Monday, January 16, 2012

Starting the New Year with a Stabbing

I'm writing this, laying on the couch, the victim of 4 stab wounds.

I'm guessing that starting off this post with this sentence peaks your curiosity more than if I said, "I'm recovering from surgery." Because that's what really happened. But my doctor actually used the "stab wounds" description to adjust my expectations for the recovery. This past Tuesday, I had my left adrenal gland removed lathroscopically. It's an amazing procedure (though I'd probably faint if I saw it done for real).

In the past, the surgeons would have had to make a major incision that would take months to heal. Now they stab you in 4 places to get what they're after, and you're left with very little scarring and a recovery that's more like 2 weeks. Although, he wasn't kidding about being a stab victim. I don't write murder mysteries but feel like I could really write a crime scene now from the victim's perspective pretty easily.

I'm hoping to get back on my writing schedule by the end of the week. Might be a little longer before I can start tackling any house chores.

A Bona fide Bestseller Now

A few days before going in for the surgery, God gave me a wonderful gift. He allowed me to see my 4th novel, Remembering Christmas, make the ECPA's Bestseller List for Jan 2012. For those who don't know, ECPA stands for "Evangelical Christian Publisher's Association." It's kind of like the New York Times bestsellers list for Christian authors (although, if your book makes it to the NY Times list, it's doing even better).

Most fiction writers have a similar Bucket List, when it comes to their writing hopes and dreams. It would look something like this:

  1. Write the best novel you can and get it ready for publication.
  2. Land a great literary agent (one with lots of clout, experience and connections).
  3. Get a book deal from a major publisher (one that pays advances & royalties and works hard to promote your book).
  4. Hold your first novel in your hands, then actually see it on bookstore shelves.
  5. Read great reviews about your book in major publications.
  6. See one of your books win a Book-of-the-Year award.
  7. Get a mufti-book deal with your publisher (big enough to write fulltime).
  8. See one of your books make the bestseller list.
Click on the pic to see it bigger
 To my utter amazement, since the summer of 2007 when I checked Item #1 off my list (The Unfinished Gift), God has allowed me to check every other item off in fairly quick succession. Including--as of this month--Item #8. Unlike the movie, Bucket List, I could certainly die a happy man without experiencing all these things, but I'm humbled and extremely grateful to God for allowing me these wonderful opportunities.

And I'm also grateful to all of you who've purchased my books and told others about them. You're a big reason why all this has happened, too.

Some Early Reviews for The Discovery

The publicity effort for my 5th novel with Revell, The Discovery, is already underway. It's release is now only 10 weeks away. My wife, Cindi, thinks this is my best book yet. It's hard for me to say (like picking out your favorite child). But I've received some very encouraging early reviews (hoping they're a sign of more to come).

"Thrilling, romantic, and intriguing. In The Discovery, Dan Walsh takes a fascinating sidebar of World War II history and crafts a suspenseful, beautifully written, and deeply satisfying story. This is his best novel yet!"

-- Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of the
Wings of Glory series

"The Discovery is an immensely enjoyable read. Mr. Walsh fashions two stories that come together perfectly to form a satisfying conclusion. The story centers on Gerard Warner, a hugely successful novelist, who dies and leaves his Charleston estate to his grandchildren. One of them, Michael, longs to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. His grandfather was well aware of Michael’s talent and planted certain clues in the mansion he left to Michael and his wife, Jenn...The Discovery is a masterful bit of storytelling. It is, above all else, a love story for the ages, one of sacrifice and devotion that will leave readers with a renewed passion for their loved ones. As I neared the end of the book I let out a huge sigh and experienced a wonderful sense of wellbeing and happiness. Dan Walsh did it again: He touched my heart."

--The New York Review of Books

The reviewer, John M. Wills, is himself an accomplished author of crime thrillers (and a retired FBI agent). I can't wait for the book to release, scheduled for April 1st.