In Conversation with Daniel Reiner – @vulpine_press #TheShadowEffect

In Conversation with Daniel Reiner

Daniel Reiner was born, raised, and still resides, in Pittsburgh, PA. Influenced at an early age by the imaginations of Larry Niven and Stephen King, it was a later encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s dizzying use of adjectives that set him on his course. That path has led to the creation of a set of characters within Lovecraft’s universe, their tales currently being published by Vulpine Press in The Shadow Saga. Though the bulk of his creative output remains Lovecraftian, he does branch out and dabble in shorter pieces with horror, science fiction, or other, uncategorizable flavors. Samples of his work are available at

  • Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, please?

With no formal training as a writer, I began experimenting with short pieces in my mid-20’s. After a few years, with no success and unsure of myself, I stopped. In my 30’s, I was inspired by a shadow one morning, and came up with the concept for my first book, The Shadow Beyond. It took about another decade, with various stops and restarts, before it was self-published under a different title. It being Lovecraft-inspired and having only a niche audience (or, so I believed at the time), I was pleased that it ended up selling a few hundred copies. Once again, however, I put the writing aside. After yet another decade, and now in my 50’s, the writing bug settled back in, and I came up with some ideas for how to build on that first book. I also joined a writing group, and their feedback helped me immensely. The leader of that group, who became my editor, liked what he saw. He was the one who contacted Vulpine Press and got me the publishing contract.

  • How do you decide who to dedicate your books to?

The first was to my parents, and the second was to my wife. Those were easy. The next one will be trickier…

  • What was the inspiration behind your latest release?

Although it really bears no resemblance at all, The Shadow Effect was inspired by Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness, and a bit of Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. I wanted the feeling of a tale of adventure.

  • Do you find it hard to let your characters go when you finish writing the book?

You’re going to have to ask me that again in about three or four more years! There’s still much to do with this group of characters until The Shadow Saga is wrapped up. Though, I can say that two of them are very much part of me and I’ll never let them go.

  • Who is your favourite author?

For pure consistency: Larry Niven. Right from the start I have been utterly thrilled by his Known Space universe and the characters who populate it.

  • Is there anyone that you would like to mention and thank for their support of your writing?

I wouldn’t be where I am without the support and feedback from the Millvale Writer’s Group, but more specifically, Adam Dove’s editing, so: Thank you, Adam. And if I’m allowed to include a plug for him, then:

  • If you had the power to give everyone in the world one book, what would it be and why?

Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny, is appealing to me on so many levels. I very much would like to share my enthusiasm for it, but also fear that ninety-nine percent of the world would end up hating me for doing so. Instead, I’m going to go with Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams. For sheer entertainment, I can’t think of a more hilarious book. And these days especially, we need all the laughs we can get. After dozens of times through, despite knowing what’s coming next, there are sections that still make me laugh out loud.

  • What are you working on now?

The third book in The Shadow Saga is underway, and I’m always working on shorter pieces of fiction. So far, I haven’t had success finding online or print homes for that latter group, though I have been getting encouraging feedback. But when November rolls around, I do think that I’m going to set it all aside and take a shot at NaNoWriMo. An idea that I had last year turned into a few thousand words. What I currently have would essentially be the prologue for a full novel.

  1. Lastly, do you have any questions for your readers?

I do, but, again, we have to wait a few years. The question would be: “What is your favorite character?” The problem with asking that right now is that even The Shadow Effect doesn’t fully introduce the entire group. We need to be nearer to the end of the Saga before the readers have met everyone.

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