Please welcome Daniel DeMille to my blog. Hello, Dan. Shall we sit and chat?
- Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Hi – I’m Daniel! I’ve enjoyed the creative process of writing and illustrating from a very young age. In recent years I’ve focused on writing children’s books and young adult fantasy for my niece (age 8) and nephew (age 12). A few years ago, after successfully releasing a 1,600 legal treatise with a major mainstream publisher (an absolutely thrilling book to read, I can assure you!), my family encouraged me to take the plunge and try self-publishing, to express my more creative side.
- Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book? (If you are here as an invite to promo your small business, then please write your own questions and provide relevant photos and links, thank you.)
I’ve always loved writing and always been a voracious reader. When the pandemic started, like many of us, my office closed temporarily. I started writing on day one of the lockdown and didn’t stop for the next three years. It felt like I had been waiting for over 30 years for this opportunity! So far, I have written 8 books, 6 of which have been published with 2 more forthcoming.
- How difficult was it writing your first book?
The first book was absolutely the hardest and took the longest. I am a lawyer by training, so I am used to writing extensive legalese. But to turn my creative writing muscles back on took sustained effort at the beginning. Joining some online writing sprints really helped! Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. It felt great to get the creative juices flowing again – very cathartic and enjoyable!
- Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
Not to sound morose, but I have seen life’s hardships, including the loss of loved ones who had to endure painful terminal health conditions over months and even years. To push through writer’s block – while not easy – is a cakewalk by comparison. I consider it a real privilege to have the time and ability to write.
5. Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
My wife is a huge supporter and is always enthusiastic about my writing. My niece and nephew also think my creative writing is very cool and they want to try it too. Seeing them inspired to write and create their own original work is very motivating to me.
6. Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Although I write to entertain, much of my writing also has a background purpose – whether to teach children more about nature and the environment; or to write a video game story that will inspire my niece and nephew to take a break from their actual video games, to read instead!
7. What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
No-one is coming to save you. But no-one can stop you from pursuing your dreams, either. Seek out mentors who are already doing what you aspire to do. Be patient and persistent. Take full ownership of your outcomes and pay attention to the feedback the world gives you (good and bad). Keep improving, and you will realize your dreams over time, even more than you imagined!
This is the combined wisdom of many close friends, family, and mentors over the years. Life is not always a bed of roses, but I am grateful that listening to this sound advice has tended to work out very well for me!
8. What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
I write children’s fiction, young adult fantasy/sci-fi, and adult non-fiction. My writing is inspired by family and friends around me who enjoy these genres and give me very honest feedback. Kids give the most honest and direct feedback of all. I tailor my writing based on their real-time facial expressions – there is no hiding from these young book reviewers’ honest impressions of my work! But it’s all to the good, as it helps me to constantly improve the quality of my content.
9. Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
The cover went through many iterations to evoke the energy, atmosphere, and characters of the story. There was a lot of back and forth with my critics, and many do-overs to get it right. But we were all very happy with the outcome, and our readers really seem to enjoy it, too! So, the effort was well worth it.
10. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
Sure. As mentioned, my writing covers many genres and age groups. I pivoted in the past year from children’s books to young adult fantasy and science fiction. My new book “Game of Scorpions” is a Kindle Vella publication, but the full book will be released to Kindle.
Here is a sneak peek.
11. Any last words before we wrap things up?
Yes. Here is a very short, simple quote that gives me inspiration on life’s journey. I hope you also find it helpful!
I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health. – Voltaire