Pennywhistle's World


Historical  Military


John Danielski  believes you learn best by doing and actually carried out many of the tasks Tom Pennywhistle  performs in his books. He worked his way through college as an interpreter at historic Fort Snelling, the birthplace of Minnesota. He played a soldier of 1827; wore the uniform, performed the drills, demonstrated the weapons, and ate the food of the period.  He greatly values air conditioning, having learned the hard way that a heavy wool uniform looks great, but is pure torture on a boiling summer day.

He is a phi beta kappa, magna cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota and possesses a number of marginally useful degrees. He has worked as a high school history teacher and managing editor of a weekly newspaper.

A stern warrior monk in the sacred cause of accuracy, Danielski 's obsessive passion for research and consistency causes him to agonize over minute details and sometimes wonder "what was that author thinking?" Did the old Jezail bullet wound Dr. Watson in the shoulder or leg? Conan Doyle was never quite sure. Was Hornblower an even six feet or merely five eleven? Forester never decided. Was James Bond an Englishman or a Scot? He is the former in most of the books, the latter in the final three.

Danielski claims nothing approaching genius but would agree with Napoleon that "genius is the infinite capacity for taking infinite pains." Danielski's head is a vast, untidy attic of arcane Napoleonic lore;  useful for a storyteller, but poor ammunition for a sparkling party guest.

Danielski has a black belt in tae kwon do and enjoys sailing, cross country skiing, and speed skating.  Lawrence of Arabia is his candidate for greatest movie and MacBeth as the finest stage play. Classical orchestral works, particularly Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov ,and Stravinsky, are an integral part of his daily inspirational regimen. He is no fan of Putin, yet loves much of the late 19th century Russian composer/ literary culture..

Danielski has a passion for 17th century Dutch art, but a friend's recent attempts to interest him in 17th century Lithuanian pottery failed utterly. He is a master of the board game Diplomacy, a determined if abysmal chess player, and has entirely avoided the siren call of Halo.

His idol as a writer is Civil War historian Bruce Catton.  Catton's intuitive feel for the period, his observant newspaperman's eye, and his spare yet evocative writing style elevated history into the realm of literature.  He also admits to being heavily influenced by C.S Forester, Ian Fleming, and Jim Butcher. He has eclectic tastes in literature, everything from Conrad to Clancy, but refuses to debase himself by reading even one entry in the Twilight travesty. He firmly believes that original Star Trek series was the best, that Sean Connery IS James Bond, and that movie remakes are always inferior to the original

He resides in the untamed hinterlands of Twin Cities suburbia with his closest friend and advisor, Sparkle, the wonder cat.

John Danielski's Biography 

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