I am a dark fantasy author, avid reader, and lover of stories, arts, and languages. I was an avid Dr. Seuss fan as a child and checked out, literally, armloads of his books from my library. I credit him with being my first inspiration in imaginative ventures.
When I was in fifth grade, I chose to do a book report on The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I was surprised and crushed when the teacher told me no. She said it was too long and hard — that I needed to pick something more age appropriate. I argued until I won the right to do it, but she warned there would be no exceptions to the due date. Not only did I finish the book on time, but I got an A on it. That book started me down a lifelong path of love for fantasy literature and art in general.
I started writing novel-length fiction in high school for my friends, but went to college as an art major wanting to illustrate publications. Later, at the recommendation of one of my English professors, I switched to English literature and languages studies. I discovered I enjoyed writing stories more than illustrating them. Since then, I have also worked as a reference room librarian, tutor, and a freelance database consultant. One of my favorite jobs was working for Wizards of the Coast, collecting data for an in-house encyclopedia on their Dragonlance series.
My literary influences include J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne Rice, R.A. Salvatore, Anthony Burgess, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, among many others. I am primarily a storyteller at heart, so I will always be writing something. It’s not a career for me; it’s a love affair — a way of life. If I can entertain others along the way, it will be a good journey.
My writing is also heavily influenced by my years living in Japan and my affinity for Northern European cultures. I am a Third Culture Kid, having had 22 addresses between 2 continents over my lifetime … so far. Currently, I’m in WA state in the U.S., with my daughter, our dog, my cat, and my guinea pig. When I’m not writing about dark elves and vampires, I love reading, playing computer games, researching lore and linguistics, and creating or admiring various arts. I also enjoy hiking, history, philosophy, cultural studies, and playing with hair colors, which change upon whim.
Yoroshikuonegaishimasu! (bow, bow) Nice to meet you! 🙂
About Bad Cat Ink
Personal Mission Statement: I appreciate hand-made craftsmanship with a human feel to it. And I have always had a passion for stories. So I want to publish quality books and art with a personal (rather than “manufactured”) touch, whether it’s something created from my own heart and mind to share with others, or something inspired and requested by a client for their own endeavors. I believe my purpose in this life is to get as many books as possible into the hands of as many people as possible, to entertain, to inspire imagination, to foster empathy, and to stimulate critical thinking. I believe there is no better way to stamp out ignorance and hate than to value literature and learning from many cultures. And art has always gone hand-in-hand with my love of storytelling through cover illustrations, picture books and graphic novels, and paintings. But even pattern illustrations convey mood and meaning. As a form of human creative expression, all arts have their own stories to tell in how they move us.
Bad Cat Ink is the indie publishing imprint owned and operated by author Melody Daggerhart. I offer freelance writing, editing, proofreading, and illustration services. Check my services page for details.
The name and logo were inspired by my beloved black cat, Koshka, who passed away a few years ago. Like every other cat on the face of the planet, she had a thing for books and paper. If I left a stack somewhere, she’d sit on it. If I opened something to read, she’d sit on it. If I was trying to type, she’d sit on my lap or in front of the computer. My reading and writing times were defined by her nesting on me or somewhere nearby, especially if I had a blanket. She lived to be 17, and in her later years, she became quite the grumpy old woman. She went from being my “fuzzy angel” who was always around when I needed a hug, to being my “demon cat” who peed on rugs, refused her food, and irritated her adopted sister, my other black cat, Kathy. So, when I saw the above statuette at a local Renaissance festival, I bought it with Koshka in mind. It sits on the shelf of my writing desk, and was the first thing my attention settled on when trying to think of a name for my new business and imprint.
Kathy lived to be almost 19, but passed away last year after also going through a “demon cat” phase. Both of my kitties will always be loved and remembered for their “help” with my efforts to read and write. They were often present to support me when no one else was.
Now a new kitty is following in their paw-prints. Meet Bad Cat Ink’s new mascot: Tsukimori (or, if you read Japanese, 月森). It means “Moon Forest”. And though he was itty bitty when I started this blog, he is two years old now and no longer fits his kitty bed, but he is fully living up to the “kittygoyle” legacy. 🙂