Daniel Aeschliman
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I'm going to focus the biography here on my writing, since I'm trying to keep the focus here on my writing.  There's also a little about music (since that's another part of the site). So there won't be a lot of autobiographical information, but I figure most visitors won't be as interested in that part of my life.


Writing

The first story that I truly remember working on was a mystery story that I wrote when I was in fifth grade. At the time, I had a teacher who had a notebook that provided us with lists of projects that we could work on as part of any book reports we did. In addition to the standard book report paper, we had to do one of these projects; the project choices depended on the genre of the book that you were doing the report on. I had read a Hardy Boys book (I don't have a clue now which one it was) and done a report on that. Looking over the project choices, I didn't really like any of them, but figured that "write a short mystery story" would be the least painful.

I'm still not sure that I was right - that one story has caused me a lot of pain over the years. Not because of that specific story (which I haven't seen for more than twenty years), but because of what it did to me. After writing that short mystery, the writing bug sank it's teeth into me and, for better or worse, I've been pursuing it (off and on) for decades since.

Shortly after this event, I was introduced to Piers Anthony's Xanth books. I enjoyed the bad puns and the magic and played around mimicking the Xanth books with some short stories of my own. Most of those, I believe, have been destroyed - at the very least, I think they've all gone to the landfill (our home town didn't have a recycling program in those days like they do today) and shall never be seen again. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but bad imitation isn't very flattering.

I remember working on a variety of stories, some of which were finished, some were never much more than fragments, over the next several years. Late in 10th grade, I began working on a fantasy story, which I had tentatively titled Zenra Taduj. The title was the name of a magical orb that the characters were searching for. This was the last major project that I started writing long-hand. In mid-December of my Junior year of high school, I had completed about 100-120 handwritten pages (with much more intended to come), when I lent the manuscript to someone I knew at school. The intent was that they would read it and give me some feedback. Due to an early start to our winter break caused by some bad weather, I ended up being without the manuscript for the entire break. By this point, my family had gotten their first home computer, so I began using the word processor on it to write a new story.

It was my third attempt at The Kassan Saga, and the first novel-length manuscript that I completed. The story was far from complete, as this was designed as the first book in a series, and I quickly began work on opening scenes for a second volume. However, as my senior year of high school began, a new graduation requirement was introduced - a Senior Project. I chose to focus on publication and worked at editing and revising the manuscript and submitting it to a publisher. Luckily my grade was not dependent on the fate of my manuscript - hours after I did my final project presentation, I received my first rejection letter.

I set aside the sequel project, and the abortive Zenra Taduj, and spent much of the next year working at further cleanup and revisions to my novel. A second submission, with a different publisher, met the same fate as the first.

I will admit to a fair amount of discouragement at this point. While I was now in college and studying English (with a focus in Creative Writing), my work on this project was sporadic at best. Zenra Taduj had fallen by the wayside and most of my other projects seemed to end up as dead-ends. After college graduation, I spent some time doing serious revisions to the novel, but found that it was becoming more and more convoluted as I tried to simultaneously deepen the story and remove extraneous dead-end bits and pieces.

Greater detail about this can be found in the section of this website that has been set aside for The Kassan Saga. Suffice it to say that my relationship with the project became very strained and I became frustrated enough with writing that I had virtually given up.

But, as I said earlier, the writing bug had sunk it's teeth into me. It wouldn't let go that easily. And in early 2002, I sat down at the computer and knocked out a scene that served as the impetus for my first self-published work: Kelsin's Tale.

Again, details on the history of this book can be found in the section for The Tales of Asran - for now, I'll just say that it took me three attempts before I was able to pull together a complete manuscript for this, and even then had to go through some important rewrites before I was ready to release the book to the world.

Since then, I've completed the Tales of Asran by writing three more volumes, and have a good start on the newest (and hopefully final) iteration of The Kassan Saga.


Music

My earliest memories of music come from when I was probably about preschool age. I remember hearing classical music records that my dad had and pretending to conduct the orchestra. I remember my older brother getting interested in heavy metal bands, but that not being of interest to me at the time (later, I would become interested in heavy metal, which amuses my brother to this day). My favorite band in my childhood was The Beatles, though I wasn't even born until several years after the band had broken up. I was listening to a radio station that played 50's and 60's music while my peers were listening to the local Top 40 stations.

As I moved into high school, I started paying more attention to current music, and then got interesting in the burgeoning alternative rock scene. As I listened to the newly broadcasting KNDD, which was playing a wide variety of "alternative" music (ranging from synthpop and new age (Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Enya) to funk rock (Red Hot Chili Peppers) to grunge (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice In Chains) and more), my musical horizons expanded rapidly.

In college, I hosted some programs on a campus closed-circuit radio station, and later ran a synthpop station on Live365. This would be followed by a cross-genre station that I ran with my wife that played a tremendous variety of material. It could almost be considered a "Jack" style station, where the genres aren't important and it's almost like an MP3 player on shuffle play, but we had themed programs and a station hit countdown and more. It was more the kind of approach that we missed from Top 40 stations, since at this time Top 40 was very singular in musical styles.

I've been collecting music for a number of years and have built up a broad spectrum of music to listen to.  In the music section there is additional information provided, including a peek at the contents of my MP3 player and playlists that I've created.