Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Daniel Hess
Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…
Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?
Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.
Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.
TGG: Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
DH: Hello, my name is Daniel Hess. I am a writer and filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland. I’ve had a creative/imaginative mindset ever since I was a kid, and I have been fortunate enough to live a life that has continually fostered that creativity. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it is one that I look back on every now and then with pride.
The Stain from To Tony Productions on Vimeo.
TGG: Have you ever met John Waters? If not, do you have any John Waters stories?
DH: I haven’t personally met John Waters, but I did bump into him at a local indie movie theater a few years back and instantly recognized who it was. He was just ordering some popcorn, and I didn’t want to bother him before his movie showing. Unfortunately, we weren’t going to see the same movie that night, but it was still cool seeing him out and about. I feel like you haven’t truly lived in Baltimore until you have at least one John Waters sighting in your lifetime.
TGG: But, you’re not just a filmmaker, you are also an author. Could you tell us about your debut novel, Focus Puller?
DH: My debut novel Focus Puller was really born out of a Hemingway approach to writing. It tells the story of a filmmaker named Ben in non-linear vignettes of different impactful moments in his life. I wanted to write a novel that took the philosophy of writing what you know to heart. While it isn’t completely autobiographical, it takes a lot of inspiration from my own experiences.
TGG: What did you learn while writing your debut novel?
DH: I learned a lot of things while writing the novel. The biggest piece was probably the true building process that a novel takes. Nothing can be done in a single day, and it is the step-by-step nature of the process that can be both frustrating and rewarding. It is amazing to see this creation grow, but it is in our nature to want that growth to always go a little faster. Trust the process may be a little long in the tooth or cliche of a saying, but it is so true.
TGG: A little bird tells me you also have a collection of poetry out. Can you tell us about that?
DH: Yes, the little bird was completely correct. In 2021, I self-published my first book, which was a poetry collection. This one is entitled Just a Boy Blaming Himself, and it was a great way for me to see the process of making a book come to life without the added pressure of writing an entire novel. I had all of this poetry over years of just writing in small bursts and I learned so much about getting a book ready and how to market one as well from that experience.
TGG: Finally, how can we best support you? Where can we follow you on social media, buy your books, watch your films and read your articles?
DH: The best way to support me is by just engaging with what I am doing here. It doesn’t mean you have to buy a book from me or anything like that (although that is always genuinely appreciated). Check out my blog (totonyproductions.com/blog) where I post new articles covering film and books daily. Follow me on social media (@danhess90 and @totonyproductions on Instagram). My twitter is @danhess1990. Leave a like, comment, or just message me any questions. I’m an open book here and always happy to help.
Focus Puller – https://www.amazon.com/Focus-Puller-Daniel-Hess/dp/0578285428/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Just a Boy Blaming Himself – https://www.amazon.com/Just-Blaming-Himself-Daniel-Hess/dp/B08SPFCRNM/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3ROU23NA1O7CP&keywords=just+a+boy+blaming+himself&qid=1658399442&sprefix=just+a+boy+blami%2Caps%2C83&sr=8-1
Website – www.totonyproductions.com