Saturday, December 17, 2011
It's been 2 weeks since my last blog update, mainly because I've been so busy. Besides, writing the book I'm working on now (the first one with Gary Smalley), I've been doing blog and radio interviews promoting Remembering Christmas, as well as a little traveling. I finished the final edits on The Discovery (the book coming out in April) and I'm almost done with the rewrites for The Reunion (the book that comes out next Sept).
After posting this update today, I'm taking the rest of the day off to take Cindi out, so we can finish our Christmas shopping. It will be our first Christmas buying gifts for our new grandson. We can't wait!
Here's what's been going on:
A Great Review on Crosswalk.com
The review is too long to reproduce here, but here are a few excerpts. First, she does a really good job summarizing the story, without giving too much away. Then she adds her comments:
The author’s deceptively simple style allows events to unfold without forcing the characters into far-fetched situations or over-the-top emotions. The result is a story that’s completely believable, even (maybe especially) the truly poignant sections. All the characters (even the quirky ones) ring true and their actions are true to form. Reading this book feels like listening to a friend give his testimony—assuming that friend is a gifted storyteller, of course.
Dan Walsh also deserves high praise for perfectly capturing the eighties vibe. Everything from early stars of contemporary Christian music (Keith Green, the Pat Terry Group, and more) to TV shows (“Who shot JR?”) to the price of gasoline (over—gasp—$1 a gallon!) brings the Reagan era to life. So many authors skip over these things but it’s the little touches that make all the difference. This attention to detail spills over into every aspect of the story, making Remembering Christmas a tale that readers will enjoy any season of the year.
To read the full review, Click Here.
An Amazing Giveaway Sponsored by Revell
They are offering a $250 Visa gift card to the winner, PLUS an additional $250 gift card for the winner to give away to a caring friend (someone who reminds them of Art and Leanne Bell, the owners of The Book Nook in Remembering Christmas). The 2nd Prize winner gets a beautiful Nativity set (like the one that keeps selling out at The Book Nook).
If you're reading this before Dec 21st and would like to enter, it's easy. Just Click Here. You don't even need to buy a copy of the book.
Still a Bestseller on Amazon!
And on top of this, there are now 65 customer reviews, averaging 4.5 Stars. Amazon now lists this as one of the 3 Top-rated Christmas books (right next to Glenn Beck's mega bestseller, The Snow Angel). I have to admit, reading what everyone is saying doesn't hurt. I remember back to the lonely hours, over weeks and months, writing this book, wondering about its future. So satisfying now to see how it's affecting readers.
Click Here if you'd like to view it on Amazon.
Local Success in My Hometown
I've also seen some encouraging things in Daytona Beach, where Cindi and I have lived since we were in grade school (both of us moved down here from up north when our fathers began working on the Apollo space program).
For two Sundays in a row, Remembering Christmas was featured in the Daytona Beach Sunday News Journal, and once in their "GO386" online entertainment guide.
Also, the Halifax Historical Museum, our local museum, bought 10 copies of Remembering Christmas to sell there. I got to know the staff a bit when I researched The Discovery, my next book. They gave me some excellent help turning up historical details for the book. Much of it is set in Daytona Beach during WW2.
If you're ever in town, watching a NASCAR race or enjoying the beach, make sure you take some time to tour the historic downtown area on Beach Street, right along the Halifax River. And stop in to visit the folks at the museum. It's housed in what used to be a very classy looking bank near the corner of Orange Ave. It's filled with wonderful exhibits about the history of the area. Here's a link to their website, Click Here.
Above is a picture Cindi took. I'm standing next to the rack in the museum holding copies of Remembering Christmas. She took it last week when we attended there annual Christmas party.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Monday, December 5, 2011
But for a writer, these are good challenges. Great even. I remind myself of this when I'm tempted to complain. Here are some of the fun updates to share about my latest book, Remembering Christmas:
#1 on Amazon!
For pretty much all of last week, my new novel, Remembering Christmas, has been ranking at #1 or #2 on Amazon's bestsellers list in 3 categories: Christian Fiction, Christian Romance and Christmas books. It had been ranking between #10 and #15 before (and I was thrilled with that).
But it jumped right up there and stayed there a while. It was actually ahead of mega bestselling author Karen Kingsbury's new book, Longing. I couldn't believe it. And in the Christmas category, it pulled ahead of Glen Beck's huge bestseller, The Snow Angel.
Not sure how long the book will stay in this "zone," but it's a first for me to see these numbers. At one point, my third novel, The Deepest Waters, was ranking at #4 in Christian fiction. So for a few days, I had 2 books in the top 5.
At the moment, there are 55 customer reviews on Amazon for Remembering Christmas, 49 of them are either 4-5 Stars.
#10 on ECPA's Weekly Bestseller's List
Early last week someone sent me a link about an article written in Christian Retailing magazine. It talked about the impact Christmas novels were having on sales in bookstores nationwide. In fact, four of the top 10 bestsellers that week (the week before Thanksgiving) were Christmas novels. And my book, Remembering Christmas, was #10. Two fellow Revell authors' Christmas books were also in the top 10. Suzanne Woods Fisher's A Lancaster County Christmas, and Melody Carlson's Christmas Shoppe.
It was so encouraging to read this, because this list is a broader reflection of sales nationwide, since it includes the retail bookstores. To read the full article, Click Here.
On the Radio
I also had 3 radio interviews this past week. I've done radio interviews for my other books before but never 3 in one week.
The first was for ReachFM. We did some taped interviews with Anitra Parmele who has a daily radio show hosted from Calvary Chapel church in Fort Lauderdale (I'll actually be down there visiting Anitra and doing some special events this weekend in the area). The radio spots will be running all this week, and Revell has donated 10 of my books to give to listeners (5 each of The Unfinished Gift and Remembering Christmas).
Then I was interviewed by Andy Farmer on Author's Corner with KNEO radio, station in Neosho, Missouri. And finally on blog radio on the G Zone with host Giovanni Gelati. Giovanni had read the book, loved it, and we chatted for almost 45 minutes, not just about the new book but a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes things. You can hear this interview by clicking here.
Well, I better get back to my writing assignments, so I can keep my head above water. Thanks to all of you for buying and downloading copies of the book. Don't worry about me. I can handle the excitement.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
And a whole lot is happening this week with my newest novel, Remembering Christmas. Starting today. Cindi and I will be driving an hour south for a booksigning at the Calvary Chapel bookstore in Melbourne, FL. They're doing all kinds of special events at the store today. This will be my 3rd time there. The first two were to visit the Book Club that meets at the church.
Other Book Club News
But I'm doing an even bigger Book Club thing that starts on Thursday, December 1st. I hope you'll join me online at The Book Club Network (TCBN) this week. I'll be featured on their main page, and we'll be giving away 5 copies of my new book, Remembering Christmas.
If you love fiction, this is a site you have to join. TCBN connects Book Clubs together from all over the country with the authors who write the books they love to read. Even if no book club meets in your area, there are many online clubs you can join at this site. Fred and Nora St. Laurent coordinate all this activity and they're such gracious and friendly hosts. Hope to see you there this week. Click Here to check out TCBN.
Join Me at Suzanne Woods Fisher's Blog
|Suzanne Woods Fisher|
Suzanne is a fellow author at Revell, and she has a great Christmas book out also now, called A Lancaster County Christmas. My wife Cindi loved it (I'm reading it now). She has a huge following of devoted fans and writes both fiction and non-fiction books about Amish life and culture. She also hosts a weekly radio show called Amish Wisdom.
We got to spend some time together this past September at the ACFW conference, and learned she and my wife Cindi have something in common, they are both dog lovers and love to work with dogs. Cindi is a dog trainer who works with shelter dogs and Suzanne raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
To visit Suzanne's Blog, Click Here.
A Major Award...Details Coming!
Plans are underway with Revell, my publisher, for a HUGE CONTEST to help get the word out about Remembering Christmas. Details will be firmed up and announced THIS WEEK. The contest will have some serious prizes, much bigger than anything I've been involved in before. And much nicer than that old "Leg Lamp" won by the Dad on Christmas Story.
I'll put up a separate post about it this week once I get the full story. But the plan is to offer prizes that connect to the storyline in the book, centered on Art and Leanne Bell, the owners of The Book Nook.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Before I go further, I want to thank all of you who participated this week (even the handful of you who didn't care for the book...which I'll get to later). It's a busy season of life and I appreciate the time you invested in my work.
I haven't read all the reviews yet, and more will be coming in over the weekend, but I've read quite a few. Most have blown me away, far exceeding what any author could hope for from a review. I'll paste a sampling below. Just excerpts, though; space won't allow reprinting the entire review (I'll create a link with each blog name, so you can click on it and read the whole review if you want).
As I said, though most of the reviews have been extremely encouraging, there are a few that "go the other way." Admittedly, I'd like every one who reads the book to love it. That's not gonna happen, this I know. As of this post, for example, there are 37 reviews on Amazon. 27 are 5-Stars, another 4 have given the book 4-Stars. That's 31 out of 37 reviews that are very positive. But we've got a couple of 3's and even a couple of 2's in there. I imagine for the potential reader, it might be confusing to read some of the negative reviews compared to the rest.
At first, it confused me. It seemed almost like these folks were reading a different book. Some of the things that deeply and positively affected the majority, didn't move these people in the least. It goes to show that no one can write a book that makes everyone happy, and there are a variety of "taste buds" at play when someone picks up a book to read (or clicks a button on their E-reader).
But I wanted to speak to one thing I picked up as I read a couple of the more negative reviews. Some didn't like the main character, Rick. They felt like he was a selfish, self-absorbed young man who didn't treat his parents or those around him very well (this is true, Rick does start off that way). It didn't seem to matter that by the book's end, that all changes.
Well, enough analysis. Here are excerpts from the 4-5 Star reviews that came in this week (and thank you every one for reading the book, getting what I was aiming for, and taking the time to write about it).
Blog Tour Samples:
Saturday, November 12, 2011
|Dr. Gary Smalley|
I finished Week 1 of my new book with Gary Smalley on schedule. Wrote the first 4 chapters. I'll be writing the actual book, drawing from materials from Gary's books on family and relationships, then sending him 2 or 3 chapters at a time for review. He'll make comments and suggestions, then send them back to me. By and by, a few months from now, and Book 1 will be finished.
I've already written a synopsis of the storyline, which I'll follow as I write. But I love this stage of things, as the characters start to come alive on the page. Eventually, they will take over and I'll just be the scribe, recording the things they do and say (that's how it starts to feel anyway).
My Guidepost Novel Arrived
A few days ago, a box of books arrived on my doorstep. They contained my author copies for my 6th novel, called Autumn Light. I wrote it last spring for Guideposts for their new series "Miracles of Marble Cove." My novel is Book 5 in the series. Even though this is the 6th book I've written, it's only my 5th book in print (all my other novels have been written for Revell; they have a longer "pipeline" from the time a book is written than when it appears on the shelves).
Well, saying "on the shelves" isn't quite accurate for Autumn Light. Initially, Guideposts doesn't make these books available in retail stores. But you can get them online at their website by Clicking Here. They are $13.95 each and will be sent to your home for a 30-day preview. If you like the first book, you send in the money and every 4-6 weeks, the next book in the series will come. I think it's an excellent value, especially when you consider the books are hardbacks.
Here's what it says about the series on the back of each book: "Come to a place known for flip-flops, lobster pots and porch swings. It's a place to relax, a place to feel at home. Take a walk along the rocky coastline, and gaze out at the boats bringing in their daily catch. Meet four different yet unforgettable friends who are mysteriously drawn together by events too amazing to be coincidence. Follow their miraculous adventures as they face life's challenges, hold each other up in faith, and experience God's amazing grace."
And you have to admit...these books come with such great covers. Don't you just want to walk right into that store on the corner (click on the pic to see a bigger version)?
|Me (on the right) at a Book Club last Sept|
If the Book Clubs aren't too far away, I'll drive there. But I also "visit" with clubs by speaker-phone. I'll be meeting this way with 2 Book Clubs the first week of December to discuss my newest book, Remembering Christmas. One in Perry, FL and one in Niceville, FL. I've also been invited to visit a book club in my town in January (the Daytona Beach area). They will be reading my first novel, The Unfinished Gift, in December (it's also a story set at Christmastime).
And here's something exciting, I'll be visiting a wonderful online website totally devoted to Book Clubs all week long, the first week of December. If you haven't been there yet, you need to check it out. It's called The Book Club Network (TCBN). Click Here to visit. We'll also be discussing my book, Remembering Christmas, and giving away free copies.
If you have a Book Club you'd like me to visit, you can email me at www.danwalshbooks.com by clicking on the Contact Me button.
The Deepest Waters - Only $2.99!
Finally, I want to mention, you can get my novel The Deepest Waters, released last Spring, for only $2.99 on Kindle for the whole month of November. It received some great magazine reviews and has an average of 4.5 Stars on Amazon after 44 customer reviews. Click here if you'd like find out a little more about it.
Even if you don't own a Kindle, you can download an app from Amazon to read the book electronically on your laptop, Ipad or phone. If you have read it and liked it, please tell your friends. I don't mind selling it a this low price (will give them a low-risk chance to see if they enjoy my books).
Right now, it's ranking #462 in Amazon's Kindle Store overall (out of over 1,000,000 Kindle books), and #23 in Historical Romance. Check it out!
Friday, November 4, 2011
Apparently, something is wrong with my adrenal gland. This finely crafted little organ has been with me, lo these 54 years, but I've never give him the time of day. Now he's getting plenty of attention. My blood pressure began spiking back in mid-Sept, and my potassium began plummeting. The doctors have found a benign growth on my adrenal gland and say this is the cause. Unfortunately, they are not in agreement as to whether to fix this with surgery or medication. My vote is for surgery, believe it or not. I'm having to take a ridiculous amount of medication every day just to keep my system from exploding, and it makes me very tired.
We should know something soon. Would appreciate your prayers. At least, they've found a combo of meds that allow me to get back to writing, which I've done only sporadically during this time. Hard to write when you're mind is too cloudy to think.
Onto some more exciting stuff...
Our Local Historical Society
Cindi and I visited the Halifax Historical Society in downtown Daytona Beach this week (The Daytona area is known locally as the "Halifax area" due to a river by that name that runs throughout the city). The curator was very helpful a few months ago as I researched my 5th novel, The Discovery, which comes out in April. I brought her 2 signed copies of Remembering Christmas (one for her, one for the museum library). She was thrilled and instantly asked me to bring back 10 copies to sell in the museum store. Also, she asked if I'd do a booksigning for The Discovery there at the museum when it releases in April. I was thrilled (this is something I was working up the nerve to ask her about).
Click here to visit the museum's website.
Best Inspirational Novels of 2011
James Rubart, a bestselling author and good friend, sent me an email this week letting me know that my newest novel, Remembering Christmas, was named as one of the finalists in RT Book Review magazines "Best Inspirational Novels of 2011." His novel, Book of Days, made the list, too (I loved this book and my endorsement appeared on Jim's cover).
RT Reviews is the largest book review magazine in the country. They review hundreds of new books every month in every category and genre. Back in Sept, when my book came out, they gave it a 4.5 Stars/Top Pick rating (Click here, if you'd like to read their review). As you can imagine this was quite an honor and, after reading the other finalists on this list, I'm keeping some excellent company.
Yesterday, I felt strong enough to get out of the house, so Cindi and I drove just over an hour to visit the little storybook town of Celebration, Florida. It's located 15 minutes from Disneyworld and was actually created by the Disney corporation back in the early 90's. Since then they've turned it over to others, but Disney fingerprints are all over the place (imagine a small town built by Disney, and you get the idea).
There are over 7500 permanent residents now, divided up into little villages filled with some of the most charming (and often expensive) homes. The little downtown is just amazing. If you get to Disney, it's worth taking at least a half-day to check this place out.
The reason for our visit? I've decided to base my 4-book series with Gary Smalley in a fictionalized version of this town. I'm starting the book next week and wanted to get a number of videos and pics I could use to help me as I write.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Here are a few excerpts from recent author reviews about my newest novel, Remembering Christmas:
"Dan Walsh has crafted a wonderful, well-paced story of a family in crisis. Remembering Christmas has something for everybody: drama, humor, a painful backstory, love, romance, and redemption...Definitely a book on my list to buy for friends and family this Christmas."
--Sarah Sundin, award-winning author
of WW2 romance novels
--Trish Perry, award-winning author of
contemporary and historical fiction
Friday, September 30, 2011
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul."
As in the past, the Lord uses such times to show me things in my life I need to see, or hear things I've been unable or unwilling to hear. The most recent trial began with a health crisis my wife experienced over the Labor Day weekend. It lingered for the next 10 days as they put her through a barrage of tests. I was worried sick about her the entire time, but kept an outward posture of calm and care. Thankfully, the tests all came back normal, and the crisis has passed. She does have a health issue we're more aware of now but thankfully, it is not life threatening.
But after the storm passed, my blood pressure began to spike dangerously high. I've been taking meds for blood pressure for years, which normally keep it under control. But I was having the hardest time getting my system to calm down, and had to take another medication to help get it under control. It was even happening during my recent trip to the ACFW conference in St. Louis, causing me to miss out on several workshops I planned to attend. It continued to happen once I got home, and I've finally had to go on several days of bed rest to help it stabilize (I'm actually still resting for a few more days).
During this trial, I've had lots of time to wait on the Lord, and He's been very kind to show me some things I now clearly see have contributed to my blood pressure problem. It's about the way I think. I've realized I'm not yet in the habit of daily "setting my mind on the Spirit" (Rom 8:6), or even blocking the unhealthy, destructive thoughts of the enemy (the "fiery darts" as Paul calls them in Eph 6:16).
I'm already in the habit of having a pretty decent quiet time each morning. But in idle moments of the day, my mind often drifts into thinking about negative "what if" questions about the future and, occasionally, equally negative "if only" reflections of the past. The one breeds worry and fear, the other sadness and regret. These are destructive, unhealthy emotions. They don't lead to the abundant life Jesus died to give me. The Lord has made me realize I must do a better job of putting the "full armor of God" on each day, and then keeping my mind "stayed on Him" throughout the day (Isa 26:3).
As I pondered these things in my quiet time this morning, I opened a devotional I often read (and heartily recommend), Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. The entry for today was so timely, it felt almost as if the Lord was speaking it audibly to me. I won't repeat the entire thing here (not sure I can with copyright concerns), but I'll share one part that I found so helpful. Sarah writes as if the Lord were speaking first-person:
"I want you to live this day abundantly, seeing all there is to see, doing all there is to do. Don't be distracted by future concerns. Leave them to Me. Each day is a glorious gift, but so few people know how to live within the confines of today. Much of their energy for abundant living spills over the time line into tomorrow's worries or past regrets. Their remaining energy is sufficient only for limping through the day, not living it to the full."
And, I've discovered during this time when the Lord has "made me lie down," failing to grasp this kind offer to let the Lord be our Keeper and Good Shepherd can actually be hazardous to your health.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Here's a sampling of what they said:
Remembering Christmas would make a good movie - "I would give this book more stars if I could. This is not just a Christmas book but a family love story.It is a beautiful told story of how a family can still come together after years of wrong assumptons, misunderstandings & secrets.It also shows the power of prayer & love...This is a book I will give as gifts & recommend to my family & friends."
A Heart Stir of a Christmas Story - "Another Walsh Christmas book. More historical drama, but this time in 1980. The same compelling need to read through to the end, which is always a satisfying finale with this author...It's a modern prodigal parable with those signature Dan Walsh twists...What begins as a typical cozy Christmas historical fiction romance suddenly takes the typical Walsh author twist surprising the reader. It caught me blindside (I like that!). This Christian author offers a literature ministry--but not preachy. His stories (including all 3 previous books) are a blessing. They are life-like; so believable."
Rich, Satisfying and Full of Hope - "This is a great read and not just for the holidays. Though it's a serious look at family relations and growing up long after we become adults, there are many light moments in this book. It's a story of a young man who comes home to help his mother when his stepfather becomes ill, and the pages are full of details from a time not so long ago. A fast pace with well-drawn characters, I was charmed. Walsh helps you to see your family, and even strangers, in a different light. Remembering Christmas is rich, satisfying, and full of hope."
President of Oregon Christian Writers
I gotta say...it doesn't hurt reading things like this. I know as the book gets out there, not all the reviews will read like this. But I'm grateful to God for encouragement like this coming so soon.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I'm almost finished with my 6th novel for Revell. The current working title is "If Only In My Dreams." I say, "working title" because titles often change between when I turn the manuscript in and when the book shows up on the shelves. This one is due out this time next year. It's not a Christmas book, per say, although it does take place in the Fall, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are background characters in the story. If you recognize the title, it's the last line in that romantic Christmas classic, "I'll Be Home For Christmas." The book is about a Vietnam vet who's given a chance to reunite with a family he'd thought he lost forever, and a totally unexpected romance.
The Series With Gary Smalley
Over the summer, I've been developing the storyline for Book 1 of my new 4-book series with Dr. Gary Smalley, as well as roughing out some ideas for Books 2-4. Cindi and I are getting excited about this. The plan is to send what I have to Gary by the end of this month. Then he'll review it and come up with any additional thoughts and ideas he might have. Then on Sept 20th, we'll fly in to St. Louis, Missouri, rent a car, and drive to Branson where Gary lives with his wife, Norma. We'll spend a few days finalizing our book plans, then Cindi and I will drive back to St. Louis to attend the ACFW conference. There, I'll meet with our editor and go over everything. Hopefully, she'll love it, and I'll return at the end of September to begin writing the first book.
Some Great Early Reviews for Remembering Christmas
My 4th novel, Remembering Christmas, is just about to release in a week or so. We've already received some great reviews. RT Book Reviews, the largest magazine in the country totally devoted to reviewing new novels, gave it a 4.5 Stars/Top Pick rating in the Inspirational Category. This is their highest ranking. The reviewer, Leslie L. McKee said:
"Walsh crafts the perfect holiday page-turner. Few people ever get the opportunity to know how a seemingly minor act can affect another’s life. With his gift for words, Walsh brings that experience to life, all the while making the reader feel like a dear old friend."
I have to say, reading that didn't hurt.
Then Library Journal magazine weighed in. This publication is read by librarians all across the country. After doing a nice job summarizing the story, they said:
"...This bittersweet tale of families abandoned and rediscovered should appeal to fans of Richard Paul Evans."
This is a prized recommendation. Richard Paul Evans has written some of the finest and bestselling Christmas novels of all time, like The Christmas Box and The Christmas List. It would be wonderful if a fraction of his fans discovered my books.
It's been a fine summer so far (now...if we can just make it through Sept with no hurricanes).
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Sarah captures the era perfectly. Whether we're talking life on the homefront or battles in the skies over Germany, she doesn't miss a thing. This is true with her other two novels in the series, but especially true with Blue Skies Tomorrow. In one sense, I hesitate to refer to this book as a great love story, because it's much more. As the romance of Lt. Ray Novak and Helen Carlisle simmers and sputters through a series of almost impossible obstacles, Sarah pulls back the curtain on a number of weighty social issues. Taboo topics at the time, such as spousal abuse and racism in the military. But she handles them very well, weaving them seamlessly into the plot.
I know guys are often unwilling to read love stories, especially books written by a woman (thankfully women are not the same about similar books written by a man). But guys, I'm telling you...Sarah has written a great action story here, too. I've read dozens of WW2 books over the years. I love this era and know it well. Sarah nails it on the action/suspense front. She had me right there with Ray Novak, at times holding my breath as he sneaks around a secret Nazi airbase at night. Many chapters in this book read like pages from a thriller novel.
I don't want to give the ending away. Let's just say, very satisfying. I'm so glad Revell has signed her to write another series set in WW2. Well done, Sarah. Your best work yet! I can easily and eagerly recommend Blue Skies Tomorrow.
Click here to check out her website and blog.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
It's a major book deal that's been brewing for several months. So glad I can finally talk about it freely. This is a press release from "Rush To Press," a news publication for the Evangelical Christian Publisher's Association (ECPA). It explains the details.
Revell Signs Smalley, Walsh for New Fiction Series
Four Book Fiction Series Set to Debut in Spring 2013
(Grand Rapids, MI, July 8, 2011) Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, has signed Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh for a series of four new fiction books, with the first set to debut in spring 2013. The new novels will follow a family through a series of defining life events, challenges, and triumphs that readers will relate to in their own lives.
“When I first got involved in fiction, I thought it would be a fun way to try something new as an author,” Smalley said. “But I never dreamed that the Redemption series would be among those most often cited by my fans as having ‘changed their lives.’ That experience taught me how much power exists in story to transform lives and marriages.” Smalley’s Redemption series, co-authored with Karen Kingsbury, has sold over 1.5 million copies.
“Gary’s sense of relationship and Dan’s ability to write in a way that brings characters and their joys and heartaches alive for the reader makes this a wonderful partnership,” said Jennifer Leep, Editorial Director for Revell. “This partnership really exemplifies the kind of synergy that makes a real impact on the hearts of readers.”
Gary Smalley is one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the author and co-author of 16 best-selling, award-winning books along with several popular films and videos. He has spent over 30 years learning, teaching, and counseling. In the last 30 years, Smalley has spoken to over 2 million people in live conferences. Smalley has appeared on national television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Extra, and The Today Show, as well as numerous national radio programs. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 40 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children and six grandchildren.
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. Dan is a rising star who’s been hailed as a born storyteller with a style similar to Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans. The rich characterizations and stirring romance in his stories are quickly winning him a loyal fan base. Dan and his wife, Cindi, have been married for 34 years. They have two grown children and two grandchildren and live in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They have published three recent New York Times bestsellers.Baker Publishing Group publishes high-quality writings that represent historic Christianity and serve the diverse interests and concerns of evangelical readers. Founded in 1939, today Baker Publishing Group is composed of six divisions, each reflecting a unique segment of Christian publishing. These divisions are Bethany House Publishers, Revell, Baker Books, Baker Academic, Chosen Books, and Brazos Press. Baker Publishing Group is also the exclusive publisher of God’s Word® Translation (GW). Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Publishing Group is one of the world's largest publishers of Christian books. For more information, please visit www.bakerpublishinggroup.com.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Since my first novel, The Unfinished Gift, released in September 2009, I've done dozens of blog interviews, magazine interviews and even quite a few radio interviews. Now for the first time, I'm being interviewed for TV.
The hosts of a It's A New Day, a 1-hour daily television show in Canada, have asked to tape a series of interviews with me for the upcoming Christmas season. We'll be flying up to Canada to talk about my first novel, which is set during Christmastime in 1943, as well as my next release, Remembering Christmas, which releases on September 1st (the interviews will be taped in mid-October, so this book will be out by then).
Another exciting aspect to this is that my wife, Cindi, is coming with me. They may even include her in the interviews (I've mentioned how involved she is, behind-the-scenes, in my writing). Another very cool thing, we'll be taping these interviews just a few days after we celebrate our 35th anniversary.
Unfortunately, we don't get It's A New Day in Florida where we live, but their program is available and can be viewed online. Here's a little bit about the television show and its hosts:
Now in our 30th year of television, It's a New Day broadcasts on various stations throughout Canada, via satellite in the U.S. and Europe, and is streamed online throughout the world. Featuring leading authors, theologians, pastors, and teachers from Canada, the United States, and other international countries, this one-hour daily program provides solid content in a range of Christian teaching, testimony and music.
Hosts Willard and Betty Thiessen (far left and far right) and Bob and Audrey Meisner (in the center) are excited about communicating the Christian message in an understandable and relevant way. They desire to bring hope and healing to Canadians and connect people to the love of Jesus Christ.
Needless to say, we are SO excited! To find out more about the program, Click Here.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
I’d like to offer a reminder that there is One who sees all we do and all that we write, and this One has a different way of measuring its value. I remember a worship song a few years back titled, "Audience of One.” I loved it immediately because it reminded me of what Jesus said was the first and greatest commandment.
“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?"Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:28-30)
The idea here is to also love the Lord our God “with all we write.”
I’ve been a published novelist for two years now (under contract for four). I’ve seen a snag in writing that can sometimes trip us up, cause us to lose sight about writing for that “Audience of One.” Once this shift occurs, we can become prone to discouragement. If it goes on long enough, we may be tempted to give up altogether.
The snag is our target audience. Unless you’re writing a worship song or a devotional prayer, it’s likely your target audience is people, not God. You may even be writing about God, but not to God. So your mindset as you write is connecting well with people, hopefully having your work reach them in some published format.
Over the past week, I attended two Word Weaver groups. The first was my local chapter. At the second I was a guest speaker. If you haven’t heard of Word Weavers, they’re a wonderful group of Christian writers who gather together in various chapters to support each other, primarily in critique groups. Here's a link if you'd like to find out more about them: Word Weavers Online. At the beginning of each meeting, they go around the room and share any bit of encouraging news or progress they have made in their writing over the past month.
For me, this is often a challenging moment (probably should explain why).
Many of the writers I’ve talked with in these groups have two things in common: a) they hope to one day become a published author of a full-length book (fiction or non-fiction), and b) so far that hasn’t happened. Certainly, some attending these groups don’t share that goal, but it seems fair to say the majority do.
The things typically shared during this part of the meeting are more often things like an article someone had published in a small magazine or local newspaper, something they had written on someone else’s blog, or perhaps a rejection letter from an agent that offered a ray of hope (vs a standard form letter).
After hearing these things, I’m hesitant to share my updates.
The reason? For some unexplained reason, God has poured out a great measure of success in my writing life in a fairly short time. In the last two years, I’ve had 3 novels published by a major publisher (Revell). All 3 books have received rave reviews. A 4th novel is coming out in September and a 5th in the spring. This past month, Revell signed me to write 7 more novels over the next three-and-a-half years. Oh, I almost forgot, they emailed me this week because a major Christian television show wants to fly me out to tape a series of interviews.
But as I listened to what others shared at these meetings, I was struck by how meaningful and important these “smaller” success stories were, especially when you consider God's perspective. I’ve talked with some of these writers; they have important things to say, and I’m glad others are getting to read their work in these “lesser” formats (meaning less than a full-length book). My desire is to encourage them not to view these other writing opportunities as small or insignificant. It can be an easy snare to fall into, especially if our eyes are locked onto that over-arching goal of getting our dream book published.
God doesn’t see or measure things that way.
Jesus saw a lone woman at a well. He saw a much-hated tax collector named Zacchaeus sitting alone in a tree. He felt the touch of a single woman in a large crowd, afflicted for years by a terrible disease.
He sees you there, writing alone. Every time you write.
He sees the people on the other end, who need to read what you’ve written. He is glorified and pleased when others are encouraged and stirred by things you’ve written. Whether that audience is large or small, whether you’ve been paid much or little, or nothing at all.
I’m reminded of these encouraging words from Paul: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58)
It is not in vain because the One who matters most is always watching and always ready to commend and encourage. Allow your hearts to be refreshed as you write by God’s assessment of things.
Reset your gaze and write once again for that Audience of One.
Friday, June 17, 2011
The BIGGEST thing happened at the beginning of June, my son Isaac got married. We love our new daughter-in-law, Stephanie. She already feels like a part of the family, and she and my wife Cindi are good friends. Isaac and Steph are high school sweethearts and have been going together since they were 16 years old (he just turned 21 last month). He works fulltime as a medical coder for the county's ambulance service and Steph just received her bachelor's degree in May (she's hoping to become a school teacher this Fall).
I love this pic someone sent us, looks kind of old-timey. They were just leaving the reception to go on their honeymoon. If you click on it, it gets a little bigger (those are bubbles floating around).
Next, we did a little traveling. Had the best time visiting the Christian Ladies Book Club in Perry, FL on Thursday, June 9th. Drove all the way across the state to a part of Florida neither my wife or I had ever seen. Pretty area, not far from the famous Suwanee River. Most of the ladies had read all 3 of my books, but we spent the most time discussing my latest novel, The Deepest Waters. They even asked me to bring all the books I'd used in my research.
Talk about Southern hospitality...they put us up for 2 nights on a beautiful house that sits right on the Steinhatchee River. We ate some great food, took some wonderful walks, got a lot of pictures (do not be surprised if this area doesn't show up as a setting in a future book). That's Beverly Parker on the left, who leads the group and her good friend Juliet Horner (Juliet's 13-year-old son came, too; a promising young writer). And the 2nd picture is a view off the deck during my quiet time the morning after (click on them to see a bigger view).
There's one more significant thing I'd like to mention. I've already mentioned I just finished my rewrites for my Guidepost book. It's Book #5 in a series called Miracles of Marble Cove. My book should come out around November of this year (called "Morning Glory"). But Book #1 is hot off the press and set to release sometime in early July (that's a few weeks away). You can only get these books through Guideposts website (they come in the mail, one about every 4-6 weeks). If you'd like to check it out, click here. On the website, you can get a preview of the first couple of books, and order book #1 if you'd like.
It was a wonderful and somewhat challenging experience writing a novel as part of a team, with each book moving the story further, developing the friendships between the main characters, as well as the unfolding mysterious goings-on at the lighthouse.
This coming week, I jump back into my 6th novel for Revell, which I'll be writing throughout the rest of the summer.
Friday, May 6, 2011
I'll just share them in the order they came to my attention.
Big Thing # 1 - Feature interview in Family Fiction's May/June issue.
I don't know how many of you have discovered this gem, but if you love fiction, especially Christian fiction, you need to be reading this magazine. It's available for free online, and actually reads like a print issue magazine, with lots of articles, reviews, book news and interviews. And of course, lots of pictures. Chris Well, the editor, asked me to do an interview about my new book, The Deepest Waters, and it appears on page 54, near the end. My advice would be not to skip to page 54 but read all the good things on the way there.
Click here to see the new issue (then you can navigate to page 54 from there).
Big Thing # 2 - The Deepest Waters received a great review from Crosswalk.com
I've had many wonderful reviews for The Deepest Waters already, including a Blog Tour with over 55 bloggers reading and reviewing the book (posted twice about this below). What makes this review a "Big Thing" is its location...Crosswalk.com. It's the largest Christian website on the internet. And it was a really good review. It was obvious, Kelley Matthews, the woman who wrote it, put a lot of thought into her words, citing in specific ways the things she liked and why. Although mostly very positive, not all of it was. She compared me to bestselling author Nicholas Sparks and said,"Walsh has not perfected the art of romantic fiction like Sparks has, but he holds definite promise." Her last line in the review was nice: "Yes, men really can write romance...."
Here's a larger excerpt of her review:
Dan Walsh takes readers through a tense, suspenseful series of events, asking us to consider more than “Will John survive?” He requires us to consider deeper issues than mere life and death—such as, how does a survivor move on? Or, what roles do forgiveness and hope play in our relationships? What about honor and honesty? The character of believers becomes a central theme.
Due to the plotline—in which John is lost at sea almost from the beginning—Laura becomes the main character for the majority of the story. We learn about their relationship and recent marriage through a series of flashbacks. Punctuating the present action—Laura’s rescue and subsequent journey to New York—these flashbacks also serve to prolong the drama and increase tension. An effective technique...the national tension over slavery plays out on a personal level, with Laura befriending Micah, the slave on her rescue ship who cares for the survivors. The prickly issue of Christians owning fellow Christians becomes an interesting and fulfilling subplot. In fact, Micah’s role increases steadily until readers care as much about his welfare as they do about Laura’s future.
Big Thing # 3 - The Cover for my 4th Novel has just been Released!
The Deepest Waters released 5 weeks ago and Revell has already made my 4th novel available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It's called Remembering Christmas. Obviously, it's a Christmas story. And like my first novel, The Unfinished Gift, it will be released as a hardback (I love hardbacks).
Releasing the cover for Remembering Christmas now is a good thing, a great thing even. It's partly due to the fact I'm writing fulltime now. My new contract with Revell calls for two books a year, and that thrills me. Click on the cover to the right, and it will open much larger in a new window (tell me you wouldn't like to be sitting in that chair...well, when it gets cold again). Click here to head over to Amazon. If you scroll down a bit, you can read a little about the storyline.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
For my first 2 books, I'd set a Google Alert to flag me any time someone wrote about the books, mainly so I could visit these blogs in a timely way. With the other two blog tours, I was getting sometimes 5 or 10 alerts a day. This time, maybe 1 or 2 (and some of those were about scuba diving off "the deepest waters" near some reef). But I was able to visit them over the last few days and, once again, was overwhelmed by the responses to the book.
Here are a number of excerpts. Click on the blog name, if you'd like to read the full review:
“I loved everything about this book. It has so much packed within its pages from historical fiction and romance to suspense and some action…If you have not had the chance to read any of Dan’s books, I would suggest reading them ALL. They are that good!”
-- Café Lily
“This week MiscMayzee is featuring a blog tour for an absolutely wonderful volume, The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh. This Christian fiction novel features so many solid plot elements that it is difficult to pick one place to start.”
“This was a captivating epic love story! It’s an honest story that touches your heart and soul…This was a moving, larger-than-life story. I was inspired as I read about these characters holding out for God’s best for them, whatever that may be. This novel would make a great movie.”
-- Nora St. Laurent – Finding Hope Through Fiction
“I read this book in two days. If it weren't for the fact I had to sleep, it would have been done in one! I just could not put it down. I had to know what happened.”
-- Passionate Perseverance Blog
“I’ve not had the pleasure of reading Dan Walsh’s previous books, but that’s about to change. Thank you, Dan Walsh and Revell Books, for providing such a riveting, hold-your-breath read.”
-- Peg Phifer’s Blog
“Dan Walsh knew a good story when he heard about this particular bit of history and he was right. But for him to take that and turn it into an absolutely amazing tale that kept me glued to the book - fantastic! I totally loved this book. Probably my favorite of the year as of right now.”
-- Cornhusker Academy Blog
“The Deepest Waters is an inspiring and uplifting story that has left me feeling so happy and satisfied. This is a delightful story that has enough action and adventure to appeal to a male audience, but at the same time there is enough tenderness and love to appeal to any woman reading this book. Dan is very good at having that warm and tender quality in his books that makes me as a reader really happy to have invested my time. I highly recommend The Deepest Waters. I guarantee no reader will be disappointed.”
-- Carlybird’s Home
These are just a few of the dozens of reviews I read, and only a few sentences from each one. Thanks to all the others who participated that I didn't mention here. And a special thanks to Donna Hausler at Revell, for all her hard work putting this blog tour together.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I'm writing this on Thursday. Already dozens of bloggers have responded, and I've been overwhelmed by their reaction. I couldn't cite them all, but here's a sampling of what I've been reading this week. I've put the links after the quotes, if you'd like to read the entire review.
"This is Dan Walsh's third book, and I have been fortunate to have reviewed all three. And like the other two he wrote, this is an excellent piece of fiction...I started reading this book this evening, and as often with a great book, got pulled into it and could not put it down."
-- Thoughts of a Sojourner Blog
“Dan Walsh has become one of those authors that whatever he writes I will read. This is a great book!”
--Lori's Book Reviews (Rating: 5 Stars)
“This is the third book Dan Walsh has written and in my opinion it is his best yet… I highly recommend this book and will keep it for my private collection.”
--Trinity's Rose Garden
“In my opinion, Dan can officially be dubbed, ‘The Nicholas Sparks of Christian fiction.’ If you love romance―particularly historical romance―you won't want to miss out on this book.”
-- Lynda Schab – On the Write Track
“This is one of those books that will grab you at the first page and not let you go until the last… I am writing this review with droopy eyes since I could not put the story down and read all night from cover to cover!”
--Lulu – Knits and Reads
"I loved the writing style, the tone of the story, the setting. I loved all of it. The spiritual thread was well done, too...This book is making my favorites list!"
-- Michelle Sutton, Edgy Inspirational Author Blog
"Ever since I read The Homecoming by Dan Walsh I have been a huge fan of his. His books instantly capture my interest and attention, which was the case with this book as well...His book made me cry, but in the best possible way. I cannot wait to read Dan Walsh's next novel in the Fall!"
-- Melinda Joy Blogspot
I wish I had the time and space to include excerpts from all of them. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to read my book and let others know about it. It's a humbling thing to read such things, makes me want to get right back to my keyboard and start hammering away.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Except this first one, from 3-time Christy-award winning author, Athol Dickson (author of books such as River Rising and Lost Mission). Click on his name to view his website. This is the entire quote:
"I stayed up all night to finish The Deepest Waters, which is something I have not done in years. It has everything: action, romance, tearful partings, desperate situations, beautiful and terrifying natural settings, history, characters I hated and characters I loved, and plenty of unexpected twists, all wrapped up in eloquent and straightforward prose. It's a wonderful read, with a compelling message about the healing power of faith."
--Mary Hake, President,
Oregon Christian Writers
"Usually not a big fan of historical fiction, I find myself enjoying reading it when Walsh writes. His ability to take the reader back in time is magical, while simultaneously teaching us about that particular time and place in history...The Deepest Waters, like his first two novels, is first-rate. Walsh is a new author who transcends many genres and will appeal to both men and women. He writes books that refresh our spirit and give us hope that all is not lost in a world filled with danger and threats of destruction. His ability to weave romance throughout his work will attract many readers who enjoy wholesome stories with a redeeming theme. His stories will bring tears to your eyes as he reaches into the hearts of his characters, allowing them to emote passion and sincerity. He had me searching for a tissue on more than one occasion..."
It does wonderful things for my soul reading things like this. I loved every part of researching and writing this book. So satisfying to see it affecting others the same way. And I'm so grateful for the things God did back in 1857, the true events that inspired it (apologize for all the italics, can't shut them off for some reason).