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author Mike McPhail
Mike McPhail
Space Pirates
Bad-Ass Faeries
Bad-Ass Faeries II
Hear Them Roar
Tomorrow's Memories
Breach the Hull, book I
So It Begins, BTH book II
Winner of the 2007 Dream Realm Awards, Breach the Hull

Author Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

"Carbon Copy"

08-27-08: interviews author Danielle Ackley-McPhail, contributor to the anthology Space Pirates, which contains her story Carbon Copy.

MilSciFi: "Welcome. What was your inspiration for your story?"

Ackley-McPhail: "Well, any time I think of Sci Fi, I can't help but work in the universe of the Archives Martial Role Playing Game, which was developed by my husband, Mike McPhail because it is the one I am most familiar with the workings of (where I wouldn't be prosecuted for copyright infringement, anyway.) Consequently, most of my Sci Fi stories start off with that as a basis. It isn't always heavily referenced, but definitely has the feel of his universe. So I had begun a story set on a space facility that kind of petered off and lost it's focus because it missed the deadline for the collection it was intended. It was military based and had the infrastructure for some intrigue to take place but I had other more pressing projects I had to finish so I'd set it aside. Some time later CJ Henderson had told me about a collection he was writing for that he felt was in my realm of interest. It was the first book in a proposed Sci Fi series by Flying Pen Press and the title was Space Pirates. Well, it got me thinking and I already had a third of a story started that would be perfect with just a bit of rewriting so I contacted the editor and he was interested in seeing it when it was done. No, I'm not going to say much about the story because anything I shared would pretty much give away the punchline, but suffice it to say that I always look for the most unexpected twist to a story when there is a given topic or theme. This project was no different, but you'll have to read to the end of the story to find out what kind of twist I was able to put on pirates :) "

MilSciFi: "Do you have any future plans for stories set in the same universe?"

Ackley-McPhail: "Well, since I'm playing in someone else's universe--with permission!--and I am quite comfortable with it, I would say the answer is safely, yes. I like Sci Fi and apparently I am fairly good at writing it...Of the five Sci Fi stories I've written, all five have sold, and for the most part, they've been easier to write than my fantasy. I'm not saying I wouldn't develop something new an original at some point, but the Archives offers such a wide range of concepts to play with that it might be a while."

MilSciFi: "What other upcoming works are on the horizon for you?"

Ackley-McPhail: "Well, as I mentioned, I've sold a few more Sci Fi stories than have been seen in print so far. The one that has come out already is Zinn Mensch, which was the cover story for the eighth issue of Trails of Indiscretion Magazine. My upcoming works are Building Blocks, which is slated for the anthology Barbarians at the Jumpgate, and By Any Means, which is slated for...believe it or not...New Blood, an anthology of newly turned vampire stories. Now, don't let that sour you on the story before it's even in print, I guarantee I put an interesting twist on it that should satisfy fans of either genre. Also, unrelated to science fiction, my fantasy novel, Tomorrow's Memories, by Mundania Press, is scheduled to release sometime in September."

MilSciFi: "What are you working on next?"

Ackley-McPhail: "Currently I am acting as first reader for So It Begins, the sequel to Breach the Hull, edited by Mike McPhail, as well as working on my own anthology, Syren Songs, which is book three in the Hear Them Roar series by Marietta Publishing ( For my personal writing projects, I have way to many than I should, but foremost is writing The Halfling's Court: A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale, which is an upcoming novella in the Bad-Ass Faeries series, also by Marietta Publishing, and Today's Vision, my third novel in the Eternal Cycle series, by Mundania Press ( Finally,  from a loosely military Sci Fi standpoint, in 2010 I have the third anthology in the Bad-Ass Faeries series slated to come out, and that is Bad-Ass Faeries 3: Battlefront, which will be all Military faeries, some of which I can guarantee will qualify as Sci Fi."

MilSciFi: "Give us the details on your upcoming author appearances."

Ackley-McPhail: "I'm doing a lot of one-day events in September, but in October I have a packed schedule. On October 4th I'll be at the Collingswood Book Festival, on October 10-12 I will be at FaerieCon, in Philadelphia, and on October 17-19 I will be at CapClave near Washington  DC. I don't have anything planned for the final weekend yet...but I think by then I will have earned a break ;) "

MilSciFi: "Who is your single-most influence in science fiction and what impact have they had on our own work?"

Ackley-McPhail: "I'd have to say Mike McPhail. I've always been a fan of all the speculative genres to one degree or another, but it wasn't until I met my husband and started role-playing in his military science fiction universe that I really began to understand the inner workings of both the military and science fiction. I also got to experience first hand the interaction of individuals in a combat scenario. True it was a game, but as most of the players had at least some time in the service, the only thing missing was the sheer terror of being shot at, the interaction itself, along with the problem solving was very much in keeping with a military situation."

MilSciFi: "Do you have any awards you would like to tell us about?"

Ackley-McPhail: "Why yes...yes I do :) I am very proud to announce the Breach the Hull, of which I am one of the contributors, received the 2007 Dream Realm Award, and my anthology, Bad-Ass Faeries, of which I am both senior editor and a contributor, was a finalist for the same award, sadly in the same and silver, not bad ;) "


Danielle Ackley-McPhail's website is:

Space Priates, is published by Flying Pen Press:

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Copyright 2008 Mike McPhail, All Rights Reserved.


The views contained in this interview are those of the author, and
do not necessarily represent the views of