Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming, and The Deepest Waters. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He writes fulltime in the Daytona Beach area, where he lives with the love of his life, Cindi, his wife of 34 years. They have two children, both now grown, and one grandson. As they await more grandchildren, they enjoy the company of two mini-aussies, Bailey and Darcy.
Welcome Dan. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
In addition to another Christmas novel coming out in Sept, and a 5th book releasing next spring (which I’ve just finished), Revell has signed me to write 3 more novels for them. And…something very big is brewing, which they won’t let me announce just yet, but it will involve an additional 4-book contract. When this new thing is announced, I’ll be writing 2 books a year for them for the next several years. One in the Fall, another in the Spring. We’ve already agreed on the storylines for the next 3 books, all stand-alone novels, similar in genre to the books I’ve been writing.
That is totally awesome, Dan. I love your writing. Tell us a little about your family.
My wife, Cindi, and I have been married for 34 years. She really is my best friend. In fact, I’ve never had a guy friend who’s come even close. We have two children, both grown. The oldest, our daughter, Rebekah, is married and has just given us our first grandchild in January. Our son, Isaac, is getting married in June.
And the birth of that grandchild brought you to my neck of the woods. I really enjoyed getting to know Cindi, too. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Since I began writing fulltime in September, it definitely has. I actually seem to have less time for pleasure reading. Usually only at night before bed. My other reading time is divided between research and books I’ve been asked to consider endorsing. Having said that, to be fair, I love doing research and have enjoyed several of the books I’ve been asked to read (so it hardly feels like work).
What are you working on right now?
I’ve recently finished my 5th novel for Revell, called The Discovery. It’s a story that begins in the present, goes back to the 1940’s, then resolves back in the present. A grandson discovers secrets about his grandfather’s amazing past after inheriting his home in historic Charleston, things the grandfather had kept hidden from the family their whole lives. I’m also writing a book for Guideposts, part of a series called The Miracles of Marble Cove. I’m working with a team of authors, including Melody Carlson and Leslie Gould. My book is the 5th book in the series. In May, I’ll start working on my next novel with Revell.
What outside interests do you have?
It’s kind of funny, but writing used to be my hobby (was for several years). Now that I’m writing fulltime, I guess I need to start thinking about developing some new outside interests, or returning to some old favorites. My wife and I love to take walks on the beach, which we do quite often. We may renew our annual pass to the Disney theme parks (only one hour away). We both love going there. We also LOVE dogs (have 2 mini-aussies). My wife is studying to become a certified dog trainer, so I see spending more time with more dogs in our future.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I like to choose places I’ve either lived in, or have visited many times (we’ve traveled a good bit in 34 years of marriage).
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Oh my, I can think of several. The reason I’d want to meet with each of them is probably the same. I’d ask them questions about what it was really like vs how history has told their stories? Famous people like Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln but even ordinary people who lived in extraordinary times. See how they perceived things compared to how we do now, looking back.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How many things you need to learn that have nothing to do with writing itself (like social networking on the internet, which is a rewarding thing, but takes far more time than I ever imagined).
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
The main lesson I’m learning is not complicated, just hard to do. It’s about keeping my mind from planning and thinking too far down the road. I really want to be a humble-hearted follower, learning to depend on the Lord, even in the details of my life. That’s where the joy is. Actually, for those who read The Deepest Waters, Micah, one of the main characters of the book, shares the lessons God is speaking to my heart these days in Chapter 34.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Keep your walk with Christ central (so easy to imagine it’s all about our 5 loaves and 2 fish).
2. Write and keep writing (don’t let lesser things draw you away from the main thing).
3. Read great books, first as a reader, then as a writer wanting to learn why these books work so well.
Tell us about the featured book.
First, I’ve got to say…I loved writing this book. It’s called The Deepest Waters. Here’s a one-paragraph summary we came up with.
What began as a fairytale honeymoon for John and Laura Foster aboard the steamship SS Vandervere becomes a nightmare when a hurricane causes their ship to sink into the murky depths of the Atlantic. Just before she goes down, an old wooden ship comes to their rescue but can only take the women and children aboard. The couple is pulled apart, certain they will never see each other again. Laura sails alone to New York to face a family she has never met. Inspired by a true story, The Deepest Waters weaves a tale filled with action and suspense through an intimate lens, but is also an amazing love story, one that could only happen if miracles come true.
Sounds really intriguing. Please give us the first page of the book.
Yesterday, when it had become a certainty their ship would sink, Laura and John Foster held hands, as they had on their wedding day three weeks ago, and made a vow: when that moment finally came they would leap into the sea together and slip beneath the waves. One quick inhale of water. It wouldn’t be suicide. God had already determined it to be their last day on earth.
But that’s not what happened.
Laura was still here, alive and alone. By now, John had most certainly perished along with the rest.
Her tears temporarily spent, Laura lifted her head and looked at the other women. Faces barely recognizable. Cold, wet, quietly weeping or else staring at nothing, eyes locked in grief. All the men in their lives: husbands, brothers, fathers were also gone. The dim lantern light, shifting with the motion of the sea, moved them in and out of the shadows like phantoms.
The ship creaked and moaned with each rise and fall of the waves, as if sharing their pain. From the darkest side of the room Laura heard a new sound. Heavy feet scuffing across the wooden deck. As it grew louder, she waited for someone to emerge.
(Note: If you go to Amazon or Christianbook.com, you can read quite a few pages by clicking on the book cover).
I can't wait for my copy to arrive. What a hook! How can readers find you on the Internet?
If they go to my website at http://www.danwalshbooks.com/, they can click one of the buttons at the bottom of my homepage and find me on Facebook and Twitter, also. Click on “Latest News” to read my blog.
Thank you so much, Dan, for this peek into your life and book.
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