Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 17 novels, including The Unfinished Gift, The Reunion and When Night Comes.
He has won 3 Carol Awards and 3 Selah Awards. Three of his books were
finalists for Inspirational Book of the Year (RT Book Reviews). Dan is a
member of ACFW and Word Weavers. He lives with his wife, Cindi, in the
Daytona Beach area where they love to take walks and spend time with
their grandkids. Click here to connect with Dan or check out his books.
Here’s the thing, this weekend I just finished my newest novel (#17). One I’ve been working on all summer long (in Florida, our summer starts around mid-May). Our nickname is the "Sunshine State" with good reason. It’s warm and sunny the better part of the year, and especially during the long summer months. People come to vacation here from all over the world this time of year. They visit all the theme parks like Disney World and Sea World, and many of them spend a few extra days tanning themselves on our beaches. My wife and I live in the Daytona Beach area, historically referred to as, “The World’s Most Famous Beach.”
The novel I just finished is called Finding Riley, Book 2 in my inspirational Forever Home Series (Book 1 is Rescuing Finley). It’s also a Christmas novel. Yes, that’s what I said. Which means, I've been writing a Christmas novel for the last four-and-a-half months during the dog days of summer. Turns out, this is my 5th Christmas novel. And this past weekend it dawned on me…I’ve written every single one of them during the hot summer months here in Florida.
That’s not how I planned it, it’s just how things worked out (more to do with things like schedules and deadlines). Why do I bring this up? I don't know. Maybe I'm looking for some extra credit. I'm not talking about money here. All my Christmas novels, thankfully, have done very well. And readers have been extremely kind in their reviews. But I imagine many of them picture me writing these Christmas books wearing a thick sweater, sitting by a cozy fire, a nice mug of hot chocolate beside my laptop, a Johnny Mathis Christmas CD on in the background. Occasionally, I pause, glance around the room at all the beautiful sparkling Christmas decorations for inspiration.
So, where does my inspiration for these lovely, inspirational Christmas tales come from? I’ll tell you where (and why I’m fishing for compliments here)…from my wholly unassisted imagination. As I pondered the hardship I’ve had to endure (well, okay…that’s overstating it a bit), I’ve wondered if my challenge is not unlike modern-day actors who work on hi-tech movies almost entirely created with CGI special effects.
Have you ever seen those “How They Made ________ “ documentaries? It makes you realize just how talented some of these actors and actresses are, as they try to act and react to big things happening which none of them can see. All they see are the other actors in their costumes and these huge green screens everywhere. Directors are having to tell them what will movie-goers will actually see weeks or months later in the theater.
Hey…that’s an idea. Maybe I could set up some green screens in my house and project some beautiful Christmas scenery on them.
Well, let’s end with 2 things.