L. E. Daniels

Photo of Author L. E. Daniels

Author L. E. Daniels’ career commenced with first prize in the ‘87 Newport Poetry Contest USA.

With a BA and a MFA in Creative Writing, she has published work in Australia and overseas.

She has edited 80+ books and directs the Brisbane Writers Workshop.

Her books:

Q&A WITH L. E. DANIELS

Your professional background:

Writer, editor, trainer, unicorn.

Why this photo is special to you:

Group of youth at a program to support creative kids. Workshop facilitated by author L. E. Daniels.

This Youth Arts Queensland mentor is in the floral print dress. Programs that support creative kids are so foundational and a chance for us oldies to share our insights. I love being useful and watching people bloom.

Best thing about being an author:

Creating a space to examine questions too complex to answer outright:

  • How do we heal through concentric rings?
  • How can we be female and empowered?
  • How does our ancestry inhabit us? 

Favourite holiday destination:

Monument Valley, Arizona-Utah border. Sacred land, big sky country.

At first, I was with friends looking to ride horses but the world shifted when we were invited into a hogan on Navajo land. A round home of packed red earth, a hogan faces east so the morning light streams orange-gold.

Home was a circle, a metaphor set into the landscape as I met the whole family: Grandmother, the children, the man who would take us into the sweeping cathedral of his country.

I left on his horse and I don’t think all of me came back. 

Hobbies:

Forest bathing with my children, husband and old border collie-kelpie.

Favourite movie:

It never got better than the island sequence of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Black Stallion.

Favourite book:

I keep returning to Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run with the Wolves and Barrel Fever by David Sedaris. 

Favourite TV show:

Game of Thrones. I resisted at first, but now I’m a member of House Stark.

Favourite way to spend a Sunday evening:

Seafood takeaway and reading to my kids using my outside voice.

Favourite quote:

‘Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there’…

Rumi.

Best thing a reader has ever said to L. E. Daniels:

‘I’ve had insomnia for years. When I finished your book, I slept through til morning.’

Worst/funniest thing a reader has ever said to L. E. Daniels:

‘I was halfway through the book before I realised the characters had no names. That made me so angry. 3 stars’…

Where you find your storytelling inspiration:

I want to understand who we are, under the façades, parades and clever cuts. I wonder if people really are just these soft little things and I want to understand us and this world so much.

Your take on the self-published books industry?

It’s both great and unwieldy. The opportunity is vast but I see piles of clichés and paragraphs without topic sentences.

‘I wish more people understood that we need more than free time to bash out a book’…

We need to unlearn those inflated habits we were taught to sound smart—the ones that make stories wordy and dull.

We need to be encouraged to be truthful, which not something taught in most schools.

‘I wish people understood the value of good writing courses and dedicated editors, because once a book is out there’…

L. E. Daniels’ contacts:

I’m easy to find.

More on L. E. Daniels:

Maternal Lines is one of my favourite essays and it’s on Australia’s literary journal, Antic.

Vetted by Hawkeye.

Carolyn Martinez

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