eSpec Books interviews Danielle Ackley-McPhail, contributor and editor of The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries.


eSB: What is your idea of a bad-ass faerie?

DAM: All of them. The thing about fae is that they are different from us in their abilities, in their perception and if you pay attention to the legends, they are ALL bad-ass at their core, regardless of what the exterior might look like. You tread lightly when they fae might be around. You behave respectfully. Or you get the hell out of there, because consequences are dire when you anger them. Or even if you don’t.

eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story, “Within the Guardian Bell”, that was selected for The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries?

baf2-web2x3DAM: “Within the Guardia Bell” is actually the second story in my Wild Hunt MC universe. It was written for Just Plain Bad, the second anthology in the series, and in that collection all the bad guys had to be faeries. You could have good faeries in the story, but the main faerie had to be bad and bad-ass. I should mention that my stories are all about biker faeries. When I think of bikers I think about how it is them against the road, so in the story that translated literally. See, many of the first biker gangs were retired military, air force in particular, finding it hard to reintegrate into society, so they started their own fringe society that went by the rules they were familiar with. In the air force, if something goes wrong with the plane it is gremlins. When the pilots became bikers, the gremlins came along for the ride…as road gremlins. You can see this in any bike shop you walk into, often on the counter they sell little pewter bells with a card explaining the legend of the road gremlin and how the bell protects the biker from this menace. So you see, the foundation of my story was waiting for me before I even started typing the keys.

gremlinsIn “Within the Guardian Bell” we meet Smear, a gremlin that is the road, and he’s been told to target Lance Cosain, leader of the Wild Hunt MC. I won’t tell you anymore because I want you to enjoy it for yourself, but I will say…Smear has become something of a fan favorite, for all that he’s a nasty piece of work. (art by Linda Saboe,

I will also let you in on a secret…my story isn’t the only one Smear appears in in the book.

eSB: What would your fae character’s signature drink be and why?

 DAM: hmmm…if we’re talking Lance…chocolate milk, because one facet of the fae is mischief and Lance loves to steal his cousin’s chocolate milk. If we’re talking Smear…blood with a side of road grit, of course.

eSB: What do you like most about The Bad-Ass Faeries series, and why?

DAM: What I like the most is that no matter if the stories are silly or grim, it is clear that each and every author had fun with writing to the theme. And when they authors have fun with it, invariably the readers do as well.

eSB: What kind of challenges did you find writing for this series?

DAM: For me, not much. I knew what I wanted to write the moment we came up with the idea and I’ve stuck with it ever since.

eSB: What is your first recollection of faeries growing up?

DAM: Truth? My parents used to work night shift at a record plant. I was five at the time and didn’t quite understand being quiet when the sun was up so they could sleep. One of the tricks they used to get me on board was telling me there was a little man living in the vent and I had to be quiet so I didn’t wake him up.

Well…they convinced me too well. I started leaving food out for him. They adapted quickly, though…they made sure to leave the door open so the dogs could sneak in behind us and eat the food so I didn’t clue to the fact that the little man was a faerie tale 😉

eSB: What interested you in writing for this series?

DAM: LOL…I had to. It was in part my idea 😉 I would have anyway way, though, because, man…this has been fun! I love the challenge of writing to a theme and this one has been amazing.

eSB: Tell us something about yourself that is bad-ass.

DAM: I am a pirate princess! On my Mom’s side I am related to Captain Kidd; on my Dad’s, I am related to Grace Kelley.

eSB: Do you have any plans to expand your story…or write in the same universe? If so, what more can your readers expect?

halflingscourt-2x3DAM: I have two novels already in my Wild Hunt MC universe, The Halfling’s Court and The Redcaps’ Queen. The Halfling’s Court follows the story of Lance Cosain, half human, half fae. As Lance gains RedcapsQueen 2x3.jpgpower as leader of the Wild Hunt, the Fae Court consider him a threat and try to take him out. The Redcaps’ Queen follows the story of Lance’s lady, Suzanne, full fae and former member of the Fae Court. Dealing with PTSD caused by an attack by redcaps, Suzanne takes up roller derby for therapeutic reasons. They are based on my stories that appeared in the Bad-Ass Faeries anthologies. There is at least one more novel in the works called The High King’s Fool.

eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?

yesterdays-dreams-2x3DAM: My novel, Yesterday’s Dreams (Eternal Cycle Book 1), and my short story collections, Consigned to the Sea and Legacy of Stars, have just been re-released by Paper Phoenix Press. The rest of my novels are currently out of print, but will be coming out from Paper Phoenix as well.

eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?

DAM: Right now I am working on a short story, “Out of the Darkness”, for the collection If We Had Known (Beyond the Cradle Book 1). I am also working on a spin-off novella, Eternal Wanderings, based on my Eternal Cycle series.

eSB: How can readers find out more about you? 

DAM: My website is


Award-winning author and editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books (  

Her published works include six novels, Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Memories, Today’s Promise, The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, and Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the solo collections A Legacy of Stars, Consigned to the Sea, Flash in the Can, and Transcendence, the non-fiction writers’ guide, The Literary Handyman, and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Gaslight & Grimm, Dragon’s Lure, and In an Iron Cage. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections.


Facebook –

Twitter – @DMcPhail, @BadAssFaeries, @TheHornieLady

Goodreads –

Amazon Author Page –

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