After retiring, Dan pooled his background in music composition, literacy and education to begin to write fiction. He published his first novel How Long A Shadow in 2020. That same year he became a founding member of the Door County Publishers Authors Collective. In 2022, he won the first place HAL Prize Competition for Fiction with his short piece: Two, Three… Which Is Me?
He is working on his second novel (the working title is Edenton) which focuses on multiple characters in a fictional Wisconsin school district as they interact during the socially and politically turbulent year of 2012.
How Long a Shadow
2020 Outskirts Press
With one hundred and fifty years of Chicago history as the background, How Long A Shadow entwines the stories of three generations of Cullerton men as each struggles to deal with family, marriage, fatherhood, and each other.
In 1918, as Chicago copes with an influenza pandemic, a World War and the Cubs loss in the World Series, ten-year-old Jimmy Cullerton is sent with his older brother to the South Side to collect support money from their estranged father. Slighted by his dad, Jimmy vows never to be like him and learns from his brother the need to bury the past.
A century later, Jimmy’s retired son Kevin – a retired music teacher – embarks on a quest to know his own father and discover his rogue grandfather's past. Along the way he also finds an entire Chicago Irish family about whom he has never heard a word spoken.
When a secret from Kevin’s own past draws him into a relationship with a woman he hasn’t seen since she was an infant, he is forced to reexamine his own relationships especially with his closest friend Thomas and Thomas’ sister Pat. As memories and shadows from his personal and family past grow and merge, Kevin must reconcile their meaning and decide who he was, and what he wants to be.