About me home
Dan McLaughlin was born in Hollywood during halftime of a Rams Colts game. Although the Rams scored a touchdown soon after his birth to tie the game, the Colts then scored 17 points to win. This, along with multi-decade stints at UCLA and as a government bureaucrat, has given Dan an appreciation for the subtle and sometimes capricious agency of action and words.
Among his philosophical influences he cites Thomas Kuhn, David Springhorn, Paul Feyerabend, the Reduced Shakespeare Company and Bullwinkle the Moose. When not working as the local history reference librarian at the Pasadena Public Library, Dan can be found working merrily in the garden, pacing nervously during any UCLA game where the lead is less than 25 points, or walking sedately the beloved puppies with his even more beloved honey, Vendi.
Dan has written five novels, two non-fiction works on the history of Pasadena, one musical and a play. In reverse chronological order his works of fiction have been: "WereKitty" a work which considers what happens 20 years after a torrid love affair between a normal human and a member of the differentially animated community; "Gott Mit Uns" a play that tells the story of an 8 1/2 foot penguin, who is a goddess, who is pursued by two people, who are bureaucrats, through today's America; "Mime Time" a murder mystery about a mime about to be nominated the Republican presidential candidate of 2012 and the people who want to kill him; "Gott Mit Uns" the novel which is the source of his recent play; "Pass the Damn Salt, Please" a novel which explores the importance of language and politeness in relationships told entirely in dialogue; "ICE Girls" an award winning novella which examines the story of the Little Match Girl from the point of view of management; and the award winning musical "Oh No, Not Emily!" an operetta in which a modern fake Emily Dickinson poem is sold to a post-modern English Department.
Two of Dan's works have been nominated for Just Plain Folks awards: "Oh No, Not Emily!" for Best Theater Album, and "ICE Girls" for Best Storytelling Album.
Before that he and Mark Sellin were "2 Guys from the 70's". Also with Mark and other friends, Dan wrote, directed and acted in several plays at the Renaissance Faire in Southern California, including their greatest hit "Ye Olde Tale of Goode King Arthur." He also has created radio play versions of the Trojan Horse "The Big Horsey Ride" and the Odyssey "Going Home and Getting Lucky."
Dan’s last three books have been written collaboration with his good friend Margit Elland Schmitt. They have been in reverse chronological order Lord Latimer’s Ladies, a time travel mystery involving diabetes, courtship and time travel; Maidens Rock, the story of a young witches forming a band an helping to heal a society; and The Dragon, Lucinda & George, a retelling of the story of St. George and the Dragon but this time everyone (including the Dragon, has a happy ending.
In terms of his non-fiction, Dan has been the local history librarian at the Pasadena Public Library for over 25 years. He has answered reference questions and provided individualized instruction for hundreds of library patrons over the years. He has also designed and contributed content to two local history databases: the Pasadena Digital History Collaborative and the Pasadena News Index. "Pasadena History Headline Quiz" is the first part of a projected trilogy on the history of Pasadena for grade schoolers. Questions from this book are sprinkled liberally through the current book, "Pasadena: A Mystery and a History You Can Explore." These two books provide both a fascinating look at the history of Pasadena and give the reader the instruction to research topics in Pasadena history online that interest them.
Lately Dan has been issuing podcasts consisting of stories Such as the Tales of Ulysses which reimagines the Illiad as a vacation trip gone very wrong, and Due Date: The True Legend of Dusty Cantina, Gunslinger, Librarian which tells the tale of a young woman returning home to discover what happened to the home and public library she left behind.
Also as a podcast series, he is conducting a series of oral histories of Renaissance Faire participants call Faire Folk at Work.