Welcome, Daniel Curzon (pronounced Kerr-Zin). For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Daniel) I started as a writer by putting on plays as a child in Detroit despite the neighborhood bullies. They all died young.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
(Daniel) If people have a “block” I think they are not writing out their resentments enough. Write them out but not in the first person. Also let “them” have some of the best lines. You have to find something essential to your personality to use as motivation. Everything irritates me, so I never have writer’s block.
Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(Daniel) I am about as far from a romance writer as you can get. I write to reveal what I think other people don’t get right — the irregularities of the truth, not what orthodoxy says is the truth, neither all left or all right. There is obviously porn. There is also Emotional Porn.
When not writing, I watch men beating each other up in MMA.
I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Daniel) I think it best not to show your writing to those who know you, especially if it is about them. You won’t be telling the truth if you show them what you have written. Lie and hide it asked what it’s in it.
Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Daniel) My favorite authors are Nathanael West and John Steinbeck. West was the first writer I sensed was not so much an influence as a similar sensibility — that life is a bitter, dark comedy. I liked Steinbeck in my innocent, liberal past.
If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(Daniel) My movie would be The Big Book of In-Your-Face Gay Etiquette, starring Brad Pitt, and then me winning the first of my ten Oscars for Best Screenplay.
In some places it is the best of times to be gay. In other places it is the worst. If you have chosen to be gay – and why wouldn’t you? – remember to 1) be proud, but watch your back at all times, and 2) to be good, except when you shouldn’t. This is the 3rd and completely updated 21st Century Edition of the classic, bestselling reference for Gay Proper Etiquette. Revised and expanded for any sophisticated audience some ‘interesting’ millennial changes have occurred over the years from 1982 to the present. “Daniel Curzon is a comic genius.” (Amos Lassen Reviews) “The absolute must-read at US-military . . . worldwide, now that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is officially cancelled.” (Executive Editor Wisehouse Publishing) Daniel Curzon has never been afraid of controversy and has been on the cutting edge of several major social and political issues. He is the author of many books of fiction and plays, including the landmark gay protest novel “Something You Do in the Dark” (G.P. Putnam, 1971). (“I greatly admire Daniel Curzon for writing this novel.” – Christopher Isherwood) (“Engrossing, powerful, and disturbing.” – Joyce Carol Oates).
Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Daniel) I’m thinking of next writing a musical about Guerneville Sal, who was a saloon entertainer from 1849-1851. She sang saucy, dirty versions of Xmas carols for the Forty-Niners. Sal was rumored to be a man.
Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Daniel) My books are on Amazon.com and on the Wisehouse website. Buy a book of plays, for god’s sake!
~~ Sample of what’s offered on the sites ~~
COLLECTED PLAYS of DANIEL CURZON (VOLUME I, 1977-1982)
The Delicious Memoirs of Daniel Curzon, chronicles the author’s encounters with dozens and dozens of gay and/or gay-hating figures in American literature and theatre from the early nineteen sixties very nearly to the present. The bulk of the many short pieces was written in 1986, and is followed by copious updates on most of the people named.
Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Daniel) The Oracle at Delphi once predicted that I would be world famous. Under her breath she said, “But not until you are one hundred and one.”
I’m working on it.
~~ Closing remarks ~~
Thank you Daniel for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for me. Based off a scan of your website, I see you are truly a busy fella. It sure does have a lot of content!
Visitors, I want to also thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed your time here and I’m sure Daniel appreciates your visit as well. Oh, I am sure he would love to hear from you (here, his site or through email). Before you go, may I ask you to stick around and check out just one more book. It’s Daniel’s latest and just arrived on the scene last month.
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: l’Aleph (September 1, 2017)
Sweet, Sweet Stories, Some Sweeter Than Others by Daniel Curzon is a product of a lifetime of living with a super-thin skin and a lot of scar tissue from the vicissitudes of the world. Whether it is possessed of a “monumental originality,” as expressed by Phi Beta Kappa Reviews, it is at the very least a readable, unpretentious collection of short stories that explore the purpose of fiction, of story telling: is it just to pass the time, to divert and amuse, or is it to tell the truth so people will know they are not alone in this world with its bafflements, oddities, sadnesses, and strange turns of mirth?
With a job as a camp counselor, sixteen-year-old Nina heads to the wilderness for summer break. With her year all she wants is an escape. But some special kids can hear her thoughts and she can’t hide her head in the sand like she planned. Can Nina come to terms with all her swirling emotions? Sometimes all it takes is a drop of sunshine!
I texted Aiden but it’d been over a week since he’d seen her. He had a knack for reading people and I asked him to check in on her. Eleven days without seeing my big brother started to feel like a long time. I felt a nudge on my mattress and turned my head so see Lily looking up at me.
I pushed up on one elbow. “Hi, Water Flower, what’s up?”
“You miss your brother.” I fought the urge to react. She couldn’t know I’d been thinking about Aiden. Again, she’d made a statement, and I wondered if that was just how she talked.
“Sometimes. Do you have a brother?”
“No, I used to have an imaginary friend.”
“Me, too. What was your friend’s name?”
I swung my legs over the end, climbed down, and sat on her bunk. “Want to talk about Lisa.”
“No, I was just thinking you were sad because you miss your mom and brother.”
“Well, don’t worry about me. Being a little sad sometimes is fine. Missing people you love is normal.”
There are a couple things that set apart Drops of Sunshine from other teen/young adult books. It’s not the location — summer camp. It’s not the teenage love triangles. It’s not the teenage drama in general. This book differs from other teen stories in the following ways…..
The campers attending Camp Green Lake live life being blind, visually impaired, deaf, near deaf, have down syndrome, etc. Tricia shows the readers that these campers might be “impaired” but they are capable of doing amazing things. Horseback riding, archery, canoeing, nothing stops them from enjoying life and that’s the way it should be.
The campers have exceptional talents and I’m not referring to their arts and crafts skills. They could read minds and, in doing so, they helped Nina feel less alone — which is usually a role of the counselor. In her sadness and her determination to focus on the camper’s needs above her own, she formed a bound with each extraordinary child.
Now as for Nina, honestly, she wasn’t my favorite character in the world. Really, no particular counselor held my interest more than another. With that said, I am strictly basing my score on the two points above and the uniqueness of the campers and the plot.
If you are looking for a book for your teenager, pre-teen, then I do suggest adding this one to their reading list. I think they’ll enjoy it. I did and I’m well past my teens. 🙂
“Drops of Sunshine” can also be foundin Spellbound: a young adult paranormal novella collection featuring 5 new YA stories/authors!
Part of Your World by L.A. Starkey – When two worlds collide at the edge of the sea in a measure of desperation, a prince will bow before a commoner and a lost soul will finally be found. Part of Your World – Where love is waiting just beyond the edge of what you can see.
Glistens by Chess Desalls – Marian Spritz won’t gain guardian fairy status if she fails her summer school project. But when she hears a call for help—a song felt only by Glistens—she must choose between not letting her schoolwork and teammates suffer and protecting a ward who faces grave danger.
Tethered by Kelly Hall – Life had been simple for vampire Jayden Blackwell until he met the runaway Emmaline Grey. One taste of her blood revealed that not only is she a fledgling vampire on the cusp of her transition, but she’s also his bondmate and the granddaughter of his family’s biggest enemy. Will family feuding keep them apart or is it Jayden who compromised Emma’s survival?
Drops of Sunshine by Tricia Copeland –Working as lifeguard at a camp for the blind seems like the perfect escape for Nina. But a few perceptive kids can hear her thoughts. Can embracing her truth help her heal and reveal possibilities she never imagined?
Feathers and Fireflies by Melanie Rodriguez– Seventeen year old Rory of Vanora Village dreams of capturing the sacred summer solstice ritual of the animal shapeshifters with her trusty charcoal and parchment. But with only legends and tales to guide her, she cannot even convince her childhood friend, Lucas, that the ritual is real. On the night Rory follows the fireflies, she gets far more than she bargained for.
Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers at any of these fine locations:
Nobody said being married was easy, but try being married to a superhero. Not only is there laundry, cooking, and a career to balance, but throw in a few supervillains and your day’s booked.
Ariana, Victoria, and Emma’s men spend more time saving the world than doing dishes. These wives want some semblance of a normal married life, but would settle for an uninterrupted meal together. Besides, how can they compete with saving the world?
When a catastrophic earthquake devastates Shadow Town and crime spirals out of control, it appears the city needs all the help they can get to clean it up. Everyone expected the resident superheroes to save the day, but nobody expected the wives’ help too…
‘Psst, Ariana. I’m gonna be late.’ Adam’s hushed voice whispered in Ariana’s mind, jolting her out of the present.
“Hold still,” her mother said.
Ariana stiffened and ignored her mom, focusing on her future husband instead. She wondered how long it’d take to get used to his telepathic superpower. She opened her mind to him and sent a reply, ‘Why?’
‘I’ve been…detained.’ Adam forced an image to flood her mind: his naked body with his manliness poorly covered by his hand. Her cheeks tingled and warmed as she looked at her mother’s smile. She focused on the image in her head instead, noticing the scorch marks on Adam’s skin. Black ash against his thighs and across the ripples of his abdomen. What had happened? She assessed his skin, unharmed as usual.
Her fiancé’s voice continued. ‘I may not make it in time.’
‘Like hell you won’t.’ She shifted her weight on the chair she stood on. Her hand jolted to her rump, swatting her aunt’s hand away. “Ouch!”
“Hey, you need to keep still.” Her aunt gripped her hips to keep her in place.
Ariana sprang off the chair, the bustle of her white gown half pinned, and half flowing behind her. “Um, I gotta go.”
Her mom’s jaw fell open. “You need to go? Now’s not the time for cold feet.”
Ariana found her mom’s purse, pulled out the minivan keys, and gave her mom a kiss on the cheek. “Trust me, if I don’t go now, there won’t be a wedding.”
Her mom’s jaw opened, and she appeared to search for words, but Ariana ignored her, focusing on Adam instead. ‘Where are you?’ She sent to Adam.
‘The alley behind Top Perks Coffee Shop.’
‘Do you know what time it is?’
Adam sent an image of his bare wrist. ‘I was going to look for my missing my watch, but I couldn’t find the time.’He transmitted a chuckle.
‘Of course, you have a joke. You always have jokes. Come on! Our wedding starts in less than an hour.’
‘I know.’ Adam’s words enunciated in her mind. ‘That’s why I’m telling you I’ll be late.’
Ariana flew out the door, her mother hot on her tail. “Where are you going?”
“No time to explain. Meet me at the church,” she panted.
Ariana stopped in the study of her parent’s house and snatched Adam’s Tux, flinging it over her shoulder. She wrapped yards of her gown’s white fabric around her arm and ran to her parent’s minivan.
“Ariana, you can’t do—” Her mother’s voice drowned by the purring V-6 of the sensible gold party machine.
The tires squealed as she flew down the driveway, leaving her mother yelling at her in the front yard. “Sorry, Ma, but there’s no way I’m being stood up on my wedding day.”
More than one neighbors’ necks turned to rubber as they watched the scene of the runaway bride. Ariana waved and blew them a kiss before she further pressed the accelerator and clenched the steering wheel.
The van lurched one way and then the other as she rounded the corners through the back streets of the city, running a few red lights and ignoring the speed limits. Who had time for that crap, anyway?
Leaving a track of rubber on the pavement, she screeched to a halt in front of a rusted dumpster at the end of the alley, perfectly matching the image Adam had sent. She clicked the button to open the side door, yelling into the empty ally, “This better be good.”
With caution, Adam emerged from behind the dumpster with one hand covering his frontside and another covering his backside. The hair was singed off his chest. Hmm…was all his hair below his neck burned off? She looked down at his legs. Yup, that’ll be interesting.
He crawled into the van.
Not waiting for the door to close, Ariana threw the vehicle in reverse and spun the tires out of the alley, heading for the church.
“Here,” she huffed, handing her naked fiancé a small foil-wrapped package.
In the rearview mirror, Adam twirled the package in his hand. “Fingernail polish removing wipes?”
“If I were you, I wouldn’t be complaining right now. Get the soot off and throw your tux on. Honestly, today, I don’t care what you look like. I wouldn’t even care if the hair on the top of your head would have been burned off. You have a wedding to be at in thirty minutes.”
Adam ran a hand through his short, light brown locks, appearing to ensure it was still there. “Don’t you want to know what happened?”
“That’s not important right now. Focus.” Ariana pointed at the tux then to Adam.
Adam laughed. “Well, he got away.”
“I said, get ready.” She hid any amusement from her voice.
“Isn’t it bad luck to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony?”
Ariana looked up at the ceiling and held up a finger. “One day. All I ask is that you show up ON TIME this one day.” Ariana’s arm was shaking. She returned her hand to the wheel and tightened her grip. Note to self: don’t let Adam out of your sight on days with important events.
Adam was laughing now. “Don’t you ever worry about me?”
Ariana’s her heart raced and her palms were wet from sweat. “You’re invincible. You’ll always be fine. Now put that tux on!”
Pulling the van up to the church steps, she turned to her future husband. His lip curled up, and all her anger melted away. She took a deep breath as he leaned forward and placed a kiss on her forehead, giving one of her blond ringlets a little tug. He whispered, “I love you, but, I think, you’ll be late.” In a flash, Adam was out of the van and disappeared into the church.
Out came Ariana’s mother, her wavy gray hair wild in the wind. Ari stepped out of the van, took a deep breath, and smiled, letting it all sink in. She was going to marry the man of her dreams today. This was truly the beginning of the rest of her life. A fabulous life with an amazing partner at her side.
Her mom took her hand and helped her out. “We have ten minutes to finish getting you ready.”
Her dad stepped beside them. “You look beautiful, Dear.”
Ariana smiled. This was everything she ever wanted. Loving parents and marrying a man, everyone drooled about—even if they only drooled when he was in costume, saving the world.
Victoria swirled her straw in her Diet Coke. She hated Diet Coke, but being in a newer relationship, she needed to keep her figure in better shape than a marshmallow Peep. The duck kind, not the bunny ones. The thought was making her hungry. She enjoyed being “full bodied” and wanted to keep her curves. It was a fine line to not be too skinny, nor too heavy. The Diet Coke was her balance, but it reminded her how much it sucked to be thirty and no longer married.
Today, her mind was on everything except the man in front of her. Work, the book she was reading, and her grocery list.
Victoria shook her head and looked up at Mike. “Sorry, I was distracted. I have a lot going on. What did you say?”
“I had asked if you wanted to get away this week. You said you took a few days off of work. We could go to my cousin’s lake cottage. It would be romantic.” He winked at her.
Should she tell him she hated winking? It was creepy and something a sleaze-bag would do. She bit her tongue and focused on his question. “This week? Um… I’ll have Chew-Barka. Can I bring him?”
The smile on Mike’s face dissolved as he rubbed his temple. “I can ask, but can’t your ex take him?”
She sat back in her chair. “Ask him to do me a favor? I’d rather give up chocolate.”
Mike tilted his chin. “You know Thursday’s our anniversary.”
“We’ve been dating for three months.”
Had it been that long already? “You’re counting months? I thought only teenagers did that.”
Mike’s lips tightened. “Are you not into this relationship?”
She swirled her straw, splashing soda over the edge of the glass. “Yeah, it’s fine… I mean good. It’s just—”
Mike looked up. “Speaking of the devil. How is it he always seems to interrupt us?”
She ground her teeth, not needing to spin around to know her ex-husband stood behind her. “Yes, Vance, how is it you always seem to know where I am?”
Her ex made his way to the side of their table. His voice was smooth, deep, and familiar. Victoria tried to forget how much it appealed to her. “Coincidence, I guess. I was on my way to the mayor’s campaign headquarters, but saw you here.”
“Come on. Campaign headquarters is across the city.” Victoria played with her straw.
“You’re a supporter?” Mike asked. “I thought nobody liked the Mayor. How he won, I’ll never know.”
“Obviously, more than half the city likes him, otherwise he wouldn’t have won. Besides, I always root for the underdog.”
Mike leaned forward. “I read that they are trying to have a recall election. Nobody believes he won.”
Victoria turned to Vance and didn’t hide the annoyance in her voice. “So, why are you here?”
Vance’s smile said I’m-hiding-something-I’m-not-going-to-tell-you. “I was simply getting extra steps in.” He turned to Mike. “So, how have ya been?” He gave Mike a small punch on his shoulder.
“Ow—” Mike jerked away, shielding his bicep with his hand. He straightened and recovered his manliness.
Vance didn’t seem phased. “Were you done here?”
Victoria ground her teeth together. “No. We hadn’t ordered yet.”
“Great!” Vance smiled. “I’m starving.” He grabbed a chair from the neighboring table, turned it backwards and straddled it.
“Join us,” Mike said to the already sitting down Vance. “I think Victoria has a question for you, anyway.”
Vance picked up the menu that laid in front of Mike. “Were you done with this?” He tipped down his sunglasses and stared at Mike’s hot coffee for a moment.
He better not use his power.
He tipped his sunglasses back in place and smiled again. A smile that made Victoria sweat. “A question for me? You were thinking about me?”
Victoria shook her head and sputtered out the lies. “I don’t have a question, and I never think about you.”
Mike interjected. “What she means is would you keep Chew-Barka until the weekend?”
“Yeah, I’d like to take Victoria away for our anniversary.” Mike picked up his coffee.
“Anniversary? What’s it been? A few months? I thought only kids counted months.” Vance shook his head and focused on the menu. “Nah. That won’t work. I’m busy.”
Victoria set her menu down and glared at her ex. “You’re busy? How is it that you always seem to find enough time to find me and torment me?”
“Well, I have plans now.” Vance turned away from Mike, towards Victoria, and curled the corner of his lip up into a sly smile. Of course he had plans. They involved keeping her and Mike apart. Now throw in a little irritating her and Vance’s week was full. Did he really hate her that much? She had broken his heart.
Victoria chocked down a sip of her Diet Coke. “That’s okay. I think it’s time I found a kennel for Chew-Barka.” She turned to Mike who lifted his coffee mug to his lips.
“No—” Victoria tried to stop him, but it was too late. He had tipped the coffee cup back and taken a sip. The icy cold liquid sprayed out of his mouth, all over the table.
Mike set the cup down. “What the hell! It’s freezing.”
Victoria wiped her face and glared at Vance.
Vance’s sly smile appeared again, then a little chuckle. “I don’t know why you’re looking at me.”
Victoria shook her head at him, trying to tell him, she was on to him. On to the fact he used his freeze vision.
Vance set the menu down and changed the subject. “No kennel for Chew-Barka. That’s like doggie jail. Let me see what I can do. I’ll get back to you.”
Mike frantically wiped the coffee off the table. “That would be great if you took him for the whole week.” He reached over to reciprocate the punch Vance gave him.
“No!” Victoria tried to warn him again, but it was too late. Mike shook out his fist after slugging Vance’s shoulder. Vance hadn’t budged. Like a rock as always.
Mike opened and closed his hand. “Wow, man, you must spend a lot of time at the gym.”
Victoria stood up. “I’ve lost my appetite. You two enjoy each other. Vance, I’ll see you tomorrow when you pick up Chewy.” Victoria left the men alone for their romantic lunch.
When Becky opened the door to Emma, the first thing she saw was her bright white smile. “Hey, Sis! I’m so glad you could come over at the last minute. I hope I’m not pulling quality time away from you and your hubby.”
Emma bit her lip, holding back a smile of her own. Quality time? Ha. She purposefully didn’t leave out his costume when she left. Would Estavon be able to find his black leather super suit without her? “It’s really no problem. Besides, I want to hear your news.”
A little curly-haired, pig-tailed girl, wearing a black sweat suit and black mask, pranced across the room like a gazelle, finally stopping in front of Emma. Swooping her niece up in her arms, Emma kissed her chubby cheek. “How’s the little princess today?”
Samantha lisped out. “I’m not a princess. I’m a superhero.”
“Oh, well I’m mistaken. What are your secret powers?”
“I’m just like Capitán Rápido. I can move super-duper fast and can see into the future… a whole day into the future.”
“Instead of only ten seconds? You’ll be unstoppable!”
Samantha slid from Emma’s arms and ran as fast as she could around the living room.
Emma laughed, “She’s so cute!”
Becky took her purse from the shelf beside the door. “I’ll be home in about two hours. Do you want to hear the news now, or later?”
“Well… Now, of course.”
A big smile grew across Becky’s face, swallowing all her other features. “I’m pregnant!”
“Really?” Emma heaved her sister into her arms. “That’s fantastic!”
“Hopefully, you’ll have success soon, too.”
Emma shook her head, pushing the thought away. “This isn’t about me right now. I can’t wait for another niece…or maybe a nephew this time.”
Becky looked down at her watch. “I gotta go. Josh is meeting me at the doctor’s office. I have my first ultrasound today, three months along already.” Becky gave Emma another hug before heading out the door.
“Watch this, Auntie Ems!” Samantha crawled up on the couch and jumped off the back with her arms outstretched. “Did you see that? I can fly!”
“Wow, you’re even better than Capitán Rápido. He can’t fly. Not like The Kite.”
“Mommy says I’m going to have a brother or a sister, but I need to be patient.”
“Your mommy’s wise. You’ll need to be very patient.”
Samantha ran around the sofa again, crawled back up and jumped off, one more time. Emma smiled. Oh, how did she want a child of her own.
Joynell Schultz was raised at a zoo (yeah, bring on the jokes) which gave her a love of animals. She spends her days working as a veterinary pharmacist and spends her nights (cough, cough—very early mornings) creating imaginary worlds writing speculative fiction. When she’s not trying to put food on the table (take-out, of course) for her husband and two children (and keeping it away from her sneaky Great Dane), she spends her time reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors, and planning her next vacation.