By Maria R. Gonzalez
University News Service
April 25, 2007
MFA student Daniel Homan
Texas State University-San Marcos student Daniel Homan signed a book deal with Wildside Press, a feat the creative writing major accomplished during his first year in the Master of Fine Arts program.
Homan began writing at an early age, his tall tales in grade school evolving into science fiction by the time he reached the eighth grade. The realm of science fiction writing provides him a portal to create worlds of fantasy where he can express his political views. His first book, Queen of Hearts, narrates the tale of a brutal dictator who is murdered by his daughter in a city filled with sectarian violence and chaos.
“I am a very political person. I think of the violence that is going on right now in Iraq and how that is different from when Saddam was in power. You have a brutal dictator on one hand and a complete civil war on the other,” he said. “Neither is better, but I explore the reason these situations occur.”
Bookstores across the country are loaded with book after book addressing the war on terror or the war in Iraq, usually written by diplomats, military personnel and politicians. Homan offers the readers a different lens through which to view this controversial war.
“The book is telling that this war on terror has been a strange, nightmarish fantasy to me because you are never really sure of what is going on. There’s this enemy out there, but who is this enemy? It seems like an amorphous kind of thing. Fantasy is a genre that I can wrap my head around,” he said.
As allegorical and politically charged as Queen of Hearts is, Homan says that he is not trying to convey an agenda to the reader. Instead, he uses writing as a method of relaxation and as a mode of expression.
“I don’t know if I have something that I hope the reader will take away other than…the first goal of any fantasy novel is to create a really fascinating, lush world,” he said. “I guess that is what I hope to do, that if someone reads the book it sticks with them and think it is almost a real place.”
Homan’s second book, Black Hands, is still in the creative process and like Queen of Hearts it will also address the sectarian war in Iraq. The novel will unravel in a town known as “the slants,” which is a chaotic setting based on the impoverished and violent sector of Cape Town, South Africa, Homan lived in for six months.
Homan’s first year in the MFA program has left him with good results in his writing career. The Gainsville, Fla. native says he chose to apply for the program because it has generated great writing talents.
“Tim O’Brien is one of my favorite American authors, an award-winning author,” he said. “Sitting on his workshops is mind-bending and you see fiction in a totally different way. I think it helps to be around a community of writers to get a different perspective to what writing is.”
For information on the Master of Fine Arts program, contact program director Tom Grimes at (512) 245-7681 or firstname.lastname@example.org.