Nobody really asks me questions, frequently or otherwise, so until that starts happening, this is just a Q & A with myself. It's a list of things that relate to me and my work that I hope you'll find interesting. If you actually do have some questions for me, hit me up on the contact page.
And let's be honest, most “Frequently Asked Questions” pages are exactly this. They're not literally questions that have been frequently asked. Truly, the format should be called:
Questions of Questionable Frequency
How are you?
By far, the question I am most frequently asked. I am fine. Most days, I'm fine.
Who is Daniel M. Clark?
Who is anyone?
Man, this is easy.
From where do you hail?
Don't start with that nonsense.
Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Rhode Island again, Texas, Florida, Texas again, Florida again, New Mexico, and Texas again. I liked Rhode Island best. I'm from Rhode Island.
What are you working on?
I don't want to promise something that ends up changing or being cut altogether, and I dislike painting myself into corners. I don't often get into what's coming down the line unless it's close to publication. When that happens, you won't have to ask the question because I'll be screaming from the mountaintop about it.
How did you get into writing?
I only ever wrote for school assignments until I was in my early twenties. I'd been more interested in consuming than producing until that point, but tried my hand at a few things and found I enjoyed it. I wrote two fan fiction short stories that were moderately well-received (neither of which shall you ever read) and then decided to tackle a novel. I wrote my first novel between 1995 and 2000 (the exact year eludes me, but I want to say… '97?). It remains unpublished, with good reason.
From there, I found myself drawn to other things for quite a long time—a career in IT, mainly. Fiction writing took a backseat to non-fiction: three books (2006, 2008, and 2012) and some blogging.
It wasn't until the mid-2010's that I started writing fiction again, and here we are.
Science fiction or fantasy, what's the difference?
In truth, not much.
Most genre labels apply to how characters act or the situations in which they find themselves. Thrillers, mysteries, literary fiction—these stories can happen anywhere. Science fiction and fantasy are defined by their settings or time periods and part of that worldbuilding includes, often, supernatural elements.
Cliche as it might be, the rule of thumb still holds true. Science fiction is spaceships and laser guns, fantasy is horses and magic.
Who are your influences?
In no particular order, an incomplete list:
Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson, Katherine Addison, Robert Jordan, J.K. Rowling, Chuck Wendig, Neil Peart, Martha Wells, Star Wars, Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, Hillary Clinton, Barack & Michelle Obama, Kevin J. Anderson, my wife Angela, Jeffrey Deaver, and Gary Larson.
You've said you're a gamer. What do you play?
The first videogame I ever played was Pac-Man on the Atari 2600. I've played on old systems like Intellivision and Colecovision, NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis. I played the usual fare on those systems. I moved into PC gaming after that with titles like Quake and Unreal Tournament. Got into MMOs for a while, things like Ultima Online, Earth & Beyond, City of Heroes, World of WarCraft, and EVE Online. I went back to consoles with the Xbox One and played far too many hours of Destiny and Destiny 2. Upgraded to the Xbox Series X in 2020, and I'm playing Fortnite, ARK, The Outer Worlds, and various Star Wars titles.
It sounds like a lot, but I don't play more than a few hours a week, really.
Why do you hate social media?
I mean, I don't hate social media, exactly. Most of it is awful, certainly. There's no accountability for anyone who posts anonymously. Nobody ever cites sources or evidence. The echo chambers are legion. Cancel culture does exist, and although sometimes they get it right, often they don't. Activists—whatever the cause—don't do nuance.
So yeah, I don't hate social media. The world would be better off without it, but until the day when humanity collectively decides to abide by the better angels of its nature, we're stuck with it.