“A man cannot be wise enough to be a great artist without being wise enough to wish to be a philosopher.”
“An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along; he must offer some little opposition.”
–Evelyn Waugh, Paris Review Interview 1963
My aim in becoming a writer was to explore strange new territories: perhaps a crime series starring a hard-boiled, perhaps Scandinavian, detective with a dysfunctional family life and a desperate sense of justice. But in the end I succumbed to the pressures of the market and plumped for the tried and true: a story of an out-of-work young academic who ends up becoming the hottest scribe in Hollywood.
I know. One more story about a philosopher in Hollywood. Really? Is that the best you can do?
Apparently it is.
My name is Daniel McInerny and I’m the author of the blackly comic thriller High Concepts: A Hollywood Nightmare. I also write humorous fiction for middle grade children, which you can find out more about at the Kingdom of Patria.
10 Fun Facts With Which to Stump Your Friends…
1. I’m a native of South Bend, Indiana.
2. As a child I lived for two (nonconsecutive) years with my family in Rome.
3. My first name is an anagram for aliden.
4. My favorite authors: P.G. Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Flannery O’Connor, Tom Stoppard, J.R.R. Tolkien, Muriel Spark, Walker Percy, Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens, Graham Greene, Thornton Wilder, Seamus Heaney, Dante, James Joyce, Shakespeare, Homer, the Beowulf poet…
5. Favorite middle grade books: Tolkien’s The Hobbit (if that counts as middle grade), the Great Brain series, the Harry Potter series…
6. Favorite movies (of recent vintage): the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, Tree of Life, Of Gods and Men, Hugo, From Time to Time…
7. What I’m reading now? When it comes to fiction: David Copperfield. Non-fiction: George Grant, Technology and Justice.
8. Favorite places to go: the Globe Theatre in London, Colonial Williamsburg, Vatican City, Hostaria da Nerone in Rome (begin with the tortellini in brodo), Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan, Conner Prairie, Fishers, Indiana, American Shakespeare Theater in Staunton, Virginia, Booth Bay Harbor, Maine, South Bend, Indiana.
9. I hold a PhD in philosophy and worked and taught for nearly eighteen years at various universities in the United States. In 2006 I published a book on the relationship between moral conflict and happiness with Fordham University Press.
10. I taught high school for two years, during which I directed a production of Our Town and adapted a stage version of Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
11. Favorite Books on Writing: Robert McKee’s Story, Stephen King’s On Writing, Flannery O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners.
12. I have trouble counting to ten.
Best of all: I live in Virginia with my wife Amy and our three children.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter: @danielmcinerny. You can also sign up for the High Concepts email newsletter on the front page of this site.