The final author featured on August’s Passion and Compassion month is Dannie C. Hill. The first time I met this charming writer was after I followed him on Twitter. He immediately sent back a message saying: “Eden Baylee, I’m so happy you’re following me!”
I had such a big laugh over that, and I’ve been laughing with Dannie ever since. He’s a man of many talents and many homes. When we first connected, he was still in Texas. He is now living and writing in Thailand. With his unwavering support and infectious enthusiasm, Dannie is a bright light amongst the indie author community. He is also one of the first men to read my book and give it a favorable review. For that, I’ll always have a soft spot for Dannie.
After I invited him for an interview, he gave me permission to “improve him” in any way I saw fit. Ha! With two books out, and a FRESH NEW BLOG that’s funny, touching, and shares his passion for life, I’d say Dannie is perfect just the way he is. I think you’ll agree. Please welcome author, Dannie C. Hill as he joins us from the other side of the world.
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In Dannie’s own words …
I am a writer, born and raised in the South—North Carolina. I have lived in many places in the States, two years in the Marshall Islands, and Budapest for a short time. I’ve helped build a church in Brazil, fought in Vietnam and have been to many countries in Asia. I now live with my wife in Thailand where we have a small farm, and it’s where I write.
I’m an avid sailor, motorcyclist, and love anything to do with the outdoors. I’ve studied martial arts, knife fighting, stick fighting, military individual and squad tactics. I’m also a fiction writer—so keep that in mind.
With two books published, I am still learning and always will be. Because I am a writer, I would ask you to take a look at them. My writing has been described as smooth, lyrical, and with descriptions that put you there alongside my characters. If you enjoy the ocean or the mountains, then I think you might enjoy my books which have received great reviews from all my readers.
I write because I must, and it helps keep me sane. I believe that readers are the intelligent people who keep this world we live in from falling apart. Readers are the life’s blood of a writer, and I put them first in all I do as an author.
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Douglas Durian was a dangerous man, until a traumatic event on his last mission as a Navy SEAL took five years of his memory. He sails the ocean alone looking for answers about his life. He rescues a young girl far out at sea and his life is turned around.
She demands that he remember his past in order to save her from the man who held her in servitude. She is abducted and Douglas must rescue her to save both their lives. He sets out to make sure that her captor will never harm her again.
In his search he encounters love and friendship as he rediscovers the beauty of the sea and his lost soul. Sailing, humor, high adventure and desperate actions make this tale worth reading and enjoying.
On his first camping trip to the Appalachian Mountains, Tyler is attacked by bears and carried off deep into the mountains. He escapes but is hopelessly lost. He meets an old Cherokee man who helps him find his way home and at the same time teaches Tyler about the mountains and the Cherokee people.
This is also a story about a young man’s search for answers about his heritage and the decisions he makes.
Though written in the genre of Young Adult, this tale is one that readers of all ages can enjoy.
Outer World Prairie is a fantasy novel that will take you to a new world. Along the story line of AVATAR, but written long before the movie ever came out, it has sex, romance, and adventure, and tells the story of the people of Prairie who try to save their world from an ancient foe.
Take a peek at this fascinating tale on Dannie’s website.
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Inside Dannie C. Hill’s Mind
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Is there such a thing? I think there are meteoric moments in time when everything comes together that might fit that term. As I get older those moments grow further apart. Now that doesn’t mean happiness is a flitting thing… I think it means I’m angry I’m getting older. I hope I don’t turn this into a pity-party. I do enjoy life.
I guess the proper answer should involve my wife and children, but I will give you an example where all elements came together and perfect is the only way to describe it.
I was sailing a 70 foot sailboat—not as captain, but more the deckhand. Three hundred miles off the coast of Georgia, well outside the gulfstream and in the dead of night. It was my watch and I was hand-steering because the wind had come up and was too much for the autopilot. Alone and loving it. I was captain at that moment. Fifteen foot following swells – large waves coming at us from behind and 25 knots of wind. The half-moon was waxing towards full and I was steering using a star as reference. The giant black beast was coming at me and lifting the boat high above so I could see the army that followed. The ocean was sprinkled with fractured diamonds and the giant sails were full as we drove on at 12 knots. The Milky Way was a belt of cloudy stars. I was all alone and I loved it. Perfect in every way.
What turns you on creatively? My mind—what little there is of it—can focus on tiny things and words, errant thoughts and a story jumps out at me. I like creating strife and doom and find the silver lining in that. Little things turn me on. That and beautiful women.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I was told once I had to give up the word—that. If I gave that up my southern voice would die. I really don’t know the answer. I guess you would have to ask the people who know me. I can’t think of a standard that pops out of my mouth, but then again, I don’t always listen to myself.
What quality do you most admire in a man? Nice ass… wait are we on men now? Sorry. Confidence and humor would be the main characteristics that I admire in a man. Another would be the things that I am not. Men make great friends—as long as there isn’t too much beer involved. I can talk to men without thinking about what they have on underneath or if I interest them. Really, I enjoy men because there is nothing more than friendship involved. I honestly like men who don’t mind helping those that need it with no thought of payback.
What quality do you most admire in a woman? Again, confidence, but I would put humor at the top. I enjoy women who expect to be treated as equals—not more than equal. Anyone who can carry the conversation is someone I admire. A woman who listens is a treasure in a friend. Now, be honest… you thought I was going to say nice ass… didn’t you? I want to be truthful—really. As I gain in years I do look at women in a very different way than in my youth. Now that’s not to say I don’t admire their looks and physical attributes, but I find that I am finally learning that there is beauty in every woman; their mind, their wondrous ability to capture you in just a smile and the well-known fact—they possess breasts. Let me try to forget the physical for a moment. I’m joking in part. I am a lover of women but in total fear of talking to them knowing I will say something stupid.
I admire a smart, confident woman who doesn’t get angry when a stumble-tongued man—such as myself—tries to make pleasant conversation or learn from them. I also enjoy women who are beautiful inside and out and really don’t seem to realize it. The real truth for me is that all women are treasures, not to exploit but to admire.
These are very hard questions. Will you give me the analysis of this afterwards, Eden? Oh, and I really like Asian women!
What is your greatest regret? I have so many! One that I’ve come to notice the most is my education. If only—those famous words some of us say. Being a full time writer, novelist, I embarrass myself constantly while I search the internet on how to spell words. My vocabulary is decent; I just can’t spell a bloody thing. When I first met my wonderful editor I warned her of what she was taking on. She also dubbed me, the ‘comma monster’! She now wants to charge by the hour. I care for her dearly and without her my books wouldn’t be of the quality they are. I’m not claiming to be a great writer, but I do enjoy reading my books.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My need for solitude. I know it comes from not wanting to be embarrassed. I’m basically a recluse who forces himself to go out in the world. If not for my wife and children I would be in a cave somewhere—just me and my laptop. I like people, enjoy people, but I feel I’m always one step away from disaster, Eden.
If you look up the words “panic attack,” you would find a picture of me. I’m great fun at a party and you wouldn’t suspect it of me, so invite me to a party and see for yourself! I would also give myself confidence to sell my books. Not so much for the money—it is needed to continue writing—but to increase the pleasure I get when someone tells me they have read one of my works and liked it. That’s the one compliment I will take with me wherever I go!
What is your greatest fear? I’m pretty sure I just covered that. Public speaking. Drinking from a cup that someone else just used. I was fearless in a bygone war, raising children and being married for 35+ years. Other than myself, I find very little that I am afraid of.
The one absolute fear I have is becoming a burden and helpless. I want to leave this world and head for the next in the blink of an eye.
Which living person do you most admire? Living…George Bush—well there goes at least half your readership.
There’s a long list, not all living, but J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are two people I truly admire for bringing true Fantasy to a world of readers. I know they weren’t the first but they were the first in the modern age. I would forever read and wonder at how they could think up the things they wrote about. The fact that both wrote their stories for their children and grandchildren impresses me more. As a young person I often felt like I was a member of their family, to enjoy their writings in their company. The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia were the seeds that opened me to be a writer. I certainly make no claim that I am of their quality, but the mere fact that I can write complete novels that others seem to like is amazing to me. I often sit and read In Search of a Soul or Tyler Hill’s Decision and can’t believe that I did that. And my next book, Outer World Prairie is in final read through and keeps me enthralled until I must force myself to forget the story so I can find errors. Sorry, I slipped off.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? A circus performer. I’ve actually had a number of professions and hobbies and now I have found the absolute one thing I love to do—write. I have no desire for anything else. Check with me in a few years, and then I may have another answer.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A tiny dog with a ribbon in my hair living with a rich family in the States. What a life they live!
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Having a loving wife and three great children who have turned out to be good, honest, and kind men and women. And three beautiful grandchildren.
Second to that. Writing manuscripts that people seem to find some bit of pleasure in. Crafting something from ones’ mind is truly remarkable. I have the greatest respect for writers. They have made my life better—taking me away to places I’d never dreamed of and seeing things I never thought to see. After that poets! Being counted among that group is a great achievement for me.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? I think it would be conceit. Why do we all think we can do no wrong? We can certainly give a number of reasons why things went wrong, and it wasn’t our fault.
What is your greatest extravagance? Extravagance? I was born poor and unless I sell a whole lot of books I will go out that way. I guess the real answer is motorcycles and boats—sailboats. And laptops.
What is one thing you want to do before you die? Oh, I couldn’t say that out loud, Eden, wink. Be known as a good writer since I know the other won’t pan out.
What is your present state of mind? ROFL. Eden. Why did I ever agree to this? I’m doing okay for a wild and crazy guy. My state changes daily. I have lived with depression for a number of years, and I finally found out how to use it to my advantage by writing. I don’t know many fiction writers and poets who don’t feel the tendrils of depression wrapping around their minds from time to time. It’s the food that feeds inspiration. The one thing I can do to fight—or is it enjoy this state, is to write. A day that looks dark and wind-blown can turn bright and sunny just by tapping with my fingertips and seeing what I’ve done.
What are some of your favorite curse words? Anything to do with sex or bodily waste. I had a foul mouth. It seemed a requirement for the work I did in aviation and I enjoyed saying things I would never take home with me. Then in a matter of weeks I discovered the answer to life and all that stopped. In the heat of the moment something might slip out, but generally not directed at another. I hear the words now and they don’t offend me, but I put them in their place—the words—and move on.
What is your motto? I’ve really given this a lot of thought, he said with a wry grin. I do have a motto from a long time ago and it is as true today as it was then, for men. I won’t repeat here because it would embarrass me and possibly inflame a few. If you really want to know, ask me in private. It’s not something I thought up but borrowed from a golfer of old.
Another phrase I like to use now is: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Also borrowed. I do try to practice this, but it is a hard row to hoe. I’ve learned from people like Eden Baylee, Al Boudreau, Lorna Suzuki and many others that helping is what it is all about! Through helping you will receive a bounty in return worth more than all the money in China. I’m still learning this one.
Some final thoughts from Dannie…
I hope you liked the view into my mind. Why? I don’t know. Eden, remind me never to lie on a couch with you nearby.
I hope you will comment on what I have said—good or bad—because you the readers are the most important people I know. I would like to know you better.
Thank you for having me, Eden. You are a great writer and I love your blogs and tweets. You are a sweet lady!
Thank you Dannie, my lovely author friend in Thailand. You were a delightful guest even though you mentioned George Bush and zapped all my readers off my blog! (We need to talk) 😉
Connect with Dannie
I invite all readers to leave Dannie a comment or ask him a question—a friendlier man you couldn’t hope to meet.