10 June 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Interviews Dan Walsh



Dan Walsh is the author of The Discovery and of Remembering Christmas and four other novels, published by Revell and Guideposts. I met Dan through some online groups, including ACFW and at the ACFW conference.

Dan, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.  Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
There are three things that probably share that distinction. One would be losing my best friend to leukemia (somewhat suddenly after a successful operation that doctors said would lead to his full recovery). Another would be almost losing one of my children, spiritually speaking, when for a lengthy season they appeared to be choosing a destructive lifestyle (thankfully, God turned them around). And finally, it would be the deceitful betrayal in ministry by someone I trusted and thought was a friend. Hard to say which of these three was the most painful.

(Comment by CFP: I find this very interesting since Dan was recently extremely ill and required hospitalization. Tells us how sometimes other attacks are more difficult than those on the body.)

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Probably Isaiah 26:3, which says: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you. Because he trusts you.” This verse, and similar ones, have pointed me to the most necessary thing to overcome the trials of life, including the three tough ones I just mentioned.
Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? 
Authors don’t usually have a say in which of their books get made into audio versions. My first two have been picked up by Oasis Audio and turned into audio books, but so far the others haven’t. A few have also been picked up by other publishers and turned into large print versions (I know The Unfinished Gift and The Deepest Waters have). All have been made available as Ebook versions (like Kindle and Nook), which I do believe have audio capability. 
Even though I don’t own an Ebook reader, my wife does, and it’s one of the reason I encourage people who need large print books to get one. You can instantly increase the font size for every book to large print, if you have one.
What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I like to write about the themes that matter most in life (by God’s definition, not so much ours). Then I like to craft stories that reveal God’s perspective on those themes, played out in the lives of credible, captivating characters going through big dramatic things (and occasionally some interesting small ones). Situations get pretty tough in the beginning and middle of my books, and maybe even more so near the end but, because I’m writing from a Christian perspective, I love endings that reveal the power and lovingkindness of God, so that the reader is stirred to put their hope in God for whatever they’re going through in real life.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
In each book, I learn things that deeply affect me. There’s that old saying “walk a mile in my shoes,” which I suppose is suggesting in order to truly understand what someone else is going through, we really need to experience it ourselves. That’s not actually possible, since none of us can control all the circumstances we face, but I think we can learn to empathize and care about others by learning to listen well. And when we do listen, to listen to their hearts, not just react to their words.
When I write, I experience a good measure of this, because I have to get deep inside my character’s hearts in order to communicate their experience in a way that connects with my readers. I imagine it’s not unlike an actor “getting into character” for a role. The result is a pretty good simulation of “walking a mile in my shoes.” It’s not uncommon for me to feel deep affections and emotions as I write certain scenes and chapters.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
In The Discovery, one of the major themes is the destructive power of lying and deceit, and the very real affect it has on our own soul and in the relationships of those around us (particularly the people we love). This book is really a “novel within a novel” as many reviewers have called it, because it begins with a grandson discovering an unpublished manuscript written by his late, mega-bestselling grandfather. As he reads this manuscript, so does the reader. Early on, the grandson reads this: “In the past two months, he had become aware of how heavy words become when you carry them alone. Lies, spoken to someone you love, were heavier still.”
By the end of the book, the man who wrote these words also learns how liberating it can be to finally “speak the truth in love.”

Thank you Dan for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!


Here is a link to Serena Chase's interview with Dan on USA Today.


Dan Walsh books can be purchased on Amazon, as well as on CBD, and other bookstores. 

How Readers Can reach Dan on the internet:
His website is www.danwalshbooks.com with buttons to follow him on Facebook or Twitter. On the menu, he has a “Blog” and a tab for  his “Books” with buttons beside each book to order them from a number of online stores (like Amazon or Christianbook.com). 



GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of this author’s books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback.


51 comments:

  1. Great interview! These books all sound so wonderful I'll have to start reading them!


    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

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  2. Thanks, Carrie, for a very insightful interview with Dan. I'd love to win a copy of his book. I'm going to read some of his others. I've heard so many good things about them. Thanks for offering the giveaway!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  3. LIZ, thanks for coming by! Dan has certainly been prolific in a short time!

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  4. NANCEE, I always love to hear the author's testimonies. You can see where life's issues and overcoming play into storylines. For instance, now knowing about the relationship problems he experienced within the church (hello, no surprise there since he was a minister and this always happens!) but anyway he features relationship issues between family members in the two audiobooks I listened to.

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  5. CARRIE, what a powerful interview with DAN! I think that's one of the greatest hurts that a person can experience is betrayal by a brother or sister in the church...been there-done that; in years past. And I can identify with Dan's struggle with his child as well. A very traumatic thing.

    I have not yet read anything by Dan, but have heard alot of good things about his books. Am looking forward to the reviews this week. Thank you, DAN, for being with us this week on OTT, and for sharing your powerful interview with us!

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  6. Thank you for this interview with Dan. It is always interesting to learn more about authors. I read Dan's The Deepest Waters and enjoyed it very much. I'm hoping to read more of his books.
    Thanks for giving away a book. I'd love to win any of his other books, in print format.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  7. Yes, betrayal by a brother or sister in church is extremely painful. It also happened to us last year, so I can identify with that.

    Dan novels sound very interesting. Like Diana I haven't read any of his books yet. So I'm also looking forward to reading the reviews this week.

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  8. As always, another terrific author interview. I just got The Discovery, and am very excited to read it. Thank you, Dan, for your transparent interview ~ sometimes sharing your heart with strangers is a little difficult. I'm glad you did.

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  9. DIANA, I think my mother wore her knees out (figuratively as I don't think her arthritis allowed) for me when I wasn't walking with the Lord. So glad Dan's child came back into the fold.

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  10. PAM, good to see you here! I always love hearing more about the authors' backgrounds and their testimonies of overcoming. And I love to see how that impacts their work.

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  11. MARIAN, it is so painful having another Christian treat you badly. It stings so much more. On the other hand, God allows stuff for a reason. I recently experienced an extremely hurtful slight by another believer. My friends assured me God would bless me double for the trouble, and He did. God is so good and He is in control.

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  12. AMANDA--by our testimonies we are more than overcomers through Christ. So glad Dan shared, too!

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  13. I always enjoy an interview with Dan...and love his books! I have read several and plan to read them all! He is an inspiration and great author.
    Please count me in this drawing!
    thanks!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  14. JACKIE, great to have you here and we will put you in the drawing!!!

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  15. I've seen Dan's books around and heard his name, but not sure if I have actually read any of his book... would love to add one to my collection!
    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  16. PATTY, Welcome! DAN has a gentle but strong voice.

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  17. Thanks everyone for stopping by. I'll be checking in at least once or twice a day all week. Feel free to ask any additional questions you might have.

    A couple of weeks ago, I did a lengthy interview about my most recent novel, The Discovery, with USA Today (if you're curious). Here's the link: http://books.usatoday.com/happyeverafter/post/2012-05-02/dan-walsh-interview-the-discovery/686495/1

    Thanks Carrie for inviting me to spend time with your readers :)

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  18. I love his books but the the nostalgia in them- I always end up crying and needing a box of tissues!!! I am absolutely amazed at the books that Dan Walsh writes- I have read them all but The Reunion- cant wait till it comes out!!!

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  19. Thanks for the great Interview, i have one of Dan's Books on my TBR list, I'm going to look for it today and move it up (smile).
    Thanks for having a Giveaway, please add me to it.

    ingrids62448(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  20. a great posting...thanks for the chance to read this fabulous book ;)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  21. HELEN--yes, Dan's nostalgic books made me cry to listen to them, too. They were so touching!!!

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  22. INGRID--great to see you here!!! Those TBR piles might be getting smaller over the summer.

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  23. KAREN, glad you liked the interview ;)

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  24. Hmm... I thought I had purchased one of Dan's books on Kindle, but it doesn't seem like I have. Well.

    All of the books look good. Was it Dan that I heard was compared to Nicholas Sparks? If he writes in the same style, I know I would love his books.

    Thanks for doing the interview... I look forward to reading Dan's works.

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  25. YES, LADETTE - DAN is the one compared to Nicholas Sparks. But Dan's stuff is clean- no bedroom scenes like the ones in the movie I just saw. Yikes - I thought Sparks wrote inspirational stuff and assumed.... Dumb me. I liked Dan's audiobooks better than the Sparks book I read.

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  26. LOVE DAN WALSH!!! Can't wait to get my mitts on The Discovery AND The Reunion!!

    Great interview, Dan and Carrie -- ALWAYS love reading about favorite authors and friends!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  27. JULIE!!!!! So good to see you here!!! You are such a doll and we can't wait to have you visit with us next week for our Diana anniversary!!!

    I love having the authors visit here with our guests. I sure hope DAN is okay as he is MIA.
    Hugs!

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  28. Wonderful interview and thank you so much for taking the time in sharing this with us. I would feel very honored to receive one of his books.
    Bobbe'
    oceanpearl@q.com

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  29. VIRGINIA, Like you, I actually cry, sometimes in several places, with every book I write. I cry while the scene is coming to me, as I write it, and months later--in some of those same places--when it comes time to edit the story. It doesn't seem to occur to me that I've made this all up in my head. In some ways, that doesn't feel true at all, yet I realize I'm writing fiction.

    I think there's just something about "the power of story." When characters are realistic and go through real things, fiction seems to transcend the boundaries a bit. We are swept into their lives and it's as if they become real people we actually care about.

    Many of the characters in my books have taken up residence in my mind like family. And like family, if they go through something harrowing or challenging, I can't help but care.

    I was asked once about the benefits of reading fiction, and I think this is certainly one. It can increase our compassion for others going through experiences we are not at the moment. In a way that causes us to reach out to encourage and maybe do more than that, to express that concern in some tangible way.

    Fiction can lead to some very good non-fiction fruit.

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  30. INGRID, thanks for moving my book "up the stack" so to speak.

    LADETTE, you're right about the Nicholas Sparks connection. That started happening after my second book, The Homecoming, came out in 2010. And it's only increased with each of the others (a WHOLE lot with the most recent book, The Discovery). Many magazine reviews and blog reviews have mentioned this. So much so, that I recently wrote a post on my own blog to speak to it (what I thought of the comparison, where we're similar but also some ways we differ.)

    What CARRIE mentioned is certainly one place he and I differ. My wife and I were also profoundly disappointed at the direction his couple in love went in this most recent movie, The Lucky One. Other than that, I remember thinking this is exactly the kind of story I'd have loved to write.

    Thanks so much, JULIE, for stopping by. Can't wait to see you again at ACFW in Sept (just registered for the conference yesterday morning).

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  31. DAN, sadly the fabulous JULIE will not be at conference this year. Nor will I. I pray that is a great experience for you. And yes, the movie could have been great with a Dan Walsh treatment for it! Cut, cut, cut, lol!

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  32. It was nice learning a bit more about Dan. I recently won a copy of The Discovery on TBCN, it was an awesome book. I'm recommending it to others and have looked into reading more of his titles. I have one coming from the library.

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  33. Thanks MARYANN. So glad you enjoyed it. That was a fun contest at TBCN. Not sure why, but I love hearing my books are in the library. My oldest son called me a few months ago, telling me he was standing in our library with his wife, and all but one of my books was there (and that one had been checked out). Made my day.

    CARRIE, I'll stop in later today and catch up. Have to head off to buy a replacement laptop (using my wife's now, and she's heading off to work).

    See you all soon.

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  34. This interview had a lot of depth. I appreciated both the questions and the responses.

    Thanks, Dan, for sharing your heart's desire to minister to people through your stories. That is an effective outreach.

    I can tell from the descriptions that I could really benefit from reading these books. It would be great to win one.

    Blessings, Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  35. Thanks JANICE. It's been very fulfilling to be able to continue to reach people through this very different means. Although, I constantly told stories in my sermons, they only lasted a few minutes each (not 300-plus pages):).

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  36. I'm amazed at how Dan has overcome so many very serious obstacles in his life, and still remains positive. God has truly blessed this man with mercy. I can't wait to read his books.

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  37. I love Dan's books - can't wait to read this one!

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  38. I've read several of Dan's book. I've enjoyed them very much. I really liked the Christmas book that took place in a book store called the book nook!! I think the two new ones look very interesting. The Discovery and The Reunion look really good!!

    Thanks for helping us get to know Dan and his books better.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win one of his books!

    Nora :o)
    The Book Club Network

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  39. Thanks NANCEE, that's very kind to say. As any believer who's experienced severe trials discovers, God really does draw near the brokenhearted. I experienced new depths of His presence and comfort, sometimes for weeks on end. Paul called Him the "God of all comfort" in 2 Cor 1. I know a bit more now of what that's like. HE really is the One who led me through those dark times.

    Gary Smalley has also helped me a lot. He really has a handle on rejoicing through trials. I've been reading a lot of his books as I write our fiction series.

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  40. For those who are curious, the book NORA is referring to is Remembering Christmas. It's the one at the very beginning of the interview, just under my pic.

    NORA, I've loved reading your reviews of my books. And thanks for all you and your hubby to do to serve folks at TBCN.

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  41. NANCEE, I, too, have experienced what DAN is talking about. And there is something so amazing about knowing you are resting only in His hands. And the peace He gives you in those times.

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  42. KIM - I am so GLAD you found an author whose works you love on our blog! Glad DAN has faithful followers, such as yourself, who come by to visit when he goes "visiting" on blogs!

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  43. NORA!!! You are such a blessing to so many, including me!!! Had I known you had reviewed Dan's Christmas book I would have groveled and asked to have you guest post. Hmmmm, gives me an idea, lol!

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  44. The Discovery is on my list! I love the idea of a “novel within a novel”.Can't wait to read it.
    lostie815(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  45. DONNA - words to warm an author's heart. I bet DAN will be glad to see that!

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  46. DONNA, that aspect of the book was the biggest challenge. As I was writing, I wondered how it would work, whether going back and forth between the present and the past would make the right impact for my readers. It's been wonderful to read how many people found that part to be what they enjoyed most. Hope you like it!

    And you're right, CARRIE, those words most certainly warmed my heart!
    Dan

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  47. I'd love a copy of any one of Dan's books. I have not read any of them yet, but after reading the reviews I certainly intend to read all of them. Thanks for offering this giveaway!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  48. NANCEE! Dan's two books I listened to were set in the Philly area. But he has others settings, like the new one in SC.

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  49. CARRIE & NANCEE, I located The Deepest Waters (because it's based on true events) in old San Francisco and old New York (1850's). Remembering Christmas (the 4th novel, released this past Sept) is set in a fictitious version of the Daytona Beach area, where we live. I called the town Seabreeze (kind of how I imagine Daytona might be if it hadn't become the birthplace of NASCAR and a major tourist beach).

    And CARRIE'S right about the newest one. It starts in the present in historic Charleston, then goes back to the Daytona Beach area in 1942.

    Most of my new fiction series with Gary Smalley will be set in central Florida. But we'll travel around a little too (my main couple right now is enjoying a 2nd honeymoon in Tuscany).

    That's one of the things I love about writing...all the great places to locate stories.

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  50. The bridge on the front of The Deepest Waters reminds me of Middleton Plantation in SC. So is that cover supposed to be in CA or NY? I hope you and your wife get to go to Italy to do research!

    We are doing some traveling this summer for research for my third three book proposal. One of the great perks of writing!

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  51. CARRIE, I loved Middleton Place. Not sure if that's it but it does look similar. We're not getting to go to Italy this time, but we did go in '98 for 3 weeks. Watched the videos for research. That was great fun.

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