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.
The manuscript of her 1st ever novel (then titled Love the People!) was placed 2nd to published author Hugh Atkinson's in the Australia-wide Xavier Society Literary Award for an unpublished novel - in those days, there was no Vogel Award for Unpublished Writers under 35. After that, she abandoned writing for 25 years to raise her children, whom she raised alone.
She resumed writing in 1990, somewhat behind the eight-ball. With Louise Forster she won the Australia-New Zealand-wide Emma Darcy Award for Romance Manuscript of the Year 2000 with Found: One Lover.
That first novel, Love the People! was shortlisted for the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award in 2011, and for the UK’s Impress Prize in 2012, under the title A Few Brief Seasons. It's due out here in October 2021 under its final title Those Brisbane Romantics.
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 was followed in 2017 by Dropping Out: a tree-change novel in stories - to put it another way, a collection of linked short stories.
For more information on this author, see Smashwords iInterview. There's lots there.

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.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
I guess you could say I started when I was abour ten, with the good reception of my first composition. See: A Bit about Beginnings in my Author Profile for the story of how my father helped me - and probably changed the course of my life by doing so, bless him.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When I was a child, my Australian-born Irish mother made up dialogue for all our pets, dialogue for every occasion. I think she got it from her mother - all the siblings in that large family did this. The cats talked, the dogs talked. I grew up making up dialogue for my own pets, and really, it wasn't much of a leap to go on from there.
I wanted to tackle the serious subject of poverty in a novel, but I didn't want it to be a heavy, Grapes of Wrath kind of thing. That's when I remembered the dialoguing animals I grew up with. I wanted to make the subject palatable to the general reader without compromising its integrity - it's all in the Preface, actually.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Danielle de Valera online

Where to buy in print


Those Brisbane Romantics
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 93,940. Language: English. Published: November 4, 2021. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand
Brisbane, 1961. After being drafted into work for the war effort, women are back in the home. Tara Mahoney has fallen for childhood friend Joe Gordon, whose ambition is to make it in international music; marriage at twenty-two will ruin his chances (and Tara's) for a career in the arts. Joe and Tara are desperate for one another but with no reliable birth control it's hands-off for both of them.
Dropping Out: A Tree Change Novel-in-stories
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,500. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » Australian & Oceanian, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Character-linked short stories. 212 pp. When undercover narcotics agents Michael O'Neill and sidekick Baby Johnson are sent to the Northern Rivers of New South Wales to bust a heroin dealer so big everyone up there calls him 'God', they fall in love with the area and decide to drop out. Although they arrive with high hopes, life in the country does not turn out to be as Idyllic as they'd imagined.
Price: Free! Words: 2,960. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Short story. 2,300 words, 10 pages approx. When Charles Lawson, formerly the notorious heroin dealer known as 'God' is released from jail, he lives quietly with his cats until old age forces him into a home for the elderly. There, he reflects on his life and, as he dies peacefully, imagines he is reunited with his wife Angela, who passed over some years before him. Short story, 2,300 wds 10 pages.
The Cyborg's Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,340. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
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
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,130. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
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
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,140. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Adventure » General
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
Price: Free! Words: 4,390. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
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
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,580. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay
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.
Star's Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,660. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Feminist, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
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
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,600. Language: English. Published: August 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
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
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,330. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
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.
Busting God
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,810. Language: English. Published: March 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
Short story, 15 pages. Aging undercover narcotics agent Michael O'Neill is fighting back the years. Pumping iron, practising karate with the best, running miles every day so that he can stay in the field. He is sent to the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, along with his Vietnam buddy Baby Johnson to bust a heroin dealer everyone up there calls 'God'. 5,500 words.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,970. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire, Fiction » Fantasy » General
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.

Danielle de Valera's tag cloud

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