Until now, Danielle de Valera's been best known for her short stories, which have appeared in such diverse magazines as Penthouse, Aurealis and the Australian Women’s Weekly.
All in all, she's had a chequered career. She’s worked as a botanist, an editor, a cataloguer for the Queensland Department of Primary Industries Library and the John Oxley Library, and on the main floor of Arnott’s biscuit factory.
Although the 1st draft of her 1st novel Some Kind of Romantic was placed 2nd in the Australia-wide Xavier Society Literary Award for an unpublished novel, she abandoned writing for 25 years to raise her children, whom she raised alone.
She resumed writing in 1990. With Louise Forster she won the Australia- and New Zealand-wide Emma Darcy Award for Romance Manuscript of the Year 2000 with Found: One Lover.
Her first novel, Some Kind of Romantic, due out here in November 2016, was shortlisted for the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award in 2011, and for the UK’s Impress Prize in 2012.
A freelance manuscript assessor and fiction editor since 1992, she has won numerous awards for her gritty, streetwise short stories. MagnifiCat, a departure from this style, is her first published novel. It will be followed in 2014 by the The Children’s MagnifiCat.
About that Name
Danielle de Valera’s father claimed he was related to the controversial Irish politician Eamon de Valera on his mother’s side. But he told some tall tales in his time, and this is sure to be one of them. Born Danielle Ellis, she found that this name was replicated many times on the web. In searching for another under which to write, she first tried her mother's maiden name, Doyle, but there were a number of those, too. What to do? Then she remembered her father’s story and chose it as her writing name. But she feels any real connection is unlikely.
Andrew G. Bennett
on Jan. 02, 2015 :
Great story! Of the stories I have read so far by this author this is my favourite. It held my attention the whole way through. The parallel tale with the main protagonist fighting in Vietnam is a great touch.
(review of free book)
Rita de Heer
on Aug. 07, 2014 :
Remains to be Seen is a well realized slice-of-life story of the hippie times in the 1970/80's in Mullumbimby, Byron Shire, Northern Rivers of NSW. Any long time resident knows people who started here like that, if they don't themselves have an intimate knowledge of full moon dances at Kohinoor, the bath on top of the hill at Cooper's Lane and the sunshine cafe above Mitre 10. Those were the days of living in the dunes, in the old milking sheds, in the banana packing sheds, caravans and old cars. Everybody drank. Everybody smoked.
Remains to be Seen is full of the vignettes that make up life at the bottom of the ladder, as well as the heart-breaking flash-back adventure of the main character's tour fighting in Vietnam, which was the other great story of the time. The contrast is well developed, and yet shows realistically how the Vietnam experience segued into the hippies on the north coast experience.
(review of free book)