Dear Friends, It may not look much like Christmas here in Mount Dora, Florida, with temperatures in the 70’s today–but we’re celebrating anyway. Tomorrow morning is our little town’s annual Christmas parade. And my friend Dan Walsh, whose recent release, Keeping Christmas, is set in Mount Dora, has two appearances here this weekend. Saturday, December 5, from 1 – 3 p.m., he’ll sign copies of his books at our wonderful hometown bookstore, Barrel of Books & Games. And Sunday evening, December 6 from 6 – 8 p.m., he’ll participate in the Christmas Book-tactular at the Donnelly Building in Donnelly Park. If you live in the central Florida area, I encourage you to come out and meet him and the other local authors. But since many of you don’t live here, I thought we’d take some time today and get to know Dan and Keeping Christmas. (Read my recent review here). I first met him a few years ago when he was just making the transition from busy pastor to full-time novelist. But I’ll let him tell you about that. Welcome, Dan. For those readers who don’t know you, could you give a little background on how you came to the writing life? I know yours is quite a story! Thanks, Marti. I do have an unusual story. Let’s see if I can share it in a paragraph. After serving full-time as a pastor for over two decades, I was experiencing some burnout, so I began writing a fiction novel to help me unwind and relax. After completing it, I polished it up and began the effort to get it published. To my shock and surprise, it was picked up almost immediately by an A-list literary agent, who had a contract with a major publisher in two months. That book, The Unfinished Gift, sold very well and won two Carol Awards. This led to more book contracts and eventually I left pastoring (at the twenty-five year mark) to write novels full-time. Keeping Christmas is my fifteenth novel and I have already released book #16 (Rescuing Finley) on Nov 19. Yours is the story of which so many writers dream. Of course, I was especially interested to read Keeping Christmas because the novel is set in my wonderful hometown of Mount Dora, Florida. How did you choose this location, and what research did you do? When I got the idea for the story, I initially thought to locate it in a northern town. But two years ago, my wife and I visited Mount Dora during Christmas time and fell in love with the place. We had never seen a town so devoted to the Christmas holiday before, especially in Florida. Add in...Read More
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I've asked God to use my writing and speaking to count for eternity. I'm passionate about relationships and creativity.
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