Tell us about your salvation experience.
I’d love to. I’m almost 55 and came to Christ in a radical way when I was 17 years old (a senior in high school). I was as lost as I could be. A long-haired beach bum with no ambition except to surf and goof off. I got drunk several times a week, went to parties and dated girls. But inside, I was dying and often depressed. There was a popular Smoky Robinson song on the radio back then, called “Tears of a Clown.” That was me, only my sadness wasn’t about losing the girl.
After getting thoroughly smashed at a keg party one night, I drove home and got pulled over by a cop for swerving. I didn’t get a DUI (it was before breathalyzers, and with my surfing I somehow passed the balance tests). I still had to take a DUI traffic course with my ticket. God used that to begin to open my eyes. I saw all these people messed up from drugs and alcohol and realized this was the path I was on. Then some high school acquaintances were killed in a DUI accident. Around that time my parents came to Christ and, over a period of time, I saw them dramatically change. Also, God kept sending different people to witness to me. That Christmas, my parents gave me a New Testament, which I began to read constantly (but I had to sneak it, because I was “too cool.”).
As I read, the Lord opened my eyes to see Jesus for who He really is, and I understood for the first time why He died on cross. I gave Him my life in the spring of that year and haven’t looked back since.
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Leif Enger (author of Peace Like a River), Nicholas Sparks (mega-bestselling love story author), Richard Paul Evans (bestselling Christmas book author) and Jim Rubart (bestselling speculative fiction author). The first three because they are amazing male authors who write in a similar genre and style that I do. Reading their books provokes me to become a better writer. I’d love to learn from them up close. Jim is also a great writer, but we write in different genres. But I really respect him, love being around him, and he’s a good friend. But the guy is crazy-busy, and he needs a retreat. So if I’m doing a fantasy retreat, Jim’s gotta be there.
You guys would have a great time. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
No so much just yet. But I’m slowly beginning to do this more. It’s something I want to do more, because I love public speaking (was a pastor for 25 years until 2010). It’s just I’ve been so busy writing (just finished my 8th novel in 3 years).
But now I’m settling into a 2-book/year schedule, learning how to juggle things a little better. I could definitely start to accept more speaking invitations. I’ll be teaching a fiction track in November at the CLASS Christian Writers Conference in
Mexico. And I hope that my partnership with Dr. Gary
Smalley might open up some doors to speak in the future. I’d love to do
marriage retreats or men’s events, as well as speak to writing groups.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I had to ask my wife. Apparently I don’t do many embarrassing things anymore. She reminded me of an incident years ago when I was preaching. I had visited some of the children’s classrooms and somehow had gotten glitter on my nose. I preached the entire message with my schnoz glimmering under the bright lights. I probably worked 2 full days on that sermon. Do you think anyone said a single thing about it after?
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I’d probably ask whether they intended (or hoped) to have this dream book published or were just doing it for fun. If they hoped to get published, I’d ask some questions to see if they had any idea how difficult the road ahead will be, and seek to tactfully adjust their expectations. If that didn’t spook them, and they were really set on pursuing this, I’d suggest a number of must-read craft books and recommend they join ACFW and Word Weavers, so they can begin to get mentored.
Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s what the back cover says:
When aspiring writer Michael Warner inherits his grandfather’s venerable
estate, he settles in to write his first novel. But within the confines of the
stately home, he discovers an unpublished manuscript that his grandfather, a
literary giant whose novels sold in the millions, had kept hidden from
everyone—but clearly intended Michael to find. As he delves deeper into the
exciting tale about spies and sabotage, Michael discovers something that has
the power to change not only his future but his past as well. Charleston
Laced with suspense and intrigue, The Discovery is a richly woven novel that explores the incredible sacrifices that must be made to forge the love of a lifetime. Author Dan Walsh delivers yet another unique and heartfelt story that will stick with readers long after they turn the last page.
You know that your first book placed you on my favorite author list, and you haven’t you’re your place. Please give us the first page of this book.
I remember…I was supposed to be sad that day.
Everyone was sad. It is always sad when a legend dies. Our family gathered in
Charleston to read his will.
Gerard Warner’s novels sold in the millions. He’d won the Pulitzer Prize. Past presidents quoted his words in speeches. Several of his books had become blockbuster movies. I remember reading interviews with some of the celebrities who’d starred in those movies. Talked as if they were friends with my grandfather.
I knew instantly they were lying.
They didn’t know him. None of them did. He wouldn’t have let them.
To his adoring fans, Gerard Warner remained an enigmatic, elusive figure his entire career. He wouldn’t even allow his picture on his own book covers. Every time a new novel came out, TV producers and talk show hosts made their appeals―again―wanting to be the first to interview him. He only said yes to print interviews. Even then, no pictures. And absolutely no questions about his personal life allowed.
Still, Gerard Warner’s books flew off the shelves. They were that good.
I called him Gramps.
How can readers find you on the Internet?I love interacting with folks on the Internet. I have a blog, an author page on Facebook and I Tweet on Twitter. Probably the easiest way to connect is to visit my website homepage. There are buttons there to link to the other places I hang out on the internet. They can reach me at www.danwalshbooks.com .
Thank you, Dan, for another wonderful interview.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Discovery, The: A Novel - paperback
Discovery, The - Kindle
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