Interview with Daniel Powell

What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of horror, science fiction, and crime fiction. I'm very interested in atmospheric, mundane horror. My favorite writers include Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, John D. MacDonald, Joe Lansdale, and Jeffrey Ford.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I typically read on either a Kobo or Kindle app on my iPad. I also have an older version of the Kindle, which I use to take out a monthly Amazon Prime loan.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have placed most of my efforts into writing. I probably should spend more time marketing, but it's not something I actively enjoy doing. I write a fairly regular web journal ( and I let my friends and family know of a new publication via a newsletter.
Describe your desk
It's a pretty handsome antique. It's home to a desktop (rarely used) and a laptop (used daily), in addition to a baby monitor and a jar filled with pens. I really enjoy my writing environment!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I think of myself as an Oregonian down here in Florida. Oregon left its stamp on me and my writing in so many ways. It shows up often as a setting in my stories, but it's also there in the positive attitude that I carry into the writing process. Oregonians generally have good hearts and are generous with their time and energy, and those are traits that I try to carry with me every day.
When did you first start writing?
I began to write with an eye toward publication around Christmas in 2006. Since then, I've published dozens of short stories and critical essays in a variety of journals, anthologies, and magazines, and I've been fortunate to work with a small regional press to make my story collections and novels available in both print and digital formats.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Reset is a post-apocalyptic novel about a society that is so fragmented by economic inequality that a maniacal biologist engineers a group of orphaned children to become terrorist weapons. It's a story about rebuilding in the face of tragedy and the human impulse to push toward survival.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am still interested in traditional publishing as well, and will be working with my agent on a new submission packet this spring, but I like the turn-around time the most. Once I have vetted a story and worked with my friends at Distillations Press, I can get multiple versions of a story into the digital marketplace in days as opposed to months.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been a good partner in terms of distribution. I really admire the fact that this company is experimenting with new subscription models and seeking to push the boundaries for authors in a way that helps us all grow larger readerships.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Bringing characters to life and putting them into conversation and interaction with each other is great. Since I had my daughter, I've been writing about family dynamics much more frequently, and that has bee a lot of fun to explore.
What do your fans mean to you?

As always, I hope my stories provide them with an entertaining escape, and I hope to keep bringing them stories for years to come...
What are you working on next?
A horror novel set high in the Sierra Nevada.
Published 2014-03-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

In the Walls and Other Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,720. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Friedrich Nietzsche’s prescient warning about gazing long into the abyss speaks to the very nature of the human condition. Whether we care to admit it or not, it’s instinctual to peer into the darkness from time to time—to question our mortality and the fabric of our world. In the Walls and Other Stories offers eleven explorations of uncanny imagination and spine-tingling dread.
Cold on the Mountain
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 79,810. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Fantasy » General
All they wanted was a vacation to the Grand Canyon. Instead, they found themselves on a collision course with a terrible, timeless darkness. With echoes of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” Stephen King’s Needful Things, and Blake Crouch’s Pines series, Cold on the Mountain treads the boundary between horror and supernatural suspense.
Maximum Dark: Four Tales of Suspense
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 89,720. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Featuring Daniel Powell's thrilling novellas, Maximum Dark: Four Tales of Suspense offers 90,000 words of pulse-pounding action. Remnants: A Record of Our Survival and survival offer a pair of chilling dystopian visions of a bleak future. Frozen and Torched explore the limits of human endurance and our primal instincts to protect the ones we love. Four stories. Maximum dark...
The Reset
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 79,500. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
The Reset is a story of perseverance. It examines a future in which fragmentation and devolution have decimated society, and in which terrorism represents the final desperate attempt at shuffling the deck. With thematic elements similar to Stephen King’s The Stand and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, it’s a post-apocalyptic story about the survivors of terrorism and their impulse to rebuild.
South of Okeechobee
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,710. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A rip-roaring slice of folklore, "South of Okeechobee" is an origin story of one of the American South's great mythological creatures: the Florida Skunk Ape. Blending prohibition, cryptozoology, southern magic, and a little bit of moonshinin', "South of Okeechobee" is pure, high-octane Florida gothic....
Remnants: A Record of Our Survival
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 23,170. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
An apocalyptic nightmare told in the epistolary form by a young survivor, Remnants: A Record of Our Survival is a story of family unity in the face of unthinkable horror.
Torched: A Thriller
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 28,030. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Two women. Two countries. One insatiable lust for revenge. The thrilling follow-up to the novella Frozen, Torched continues the story of two women who will stop at nothing to avenge the loved ones they've lost. A scorching thriller with adult themes, Torched is intended for mature audiences.
The Silver Coast and Other Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 52,490. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
"THE SILVER COAST AND OTHER STORIES is a collection of eleven stories that deal with the human condition in all its gory glory and the victims left in its wake." ~ Colleen Wanglund, THE HORROR FICTION REVIEW
Frozen: A Thriller
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 24,350. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
How far will a mother push herself to save the lives of her children? FROZEN, a 20,000-word novella, is a gripping examination of endurance and obsession in the face of harrowing personal tragedy.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,130. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
The year is 2209, and the hour has grown late for the human race. Famine and disease have drastically compounded the misery of a warming planet, and steps have been taken to cull the human population through a process called Labor--a gauntlet of chaos and destruction all men must survive in order to earn the privilege to become fathers. It's Bryan Norton's time. Can he survive Labor?
These Strange Worlds: Fourteen Dark Tales
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 45,500. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
These Strange Worlds takes readers on a series of excursions into the realm of the uncanny. From dark humor to grim tales of life after the apocalypse, Powell’s first collection embodies the spectrum of possibility that is the hallmark of speculative fiction. Features the Million Writers Award-nominated story "Raising Tom Chambers."
The Reaper's Harvest
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,240. Language: English. Published: August 13, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
The Reaper's Harvest, a work of supernatural suspense, is the story of Oregon rancher William Lowell, a man who must match wits with death himself in order to protect his family. It's the story of temptation in the face of tragedy, the insistence of love and the hazard of sacrifice--all in the space of one season's harvest.