Danny Rhodes Interview

Danny Rhodes Interview
by Shanta Everington

Novelist and short story writer, Danny Rhodes, grew up in Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK, before moving to Kent in 1994 to attend University in Canterbury. He has lived in the Cathedral city ever since.

After a number of his short stories appeared in magazines on both sides of the Atlantic his debut novel, Asboville, was published by Maia Press in October 2006. Well received by critics, it was selected as a Waterstones Booksellers Paperback of the Year and long-listed for the Waverton Good Read Award. It has been adapted for BBC Films by the dramatist Nick Leather. Rhodes' second novel, Soldier Boy, was published in February 2009. He is currently working on his third novel, set in the Midlands during the 1980s, and continues to write short stories.

I caught up with Danny to talk about writing, teaching and his latest venture into e-publishing.

Hello Danny and welcome to The View From Here. How did you get your first 'break' as a writer?

There are things I can look back on and recognise as my first break. I had a break when I was a finalist in a BBC Writing Competition, a break when I got my first agent (despite the fact she didn’t sell any of my work), a very important break when I sent Asboville to Maia Press unsolicited and they accepted it. But the curious thing is I sometimes feel I’m still waiting for it. We raise the bar in life. I’m not satisfied with what I’ve achieved. I want to write more books, be read more widely and be successful in all areas of my writing life.

The Short Story And The Concept Of The Best

Reader Logo by Elizabeth Baines

I’m all behind the protest against BBC Radio 4’s decision to cut short stories, and urge you sign the petition if haven’t done so already. There’s no doubt that Radio 4 has been the biggest outlet for short stories in recent history, and there is much in the argument that the loss of the platform could damage the cultural status of the short story.

Review: When I Followed the Elephant by Tony R Rodriguez

When I Followed the Elephant
by Tony R Rodriguez
Publisher: Cauliay Publishing
Review: Megan Taylor

‘When I Followed the Elephant’ is a slight, but intriguing novel. Set at the end of the Bush era in 2007, its 134 pages explore the uniquely shadowed world view of Desi Marquiso, a theology teacher at a Catholic High School, living in suburban Fremont with his long-suffering pregnant wife, Camille.

As a result of Rudriguez’s rigorous use of first-person, the reader is plunged directly, and almost mercilessly, into Desi’s head. At the book’s outset, we are warned:

You will not like me.

And indeed there is a lot not to like about our protagonist. Self-righteously Right-wing, Desi believes himself to be a defender of his country and his Catholicism, a champion battling what he perceives as the dual threats of Islam and a liberal left. But as the day-to-day routine of his ‘ordinary’ life becomes increasingly clouded by his opinions, it becomes clear that Desi’s dogged ideals are only oiling the slope of his downfall.