Award-winning author, Danielle Y. C. McClean, was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad in a home where books were valued and plentiful. Creative writing and foreign languages were among her favorite subjects in school, and she spent hours composing poems, short stories, and skits. Danielle went on to earn advanced degrees in French, Spanish translation, and law and currently lives in Tennessee with her husband and two children where she is also a translator and interpreter.
Her debut novel, Secrets of Oscuros: The Protectors’ Pledge (CaribbeanReads 2017), illustrated by Lorena Soriano, was the third-place winning title for the CODE 2016 Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature, and its sequel, Secrets of Oscuros: The Whisperer’s Warning (CaribbeanReads 2022), illustrated by Rachel Moss, won the 2022 Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize. Danielle is also the winner of the 2023 Kate Dopirak Craft & Community Award for her middle grade manuscript Soraya Unboxed.
A Brief CV (of sorts)
- Danielle attended Dunross Preparatory School and then St. Joseph’s Convent (S.J.C.) in Port of Spain, Trinidad. While at S.J.C. she was awarded the President’s Gold Medal for placing first in the 1995 C.X.C. examinations in Trinidad and Tobago.
- She was twice named victrix ludorum, was a school prefect, captain of her school house, the deputy head girl, and president of the student council. Additionally, she received instruction in music at Pan Pipers Music School and in ballet at Caribbean School of Dance.
- Danielle left Trinidad for Vassar College in New York where she majored in Hispanic Studies and French, was co-president of the Caribbean Students’ Alliance, and was a second soprano in the Vassar Women’s Chorus. She graduated with a B.A. in both majors and with honors in French.
- Danielle studied in London, England, where she received a Diploma in Law and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from BPP University’s Law School.
- After returning to Trinidad, Danielle worked as a legal intern and research assistant to the Legal Advisor at the Association of Caribbean States.
- She completed the M.A. program in Spanish Translation at Rutgers University in New Jersey then worked as an in-house Spanish translator and interpreter at South Jersey Legal Services.
- She taught Spanish for eight years.
What I love (in no particular order):
People, nature, music (especially soca), dancing, taking pictures, writing, reading, fruit, learning, stories, laughing, travelling, memories, connecting with others, language, singing, getting dressed up, peace of mind, daydreaming, creating, family, friendships, shells and stones, walks, making lists (yes, like this..haha), sunglasses, belts, ice cream (especially soursop and coconut–yum!), the smell of vanilla / sandalwood / cinnamon, funky jewelry, movies / shows with creatures, snacks, working towards a goal, achieving my goals, rom coms, optimism, joy, and growth.