Welcome to the curious world
of J. (Jeffrey) Allan Danelek
So what kind of person puts together a website like this? Believe it or not, you're dealing with a fairly ordinary guy who just happens to have a lot of varied and, some might say, unusual interests.
A native of Minnesota but a resident of Colorado since 1969, my life has been a journey that has taken me down many different paths—some good and some not so good—but all of them useful in my journey. After a stint in the Navy (as a navigator and, briefly, an air traffic controller) I attended the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, specializing in illustration and graphic design. Since then, I have worked for a wide array of employers, from the public school system to the aerospace industry. I even worked for a couple of years laying out an international magazine for a local televangelist (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty). After doing a gig as a part-time driving instructor (lotsa fun and a very educational experience) I'm back in the graphics industry once again while I wait for my "ship to come in"—whenever that might be. In the meantime, I continue to maintain this and several other websites, keep my hand in free-lance graphic work, continue to write for both myself and several other websites, teach classes at Colorado Free University and Front Range Community College here in Denver, and work on my tennis game (with little success). I currently live in Lakewood, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) with my wife, Carol.
my hobbies include—but are not necessarily limited to—art, politics and political
history (I can name all 44 presidents along with the years they were president
and what party they were, none of which has proven useful to date), world
and military history, religion and spirituality, numismatics (coin collecting)
paleontology, astronomy (and science in general) and Fortean subjects such
as Bigfoot, UFO's and things that go bump in the night. I enjoy writing both
fiction and non-fiction, much of it with decidedly spiritual, religious, cryptozoological,
historical and/or paranormal overtones, and consider writing to be my life's
I'm ashamed to admit I didn't pursue my writing career with the prerequisite determination until fairly recently (I like to think of it as a progressive learning thing) with my first published feature article appearing in the March, 2002 issue of Fate magazine. Striking up a good relationship with Fate's parent publisher, Galde Press, I decided to submit an entire manuscript for consideration and in September of 2003, I was blessed with my first book, Reconsidering Atlantis: A New Look at a Prehistoric Civilization (now out of print). Later I was able to get a larger publisher (and one known for its paranormal-theme clientele), Llewellyn International, out of St. Paul, Minnesota, to look at some of my ideas, the result being that I have since managed to add six more titles to my repertoire. I also have had a couple of books published by Adventures Unlimited Press out of Kempton, Illinois, one that deals with the mysterious sighting of "airships" reported over California and the Midwest in the winter of 1896-97 (the first UFO flap or something else?) entitled The Great Airship of 1897 and a second, which came out in May of 2011, on the early history of aviation entitled Phantoms of the Skies: The Lost History of Aviation from Antiquity through the Wright Brothers (with co-author Chuck Davis). Both books are especially important to me, as my publisher at AUP, the well-known Fortean writer David Hatcher Childress (yes, that David Hatcher Childress) permitted me the opportunity to not only write the books, but do the layout and cover designs as well, which is a rare thing for publishers to do nowadays. (In fact, I can't think of any full service publishers who do!) As such, my metaphorical hat goes off to David for letting me take the book from concept to final product and, especially, for the faith he has shown in permitting me the maximum latitude in pursuing these projects. Further, David has agreed to publish a fiction trilogy for me under a new imprint (Dragonstrike Press), which is my first foray into being a published novelist. An adventure/horror series, the books chronicle the adventures of Paul and Sarah Manhart, the world's first (and, as far as anyone knows, only) husband and wife team of cryptozoologists as they travel around the world in search of monsters. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for the reader), they inevitably find their subjects and spend the rest of the book trying to survive the best efforts of their quarry to kill them. (It's a case where one really can enjoy too much success!) All three books can be found on the homepage, along with sample chapters and ordering information in case you're interested.
I've also recently published my first spiritually-themed novel, Friend of God, with Fifth Estate Publishing out of Blountsville, Alabama. A thoroughly scurrilous and heretical tome that examines the crucifixion of Christ through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. My thanks goes to Doctor Joseph Lumpkin for giving me the opportunity to expand beyond the paranormal into new territory (and for affording me the opportunity to also do my own layout and cover design. Books just "feel" so much more like they're yours when you can take them from just an idea to final product personally. Who says that a background in graphics doesn't pay off?)
As for the future,
I am currently working on several hopefully-soon-to-be-published novels with
spiritual themes that I hope to see in print soon, bringing my writing career
full circle from paranormal non-fiction to aviation history to inspirational
fiction; quite a ride, don't you think? All in all, things seem to be moving
along pretty well, making me enthusiastic about the coming years and providing
me the impetus to keep pecking away at my keyboard. Perhaps the best part
of being a writer has been the opportunities it has afforded me to meet a
host of interesting people in the literary and paranormal community, among
them real life ghost-hunters, past life regression hypnotists, Wiccans, and
everything in between. It has also provided me the chance to do lots of radio
(I'm told I have the face for it); over the last few years. I've repeatedly
been a guest on Coast to Coast
with George Noury and have appeared on Whitley Strieber's Dreamland Radio Show, the x-zone with Rob McConnell, EUP Radio with Scott Colborn, Erskine Overnight, Para-X Radio with Rusty O'Nhail,
and lots of others. I've also had the opportunity to speak at several seminars,
most recently at a paranormal conference at the haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes
Park, Colorado as well as onboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach. All-in-all,
a lot of fun.
My personal philosophy is that life is about learning and growing, both intellectually and spiritually, and that is the perspective from which I approach each project I undertake. As for my writing, fame and wealth are not the goals (though they are acceptable consolation prizes); the point of the exercise is to give others a piece of yourself in the hopes that in your words they'll find something that speaks to their needs, answers their questions, or even touches their heart. To have a stranger come up to you and thank you for expanding their awareness or giving them an answer to a question they have been pondering is what writing is all about, and if you can happen to make a living doing that in the process, then it's worth all the effort. At least, that's how I see it.
Job when not writing:
City of Residence: Lakewood, CO
Education: Not much
Marital Status: Very married, two sons (Michael and John)
Nice to know: U.S. Navy veteran (1976-1984), two dogs (see above), wardrobe in serious need of updating.
*2006 INATS Awards finalist
The wife and kids didn't want their pictures on my website, but the
dogs didn't mind. That's Charley and LuLu at top, Wendy below.