About Dan

Dan_Sandiford_author of the circle of six
 

The Short:

Following a 20 year corporate career, Dan Sanders is now a writer, speaker and activist.

Sanders is associated with the new atheist and humanist movements, an advocate for the mental health organisation, the BlackDog Institute, as well as a proponent for ethics, science based scepticism and the humanities in education and recently set up The Activist Parent website. 

He lives in Sydney, Australia with his piano teacher wife and the huge imaginations of their five children.

The Long:

Following a 20 year corporate career, Dan Sanders is now a writer, speaker and activist. 

Among short stories and non-fiction essays, he is best known as the author of two fantasy book series (Young Adult and Children’s Picture Book,) that combine myth and fantasy to vividly retell the ancient pagan myths throughout history. 

Sanders is associated with the new atheist and humanist movements, an advocate for the mental health organisation, the BlackDog Institute, as well as a proponent for ethics, science based scepticism and the humanities in education.  He set up the Activist Parent website as a toolbox to parents and others in the right direction when finding resources.

He is a vocal critic of the preferential role of religion in society, and writes the stories of the shunned and discriminated.

His writing and activism is influenced by his lived experiences as a child from a disadvantaged background, of his exploration of religions in his younger years, being a father of five, and his personal and familial experiences of a range of debilitating depressive and mood disorders.

Using fantasy, myth and fairytale, his stories deal with themes and archetypes of alienation, parent child conflict, physical and psychological brutality, and individual hope and self belief.


Blackdog Advocacy

As a Blackdog Institute advocate Dan writes and speaks of the personal stories of the affected, to connect people with the real, the personal; so they may see their own lives anew, to connect with themselves and others; so that the number one killer of people under the age of 24 might be better understood and managed.


Literary influences:

Fantasy and sci-fi giants: Julian May, Isaac Asimov, David Eddings, J.R.R. Tolkien
Literary legends: Anton Chekov, Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Doris Lessing, Aline Munro, Valdimir Nabokov, Ernest Hemmingway, William Styron, John Cheever, Raymond Chandler, and Martin Amis.

Dan runs motivational speaking sessions and workshops for schools and community groups in the following areas

  • Writing workshops: from creative story writing to journal writing sessions that teach children how to use specific techniques that reach inside and give voice to their pain and adolescent lives. Disclaimer: Likely to improve their critical reasoning skills, mastery of writing, and boost their life skills.
  • Motivational speaking sessions to provide disadvantaged kids with the inspiration, motivation, and tools to find a path of hope and power.
  • He runs Navigating Teen Depression for schools and community groups, helping parents and carers understand and manage mode disorders for those they care about.
  • Philosophy and critical reasoning sessions: Teaching children ‘how’ to think and not ‘what’ to think.

Dan’s Mission

- To write stories that entertain and enlighten
- To raise the cause for an ethical and reasoned life, a humanist life, free from superstition.
- To help parents deal with mental health, the disorder and the system
- To empower parents to become activist in their children’s lives. 
- To provide disadvantaged kids with the inspiration, motivation, and tools to find a path of hope and power


To give voice to your story or have Dan speak at your school or community event please email info@hawkmothpublishing.com.au.