Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dramatists Guild


It has been an absolute pleasure to attend the Dramatists Guild national conference. If you are a playwright, you absolutely MUST join this amazing organization.  Free legal advice for members, free access to contracts, submission opportunities... It has been a mind and eye opening experience.  They are leading the conversation in gender parity in our professional theaters that has changed my world and I will be posting shortly about what they had to say.

But in the meantime!  I had the pleasure today of presenting a panel with Roger Bean (creator of The Marvelous Wonderettes) on self-publishing and licensing.  Several of the people who attended the panel asked for a list of the sites and people I recommended, so if you are one of those people, welcome to my blog!  And here is a link to that post that gives you all the information you could ever want or need.

Another Anniversary Come and Gone
(it is a post about publishing!  I promise!)




Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rest in peace, Maravene...

I lost a very important woman in my life today.  A woman named Maravene.

I met Maravene when I decided to transfer from a terrible college to a wonderful school called Towson.  She was the head of the theater department at the time.  I came for a tour of the school and Maravene's secretary took my picture.  I thought that was odd until I arrived that first day.  Would you know that Maravene had memorized the faces of every single student in her department and greeted us each by name?

She taught a class called conservatory.  It was five days a week, three hours a day and worth eight credits.  To fail this class would mean to fail the semester.  She informed us that if we were not five minutes early, we were ten minutes late and that if we were late even once, we would fail.  The only excuse was death or hospitalization (and not like a trip to the ER for the flu.  Like, you had to be in coma.)  The only time she allowed this rule to slide was when a student was pulled over by the police and she brought the cop to class with her and forced him to explain to Maravene that he was the reason she was late.  Maravene said if Cal Ripkin could make it to 100 games, we could surely manage to get to class on time for a semester.  And you know what?  We all did.

I didn't know how important this class was, how intimidated I should be.  Instead, it seemed like the one thing my heart had been aching for.  We met in a blackbox theater.  She ran every scene like an audition and afterwards gave us professional level feedback.  But my first scene was not stellar.  It was Mary Queen of Scots and my partner and I were stiff and faux formal.  Now, most teachers would just tell you that you had a bad scene, but not Maravene.

She invited us back to the theater that night, and when I arrived, she had created a jail cell lit only by candlelight.  She brought us shawls and skirts and had us do the scene between Mary and Queen Elizabeth not as queens, but as two people, one who had been thrown in prison and one who knew she had to kill the other despite not wanting to.

I had never had a teacher willingly give up her entire night just to make sure that I "got" a lesson.

Her class was filled with hour long improvisations.  They were couched as merely a way to understand characters whose shoes we needed to fill.  But instead, they ended up being experiences that changed my world view.  We were to improvise a soup kitchen with all of us playing homeless people.  To prepared, she first had us serve in a real soup kitchen, and it was at that moment that the homeless ceased to be these criminal destitutes, but human beings worthy of respect and compassion.  They were just people.  She then asked us not to eat for twenty-four hours before the improv to understand what it meant to be hungry when you only get one meal a day.  Some even chose to sleep out on the street that night.  And the next day, we shuffled in to our soup kitchen where we were fed the most delicious soup I have ever tasted.  I was Maravene's teaching assistant the following year and you know what?  That soup?  Her strict instructions were to buy the cheapest, most generic vegetable soup I could find on the shelf.

Maravene was about empathy.  She was about learning to view the world through someone else's eyes.  We did improvs about being in a nursing home and the terror of a fire drill when you are unable to move.  We regressed to kindergarten and remembered what it was like to play, but also the cruelty of being young.  I chewed on my hair in kindergarten class and she sharply reprimanded me, and though I was a grown woman, I found myself crying at my desk that a teacher would yell at me for chewing my hair.  Remember what it was like to care so much about school?  Later on the playground, when everyone else was playing ball, I picked the daisies and she came over and gave me a peppermint lifesaver and all was healed.  Because sometimes just a small kindness is all that it takes.  My nemesis as an actor was being able to cry on stage, but we played inmates in a madhouse and I learned that emotions are like swimming.  You just have to dive beneath the surface and they are all there.  Nothing has been repressed to the point of disappearing.  She taught us more esoteric things, too, about how thoughts and energy can be transferred from one person to another, and that's why you have to believe.

I went on to become her teacher's assistant.  And then to become her personal assistant, bringing in fruit salad for whenever she had important guests and remembering to water her plants, which she always killed.

Her life changed when a dear friend of hers, the dean of the college, was killed in a car accident and she was promoted into his place.  She told me one night that she never believed she would do well as an administrator instead of a teacher, but began to see that she could actually make change and break through the bureaucracy to help people.  And so she did, becoming the vice president of Towson, the president of Wilkes, the president of Mansfield, and then finally was brought home to be the president of Towson.  I was honored to be there for her commencement.  She put me up in the best hotel room in town and left a box of chocolates for me.

She used to invite me over to her apartment for breakfast and cook me a full meal of eggs and bacon.  Her favorite color was purple.  She hated smoking and that was the only thing that would make someone lose esteem in her eyes.  She introduced me to my first psychic and taught me to look at the world and all its wonders.  She brought me back an amber necklace from Russia and offered to pay for a trip to Normandy to see the white cliffs which moved her and her husband on their last grand adventure before dementia stole him from her.  She taught me not to settle for men who did not want me to be my best person.  She cheered me on whenever I made a bold move.  She gave me the best bit of advice I ever received.  I was leaving New York and called her in tears and panic late one night, and she said to me, "It's okay.  If it doesn't work out, you can always move back."

I sent her flowers every Mother's Day and she always sent me a check for my birthday.  This was the first year she forgot, and it was because she was dying.  She was diagnosed with cancer in November and given weeks to live.  She didn't want people to know.  She didn't want to be a bother.  She wouldn't let me come and see her.  Every time I booked a ticket, she would block the visit and tell me to come later.  I think she wanted me to remember her as she was, alive and vibrant and strong.  And that is how I shall remember her.

She lives in me.


http://tunews.towson.edu/2015/06/25/in-loving-memory-of-president-emerita-maravene-s-loeschke-ph-d/

Monday, June 8, 2015

Queen Joanna

Need something to read?  My short story, Queen Joanna, is free on Kindle today!  Is "on Kindle" even a real phrase?  You know what I mean.



Thrust into a loveless marriage of state, Queen Joanna soon discovers her new palace is home to many dark secrets. And when a face in the mirror confronts her with a dire warning, she realizes her life is at risk. Has she awakened a curse—or been struck by madness? Queen Joanna presents a haunting twist on the legend of Bloody Mary. 

This short story originally appeared in the From the Indie Side anthology.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Moon has Risen!

Presenting book two in my epic fantasy series, MOON RISE!



Just because the battle was won does not mean the war is over. Aein, Lars, and Finn are sent back to the swamps to protect the one object which may save their pack. But in the recent turmoil, the border has been left unguarded and nightmarish creatures are slipping through. There is a reason why two people must always be there to hold the boundary, a lesson which Aein, Lars, and Finn are about to learn.

Book Two in the Twilight Shifters series.

If you read and enjoy Moon Rise, please consider leaving a review on your favorite retailer site!  It means more than you can imagine!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rocking Self-Publishing


I was so honored to be invited onto the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast.  For those of you new to the indie publishing community, this podcast is one of the best-of-the-best and an amazing resource chock full o' tips from some of the biggest authors in the industry.  If you'd like to hear about my bizarre journey to becoming a full-time writer and pick up some helpful hints along the way, click through for a listen!  Plus, Simon's voice is dreamy.


(Simon Whistler also has some fantastic books on indie publishing for free or next to free if you're so inclined)

Friday, May 8, 2015

“Moon Rise (Twilight Shifters #2)” Cover Reveal Blitz May 8, 2015


Moon Rise 
(Twilight Shifters #2) 
By Kate Danley

Blurb:

Just because the battle was won does not mean the war is over. Aein, Lars, and Finn are sent back to the swamps to protect the one object which may save their pack. But in the recent turmoil, the border has been left unguarded and nightmarish creatures are slipping through. There is a reason why two people must always be there to hold the boundary, a lesson which Aein, Lars, and Finn are about to learn.



Available for pre-order at 



Release Date: 
May 25, 2015



Teaser:

"Run," she whispered to Lars.  But it was too late.  A guard seized her by the arm and threw her to the ground, pressing his foot painfully into the back of her neck.  She rolled her eyes to the side and saw they had forced Lars to the ground, too, pinning his elbows behind him.  The remaining soldiers held their swords at the ready if they tried to break away.

Lord Arnkell was leaner, his shorn brown hair was longer, but otherwise he had not changed.  His square, chiseled jaw twitched as he looked at them with a mixture of contempt and amusement.  His soft, leather-soled shoes barely made a sound as he walked towards Aein.  He was always quiet before he struck.  He wrapped his massive, calloused hand in her hair, and yanked her to her knees.  He brought his face so close, she could smell the musky scent of his body, a scent she had found intoxicating when she worked as a kitchen wench.  Now it turned her stomach. 

He ran his finger across her cheek possessively.  "And how is my favorite little traitor?"  Aein tried to pull away, but he grabbed her face and brought her around until she was staring into his flat, brown eyes.  "Now, now.  Isn't this what you always wanted?  The undivided attention of your lord and master?"



About The Author


Kate Danley began her writing career as an indie author in 2010. Since then, she spent five weeks on the USA Today bestseller list, has been honored with various awards, including the Garcia Award for Best Fiction Book of the Year, and her Maggie MacKay series has been optioned for film and television development. Her plays have been produced in London, New York, Seattle, Baltimore, and Los Angeles. She has over 300+ film, television, and theatre credits to her name, and specializes in sketch, improv, and Shakespeare. She wrote sketch for a weekly show in Hollywood and has performed her original stand-up at various clubs in LA. She learned on-camera puppetry from Mr. Snuffleupagus and played the head of a 20- foot dinosaur on an NBC pilot. She lost on Hollywood Squares.



You can find Kate at

         



Giveaway







 Presented By





Monday, May 4, 2015

Cover Reveal Coming - Moon Rise


Hey Dark of Twilight fans!  Stay tuned!  This Friday marks the official public cover reveal of Moon Rise, book two.  Want to help get word out about this series?  Sign up here!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1riylr4Z9byUGASKugjvK_0_MIRGRWPMhWpeGh8IqhOs/viewform?usp=send_form

Leading up to the event will be giveaways, sales, and assorted awesomeness.  Join the party!  Let me give you things!