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Empirical DanToday I would like to introduce you all to Dan O’Brien editor, writer, and psychologist. He currently works at a national magazine, Empirical, in northern California. He has written over 10 novels, several screenplays, and is working on a graphic novel. I feel exhausted just telling you all that. He also helps supports budding authors and is often to be found in writer’s forums offering help and advice. Dan, a warm welcome to my blog. I’m going to start with the silly stuff that we all want to know about. We all enjoy a good reminisce here:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Taxi Driver?

My knee-jerk response is both. I love them for completely different reasons. Tim Curry remains one of those iconic actors who I am always referencing, but who could forget Robert DeNiro’s performance. “Are you talking to me?” Absolutely, Taxi Driver for the win.

The Flinstones or The Jetsons? (If you don’t remember these then you are far too young to appear on my blog!)

I am going to go with The Jetsons, simply because I have always been a fan of science fiction and futuristic cartoons are right in tune with that.

 Peanut Butter Cups or American League Grape flavoured Chew?

Peanut Butter Cups far and away. Unfortunately, I have so many allergies these days that neither are really an option….

Led Zepplin or Stevie Wonder?

“Stairway to Heaven” versus “Superstition.” I please the 5th.

Please tell us one of your favourite short jokes?

A bartender turns to the neutrino and says, “We don’t serve your kind here.”

A neutrino walks into a bar.

(I had to look up “neutrino” before I got that joke then I liked it so much I decided that I’d tweet the neutrino joke yesterday!) You go to a funfair. Which stall or ride are you most likely to try out and enjoy?

I am more of the games man myself. Rides were never my thing. I imagine I would do to the little teacup that dances about or bumper cars, if pressed.

 What a great image. What was the first car you ever purchased?

A ’79 Buick Electra when I was 16. It was a tank and survived all of the pitfalls of a teenage driving.

What one crazy thing would you like to do before you are too old to do it?

I can say that I have done all (or most) of the crazy things I would like to do. I think maybe a trip to Africa would be fascinating, simply because I might not have the endurance later.

What advice would you give to a writer just starting out?

Stay the course. They say that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Take that to heart. Dedicate yourself to doing something and challenge yourself to see it to the end.

Why did you decide to write?

Because I love it. There has not been a moment as a writer that was not filled with wonder. Even the darkest moments, and there are always a few, it was writing that pulled me through. I began to take it more seriously in my late 20s because I realized what it meant to me, and what it meant to how I would live the rest of my life.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block and if so what did you do to combat it?

I do not believe in writer’s block. To be fair, I am always writing several novels and short stories at once, so if “inspiration” is not working, I will shift to something more practical.

Are you a person who is fixated on how many words you have typed or do you just write the story and then count the words?

I just write the story the way I think it should be told. Word and page counts mean nothing as far I am concerned. I can understand its importance as a psychologist, but for me it lacks utility.

Do you find time to read? If so, what was the last book you read?

I try. I work at a magazine where I am the Senior Editor and Marketing Director, so inevitably I am reading something. I review books sometimes, and that provides an outlet for reading, though not always the books I would wish.  The last book of consequence that I read was George R. R. Martin’s Dance of Dragons.

I enjoyed it, though I found parts of it a bit tedious. I cannot fault him for this, as I often find I write more than is necessary because it feels necessary at the time. It is a tremendous series and I will be both enthralled and saddened when it does someday end.

Could you please put a few brief words about you – something that doesn’t show up on your website. Surprise us!

I am an avid training enthusiast. My office, which is to say a bedroom turned into a cave, is filled with training equipment: a stationary bike, dip rack, sandbags, kettle bells, dumbbells, barbells, etc. I am also a huge fan of Sherlock, and cannot wait for the new season to return this fall.

That’s a positive note to finish on. Thank you very much for being here today. It has been a huge pleasure to have you here.

Dan’s book, The Path of the Fallen, can be purchased by clicking on the links below. If you would like the chance to win a Kindle Fire then you must check out Dan’s Facebook page by clicking below. He has a giveaway running through to St Patrick’s Day.

Blog: http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorDanOBrien

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authordanobrien

The Path of the Fallen CoverThe Path of the Fallen (The Fallen Chronicles) by Dan O’Brien

Set against the backdrop of the tundra and a world desperate for hope, the journey of a young man, E’Malkai, will come to define a realm that has been broken by an evil that does not sleep. A bitter betrayal, and the inception of a war that will consume the world, forces E’Malkai to confront the past and undertake a pilgrimage that is his by birthright. Follow him on his journey and be transformed.

The Path of the Fallen (US)

The Path of the Fallen (UK)