OR
BARNES AND NOBEL: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-we-were-married-2-second-acts-daniel-steele/1108241609?ean=2940013760448http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-we-were-married-volume-1-the-long-fall-daniel-steele/1106754384?ean=2940013654587&itm=1&usri=when+we+were+married