About Author

Ania Danylo

Ania Danylo
  • Genre:

    Children's Poetry
  • Country: Canada
  • Books: 2
  • Profession: Actor, Director and Acting Coach
  • Born: 12 March
  • Member Since: Jul 2021
  • Profile Views: 8,215
  • Followers: 39
  • VISIT AUTHOR: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon,

I have been a working actor, director and writer for more than 25 years. I have written numerous family oriented interactive plays which were performed in Calgary and much of western Canada. I currently work as an acting coach, teacher of acting, Speech Arts and Music, as well as performing myself. "The Elephant's Christmas Wish" is my first published book.

Ania Danylo's Books

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The Elephant's Christmas Wish
$0.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
The Elephant's Christmas Wishby Ania DanyloPublish: Aug 26, 2019Humor Children's Poetry
The Elephant's Christmas Wish Coloring Book
Paperback, Signed Paperback,
The Elephant's Christmas Wish Coloring Bookby Ania DanyloPublish: Nov 15, 2022Children's Poetry

Ania Danylo Interview On 05, May 2022

"Writer, actor, director, acting coach, and music instructor, Ania Danylo was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She has a BFA in Theatre and is a registered teacher in Speech Arts and Drama. She is the recipient of several acting awards and has been involved in award-winning theatrical projects. "The Elephant's Christmas Wish" is her first published book."
Where were you born, and what was your childhood like?

I was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. My parents were both from Ukraine, (my father from Kyiv and my mother from Odesa) but they met in Calgary where they later got married. I am the second oldest of 4 children. (One older sister and 2 younger brothers).My childhood was pleasant and quiet. My parents were both self-employed barbers and hairstylists so they worked together in a shop that was very close to our house (half a block). I didn't like the idea of daycare and I guess I was "mature enough" that they trusted me to stay home by myself in my early years. I would have toast some days at the coffee shop in the same plaza where their barbershop was. That was a real treat! I loved the people that owned that little coffee shop. My father or mother would come home a few times throughout the day and check that I was okay and had made my own breakfast. Sometimes I went totheir shop and played with my barbie dolls pretending I was a hairdresser like my mom. My grandmothercame on Thursdays every week to get her hair done and stay with us for the rest of the day.For the first 7 years of my life, we lived right beside the river which was beautiful. We would go for walksalong the banks and rocks frequently (daily). My sister and I spent many days there as it was almost part of our yard. On weekends we went for family walks which I mostly loved.There were a few walks I disliked, strongly. I had a few warts on my hands as a youngchild and my father had the idea (superstition) that rubbing bones that dogs had chewed would rid warts from my hands. Thus there were a number of Sunday walks he took with me. looking for chewed dog bones and rubbingthem on warts on my fingers. I guessmaybe it worked as I haven'thad warts past my teen years, but still not my fondest of memories.Other than that my sister and myself played with our neighbourhood friends. Pretending to be "Batman and Robin", or "The Avengers". Lots of our games involved cardboard boxes, the back porch, and towels.On weekends my parents loved to entertain or be entertained. We spent a lot of time with their friends and the families of their friends. Food was always fantastic no matter whose home we were at.Because my parents were self-employed, it made them nervous to take vacations. We went to the Okanagan Valley a few times a few times for a few day, Banff for a night now and then and Vancouver once that I can remember when I was young. We did do a trip to San Diego, Anaheim (Disney Land) and Las Vegas. That was a whirlwind trip; three nights, three cities and 5 flights. Now when I travel I want to stay at least a month anywhere.

What was your biggest dream as a child? Did it ever come true?

At one point I wanted to bea nun. I think I was about 5 years old at that time. However, I think I justwanted to be Sally Field from the T.V. show "The Flying Nun". Then I wanted to be part of “The Avengers”, Diana Rigg to be specific. I even cried one year over a pair of pants my mother bought for me that were red. I needed them to be black like the ones Diana Rigg wore. Eventually, she convinced me that the ones Diana Rigg wore were “red”, but we had a black and white T.V. so they only appeared black.So, I guess, I wanted to be an actress. I didn't really have that wish in the forefront of my mind until high school when I fell in love with theatre. And yes, it did come true. I went on to study theatre in College and University. I have worked as an actor/director/writer sincemy early twenties. I also ran my own theatre company once with a partner and once on my own, traveling Western Canada with original plays that I wrote, some scripted and some combined storylines with improvisational interactive components. Now I spend a lot of time as an acting coach and teacher, as well as instructor speech arts and music.

What inspired your first original story? Did you share the tale with anyone?

The first "thing " I wrote that I can recall that was not an essay was a poem that was an assignmentin I think my grade 5 class. It was a poem called "Cheese and Crackers". I shared it with my teacher and class when it was my turn. My teacher insisted that I didn't write it and had "stolen it from somewhere". I was pretty shocked by that as I was known to be a super quiet "goody-two-shoes" who never got in trouble for anything. In fact, I was teased by the other students about that.The fact that she thought I had stolen it, mortified me. I’m not totally certain, but I well may have shed some tears in class that day. Finally, I managed to convince her that I had written it, very nervously and shakily, showing her my notebook with all the early startsand stops and drafts.Then she thought it was marvellous and wanted to getit published in a magazine by one of her "precious" students. I declined that opportunity out of some sort of perhaps misplaced self-rightiousness. In hindsight, I rather wish I had let her submit it. Still, that was the first time I ever stood up to a teacher. I had veneer had to prove something it was my work before. And I certainly was not used to saying “no” to a teacher. However, it was a good lesson to learn to “copyright” anything I held dear.

What're the most eye-opening lines you have read in a novel?

"Life offers you a thousand chances.....all you have to do is take one". Frances Mayes from "Under The Tuscan Sun".“The only thing more surprising than the chance she is taking....is where it’s taking her.”. Frances Mayes from “Under The Tuscan Sun”.“I don’t see how he can ever finish, if he doesn’t begin.” Lewis Carroll from “Alice in Wonderland”. “She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it).” Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf, from “A Room Of One’s Own”

What inspired you to write"The Elephant's Christmas Wish”?

I had written numerous Christmas improvisational plays to perform. After years of doing Christmas shows through November and December, I stopped the performing aspect.I’ve always loved elephants.I used tohavea joke that I wanted to have an elephant in my upstairs bedroom and throw a large party. Just so that when peopleasked what the noise upstairs was I could say. Oh, that's my elephant in the bedroomupstairs. A few years ago my spouse bought me a bronze porcelain elephant that now sits on thehearth by the fireplace in my upstairs bedroom. He doesn't make any noise though, so no one asks the question. I guess I was thinking nostalgicly about the Christmas performances. We had performed in many locations and for many diverse ethnic gatherings, but they all wanted the same Christmas shows inclusive of Santa and all. It suddenly came to me that I had never seen anything about elephants andChristmasand that made me a bit sad. So I sat downand wrote the poem.

Do you remember the first book you read?

Hmmm, well I have always loved fairy tales, of any kind. The first actual books I rememberwere "The House That Jack Built". and "The Little Engine That Could".But the book I remember the most is one that I don't know the nameof or the story. It’s the pictureon the front of the book that I remember most. It was a pretty young princess with fantastic sparkling blond hair. She was wearing a pretty common dress for a princess, really just a common little girl’s dress. She was probably about 4 or 5 years old. The girl was sitting on the grass in front of the beautiful castle is the distance. And beside her was an adorable black bunny wit a dabble of white on his nose and who was was eating a big bright strawberry. The princess was eating a strawberry too. They looked like the best of friends. That picture has always stayed with me. I guess I wanted to be the princess, but not to “be a princess”. I just wanted to have a beautiful black bunny and sit on the grass eating strawberries. Years later that would transpire in my life, as I had the 2 most beautiful bunnies, Baby-bear and Pippin. They were truly a treasure in my life., along with my cat Zoey.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

Completely undefined and without format. I write when am inspired, it could be the middle of the day, or the middle of the night. Generally, it is when I am alone in the house or at least the only one awake. It’s different if I have a deadline. Then I jusy shut the door to my office and go for it, for hours.

Which one do you prefer, writing a series or a standalone novel?

Well, I’m not sure I’m at that point. I did write a series of children’s play I guess once, based on Twelve (The Twelve Dancing Princess, The Twelve Huntsman, The twelve ???) That was for a summer program to be performed by young people and I just wanted it to have some theme to tie them together., so it just sort of happened. I’m not sure if that’s even “a series.”I have thought about adding a couple of books to “The Elephant’s Christmas Wish”. But I have yet to get serious about it.

What is one question you wish you would get asked more? What would your answer be?

I have 3.
1) Can I buy your book? Answer “Yes”
2) Can I distribute your book? Answer “Yes”
3) Can I help you turn your book into an animation tv special or movie . Answer “A big - Yes”

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

“Red Wine And Open Houses”. Or“A Whirlwind Of Curveballs”

Who read the first draft of your book, “The Elephant’s Christmas Wish”? What was their reaction?

Well, the first person I remember was an adult student of mine. Actually, I read it to him after one of your acting classes while sharing some wine. (I’m a very formal teacher).His reaction was, “Why the hell am I not reading this to my grandchildren at Christmas”. I thought, oh, I guess I could turn it into a children’s book. Up until then I had hoped to get it turned into an animation, but wasn’t overly active at the attempt. I did one pitch fest in Banff Alberta. I had a producer who said they would produce it (his daughter loved elephant’s), if I could get a network to air it. I had a Network who said they would air it if I could turn it into an hour show. At the time I didn’t’ think I could, but now I know how to turn it tint a half hour special, an hour show, or even a 90 minute movie. I have some of the song ideas sketched out as well.But turning it into a book, Chris Fuglerud, really inspired me to do that. For the very first time I thought, oh yes a book! That makes sense and I can do that. So thank’s Chris!

Your thoughts on conventional vs. Self-publishing? What route did you choose and why?

I chose self publishing, because it was faster. But mainly, I wanted to keep control and copywriter of the whole project, including the illustrations and style.

What did being an author mean to you as a child? What does it mean to you now?

I don’t think I ever thought about being an “author” as a child. I mean I wrote, but mainly just for myself, then for shows I was producing. I guess I also dabbled in poetry as well as novels. I did a couple of weekend novel competitions, but really just for fun. Which of course is why we are supposed to do anything we love. I also wrote a few articles and reviews for magazines. Now in my life, being an author is still really for fun. The idea of publishing is still very new to me, but one that is exciting to investigate much further.

Which is the next book you are working one? Is it a series or a stand-alone book?

I’ve actually started going through some of my much earlier writings to think about re-writing and actually publishing them. But I also have 2 children’s books in the works. One is about a fish. One is about a cat. And I have a much darker more adult poem that I am looking at turning into a book, plus of course a couple of cookbook ideas that I have sketched out in terms of themes and recipies.

What do you like most about AllAuthor?

I love that it feels like a very supportive community which constantly keeps inspiring me with new ideas and connections. So thank you AllAuthor!

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