Wednesday, January 07, 2015

WHEN NIGHT COMES - Dan Walsh - One Free Book

Bio: Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 12 novels including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and When Night Comes. He’s won 3 ACFW Carol Awards, 2 Selah Awards and three times 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

Welcome back, Dan. How did this book come about?
I actually got the idea for this book back in the mid-90s and made it the subject of my first, unpublished book (I wrote it before The Unfinished Gift). The book was unpublished for a reason. It was over 600 pages long, the plot moved way too slow, and it was overly complex. But I loved the concept and felt the story itself was solid. When I read history, I often try to imagine what it would be like to go back in time and see these events firsthand. On one of these reading moments, I got the idea for this book. It has elements of time travel involved, but it is definitely not a time travel book.

Two years ago, I pitched it to Revell. They loved the idea, but felt it stretched my “Nicholas Sparks” brand too much. Back in May, I decided with all that’s happening in the publishing world, and this new shift toward indie books, it was a good time to dig it out. I rewrote it over the summer, taking advantage of all the things I’ve learned about writing since the mid-90s.

Tell us about the book’s cover and what makes it unique.
For one thing, the cover is very different from all my other novels. That was on purpose. While I try to keep the suspense and tension pretty tight in all my books, When Night Comes is my first true suspense book. Meaning, suspense would be its most dominating feature. It has some history in it and strong characters, and definitely some romance, but it also has murder and intrigue. I wanted to cover that would set it apart from the others, but also one that would begin to hint and point at what’s inside.

Please explain and differentiate between what’s fact and fiction in the book.
Most of this novel is fiction. Even the small, southern town of Culpepper, Georgia, is fictitious. Although we took a research trip through a number of small Southern college towns to get a feel of what life would be like living there, we decided creating our own town would give us more freedom. None of the characters are based on real people. There are several historical things mentioned in the book, which are based in fact, but even here, the fiction story overlaps (can’t say anymore without giving too much away).

How much research did you have to do for this book?
Quite a bit. As I said, we researched life in small Southern college towns a lot, wanting to get it right (since we live in a town that’s nothing like this). The historical chapters in the book required countless hours of research. But since I love history, doing this never feels like work.

What are some of the most interesting things you found about this subject that you weren’t able to use in the story?
Although most of When Night Comes takes place in the present, as I mentioned, there are several chapters that take us back to major historical events during WW2. These chapters required the most editing. Mainly because, I wanted to spend much more time there than the average reader would enjoy. Literally, I deleted thousands of words in these chapters, whole sections in fact, to keep the average reader from being bored. My wife always helps me with this. Her tastes along these lines more closely represent the amount of detail most people want to see (too much slows down the pace and detracts from the main story).

What inspired and surprised you while you were writing the book?
Since it is a suspense book, I’d say very little of the content inspired me, other than being stirred by the heroic examples of the real-life people I read about when researching the WW2 scenes.

What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
To be honest, I’m not sure there’s a great deal a reader will take away from this story. It’s more of a fun, clean read. It is written from a Christian worldview, but it doesn’t carry a deep spiritual theme like most of my other novels. Think of it is a typical, secular suspense/thriller, but instead of following some dark, seriously flawed hero who sleeps around and uses profanity, we’re following a decent guy who also happens to be a credible Christian. How would he handle the crisis and challenges presented in the story?

When they finish the last page, I hope readers think about how much fun they had while reading the book, how hard it was to put down (and how much they want to go get another book I’ve written).

What is the next project you’re working on?
The response and success I’m already seeing with When Night Comes has encouraged me to make it the first book in a series. But I won’t be writing Book 2 right away. I still enjoy writing the more “Nicholas Sparks” type books my readers are used to. I’m already 15 chapters into the first book of a new trilogy that will involve a dog as one of the main characters. This first book is called, Rescuing Finley. It’s about how a shelter dog named Finley winds up rescuing two broken souls who think they are rescuing him. A female inmate near the end of her prison sentence and a former Marine corporal struggling with PTSD.

What do you do when you have to get away from the story for a while?
Sometimes I take a break and go online for a while, just to connect with people on the internet (like Facebook and email, etc.). Other times I’ll go for a walk with my dogs. For the last two years, I’ve been doing the cooking in our house (after 36 years of that task being handled by my wife), so sometimes I’ll take off go grocery shopping.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Dead bodies have a way of changing everything.

Sergeant Joe Boyd drove his unmarked car down Chambers Road toward a possible homicide. He’d heard the officer on site reporting over the radio, his voice all jittery and pathetic. Sounded like he’d completely lost it, talking about throwing up and never seeing anything like it. Have a little dignity, Boyd thought. It was a Saturday morning. Figures it would be a Saturday, the one day in the week Boyd got to sleep in.

At this point in his career, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to deal with a murder or not. Two months ago, he had been a homicide detective in the relentless, suffocating pace of Zone Five, arguably the toughest precinct in the Pittsburgh PD. He had worked there since coming out of the academy sixteen years ago and didn’t relish the idea of leaving all that excitement to move down here to neighborly little Culpepper, Georgia.

But it was either that or his family. I’m out of here, Kate had said. It’s them or me. Take your pick.

Kate had fallen in love with the town their first drive through. Boyd had to agree, Culpepper seemed like a better place to raise a family, a town the bad guys hadn’t found yet. Since moving, he had been home for dinner more often than not. Started showing up at his son’s Little League games. That was a first. At least three or four nights a week, his daughter could count on daddy reading her a bedtime story. He even made it to church most Sundays.

And now this.

How can readers find you 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:

Thank you, Dan, for sharing this new book with us. I just started reading it.

Readers, I'm going to interview Dan on the Gate Beautiful Blogtalk Radio Show on Thursday, January 15 from 1:00 to 1:30. Here's the link if you'd like to listen in and learn even more about Dan:

Here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
By Dan Walsh When Night Comes [Paperback]
When Night Comes - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela in KY

Anonymous said...

Oooohhh! Suspense? I'm in! Can't wait to read this!
J.C. -Indiana-

Cindi A said...

I've just started reading more suspense and have found that I really enjoy it. From the little shared here, I believe that I'd like this book. I haven't read anything by Dan in the past and figure that this would be a great book to start with.
Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
~Cindi Altman in PA

Dan Walsh said...

Hey everyone. This is Dan. I'll be checking back off and on. If you have any other questions Lena didn't ask, feel free to ask yourself. I love to chat.

Diana montgomery said...

Sounds good would love to read. Enjoyed the blog. I live in Indiana

Lourdes said...

Really looking forward to reading this. Would love to win.

Lourdes in Long Island, NY

Linda Kish said...

I love Dan Walsh's book. I'd love to read this one, too.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

KayM said...

I really enjoy suspense, but can't tolerate some of the dark stuff that is out there. this one sounds like a book I could enjoy. Dan, I hope you do well with it.

Melissa M. said...

I'd like to read this!
-Melissa M. from TN

Deborah Wheeler said...

"When Night Comes", is the type of suspense I would love to read. No graphic details of the characters' adulterous, or fornicating. Characters who have an intelligent vocabulary that does not spew profanities. This sounds like a book, a story, I can immerse myself in, without the distractions of words that I'd rather to see, read, or hear. Houston, Texas

Deanna Stevens said...

A good clean suspense.. count me in..
Dee S in NE brrraska

Melanie Backus said...

I think this book sounds great! Keeping my fingers crossed!

Melanie Backus, Tx

Melanie Backus said...

I forgot to ask...Since you do the cooking now, do you follow a recipe when you are making a certain dish or do you just add this and that and create your own concoctions?

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

That's an attention getting first line.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

Oh I love Dan Walsh's books. Please put my name in the drawing. Thank you.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Kelly Youngblood said...

I'm hooked after the first page! Thank you for the interview and giveaway!
Kelly Y in central VA

Dan Walsh said...

Kay, I agree with you about suspense books often being too dark. I don't go dark in When Night Comes. I don't enjoy books that are dark, and I only write the kind of books I like to read.

Melanie, my cooking is about what you'd expect for someone who's been doing it a year or two. I'm great with the grill, but the oven dishes are a bit more basic, and sometimes I just buy those already made dishes you just heat up. I'm slowly gaining confidence to try new things, but whenever Cindi cooks we can both tell the difference.

Loraine Nunley said...

I love to read clean suspense. The first page has already peaked my interest. Definitely going on my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!

Loraine in TX

Marianne Barkman said...

I love Dan Walsh novels, though I haven't read them all. I have been wanting this one! Thank you Lena for your insightful posts and opportunities to win!

Sheila Deeth said...

What a great first line! I would love to read this. Sheila in OR

Patty said...

I bought a copy of this book for my Aunt recently for her birthday, but haven't read it myself yet! Thanks for the chance to win.

Patty in SC

Patsy said...

I have not read any of Dan's books but am so looking forward to reading one. His books sound great.

From South Mississippi

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Lynda Blevins said...

I'm so intrigued by the title.....
Lyndie in Duncanville, Tx

Loree Lough said...

I've always loved your covers and titles, Dan, and this one is no exception! What a treat, learning more about you through Lena's interview!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Melissa Oldaker said...

Sounds like a great read. Thank you for the interview and giveaway.

Melissa from NC

rubynreba said...

I have Dan's books before and enjoy them. I'm sure this is another good one!
Beth from IA

Peter Younghusband said...

I have had many friends who have encouraged me to read a Dan Walsh novel. When Night Comes looks like a great one to start with.

Tammie Edington Shaw said...

I would love to win one of Dan's books. Thanks for having him on.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dan. i enjoyed this post. I did wonder what the comment about your Nicholas Sparks meant. I have a Christmas book of yours. I like suspense tho and would love to win your book. Thanks for the chance. Maxie from Texas
> mac262(at)me(dot)com ,

kam110476 said...

Hi Dan & Lena! Every single book of Dan's that I've read has touched my heart! I have told everyone about these books and have every book in my Kindle and then bought print copies of four so far for myself and to share! I even have a date planned with one of my girlfriends to watch The Reunion together the moment it comes out!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Granny's Attic said...

I always love a book with a WW2 theme. lisajcowell(at)cs(dot)com in Ohio