Darci Hannah never consciously wanted to be a writer. What she wanted to be, from a very early age, was an eighteenth century explorer. She wanted to sail uncharted seas, traipse through virgin forests, canoehidden lakes, climb semi-treacherous mountains, meet interesting indigenous peoples, wear long, flowing, impractical dresses, and ride a horse to school. Sadly, born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago in the later-half of the twentieth century—where time travel is still not possible—only some of her dreams came true (everything but the time-travel and the bit about riding a horse to school).
Venturing into the past is bold dream, but not an impossible one; because as every dreamer knows that if there’s a will there’s a way. And Darci was just foolish enough to believe it. Fun-loving, adventurous, vivacious, loquacious and not entirely firmly planted in the real world, she left Barrington Illinois, her doting parents and pesky brothers for Indiana University, where she studied Sports Medicine. She doesn’t exactly remember why Sports Medicine, but at the time it was a good idea. It was there she got into cycling and scuba diving, and spent one summer in the Cayman Islands recovering cannon from a seventeenth century shipwreck. She had touched history, and it had come to life for a moment. It was heady stuff: so too was meeting future husband John.
It wasn’t until her second son was born that Darci realized she couldn’t suppress the overpowering urge to write any longer.Always a storyteller, and with a lifetime of reading history and historical fiction behind her, it just came out one day—in buckets, and it never stopped. She finally realized, between changing diapers and nocturnal feedings, that the historical adventures she was seeking had been right at her fingertips all along, having sprouted from the seeds planted long ago in her fertile, boundless imagination.
Darci kept writing. It was truly a labor of love. Then, in the spring of 2009, after nearly fifteen years of writing, and one-hundred-forty-nine rejection letters later, her first novel, The Exile of Sara Stevenson, finally found a home at Ballantine/Random House. It was cause for much celebration! Darci lives in Michigan with her husband and their three teen-aged sons. The house is seldom quiet, but that’s the way she likes it!
If you were wondering, this is where I spend my days. This is my office, beyond my shoulder is somewhat of a shrine I’ve assembled, and that’s coffee in my hand. My motto: Computer + Coffee + Whimsical Shrine = Good Storytelling! Oh, and I also have a lot of books! (Not pictured)