Danielle de Valera
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draft of her 1st novel Some Kind of Romantic was placed 2nd in the Australia-wide Xavier Society Literary Award for an unpublished novel, she abandoned writing for 25 years to raise her children, whom she raised alone.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first novel, Some Kind of Romantic, due out here in November 2016, was shortlisted for the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award in 2011, and for the UK’s Impress Prize in 2012.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.
Where to find Danielle de Valera online
Where to buy in print
The Cyborg's Story
Short story. 16 pages. Michael 64, a winged cyborg, is hired by Thurston, Director-General of Genetic Engineering, to guard Azuria 27, a famous cyborg dancer changed at her request into human form - an illegal procedure in 2175. Azuria thinks she is changing for love. When she becomes pregnant, she and Michael unwittingly find themselves part of Thurston's plot for cyborg supremacy. 6,350 words
Last Train to Parthenia
Short story, 18 pages approximately. One night, while working on the inner-city circle of StateRail, Sydney, Bob Johnson is hit by a train, In the last seven minutes of his life, before his brain shuts down, he believes he has finally reached the mythical kingdom of Parthenia. 7,250 words
Short story, 14 pages. O'Neill moves to Brisbane and opens a karate studio. Suffering from insomnia when Azure leaves him, he seeks help from a psychiatrist, expecting to meet "some old git who looks like Sigmund Freud". Dr West turns out to be young and beautiful. Bit by bit he begins to transfer his affections to her. By the time Azure returns, he's become obsessed with Dr West. 4,350 words.
Trio: Three award-winning short stories
Short stories, 14 pages approx. 1. When Johnson hears that Star intends to return to Wayne for the sake of the children, he threatens to kill her with a shotgun. 2. David goes off his schizophrenia medication and believes that an angel of the Lord has told him to eliminate the man for whom his wife Crystal Doreen left him. 3. Star finally decides to leave her abusive husband Wayne. 3,575 words.
The Real Thing
Short story, 17 pages. When Charles Lawson (aka God) is forty and enjoying a career as a troubleshooter for coin fraud, he goes to Maralinga in South Australia to determine the authenticity of a mysterious coin found there after the British atomic explosions of 1960. Here he meets 25-year old Jamie Stanborough, chief archeologist on the coin dig. Jamie sets out to seduce Lawson for his own ends.
Short story, 10 pages. All the men Star chose in the past have turned out to be violent. In choosing Wayne, she thinks she is making a break from her past, but it is clear that nothing has really changed at all. [3,000 words]
Stella by Starlight
Short story, 15 pages. Charles Lawson, the heroin dealer known as God, is released from jail after ten years. When his eye specialist says he will be totally blind in a few years, Lawson devises an elaborate plan to commit suicide making it look like an accident. Trying to execute his plan, he meets Star who is planning the same thing. Perhaps they will be able to save one another. [5,000 words]
Remains to be Seen
Short story, 12 pages approx. Undercover narcotics agents Michael O'Neill and Baby Johnson, still suffering PTSD from the Vietnam War, quit the Australian Bureau of Narcotics and move to the far north coast of New South Wales. Johnson hopes to renew his relationship with Star. O'Neill thinks settling down with long-time girlfriend Azure might be the solution - but that remains to be seen.
Meet the Katt family: Claude (a big hearted marmalade tomcat), his lady cat Mao, Mao’s mother Sylvia and Mao’s two kittens Pussywillow and Rupert. Despite the love in their little cottage they're finding it hard to make ends meet. When Claude loses his bartending job and the bank won't grant more time to pay the mortgage, the cats must find a way to save the day. A feel-good book.
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