An Ohio native, Tiffany McDaniel’s writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist. The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel.
Welcome to my blog Tiffany McDaniel
Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Tiffany McDaniel
“Sometimes this world is like red fences in the snow. There ain’t no hiding who we really are.” Tell us a little bit about who you really are Tiffany 🙂
I’m an Ohio poet and novelist who hopes to write a novel good enough for Ray Bradbury to rise from the grave and give me a thumbs up. Everything else interesting about me is my writing itself. Outside of that I’m just vanilla ice cream.
Let’s talk childhood. What aspirations did you have as a child?
Writing definitely. I wouldn’t realize writing was a profession I could have until I was in middle school and the guidance counselor came to my class to talk to us about what we wanted to be when we got older. Writing was just so wonderful to me I didn’t think you could get paid to do it. My parents had jobs, very hard jobs that made them tired and not a lot of money. So I thought that’s what I would have to do. Have a job I didn’t like. Though it took me eleven long years to get a publishing contract, realizing I could have writing as a career, was like being told I could pocket all the stars in the night sky and have light with me forever.
Let’s talk books and influences. Who is your favourite author? Do you have a favourite book or seven?
It’s hard to say my absolute favourite author. That’s like choosing a favorite heartbeat. I can’t live without any of my heart beats. Same can be said about me and my favorite authors. Seven of them are Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Donna Tartt, Poet James Wright, Kazou Ishigaro, Agatha Christie, Harper Lee.
How long has the road to becoming a successful writer been for you?
Eleven years. Writing is the easy part. Getting published is the hard part. I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen years old. I wouldn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine for The Summer that Melted Everything which is my fifth or sixth novel written. For me it was eleven years of rejection and fear I’d never be published. Literary fiction, the genre I write, can be difficult for publishers to take a chance on because they consider it not as lucrative as commercial fiction. Especially when you write darker literary fiction like I do. Even when I got the deal for The Summer that Melted Everything I had no idea it would be two more years before I saw the book on the shelf. In this fast-paced world, publishing still moves at a snail’s pace unfortunately, so with all the years added up, I’ve been waiting thirteen years to see a book on the shelf. July 26th will indeed be a very special day.
Let’s talk writing. What do you love about writing?
Falling in love with the characters and their stories.
Let’s talk setting – the setting is the summer of 1984 – why this particular time period?
When I think about the 1980s, I think about a decade-long summer with its neon colors, big hair, and even bigger ambitions. I was born in 1985 so I can’t attest to if this is true about the decade. But for me the 1980s was a natural home for this story. 1984 was the year I chose because of its parallels to George Orwell’s masterpiece, 1984. I don’t want to give any spoilers away but readers will know the significance of Orwell’s novel in relation to The Summer that Melted Everything after reading.
Lets’ talk about naming characters – I love the sound of the name Fielding Bliss – how did you determine the names of your characters?
I always say the characters know their names. It’s up to me as the author to listen to the characters. It can be as simple as seeing that particular word that day. I take this as a hint from the characters. They’re saying, “Here is my name. Write it down, won’t you?”
If you had more time what you be doing?
Indiana Jones-ing my way around the world. Or just sitting out on the grass at night, looking up at the stars.
What is your favourite film of 2016 so far?
I don’t believe I’ve seen any of the new movies released this year. I’ve just been too busy. I will say one of my favorite films of all is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
Let’s talk next book – I assume there is one in the pipeline?
I have eight completed novels and am working on my ninth. The novel I’m hoping to follow The Summer that Melted Everything up with is titled, When Lions Stood as Men. It’s the story of a Jewish brother and sister who escape Nazi Germany, cross the Atlantic Ocean, and end up in my land of Ohio. Struggling with the guilt of surviving the Holocaust, they create their own camp of judgment. Being both the guards and the prisoners, they punish themselves not only for surviving, but for the sins they know they cannot help but commit.
If you want to know more about Tiffany check out her social media sites here:
I don’t have social media, but readers can always find me on my author website:
Really interesting interview – thanks, both! I do like learning about the way authors go about what they do, and what influences them.
It is interesting isn’t Margot to see the personal side of being an author.
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