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Overture
[Because Overture Sounds Better than Introduction]

Hello Readers (if there is anyone reading),

My name is Daniel T. Dodaro, and I am a writer and self-published author (or, at least, I think I am). I recently wrote a novel titled Death, the Gardener — a fantasy novel with a new take on the Grim Reaper. In this novel, the Grim Reaper (Mot) is quite different than how he is usually portrayed in myth and pop culture. Rather than being a scythe-swinging skeleton, he is a debonair gardener that snips roses in his rose garden. Except each rose in his garden represents a life. When that rose is snipped, a mortal, somewhere, dies. 

Anyway, enough self-promoting (for the moment, at least, ahem). Let me start somewhere else. 

I love stories for stories sake. What do I mean by this? I hope that line doesn’t come off too pompous (although I often feel that it's really hard to not come off a little bit pompous in a blog (you’re basically screaming “hello world! I have something to say!” every time you post)). 

Anyway, I feel like everyone nowadays is running toward a goal that they, themselves, don’t have figured out.  As long as they are running, they don’t care where their running takes them (even if it is right off a cliff). I know this mentality because it is an adequate summary of my behavior the last few years of my life (high school prep for college, college prep for law school, law school prep for…I don’t really have that part figured out yet). That’s why I decided to start writing at the beginning of undergrad. I wanted to slow things down a bit (for myself, more than anything, but for others as well) and tell fairytales/fantasies that have no other purpose than to make people think and feel. Fantasy is escapism (as Tolkien once put), and escapism is one of the only ways that we can take a break from the roaring humdrum of life. 

So, in a nutshell, that is why I write fantasy (if my fantasy is any good, that’s for you to decide).

My background is as follows (sorry for the credentialism). I am currently a 3rd year in law school at Seton Hall Law, and, prior to this, I was an accounting and finance major at Rutgers University. Throughout my life, people have asked me why a business major would have any interest in writing fiction (I am not making this up for the sake of dramatizing my life; a few people actually have asked that). It’s a valid question, and I still don’t have a coherent answer (will I ever?). Maybe, I write because it’s the only way I can remind myself who I am, the only way that I can remember that there is more to life than spreadsheets, LinkedIn, and obligatory emails. 

I digress. I get that this is all pretty cliche. 

Some fun facts about me:

(1) I enjoy drawing weird shapes and meaningless symbols. Hey, art is art. (Check out the Collections tab if you are interested ). I told you that there would be more self-promotion. 🙂 

(2) I worked at a tea shop for a year during college. I learned a lot about tea and got really into it. Nowadays, however, I mostly drink coffee (1 cup of Dunkin’ a day keeps me going (going where, I have no clue)).

(3) I love to travel (but so do most people, so that is a blah fun fact). Travel is essential to my sanity because it forces me to leave my little bubble of school/work and remember that there is a world out there worth exploring (and many interesting people worth meeting). 

Anyway, there’s more I could say about myself (not much more, if I am being honest), but I suppose that’s enough for now. I am starting this blog under the same name as the limited liability company that I used to self-publish Death, the Gardener — RedPantsPress (or Red Pants Press, if you prefer) (or, if you really want to get all businessy (business-esque?), you can also call it Red Pants Press LLC while swirling a glass of wine and puckering your lips into a permanent pout). 

I decided (on a whim (and, I really mean on a whim (as in a few minutes ago))) that it would be cool to assemble lists of fantasy novels, movies, etc. that I am a fan of for myself and anyone willing to listen. I do not want to be critical for critical-sake (which I feel is a formula that most blogs pigeonhole themselves into); I just want to celebrate the things I like. 

I am sorry for this stream of consciousness. It might come off illogical and nonsensical (and poorly written), but such is life. Stay tuned for posts that you may just find interesting (if not, no hard feelings, alright?). 

Until then, Cheers,

Daniel T. Dodaro

All stories begin and end with a question. It is up to each and every one of us to discover what that question is.

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