After Happily Ever After: Daniel Hale Pays the Piper

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After Happily Ever After Cover by Dean Samed, banner by Rohit Sawant

If you haven’t heard about the After Happily Ever After anthology, this interview series is a front row seat into the creative minds of the authors who have re-envisioned the fairy tale world beyond the final credits. Daniel Hale takes us beyond the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

I understand you’ve been writing for about seven years. How did this journey into writing begin for you, and arrive at where we are now? Any lessons for other writers out there?

I began writing towards the end of my first year in college. I was rereading my favorite book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and decided to use the character of an interstellar hitchhiker in a more serious context. That idea never got off the ground, nor did my next about a man who finds himself in a secret society of hidden creatures. It wasn’t until I was brave enough to use ideas that were really my own that I think I felt at all confident about my own writing. I’ve now got my first collection, The Library Beneath the Streets, coming out next year, and I’m working on my first novel, Faith and Folklore. 

Really, all I can say to other writers is to keep plugging away at whatever you want to write. Send things out, take the rejections in your stride, cherish the acceptances, and keep going.

It’s my understanding you’re a journalism student at Kent. It sounds like you’re already on a path to a creative career! Many journalists delve into fiction since their training gives them a very fine tuned understanding of communicating and using language efficiently. Do you prefer one medium over the other? If so, why?

Journalism was pretty much a last minute choice for me as a career. I knew that I needed to figure out a real job to pursue if I wanted to be able to afford writing my fiction (society does not reward artists, as my stepmom told me). I figured that journalism at least utilizes skills I possess to some extent. I can’t say I’m hugely passionate about it, though. There’s nothing like making stuff up to make you resent being an unbiased reporter.

Your story in The After Happily Ever After Anthology is called “Whether They Pipe Us Free” and centers around an order of traveling musicians who use music to pacify rampant vermin. This sounds very much like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, would you care to tell us what about this story attracted you to take a closer look at it and retell it?

Do you have a favorite fairy tale you can share with us?

The Pied Piper became my favorite fairy tale when I learned it had some basis in truth. My retelling came to me when I put the story to a few questions, such as “what sort of music would hold such power over rats?” and “what if the Piper had another reason for taking the children away? What did he do with them?”  There are several theories as to the identity of the Piper in the story, and what really happened to the children of Hamelin. A recruiter for a children’s crusade, an embodiment of plague.
Perhaps, I thought, he simply had another job to do.

Daniel Hale writes fantasy and horror in his native Ohio. His short stories havebeen published in several anthologies, including The Myriad Carnival, and Strangely Funny III. His first collection, The Library Beneath the Streets, is due for release in 2017. He is currently working on his first novel, Faith and Folklore. He can befound at danielhale42.wordpress.com.

Keep an eye on Transmundane Press’s Amazon or main site to keep in the loop of all things After Happily Ever After!

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