Who am I?

I’m Dan. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I still live there. I was born in the Year of the Dragon. I have a degree in anthropology and archaeology. I would have a minor in English, but I was too lazy to fill out the paperwork.

What am I?

Well, for the most part, I am a writer. I write fiction. Long fiction. Short fiction. The extent of my non-fiction writing is pretty much whatever you find here. I work for a small publishing company that specializes in educational books for kids and young adults, which is how I managed to pull this off. I guess that technically means I’m not just a writer, but a published writer, although I probably won’t consider myself such until I actually sell a novel. In addition to being a writer, I’m also a crank, a curmudgeon, and (from time to time) a borderline misanthrope.

I’m a pretty big geek/dork/nerd. I took a year of Latin in high school “just because.”

Oh, I draw, too:

What do I like?

I like to be entertained. I think if I’m going to spend a few hours watching a movie, or a few days reading a book, it better be entertaining. I don’t like when fiction tries to teach me things.

I like sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mysteries, techno-thrillers, historical fiction, action-adventure, and old school pulp novels. I love Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series. I think Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams are incredible in very different, but oddly similar ways. I like reading novels written by Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters. I honestly believe that Sherlock Holmes might be the world’s greatest detective, but Nero Wolfe is giving him a run for his money.

I like Lord of the Rings, the Earthsea series, and Harry Potter. I’ve read a few Dragonlance books.

I like to read books on theoretical physics, the paranormal, and history. I’ll read anything written by Sarah Vowell (she is not, not, not the “female David Sedaris”…she’s actually funny).

Other authors I like: Steve Berry, James Rollins, Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Caleb Carr, James Twining, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Bernard Cornwell, Raymond Chandler, and Kathy Reichs.

I like comic books, but not “graphic novels.” I think if you’re going to make a comic, it should have superheroes, zombies, aliens, monsters, or any combination of the above. I think that almost everything that happened in the comic industry in the ’90s should never happen again. I think Batman should be a dark, broody, paranoid asshole. And everyone in the Marvel Universe should be friends and get along. I also think that the greatest comic character (and comic universe) is Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.

I own a television. I watch it. I like crappy procedural cop shows like Law and Order, CSI, NCIS, Bones, and Criminal Minds. I think House is the shit. Why do I feel bad when I root for Dexter? I like BSG, Doctor Who, and Heroes. Family Guy always makes me laugh. If you slap Joss Whedon’s name on something, I’ll be there. I wish that there were more sitcoms on TV, but for now I’m glad we have How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory. I could watch the History Channel or the Discovery Channel 24/7–you can never have too many shows about Hitler, ghosts, sharks, or jobs involving poo.

I love British humor (or would that be humour). Monty Python, The Office, Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Black Books are all freakin’ brilliant. By extension, I also think The Kids in the Hall are the greatest gathering of comedic talent in North America.

I like cartoons. Old cartoons (like Scooby-Doo or Looney Tunes), new cartoons (like Kim Possible or Ben 10), it doesn’t really matter. However, I just don’t get anime (or manga, for that matter).

I like my movies to have giant robots, explosions, fake blood, sword fights, shootouts, defenestration, sassy gals, and guys in rubber suits. I love old horror movies–the cheesier the better–and think any movie with “dick and fart” jokes can’t miss. I wish there were more westerns being made today. Sam Raimi is much more than just the “Spiderman guy” (and Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson are much more than just the “Pan’s Labyrinth guy” and “Lord of the Rings guy”, respectively). I think that the Marx Brothers made the funniest movies ever. I’m still surprised that I loved Juno and I Heart Huckabees as much as I did. Oh, I also like movies about werewolves or zombies.

Why am I here?

I don’t like existential questions. They make me nervous. But, I’m doing this blog thing because the internet is a big place and it would be a shame to let all of this space go to waste. I’d hate to have one of those killer Al Gore-bots come after be for being wasteful. Besides, maybe I’ll introduce you all to something you’ve never seen or heard of before. And, just maybe, you’ll do the same.

10 responses to “ABOUT

  1. You have an entertaining blog, and plus, I still dig comics, even though I’m not a collector anymore.

  2. You don’t like David Sideris!? For shame…oh well, I admire your tastes otherwise so I’ll let that slide…

  3. I tried…more than once. I just don’t think he’s as hilarious as everyone else seems to.

  4. Part of it may be due then to built-up expectations — and a bit of the contrarian personality type, if I can be so bold. I’m certainly guilty of this since I tend to avoid movies or books that EVERYONE is raving about.

  5. It’s possible.

    I also think that humor is the most delicate of subject matters: You might think something is funny and your friend might think something is funny; then, you might think something else is funny, but if it’s off by just one or two degrees, your friend won’t agree with you.

    There are really only about half a dozen people who I trust completely when they say “Read/watch this. You’ll love it.”

  6. Yup…that makes sense to me. I also have experienced a lot of context-dependent humor, where I’ll see a movie with one person and we’ll think it’s funny as hell. I’ll then see the same movie with another group of people and it will bomb — but not only with the other people, but with me as well. I won’t think it’s funny the next time, because I was seeing the humor through the eyes of the people I was with, in part.

  7. hi dan! great intro. i love le guin, too. and NG is just fantastic on all levels–i met him once at a reading for the graveyard book and he blew me away. and such charm! *sighs*

    thanks for commenting on jen’s interview for my debut. =)

    i joined the latin club in high school–even tho i was taking spanish. haha!

  8. Hi, just visiting … I was looking for “Faust” articles and stumbled across your blog. What fun things you can find on the Net! : )

    You don’t like Dr. House? Well, he is a jerk, but I love trying to pick out how his brain works, interesting human character study from a writer’s point of view actually…a right Mephistopheles!

  9. Hello! Stumbled across you in one of those weird, completely random web ways, but as always, kismet is in the works!

    I’m not as keen as you on US sitcoms (although some of the oldies are goodies) but the rest is eerily familiar. Just not sure why you invited Neil Gaiman and not Terry Pratchett to dinner – you can’t have one without the other!

  10. Good blog! I like your style.

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