Three Times A Charm With Rick Daley

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week author, Rick Daley, joins us to give us his top advice and to talk about his book, The Man In The Cinder Clouds. First, let’s learn a little about Rick.

Rick Daley has been writing professionally for over 15 years.  His experience includes marketing copy for print and web, press releases, business proposals, training and technical manuals, and whitepapers.  His essays, ranging from family life during the holidays to his first skydiving experience, have been featured in The Columbus Dispatch

An experienced public speaker with a background in music and theater, Rick has also authored and delivered numerous training seminars and workshops.   

Rick lives in Lewis Center, Ohio with his wife and two sons (and a neurotic schnauzer).      

Rick, tell us about your book, The Man In The Cinder Clouds:

The freezing temperature is the only thing cool about Jason’s trip to the North Pole, but things heat up when his father discovers a book buried deep in the ice.  This is no ordinary book, mind you. For starters, it was written by an Elf. And if that’s not enough, the book proves the existence of Kris Kringle—you know, Santa Claus.
Born human but abandoned as a baby, Kris is rescued by Elfs and grows up among them…but he doesn’t really fit in. Kris embarks on a quest to find his true family among the humans by delivering presents on Christmas day. But there’s a catch: the High Council of Elfs is convinced humans are wicked at heart, and Kris can’t return to his Elfin home unless he can prove otherwise.

His journey takes him all the way to the legendary Great Northern Glen, and from there to the town of Oldenton, where he finds two orphans who are about to lose everything they have to a greedy uncle.  With only days before Christmas, Kris must try to help the kids, deliver his presents, find his family, and prove that human virtue does exist…even in the most unexpected of human hearts.
“(Daley) brings modern and ancient adventures together with a splash of magic and the wonder of Christmas in this completely fresh take on the story of Santa Claus.” – Susan Kaye Quinn, Author of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit
Available at:

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 pieces of advice for people just starting in your business.

1.      Don’t give up.  This is a tough, competitive business.  They only way to guarantee failure is to stop trying.
2.      Re-write.  As the saying goes, “Real writers re-write.”  You will balk at the amount of work it is to completely re-write your first book, but it is necessary.  If you delay the inevitable, all you do is extend what is already an excruciatingly long time to get published.
3.      Don’t worry about your query until your manuscript is rock solid.  It’s a time-sink and a distraction.

  • Top 3 leisure activities.
1.      Running.  It’s a great way to clear the mind and stay in shape.  Long hours in front of a desk need to be counter-balanced somehow.
2.      Yoga.  Sitting and running makes for tight muscles. Yoga stretches and strengthens the body, and the mental focus you need to keep from falling over isn’t so bad either.
3.      Music.  Playing guitar / bas / piano (or trying to teach myself violin now that my son has one) would top the list, but I also enjoy listening to music.  Which brings me to…

  • Top 3 songs on your play list.
This changes frequently, but currently the songs that stay near the top of my playlist are:

1.      “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine
2.      “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele
3.      Anything by Pink Floyd.  They are my all-time favorite band.  So many of their songs have two sets of incredible lyrics…the words written by Roger Waters, and the guitar solos from David Gilmour (which count as lyrics to me…he makes a guitar sing).

Music can be so powerful and empowering, can’t it?

Rick, where can our readers find out more about you and your work?

Rick Daley
My Blog: (My Daley Rant) ßclever, Rick J
My Other Blog: (The Public Query Slushpile)
Twitter: @rjdaley101071
Facebook: Cinder Clouds


  1. I like the idea of your story, Rick. I bet young readers will like it too. Congratulations.

    You're so right about not worrying about that query. There will be plenty of time for that.

    I like music too though my favorites are different than your.

    Enjoyed reading about you.

    Thanks, Kai for a great interview.

  2. Hi Beverly,

    Readers have responded very well so far (young and old). If you have the opportunity to read the story, please let me know!

    My tastes in music are quite eclectic, so I went for the current favorites. If I were to pick an all-time favorite (the obligatory "if you were stranded on a desert island" choice) it would be Beethoven's 9th. If I were limited to one track, I would pick the 2nd movement.

    Thanks Kai, for the interview and the chance to get to know some of your readers!

  3. I'm more a Mozart girl, myself. Pretty much anything Mozart transports me.

    My pleasure, Rick. Thanks Bev, for stopping in to read and comment.

  4. I'm a big Mozart fan too, my favorite piece of his being the overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" which is basically classical speed metal. Last summer my kids wanted me to learn Mozart's Turkish March (Rondo Alla Turka). It took me all summer, but I can play it in its entirety on my guitar. By the time I learned it all I grew bored with it, so now I play it with a jazzy swing beat to make it more interesting :-)


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