Wanna know what a successful indie author looks like? I am proud to introduce author Daniel Harvell. We are celebrating his latest novel Wishing Will. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel and he is sharing his writing process and some advice for new writers. Please help me welcome him and congratulate him on his latest success. Following my interview take a look at my review of Wishing Will. Be sure to stop by Kristi’s Book Nook for a chance to win a copy.
How long have you been writing?
I loved books as a kid. I would read anything given to me. One night in fourth grade, I had an extremely vivid dream that I wanted to share with my friends. So I decided to write it down and pass it around to my classmates. It was a big hit, and I fell in love with the idea of being a storyteller. I started writing novel-length books in college, and once I’d completed my second one, I started trying to get them out there.
Tell us about your self-publishing experience.
I did a lot of research as to my publishing options. From everything I’ve read, most publishers leave the marketing work to their authors anyway, so there’s no advantage in that arena. As an Indie author, I get to retain all of my rights and a much higher royalty percentage. Of course, as an indie author, ALL of the work falls on you. Sure, you can hire it out, but that gets expensive quickly. If you don’t know marketing, PR, social media, etc., it could be overwhelming. I’m a marketing professional, and even I had to spend days researching all of the ins and outs of book marketing when I launched my first novel in 2013. You have to be dedicated to the process and understand this is a major time commitment.
Would you recommend self-publishing?
There are advantages to both. With traditional publishing, an author has access to industry professionals and connections. The author may also receive an advance for the book, which may allow them to spend more time on the book itself. Having a publishing house also lends a level of professionalism to an author. For Indie publishing, the author has complete control over his/her work and how it’s marketed. They retain all rights to the novel and characters (pretty nice when a movie studio comes calling!). They also receive a much higher royalty rate. If an author has the time, the eye for detail, and a knowledge of marketing, I’d recommend trying self-publishing.
What inspired this book project?
Back in 2000/2001, I’d been told to read the Harry Potter books, but I laughed it off as children’s fiction. Then I saw the first movie. I went back and read the first three books (which put the movie to shame, of course) and understood what all of the fuss was about. I cared about fictional characters – there’s no better measure of success for a writer. I immediately had a fervent desire to write a magical children’s novel too, but without the traditional form of magic.
Have you always written for children?
My first novel is a young adult contemporary fantasy novel, The Survivors. The story involves seven strangers miraculously surviving an airplane crash and developing paranormal abilities as a result. These are not superheroes, however – this is a look at what I think would happen if real, ordinary people developed superhuman abilities … and it’s not always pretty.
What drives and motivates your writing?
Like many writers, I have ideas for my books, and I just have to get them out. There’s something extremely rewarding in having your story become “real” on the computer screen and then on printed paper. We don’t, however, just do it for the reward (whatever that may be) – we often do it because we have an undeniable need to write.
Do you feel it’s important for writers to use social media? How?
Social media is just one marketing/branding avenue, but these days it’s an important one. Will you make a ton of sales via Facebook and Twitter? Probably not, but it’s critical to be present – you never know when the right person will stumble upon a post or tweet!
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
J. K. Rowling inspired me to get back to writing when I was ready to give it up. She crafted such an amazingly detailed world with Harry Potter – it took me back to the reasons I fell in love with being a storyteller at ten years old. I also love Ray Bradbury and how he speaks to societal issues under the guise of an exciting science fiction read.
What books for writers would you recommend? What advice do you have for new writers?
Always believe in yourself, even when faced with rejection. Allow yourself time to grow as a writer – it will happen but not overnight.
What is the goal for yourself in the next 5 years?
I have sequels for both my The Survivors series and Wishing Will series that are plotted and ready to be written. Beyond actual writing, I’d love to sell the TV/film rights and see one or both of my properties take shape on the big or small screen.
Title: Wishing Will
Author: Daniel Harvell with Benjamin Lund
Illustrations: 7Reed Design
Will Cricket is your average chubby kid that deals with school bullies, teasing from some of the popular kids in school, and a sister who is embarrassed by the situations he seems to get himself into. But, Will has a secret weapon. He knows how to make a wish come true. While surfing the net one day he discovered a site that talked about a wishing legend that is tied to a specific date and time. On November 11th at either 11:11a.m. or 11:11 p.m., a person could make a wish and it would come true.
Will puts his new found knowledge to the test during the lunch hour right before he’s about to be hit by his nemesis Diego Rouleau. It worked. Time stood still, but not without consequence. Some very strange characters appeared and are now a regular part of Will’s everyday life. These magical beings are from Sky Castle Network Enterprises better known as SCENE. They practice wishcraft and have arrived to make Will’s wish come true. Unfortunately for Will there are a few stipulations and a ton of rules and Will has to earn his wish.
Will has been granted new powers, Mizms, so that he can grant wishes for others. He has to actually help someone who genuinely needs their wish granted. Like most stories there is always that evil element lurking in the shadows. A really bad genie by the name of Moloch wants to enslave humanity. Will has to adjust to his new life and friends, grant wishes but be careful not to break the rules or his world and theirs could be in danger and on top of that his grandmother has been kidnapped by Moloch. Just making a wish has become an effort to save two worlds. Can Will succeed? You’ll have to read the story to see.
Author Daniel Harvell has created a fun middle grade read boys can sink their teeth into. Wishing Will offers hilarious characters, adventure, magic and an unsuspecting hero. This quick read is very visual and detailed without be boring. Parents and teachers can use this tool to open up dialogue regarding family, school and even bullies. The story-line is well structured and pulls the reader right in.
Don’t forget to visit Kristi’s Book Nook for a chance to win a copy of Wishing Will and see how Daniel gets kids reading! Visit Daniel at his site and connect with him at his other social media outlets.
Author of Wishing Will and The Survivors
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