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Please give a big welcome to DAN WALSH.

Dan-full-shot-for-web1

rem: Welcome Dan! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

DAN: I am 58 years old. I’ve been married to the only woman I’ve ever loved for 38 years. We have two grown children, both married, and two grandchildren. Thankfully, they all live within ten minutes of us. I was born in Philadelphia, but feel like I was raised more in Florida, since we came here in 1965 when my father was hired to work on the Apollo Space Program. We moved to the Daytona Beach area, and I’ve lived here ever since.
rem: I’ve never been to Philly but lived in Jacksonville for a short while when I was a little girl. [ps – I just read The Discovery which is set in Daytona; fantastic read!] Also, congratulations on 38 years of marriage.

Tell us three things about yourself.

DAN:

  1. I was a long-haired surfer bum from the 10th grade until the end of my senior year, when I met Cindi, the woman I would marry.
  2. I planted a church in 1985 and remained the senior pastor of that church for the next 25 years.
  3. I have an adventurous imagination, but in real life I tend to play it safe.

rem: I think most writers have an uncontained imagination – thankful we don’t do what we write about! What is your most treasured possession?

DAN: My relationship with the Lord and my wife. My kids and grandkids come next. I have some nice things, but none that I treasure.

rem: I really like that answer, people value above things. What is your greatest fear?

DAN: Thankfully, my life is not ruled by fear. But I sometimes fear how we will manage financially in our old age. It’s not that far away. Between 2008 and 2010, our pension fund got creamed and we don’t have enough years to make up the loss. However, God has taken care of us through every age. I’m confident he will come through in the days ahead, if I live that long.

rem: He always does, doesn’t He? I’m amazed at some of the surprising and seemingly small ways He provides. What is your greatest regret?

DAN: Trusting some people I thought were friends, but who turned out not to be. I could add to that, not listening to my wife’s concerns about this as soon as she began to raise them (she saw it all coming way before I did). Had I listened, we’d have been spared a great deal of heartache (and financial loss).

rem: I’m a very trusting soul also, until given reason not to.

What is your favorite quotation and why?

DAN: Not sure if you mean a writing quote, but that’s what came to mind. It’s by NT Times best-selling author, the late Elmore Leonard. He said, “In your writing, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.”
rem: Well, that just makes sense! LOL What do you most value in a friend?

DAN: Honesty, loyalty and integrity.

rem: What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?

DAN: Probably humility, after that integrity.

rem: Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?

DAN: Dogs, totally. We’ve had at least one since 6 weeks after we got married (have 3 now).

rem: What is your Writing Routine?

DAN: I spend the morning doing my non-creative writing tasks, such as interviews, emails and social media. Then I take a short lunch break, usually less than thirty minutes. My goal each afternoon is to write one keeper chapter in whatever book I’m working on. I usually start off reviewing and editing the chapter from the day before, then just pick up where I left off.
rem: Good plan. I see plenty who advocate writing first thing each day – my brain needs the extraneous things cleared out first, else they’re “hanging over my head” and interfere with my writing.

What are your Top Writing Tips?

DAN: Refer to the writing quote above as Tip #1. Probably the next thing would be to put 80% (or more) of your time into learning how to write a great book, only 20% (or less) on things like marketing and social media. A great book is your best asset. No amount of marketing can make up for mediocre writing or a mediocre story.

rem: So very true! It’s all about the writing. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

DAN: I wanted to write novels as early as the 11th grade, but life took me in a different direction. I never gave up on the idea all those years, but I didn’t have time to pursue it. In 2007, since my kids were grown, my wife suggested I take it up again as a hobby. I finished my first book that summer, a Christmas story called The Unfinished Gift. I spent the next six months cleaning it up and getting it ready for publishing. I sent out my first three proposals to A-list literary agents, expecting the rejections to begin. Two of the three loved what I sent and wanted to read the whole book. I signed with one of them who had a contract with a major publisher in 2 months. It came out in 2009 and did very well, winning 2 Carol Awards (Best Debut Novel, Best Historical). That began a journey where I received contracts for 13 more novels over the next 6 years. The books did well enough that I could retire from pastoral ministry in 2010 and write full-time. This year, I’ve made the move to start publishing my own books, responding to the major changes going on within the publishing world.

rem: Fantastic journey, says I! And welcome to the Indie side of publishing! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

DAN: I guess it’s the idea of being able to do something that you love for a living. I also enjoy reading all the emails and reviews from people who love my books.

rem: A quote comes to mind: “Do [as a career] what you love doing and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Not to say there’s no work involved in writing, there is, and a lot of it. But personally, I don’t really mind it!

What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?

DAN: Lately, I guess, it’s all the uncertainty going on in the publishing industry. Nothing is the same as it was when I started in 2009. It’s like I’ve come in at the tail end of a century-long publishing tradition, which is now completely unravelling. Reminds me how it must’ve been when the horse and buggy finally gave way to the automobile.

rem: Great analogy! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

DAN: I suppose now it would be marketing. It used to be so simple. My publisher would get my books in the bookstore. Readers would find them, and buy them. Now, the overwhelming majority of readers aren’t shopping in retail bookstores. They’re shopping online. As a bookstore, Amazon is the size of an entire mall. It’s much harder for readers to find your books than before. For example, with my traditional books I averaged about 20,000 readers (my Christmas books way more). My first indie book so far has reached just over 7,000. It’s not so bad, money-wise because I make 3x the money on each book now, but I wish there was a way to connect with those other 13,000 folks (since they used to buy my books as soon as they came out).

What’s the easiest thing about publishing? I don’t have an answer for that. I guess I could say, it’s never been easier to get your book published, since self-publishing is no longer considered a bad thing. But still, that doesn’t mean you’ll get people to read your book once it’s published (so, we’re back to the hardest thing).

rem: Again, great analogy! And ugh to marketing, although I find I don’t mind it as mch as I did at first.

If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?

DAN: I guess it would be a guy just like me, only in better shape, with a solid pension fund, and all of my 20,000 readers buying my indie books (and new readers being added every day). How’s that? (See, I told you…I’m not the adventurous type).

rem: Sounds like a cool dude. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
DAN: I just finished my 16th novel. I don’t think the story of how the idea came to me is the same for any one of them. Here are some examples. My first novel came to me after watching one of the Christmas movies I love and watch every year. I thought, I wish I could come up with a story that had the potential to affect people the way these movies affect me. One of my book ideas came as I watched the history channel. Another came as my wife and I chatted at a Cracker Barrel about some of the different jobs she had before our kids were born. See what I mean? No pattern here.

rem: I’m the same way, story ideas sprout of the most random things. You have written so many books, do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

DAN: I’m happy to say, I really loved writing them all. I’ve heard some writers say they wish they could buy all the copies of some of their earlier books and burn them. Thankfully, I don’t have any regrets like that. In fact, my first novel is still one of my favorites. But I suppose if I had to pick one that stands a little bit taller than the rest, it might be The Reunion. It’s one of my highest reviewed novels, and I cried the whole time I wrote the ending (in a good way). A couple of other favorites would be The Discovery and The Deepest Waters.

discovery - deepest waters

rem: Isn’t it amazing that we, as writers, the creators of our stories, can get so emotionally involved! Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?

DAN: I love reading the books written by the duo Preston & Child. They’re suspense novels. It’s kind of odd in a way…I’m known for writing books that are more like those of Nicholas Sparks (but with better endings), but those aren’t the kind of books I read. I love watching movies in that genre, but I mostly like to read suspense novels. Either that, or well written books about history.

rem: I must confess, I am not familiar with their work – but a peek at their website makes me think I need to be!

Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

DAN: My latest novel is also my first true-suspense novel, called When Night Comes. It’s something of a departure from my Sparks-like books (although I’ve included a love story thread). It reads more like a clean, mystery-thriller. I’m really happy with the way readers have responded to it. My hope was to be able to write both kinds of books going forward. Now, I can.

When-Night-Comes-Cover-Final-188x300

rem: That cover really draws me in.

DAN: As for my current project…I just finished the first book in a new trilogy, called Rescuing Finley. It’s about a dog whose owner was killed in Afghanistan. The grieving mother brings Finley down to the local Humane Society. Eventually, he’s brought to a prison program where female inmates train shelter dogs to become service dogs for Wounded Warriors. Finley will actually wind up rescuing the former meth addict who trains him and an Afghan war vet with PTSD who adopts him. The two of them might just fall in love.

rem: What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

DAN: Some of my books have a strong emotional punch and a clear spiritual theme. Others are more of a fun, clean read. My goal, whether writing contemporary or historical, inspirational or suspense, is that my readers would feel totally satisfied and thoroughly entertained when they turn the final page. Maybe enough to tell a friend about the book and go right back on the internet to order another.

rem: Oh, I’ll definitely be telling i.e. reviewing, and reading more of your books!

DAN: Here’s how people can connect with me on the internet:

Probably the easiest thing is just to visit my website and check out my homepage. There are buttons there to connect to my blog, send me an email, sign up for my newsletter or follow me on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest. They can find me at: http://www.danwalshbooks.com

 dan walsh book images

AUTHOR BIO:

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 15 novels including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery and When Night Comes. He’s been a finalist for 6 Carol Awards and won 3, the winner of 3 Selah Awards and 3 of his books have been finalists for RT’s Inspirational Book of the Year. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Word Weavers International, Dan writes fulltime in the Daytona Beach area. He and his wife Cindi have been married 38 years and have 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren. You can find out more about his books or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or Pinterest from his website at http://www.danwalshbooks.com.

http://danwalshbooks.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DanWalshBooks

https://twitter.com/DanWalshAuthor

https://www.pinterest.com/danwalshauthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1307478.Dan_Walsh

#danwalsh, #authorinterview, #rescuingfinley, #thediscovery, #whennightcomes, #thedeepestwaters, #whatfollowsafter

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