What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dan Walsh and Free Books!

PhotobucketWhat would you do if you’d finally found the love of your life, then were suddenly separated on your honeymoon by a shipwreck, and were now forced to face life alone in a strange city, living with people you’ve never met (and you’re pretty sure they can’t stand you)?

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Elizabeth Ludwig's new release, Died in the Wool, is:

hediru@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (below my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways!

Now let's meet novelist Dan Walsh, author of The Deepest Waters (Revell, April 2011).

PhotobucketDan Walsh is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). His first novel, The Unfinished Gift won 2 Carol Awards (Book-of-the-Year) from ACFW for best debut author and best short historical fiction. The sequel, The Homecoming, released last year in June. His third novel, The Deepest Waters, has just released and his fourth, Remembering Christmas, comes out this September. For those who haven’t read Dan’s novels, reviewers often compare his books to Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans and Jason Wright.

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 grown children and one grandson. As they await more grandchildren, they enjoy the company of two mini-aussies, Bailey and Darcy.

Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.

I am something of a contradiction with seemingly opposite interests.

-- I can be totally satisfied with a pizza, but I also love fine gourmet dining.

-- I love hanging around people, but equally love long periods of quiet and solitude.

-- I used to be a long-haired surfing bum with absolutely no aspirations (I actually wore a surfer shirt and baggies underneath my high school graduation robe).

-- I love babies and small dogs.

-- If there was an American Idol for the middle-aged, I wouldn’t win, but I’d make it into the early rounds (as long as I could sing the old standard love songs).

We must be from the same generation, Dan. I wore shorts and a T-shirt under my high school graduation robe!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Deepest Waters.

PhotobucketIn 1857, John and Laura Foster are sailing from San Francisco to New York on their honeymoon aboard the steamship, SS Vandervere. After a hurricane strikes, the grand ship begins to sink. The women and children are rescued when an old sailing ship passes by, but there’s no room to take on the men, who are left to flounder on the open sea.

On the lonely voyage to New York, Laura mourns her beloved husband. She takes inspiration from Micah, an elderly slave who works on the boat. As Laura battles despair, John battles the elements, both believing they'll never see each other again.

The Deepest Waters tells an epic story of hope, faith and love through an intimate lens. It’s inspired by real events.

I haven't started reading my copy yet, but I love this premise.

What is it about your lead characters that will make your readers care about them?

First, I suppose I need to decide who the lead character is. It started off being Laura Foster, but Micah, an old Negro slave who befriends her, certainly grew through the story to become a major force in the book.

I think readers will care about Laura because of her courage in the face of heartbreaking challenges, and the honest way she confronts her fears. And I think they’ll care about Micah, who has this abounding joy and Christ-like demeanor, despite the fact his life is filled with suffering and loss. He seems to know God intimately, though he’s never been able to read a Bible. The few verses he’s memorized are powerfully owned and practiced in his life, causing a profound effect on everyone around him, especially Laura.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I can’t improve on what Athol Dickson said: “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 

Quite an endorsement, especially coming from such a fine writer.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketFor Laura Foster, Emily Blunt would work (but you’d have to think of her in an 1850’s dress, soaking wet and worried sick).

Okay, here she is, pre-soaking.

PhotobucketFor John Foster (Laura’s husband)…I’d like Jim Caviezel. I think he’d be great, just the way he is.

You and me, both, Dan!

PhotobucketFor Micah, I’d pick Andre Braugher. He’d be perfect. Great actor, deep voice, even the right age (if you see a recent picture).

Give us one sentence that shows us something about your main character as a child.

Although born to a family of moderate means, Laura loved to travel through her books, and longed to one day experience a measure of the life, love and adventures that had so captivated her imagination.

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?

Book of Days by James Rubart. I’d recommend it because every time I had to put it down, I found myself making time to get back to it. I had been asked to read and endorse it, but I worried, “What if I don’t like it?” I knew the concept Jim was aiming for and didn’t see how he’d pull it off. Well, he did. And I loved reading it. Jim’s just a great writer.

What are you working on now?

I’m doing the final edits on my 5th novel, called The Discovery, which releases next spring. Also, starting to research my 6th novel with Revell, which I’ll be writing through the summer.

Where else can readers find you online?

Website: www.danwalshbooks.com

My blog: danwalshbooks.blogspot.com

Twitter: twitter.com/danwalshauthor


The book can be purchased online through the following buttons:

719807: The Deepest Waters

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What would it take to get you to take a chance on an author you’ve never read before? What kinds of things influence you the most? Things you’ve read online, the book cover, the first few pages, what friends have said?

Thank you, Dan, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Dan has offered to give a signed copy of his book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 23. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Dan's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Jillian Kent, below, and leave a comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of her book.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Dan and Trish, Very interesting interview. I love the story premiss too. I haven't read any of Dan's books yet, but knowing he won two Carol Awards, and then reading the endorsement has motivated me to put this one on my wish list. I also like to read a comparison like he is similar to Nicholas Sparks.

Jackie S. said...

I loved your first book, Dan, and am currently reading your second!! So I am very anxious to read this one as well. I enjoy blogs/interviews to learn more about a book; also sometimes I go to CBD or Amazon and read reviews there! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

by Pegg Thomas said...

The back cover blurb is what will make or break it for me with a book. If that catches my interest, I'll flip the book open and glance at the inside. If it doesn't, I don't crack the cover.

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Dan said...

Carrie, I've gotten even more comparisons to Sparks with this book than the first two (not sure why). Several magazine reviewers made that connection, too. I've only read one of his books, but I've seen a few of the movies made from them. Would love it if a fraction of his fans made the same connection :).

Thanks for stopping in Jackie. So glad you liked my first and are actually reading the 2nd now (maybe you'll win the third).

That's good to know Pegg. I think Revell does a good job condensing an entire book down to a single paragraph. I just finished reading the back cover blurb for book five. I'm terrible at that.


windycindy said...

I often peruse book stores and the internet for books that catch my eye.
This may mean the cover, an excerpt,
reviews, etc...
Sometimes, blogs influence my decision to read a book or a friend/
family member!
Many thanks, Cindi

Brenda said...

Covers and the name of a book are what catch my eye. Then I read the back or inside cover and if the premise of the story sounds intresting then I'll buy it.

Brenda From Michigan!

dancealert at aol dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the opportunity to read dan's latest novel...sounds wonderful :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Trish Perry said...

KarenK (and all commenters), be sure you've left an answer to Dan's question so you'll be entered in our drawing.

Trish Perry said...

And I'll answer Dan's question here, too! I've been attracted by covers, but the things that tend to sway me into buying books are reviews I've read and recommendations from friends, as well as the back cover copy.

Dan Walsh said...

Enjoyed reading the answers so far. One thing they explain, why book signings don't always do so well. Who wants to do all that with the author sitting right there? How awkward.

Does anyone feel that way about book signings with authors you've never read? Like you'd rather avoid the table rather than get stuck checking out the book and putting it back down?


Michael said...

If I don't have a recommendation from a friend, I usually go by the write-up on the back cover of the book. That's how I read Dan's first book, and then I was hooked! I have read the 2nd one and am eager to read The Deepest Waters. I also like to read reviews by others when looking for a new author. Oh, I hope I win, I hope I win ....

Phyllicia said...

The summary on the back of a book cover is usually the deciding factor for me. Reviews and recommendations definitely help though. Since I began following this blog, I have tried a TON of new books that I never would have found on my own! Just reserved a couple of Dan's books at my local library- can't wait to start them :)

Trish Perry said...

I'm so glad to hear that this blog has introduced you to new books and authors, Phyllicia! That's exactly what I hope to do here, so you made my day.

Dan asked such a good follow-up question here--I haven't attended many book signings as a reader, but as an author I've wondered the same thing about a potential reader's discomfort in considering a book right in front of the author. It's like going to a arts and crafts fair and hesitating to check out a craftsman's work while he's watching, because it's embarrassing to reject it right in front of the artist.

Maybe the solution would be to make the book easily available for perusal in the store away from the author's signing table . . .

Thoughts, readers?

Dan Walsh said...

I shared a book signing this past Sat with 2 other authors, and we all felt the same way.

That's not a bad idea, Trish. Maybe have someone directing people there so they can do the kind of things everyone likes to do (check out the cover, the back cover blurb, the first few pages) without any pressure.

Pam K. said...

I have this book so I don't want to enter. I just wanted to let you all know this is a wonderful book. I enjoyed it very much. It is interesting that it was based on an actual occurrence. It was the first book I've read by Dan Walsh, but hopefully not the last.

Tarissa said...

Sometimes when I find a book with an interesting front cover, I like to take a quick look at it. But, what reels me into fully wanting to read a book is after I read reviews of it online. Find out from like-minded people if this new book is worth me reading it.

Pain SUX said...

Great interview. This book was my first book to read of Dan's. Typically what it takes for me to read a new author is just a great title, a great cover, or hearing good things about the book. Sometimes if I am at the bookstore or library I will pick up all the new books and see if any of them catch my eye. I NEVER read the back of the book or the inside cover, because I feel that it gives away too much.


Michelle said...

I think this one sounds so good. Honestly I have it checked out from the library right now, but it's due back on Saturday, I can't renew it anymore, and I don't think I'm going to get around to reading it before Saturday.

For me to read a new author, the story has to sound interesting, and quite frankly it always helps for my local library to have it on the shelves.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

Ann Lee Miller said...

If the blurb about the book grabs me and if the book is described as deep or meaty, I'm in. This is why I'm dying to read one of your books (preferably without paying for it). I'm cheap. It's genetic. But if I love the first book, you've got me--and my tightly held dollars--for the duration of your career. I'm just saying....


Anonymous said...

I love finding new authors! I look at reviews from book bloggers that I trust. I'll then usually check out the number of high or low reviews for the suggested book at Christianbook or Amazon, though they often contain spoilers so I try not to actually read them. Also, I often find new authors when they offer free books for Kindle.



Merry said...

I really consider book reviews on blogs a big influence on what new authors I will take a chance on. Going to any book store is a rare treat, so my online resources are my lifeline to fabulous new reads. :)

worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Dan Walsh said...

Thanks everyone for responding. Think we'll be picking the winner on Sun or Mon (Trish, I forget which).

Loved reading your comments.


Trish Perry said...

Yes, Monday we'll draw the winner! Looking forward t announcing Dan's winner, as well as Jillian Kent's winner.

Jo said...

I usually read the reviews of books and if in a book store,I will read the front and the back cover of the book to see how it appeals to me.

Please enter me.


Anonymous said...

Online reviews have the most
influence for me because I can
read the professionals reviews
and on Amazon, can read what
non professionals say. and book
blogs are wonderful sources of
information about authors new
to me.




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