AUTHOR: Daniel Harvell
BOOK TITLE: Wishing Will
GENRE: Children’s fiction
BUY LINK: http://amzn.com/B00M7EBIYY
NOTE: If you would like to be considered for a copy of Wishing Will, please leave your name and contact information in your comment. One winner will be chosen by Mr. Harvell at random.
Please tell us about yourself.
I was born in Florida, raised in Georgia, went back to Florida for college (Florida State University), took off for Wisconsin for a few years before settling down in Austin, Texas almost a decade ago.
In my spare time, I love to travel, cook (mostly just bake cookies!), exercise, watch Netflix, listen to Robyn, read (of course) and spend time with friends.
When and why did you begin 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.
Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. There are times when I’m not sure what a character’s going to say or how to move the plot forward, but I just type something out. Maybe it’s just a placeholder sentence, but I don’t let it slow me down for long.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
Like many writers, I had the idea for my book, and I just had to get it out. One of the biggest “ah ha” moments I had was that there’s something extremely rewarding in just 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.
Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
I did a lot of research as to my publishing options before deciding on self-publishing. 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.
What is your marketing plan?
I’m a marketer by day, so I’ve utilized a lot of marketing initiatives with the promotion of the book, including: social media, contests, press releases, blogging on my website, guest blogging, recruiting reviewers, and so much more. Recently, on a whim, I decided to reach out to the middle school principals in my area and offer to donate a copy of the book and make classroom visits to talk about being a writer. I was a little surprised by how many were so interested. I’ve dropped off dozens of books and have classroom/library visits on my calendar!
What do you plan for the future?
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.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
WISHING WILL is the contemporary fantasy story of a middle schooler named Will who isn’t happy with who he is, so he makes a wish for a new life. Very unexpectedly, a magical wishing corporation known as the Sky Castle Network and Enterprises (a.k.a. the SCENE) shows up and agrees to grant him his ultimate wish … but he has to work for his reward. Becoming a super-powered agent for the organization, Will teams up with a celestial wish agent with delusions of Hollywood stardom, a shape-changing half-Genie, a narcoleptic Dreamweaver and a stick-in-the-mud wish lawyer. Together, they grant the wishes of Will’s classmates and family members, helping the same people who pick on Will every day. As if these challenges weren't enough, there's a mystery surrounding his peculiar grandmother and a malevolent force bent on enslaving humanity. Will might have to fight not only for his wish but also for the entire world!
What influences your writing?
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.
Is this your first published children’s work? What other types of writing have you done?
This is my first children’s novel, and it’s such a different animal than my first book. 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 was the hardest part of writing your book?
Writing is a discipline. Finding the time to write is challenging, but the actual writing comes completely naturally. I love creating characters and dialogue – they’re not always winners (that’s what editing is for), but getting it down on paper is extremely rewarding.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
I’m a firm believer in outlining. That’s not to say that I won’t change or add a plot point mid-stream, but I really think a story is stronger if a writer knows all of the basic facts going into it. I think foreshadowing is an essential element in novels, and you can’t have it without a proper outline (or working backwards, but that’s a messy and time-consuming process).
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I really like to travel. A few of my favorite cities include Miami (specifically South Beach), Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. I like the touristy things, but I always try to find a local to show me his or her city so I can experience it as they do. If I could get more than just a couple of days, I’d love to get back to Hawaii soon!
What books have most influenced your life?
The Harry Potter series inspired me to get back to writing when I was ready to give it up. Rowling 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. Additionally, Fahrenheit 451 is a masterpiece. I love Ray Bradbury (my second favorite author) and how he speaks to societal issues under the guise of an exciting science fiction read.
Wishing Will Synopsis:
Outcast middle schooler Will Cricket wants a new look, popular friends, cool parents and enough coordination to dribble a basketball - but he never actively pursues any of it. Instead, Will makes wishes.
When the magical wishing corporation known as the Sky Castle Network and Enterprises (a.k.a. the SCENE) agrees to grant him his ultimate wish to be someone different, he must work for his reward. Becoming a super-powered agent for the organization, Will teams up with a celestial wish agent with delusions of Hollywood stardom, a shape-changing half-Genie, a narcoleptic Dreamweaver and a stick-in-the-mud wish lawyer.
Together, they grant the wishes of Will’s classmates and family members, helping the same people who pick on Will every day. As if these challenges weren't enough, there's a mystery surrounding his peculiar grandmother and a malevolent force bent on enslaving humanity. Will might have to fight not only for his wish but also for the entire world!