Danny remembers writing an action driven, high fantasy series about the Prince of Wind, aged 13,
“I always wanted to be a writer, but everyone around me said that writing doesn’t feed you bread.”
He published two collections of short stories in Arabic, at 19, and 26, in Egypt.
“I moved there in my early 20’s and worked for local magazines and newspaper before focusing on political reporting and investigative journalism.”
Looking back, he feels that he was unable, in his twenties, to write freely as a gay man.
“I wrote the Clothesline Swing about Queer Love and rejection of political dogma freely, without fearing for my soul. I wrote it as a way of healing the traumas of my younger self.”
Who is Ahmad Danny Ramadan?
Date of Birth: 1984 in Syria.
Education: Ibn Khaldoon, a high school, in Damascus.
Home: Vancouver, BC. Canada.
Family: My fiancé, Matthew Bowyer, and my spiritual family is Cee and Masa – both Middle Eastern folks as well. We all live in Vancouver.
The Day Job: Public Speaker, storyteller, and LGBTQ Refugee activist.
In Another Life: “I would love to have been a handsome actor, known for dramatic campy roles on televisions.”
Favourite Writers: Gabriel Garcia Márquez; Isabel Allende; Radwa Ashour (Egyptian novelist); Nizar Qabani (Syrian poet); Mohammed Al-Mansi Qandeel (Egyptian author)
Second Novel: “I’m halfway through the first draft of The Foghorn Echoes, an examination of the lies we tell ourselves so we can continue to fight one another, while the easiest way to peace is an honest conversation.”
Top Tip: “Try to figure out how you function as a writer, then look at your work with kindness.”
Web: @www.dannyramadan,com. Twitter: @DannySeesit
The Debut: The Clothesline Swing. The Indigo Press: €12.99. Kindle: €6.14.
Hakawati lies with his dying lover in Vancouver, recounting stories of his childhood in war torn Damascus. He tells of the cruelty he endured for his sexuality; of running away from home, and of meeting his lover.
“I wrote the book with a clear chronological outline for my characters, but then decided to focus on the non-linear aspect of telling their stories, which allowed me to mould so many true-life stories of resilience and power within my queer community into one narrative.”
The Verdict: A complex, inventive take on love and suffering.