John, I'm delighted to have you here this morning to talk about your latest book, Behind The Redwood Door.
Thanks so much for inviting me to your distinguished blog, Susan. I feel honored!
Tell us something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
People may be interested to know that in addition to writing mysteries, I am also a publisher of mysteries, under the imprint Perseverance Press. So I’ve seen all aspects of this game.
How many books have you written?
Yikes! I’ve written 29 books. Eight of them never got published, thank goodness. Seven of them were ghost-written for other people. I published a few of them myself. But I’m proud of them all.
What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
I agree, John.
As I write this, Behind the Redwood Door hasn’t come out yet, but it will be published November 20, just in time for my birthday. It’s the third Guy Mallon mystery. It takes place on the North Coast of far-northern California, redwood country, where I have lived for the past eight years. Guy’s no longer a publisher, but he still can’t stop getting into trouble. He stands five feet tall, but he stands up tall against bullies. In this book his foolhardy courage almost costs him his life.
Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others?
What are some of the problems you faced while plotting a series with ongoing characters?
Well, it’s hard to believe that a mild-mannered amateur sleuth like my pint-sized hero, Guy Mallon, would always get himself into a pickle with hardened criminals. At the end of Behind the Redwood Door Guy promises his wife that he’ll stay out of trouble from now on. Will he? We’ll see.
How do you develop characters?
No matter how hard I try to tell them what to do or what to say, they always seem to have a mind of their own.
So true, John, and I love that, don't you?
What are your protagonist’s strengths? Flaws?
Guy was called a “flawed” protagonist in reviews of Vanity Fair. His flaw was to succumb to dishonesty. That will never happen again, at least in my books. Otherwise his flaws are a sassy courage and a feisty manner shared by many short people (think Mickey Rooney, think Danny DeVito). His strengths? He has the tenacity of a bulldog and the wit of a class clown.
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
Can you tell us about current or future projects?
The new book, Behind the Redwood Door will be published by Oak Tree Press: http://www.oaktreebooks.com/
Here are my contact spots:
John M. Daniel was born in Minnesota, raised in Texas, and educated in Massachusetts and California. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford University and a Writer in Residence at Wilbur Hot Springs. He has taught fiction writing at UCLA Extension and Santa Barbara Adult Education and was on the faculty of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference for nearly twenty years. He now teaches creative writing for Humboldt State University Extended Education.
John’s stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines. His thirteen published books include four mysteries: Play Melancholy Baby, The Poet’s Funeral, Vanity Fire, and Behind the Redwood Door, recently published by Oak Tree Press.