Danielle Younge-Ullman has four full-time jobs. At home, she is mother to two-year-old Tessa and cockapoo Finn, as well as wife to her husband of six years, Michael. As a first-time author, Danielle is also working on the PR and marketing for the new novel, Falling Under, while simultaneously working on her second novel.
For some, the first two jobs would be more than enough, but passion for the written word has motivated Younge-Ullman to build a rewarding career. “Things are wonderful but intense right now,” she says, admitting that she has “high expectations” for herself.
After studying english and drama at McGill University, Younge-Ullman returned to Toronto and focused on professional acting for most of her twenties. She then began writing plays, including the one-act play 7 Acts of Intercourse, which debuted in 2005 at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival. Her acting experienced helped her transition to writing: “When I write, I always imagine a scene as though I were acting it. I can visualize the physicality and hear the dialogue.”
Inspiration for the creative process also comes from fellow women, including actress-turned-writer Meg Tilly, and novelist Ann Marie McDonald; “brilliant and inspirational women on many levels” whose fulfilling careers she aspires to emulate.
Curiosity and imagination also drive Younge-Ullman to create stories full of conflict and emotion. “When I see something on the news, or hear an interesting anecdote from a friend, I am intrigued to learn more about the situation and the people involved and somehow add my findings into the mix.”
Younge-Ullman believes writing has “boosted [her] confidence and courage” as she explores new opportunities and experiences. “I’m not the kind of writer who hides behind a computer screen … I can’t wait to go out and do readings and signings and meet my readers.”
“Frankly, juggling an artistic career such as writing with a family is a massive job, and I am still trying to master time management, but I’m getting by.” At the end of the day it’s the love and support from her family that are “key to keeping it together.”