About a year ago, I rolled into a diner to sit down for breakfast and coffee with actor, Spencer Daniels. It was our first time meeting one another. Instantly, I was taken by Spencer's incredible acting resume—appearing in roles in films such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Office—but it was his passion for art in general that struck me as interesting. That, right away, let me know that there was so much more to who he is. Spencer spoke about favorite books he'd read, scripts he'd written and music that had inspired him, all before I'd taken a single bite of bacon. Frankly, in meeting Spencer, I was looking for some wisdom as too how to best navigate the shark infested waters of Hollywood, but what our meeting snowballed into was something of much greater significance.
What became one breakfast, became two, three, four, five, six and so on. We exchanged ideas about storytelling and became friends. Until eventually, I pushed Spencer into revisiting an old story he'd written some years back called, "The Constantine Fable." Hesitant at first, Spencer slowly peeled open his folder he'd stashed away and shared this project with me. On a first read, I was completely blown away. The story carried such a deep meaning and powerful punch despite it being short in length. So, with some work and the help of many other people, I proudly announce to you all, that on June 7th, 2022, "The Constantine Fable" will be published with Summer House. A long journey that began with a chance encounter over bacon. Spencer, my friend, you're soon to be an officially published author.
Spencer so kindly stopped by today to answer some questions about himself, the project and much more. Below, please find our full conversation, and read all about the man behind Summer House's newest project, "The Constantine Fable." I hope you enjoy.
1) "The Constantine Fable" where does the title come from? What other titles did you consider?
The title actually comes from Aesop's Fables and truly served as an inspiration for the story as a whole. The idea of a tiger named Constantine was what came to me first, so from there, I sort of just built around that. Then, while visiting a small bookstore in Vietnam, I came across a book of Aesop's Fables and it just clicked. I combined that book of fables with the name of the tiger. But, with that being said, I also never had any ideas for any other titles for this story. Titles, for all my projects, always come to me before I even begin writing.
2) If you had to select one inspiration for the project, who or what would that inspiration be?
That's a really tough question. As I try to think back to the 'initial spark' of what brought me to this idea for this story, one person does instantly come to mind, and that's South Korean actor, Ha Jung-woo. He was the lead actor in a film I was acting in and he was incredibly talented. He also was a producer, so in some ways, he was also, sort of my boss, but regardless of that, I was just blown away by his passion and almost obsession for the project we were working on. He would've done anything to make it great.
3) What was your favorite part of writing the project? Your least favorite?
My favorite part was the discovery of the first draft. I was living with my younger brother at the time and when the concept struck me, it was euphoric. The idea was the question, 'what is success?' And my least favorite part was all of the editing. All of the hard work of rewriting with you and Chris was actually just, well, 'work.' Reading Sally Rooney's Normal People was something that helped me push on though, as I hoped to attain some level of what she's accomplished. What was difficult was finding a way to turn something that was once wild and free into something focused and professional.
4) What's something strange about your writing process most people don't know about?
Well, to put it simply, I think everything about my writing process is sort of dumb and stupid. I don't think any of it is all that grand or interesting, but I guess what would be interesting is that most of my writing comes directly after watching the most horrible thing on YouTube. I go from watching a new Post Malone music video or some sort of stupid, gossip related current event, straight into attempting to write. The hardest part about writing is just getting myself to sit down, because all I want to do is move around, go on walks.
5) What are your aspirations for the projects release?
I hope that somewhere I've never been before, or maybe somewhere I go all the time, that someone picks this book out of the shelf, reads it, and is left with something that informs their world view. Even if it's in some small way. It doesn't have to be in a good way necessarily, but as long as it's different.
6) Did the project, in the end, meet your initial expectations for when you first came up with the concept?
I would say that it didn't meet my expectations, but it became much more. Originally, I thought of this project as a sort of 'adult fable' but it ended up building into much more of a full blown story. And, of course, it's like we spoke about before this interview began, where anytime you come up with an idea in your head, what ends up coming out on the page most often becomes a sort of perverted version of that same idea. This project did though have a freedom of expression that I didn't expect.
7) How does it feel to have "The Constantine Fable" finally completed and soon to be out in the world?
It feels both nerve-racking and relieving. Terrifying. Exciting. Gosh, I feel like I'm in search of a quiet corner to sit in. But seriously, it's absolutely terrific and freeing. There is no more time to work on it, because now, it's done. And I'm responsible for it.
To Purchase "The Constantine Fable" and learn more about Spencer Daniels, please visit www.summerhousepublishing.co.
"The Constantine Fable" will be available for purchase on June 7th, 2022.
Trying to make the world a smilier place one character at a time.