This Is Rutherford
This is Danny Buell
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Photo credits: Regina and Danny Buell
RHS Graduate (2015) Danny Buell has always had a passion for writing and creativity. Recently, one of his short stories was published in a book titled Dead of Winter. This is Rutherford recently spoke with Danny about his career as a content creator and blogger and his short story publication in the holiday-themed anthology, Dead of Winter.
TIR: Have you always been interested in writing?
DB: Always. Pretty much for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was a child I would always be so fascinated by movies, video games, and books and always had this spark in the back of my mind that said "hey, I wanna do this, but do it my way, and tell my friends, family, and just about anyone about it". That idea pretty much hasn't changed much except that I've pretty much succeeded at that.
TIR: Who has influenced your writing?
DB: Just about anyone under the sun (laughs). If I had to probably think off the top of my head the names that come to my mind are classics like Tolkien, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Orsen Scott Card, William Gibbson, and then new authors like NK Jemisin, Daniel Abraham, and Evan Winter.
RHS English teacher, Melissa Dougard, told TIR, “I remember that Danny was constantly in pursuit of excellence in his writing. He was always imaginative and eager to share; he didn't take himself too seriously, which is a wonderful characteristic in a writer--someone who is willing to receive feedback and grow from it. I couldn't be prouder of him.”
TIR: Which types of stories do you enjoy writing?
DB: Either far-off fantasy or sci-fi leaning towards Cyberpunk - arguably one of the most important genres when thinking about current modern-day America.
TIR: Recently, your short story was debuted in the book Dead of Winter? Can you tell us more about the story in the book?
DB: It's a pretty short story which means I have to be careful without spoiling it but in short it is: A family during Christmas eve is interrupted by dark and secret Christmas horrors.
TIR: Can you tell us more about the book Dead of Winter?
DB: Black Spot Books originally released a holiday-themed anthology called A Midnight Clear which, by anthology standards, was a bigger success than anyone anticipated. So Dead of Winter follows the same story of a collection of Holiday-Horror themed short stories by the authors of Black Spot Books and me, who was the Intern at the time.
Another one of Danny’s RHS English teachers, Nicole Bowden, explained, “Thanks for reaching out! It is so exciting to see a former student find his voice! I really enjoyed having Danny as a student. Although reserved in class, Danny was a very insightful student who showed so much promise. I am so happy to see him find success as a writer!”
TIR: One of your job titles is “content creator”. What does your position entail?
DB: As of right now, I work as a Director of Communications for a company named Drink Alchemy creating social media content. On the side during early quarantine, I attempted things like my own cooking show, books blogs, and a youtube channel. None of it really panned out the way I wanted it to. From poor quality to burning out because I was running it more like a job than a hobby on top of the two jobs I already had. So I stopped, took a deep breath - and several month hiatus - and now I intend to launch into the new year with more projects and an actual brand (with a new website) going forward.
TIR: You are also a blogger. What do you enjoy writing about on your blog?
DB: I enjoy reviewing books and movies. I especially enjoy writing "essays" dissecting all aspects of visual entertainment such as movies, books, television. I stopped that but I do have plans to restart from the ground up with an actual plan this time instead of trying to churn out so much content that it wasn't the quality I wanted it to be.
“I remember having Danny in TV 1 and TV2 back in the day, It was right after Al Weber retired from RHS and I transitioned from mostly Photography classes to mainly teaching the TV Production classes. Danny was a quiet personality who let his creativity shine even back then. It doesn't surprise me at all that he is now published. Even though I was not his ELA teacher, his writing and creative expression would shine while pre-producing his TV projects. I still use one of his projects as an example when we do a new technique project in TV2,” explained TV Production and Photography teacher, Steve Mett.
TIR: What are your plans for the future, writing and otherwise?
DB: Some things are secret, others are in the pre-production and ideation phases. I had taken a long pause on writing at the start of COVID-19 because there were bigger things on my plate at the moment but now I'm going into 2021 with a clearer mind and a bit more stability than I had so hopefully (fingers crossed) my novel might be finished by the end along with other projects I've been able to get done.