Saturday, June 12, 2010
Welcome back, Dan. Thanks for letting me be a part of your blog tour. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Because they are the kind of books I like to read, the kind of stories when made into movies I like to watch. I guess you’d call them inspirational historical fiction. Stories that have big things going on in the background, characters I instantly care about, facing things I hope I never have to, experiencing things that will change their lives forever. I guess it’s fair to add, a strong love story element is usually involved. I’m writing my 4th novel now. Books two and three are definitely love stories and in my current work a love story is once again in play.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My wedding day in 1976. I was only nineteen. I met Cindi when I was 18, but I instantly knew she was the one. More importantly, I believe God showed me she was the one. I say that, because that has made all the difference these last 33 years. She has made me the happiest of men.
How has being published changed your life?
What can I say? It’s the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. I’m not a fulltime author, but after reading my 2nd novel, The Homecoming, my publisher (Revell) offered me a contract to write three more, so it may happen one day. It’s certainly added a wonderful sub-plot to my life. I love everything about the writing life, but knowing that what I’m writing now will be published, and that I already have a growing readership, has made it even more worthwhile.
What are you reading right now?
Jim Rubart’s debut novel, Rooms. Go get this book. It’s very good.
I've read and reviewed the book. Readers can read my review on the same page where your review is. I loved it, too, and I interviewed Jim on this blog. What is your current work in progress?
My current work, like my first book, is a Christmas novel set in 1980 between Thanksgiving and Christmas called, The Book Nook. It’s about a small Christian bookstore that seems to have an almost enchanted affect on everyone who goes there. Most say it’s because of its owners, Art and Leanne Bell, who constantly demonstrate Christ’s love in so many small but profound ways.
The book opens with a homeless man finding Art unconscious in the store. He’s suffered a life-threatening aneurysm. Leanne must stay by his side in the hospital at the busiest shopping season of the year. Her son, Rick, reluctantly agrees to leave his CPA firm in Charlotte and come down to help out. Art is not Rick’s father. He married Leanne when Rick was a teen and Rick has rejected every attempt Art has made to be a part of his life. What affect will The Book Nook have on Rick? As he interacts with the colorful cast of characters who frequent the store? As he works every day beside Andrea, the single-mom who works there part-time?
I must feature that book on this blog, too, Dan. What would be your dream vacation?
My wife Cindi and I touring Ireland, England and northern France together with plenty of money to spend, and I don’t kill us both by forgetting which side of the road I’m supposed to drive on.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
To be honest, as a historical fiction writer …most of the people I’d love to spend an evening with are dead and have been for years. Most of the living people I’d like to spend an evening with aren’t well known.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Since I began writing again in earnest in 2007, all my other hobbies have suffered terribly. I used to golf, but I was never that good. Now I’d probably make myself so mad I’d have to repent as I put my clubs back in the car. I can certainly be talked into fishing by any friends with a boat.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. I’d love to have more time to write. I don’t overcome this obstacle. I’m now able to write two days a week, which is real progress from a year ago. So I focus on being grateful to God for what He’s given me and try to make the most of it.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Put all your focus on writing a great book, not on all the things you must learn once you get published. If you write a book that readers will absolutely love and talk to others about, a good agent will eventually say yes and a good publisher will too. There are so many things out there now to divert a writer’s attention away from that which matters most.
Tell us about the featured book?
When I finished my debut novel, The Unfinished Gift, I had no intention of writing a sequel. But two things happened. I found I wasn’t ready to leave these characters yet; they’d become almost like family to me. And it was clear there was at least one more story that needed to be told. A love story. Almost everyone who’d read the first book before it was published, asked me the same thing: “Now in the sequel, this is going to happen right?” And they’d be talking about this inevitable love story I had already begun to consider. The Homecoming is that story.
Shawn Collins returns home from WW2, a reluctant war hero. He wants only to care for his son, Patrick, and grieve the loss of his wife in private. But the Army calls on him to travel the country by train on a USO war bond tour, accompanied by beautiful Hollywood starlets. Shawn asks Katherine Townsend, the social worker who cared for Patrick in the first book, to be his nanny while Shawn is on the road. This sets the stage for The Homecoming. Bestselling author Colleen Coble called it, “One of the most delightful and touching love stories I’ve ever read.”
Please give us the first page of the book.
I can give you much more than that. If you click on this link, you can read the first 15 pages: http://www.christianbook.com/reader/?item_no=733896
How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can visit my website: http://www.danwalshbooks.com/
Or my blog: http://danwalshbooks.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Dan, for another wonderful interview.
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