Friday, June 26, 2009

Ad in CBA Retail Mag featuring The Unfinished Gift

An author friend of mine, Deborah Raney, sent me a nice ad she just saw featuring my book (and 2 others coming out by Revell this Christmas). Revell placed the ad in the new issue of CBA Retailers and Resources, a magazine read by thousands of Christian bookstore owners. I know this is normal, placing ads for books in magazines for bookstores. But it still floors me seeing my book like this. Just click on it to see it bigger.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unfinished Gift Chosen by a Major Book Club

Got an email from my publisher yesterday that turns out to be pretty big news. My first novel, The Unfinished Gift, has been selected by Crossings, a major Christian Book Club, to be a "featured alternate" in their catalog shortly after its release. I asked my editor what this means, and she told me it is huge. They are very careful with the books they feature in their catalog, and the selections are sent out to a membership of 400,000 readers. They are printing a special edition of the book for club members (very similar, just with the Crossings imprint).

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Other Dan Walsh

I've recently become aware (maybe some of you have) that there is another Dan Walsh, also an author, who published a book before me. Sometimes people will Google me or be referred to my website when they were looking for his (or vice-versa). Here's a copy of his book. If you see it, keep clicking. Not me.

Recently I was sent to one website called, "Hellbent for Leather," featuring his book cover. Guess the other Dan Walsh is a biker and writes biker books. The only leather I care about is my laptop case. And I'm happy to report, I am now over that addiction (I used to trade 'em way too often).

But I got over it, because I'm tough. Laptop-leather tough.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I've Seen the Cover Jacket Today

The Art Director at Revell sent me a pdf file of the book's cover today. The front, back, side flaps. It was stunning (to me anyway). If I were younger, I'd say: "I was freaking out." I don't have an equivalent expression for a responsible 52 year old.

I was freaking out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Cover Being Printed this Week

Got an email on Friday then later a phone call from my publisher's Marketing Department, looking for a better picture to put on the book cover. It's being printed this week, and I guess they had a meeting. After staring at the picture I'd sent two months ago they must have realized: this guy really needs work (of course, they wouldn't say this). I reminded them, no matter how many pictures we'd take, the problem remains. I offered to hire a stand-in, but eventually people would discover the truth.

On Saturday, Nicole Smith, a young lady in our church who takes great pictures and has a real high-end camera agreed to try. She took about 50 pictures, and my wife and I were able to find 5 that weren't absolutely awful (Cindi said she actually liked them, but you know what happens when you've been married 32 years and you're still in see things differently). We sent the pics in over the weekend. I got an email back that seemed to indicate they would be able to find one that worked (but I think they are going to have to apply a number of expensive filters, and retain someone from the art department to spend a considerable sum of time making me look like the stand-in I offered to hire in the first place).

On the gave me a chance to freshly express my thanks to God for going beyond what I could ask or think with this first book. Most writers will tell you, after the dream of actually getting published, another biggee is to have one of your books come out as a hardback.

I don't know why, but I love hardbacks. The look of them, the feel of them. This has often puzzled Cindi, as she's witnessed them fall out of my hands countless times when reading before bed. They are much heavier than paperbacks, especially when you're holding them over your head to catch the light. Apparently when I doze off, the first thing to go is my grip.

It's a risk I'm willing to take.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Catching Up - Book Developments So Far

This is my first entry. Since I created this blog to let any interested people know what's going on in my "Book Life," thought a good place to start would be to bring you up to date on any significant things that have already occurred:
  • Novel Release Date Confirmed - My first book, The Unfinished Gift, published by Revell, will be on the shelves Sept 1st of this year (the book cover is on the right sidebar, you can click it to see it on Amazon).

  • Author Website Created - My publisher asked me to create a website they could put on the book cover, in case any fans of the book wanted to find out more about me or contact me. I did (it's as basic and lo-tech as you can get). It's (feel free to check it out).

  • Book Available on Online Stores for Pre-Order - About a month ago, my son Isaac was on my laptop, and I heard him say, "No way! Hey Dad, you're book is on Amazon." For some reason, it was just the coolest thing to see this, made it feel more real. He then continued checking, and we found it on over a dozen online stores. If you click on my website link above, and click the "Books" button, you can check out a few of them. The one we got the biggest kick out of (though for obvious reasons, we didn't post this on my site) was the Amazon Japan link. You can see it here. The only thing I recognize is the book cover and my name; everything else is in Japanese.

  • The Unfinished Gift on Baker Publishing's Fall 2009 catalog - Also about a month ago, I received my publisher's Fall catalog. This is what they send to all the bookstores and media outlets for ordering. To my surprise they had devoted a full page to my book. I haven't found the catalog online, but click here to see Baker Publishing's info on my book (very similar to what appeared in the catalog). Revell, by the way, is a fiction imprint owned by the Baker Publishing Group.

  • Asked to Appear on The Plot Thickens Blog - Back in January, I joined a group called American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). It's an online community of writers helping and encouraging one another to write fiction books for God's glory. Deborah Raney, a multi-published author, had an occasion to check out my website and noticed some pics there that showed where I write in my backyard. She's created a blog called, "The Plot Thickens," to showcase published authors who like to write or meditate outside in their gardens. I sent her some info and more pics from where I write in my backyard and she featured them on her website. Click here to see it (once there, if you click on the blog header, it will take you to the list of all the other authors featured).

  • Bestselling Authors Endorse The Unfinished Gift - As my publisher prepared the book for print, they asked my agent and I if we knew any published authors they could contact to read, review and possibly endorse my book. I was humbled and honored by the enthusiastic response of two authors, Terri Blackstock and Colleen Coble. I've known Terri for many years, but I also knew she would be very careful about giving her endorsement (friendship notwithstanding, she'd really have to like it). I've become friends with Colleen more recently through my connections with ACFW. Colleen is a multi-published author and very respected in the writing community. Both read my book and loved it, and gave us strong endorsements to use. You can see what they said on the homepage of my website at
  • Asked to do an Interview on the Novel Journey Blog - This blog is considered to be a major player in the fiction blogosphere (have read they get anwhere from 20,000 to 40,000 hits a month). I read it myself at least once or twice a week. Anyway, Revell sent a galley of my book (an advanced reader copy) to Ane Mulligan, an editor and weekly columnist at Novel Journey, two weeks ago. Ane also contributes regularly to the ACFW group. Within days, she sent me an email telling me how much she loved The Unfinished Gift (said she read it in one sitting, stayed up till 2:30am). She said she'd like to interview me on Novel Journey and do a reveiw of the book, then put both on the blog in September, just after the book comes out. I believe Sept 24th is the planned date (will confirm as we get closer to the date). Click Novel Journey to see their blog.

  • First Writer's Conference, First Book Signing - Cindi and I have decided to take our vacation in Denver, CO this September. It's the location of the ACFW's annual writer's conference. ACFW has a membership of about 1,800 and they expect 4-500 to attend. I'm primarily going just to learn and finally meet a number of authors I've been corresponding with through ACFW. I'll also get to meet my agent, Karen Solem, in person (after 2 years of emails and phone calls). The conference actually coincides with the release of my first book. Since most writers are also voracious readers, there will be a conference bookstore with books written by the authors attending the conference. My book, The Unfinished Gift, will be there! On Saturday, the last full day of the conference, there will be a booksigning by authors with books in the store. The plan is for me to participate (let's just hope at least a few people stop by...). After the conference, Cindi and I will stay a few extra days in Denver, to see some of God's handiwork in the surrounding area (really looking forward to this).

  • Asked to do an Interview on the Favorite Pastimes Blog - Last week Leigh DeLozier from the Favorite Pastimes Blog contacted me, asking to do an interview, and said they'd like to do a review of The Unfinished Gift, sometime in September to coincide with its release. This blog is hosted by a number of published authors who specialize in historical fiction.