5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Indie Author Interview: Dan Petermeier

Indie Author Interview with Dan Petermeier - Author of the Romantic Drama / Romance Novel Summer Letters.

Dan Petermeier has been writing since he was a child. Known throughout his teen years as a great storyteller, Dan preferred a pen (or a computer) to be his voice.

Interview with Dan Petermeier

Author Dan Petermeier
Author Dan Petermeier
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Dan Petermeier: I began writing stories when I was a boy. It started sometime in elementary school. I’d write a story and share it in front of the class. Classmates loved my creative mind and this continued throughout high school. Later, I used my writing talents to write professionally - most often for advertising and marketing. I still wrote fiction as an adult, but very little of that was shared publicly.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I think that I always knew I had a gift to tell a story and put my words down on paper. This goes back to when I was young and would spend some of my free time writing about whatever came to mind. I knew from the time I was a teenager that I wanted writing to be an integral part of my career, even if I would never have an opportunity to write a novel. For years, I knew I was called to write Summer Letters. Thankfully when I was able to devote time to write it, it all came together rather quickly.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I am sure it was a one or two page story when I was in elementary school, but I don’t have any recollection of what it was about.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
If I know that my day will include the opportunity to spend a few hours writing, I will do my best to take care of all other work first to eliminate distractions. When I write it is almost always in the afternoon after I’ve taken a short walk and cleared my mind from whatever I was doing in the morning. I can write in silence but usually I prefer to have a wide mix of my favorite music playing from my music library or Pandora. When I begin to write, I reread the previous day’s work to refresh my memory on what I had written as well as make any appropriate corrections. When I’ve found a comfortable breaking point such as at the end of a chapter, I call it a day.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
These days my work place is a comfortable black recliner in my living room. With a traditional laptop in front of me, the window to my side brings in the daylight I need and I have a great view of the tropical vegetation in the courtyard. If I’m traveling, there’s nothing from stopping me from working at a desk or whatever comfortable seat I can find.

"The hardest is writing characters that are female."

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?

The easiest thing about my writing is being descriptive, which translates to being wordy. The hardest is writing characters that are female. Trying to illustrate the thoughts and feelings of a young woman, for example, can be challenging at times.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love telling a story about something that can happen in real life. I have opened up my world and expressed who I am with the words I’ve put on paper. When someone takes the time to read what I’ve written and then tells me how much they enjoyed it, this is one of the greatest.
When a reader tells me that they get teary-eyed by the story or at a specific chapter, I know they are feeling the emotion that was intended. When they tell me they felt like they were in the scene with the characters and were experiencing all the same joys and pains, it tells me they have developed oneness with the story – and this is exactly what I hope for.
Some readers have likened Summer Letters to a Nicholas Sparks novel and to me this is one of the biggest compliments I receive. My novel is in the same genre as his works and I don’t doubt that many Sparks’ lovers will enjoy Summer Letters and my future novels.

"[...] have you ever wondered how life’s puzzle pieces fit together?"

Dan, please tell us a little about your Romantic Drama Novel Summer Letters.
In the novel, an enterprising man has already had his share of girlfriends and love interests in his young life. At an age when he should still be partying with friends and living a carefree lifestyle, thinking of settling down is usually one of the last thoughts on the mind of a twenty-year old. However, Liam Roberts would like nothing more than to find the woman that will be by his side for years to come.
As a relationship with a sexy girl from a wealthy family begins to develop, Liam receives a letter from an unexpected source. Downplaying the importance of the letter, as spring turns to summer, his relationship with the seductive young woman matures and he’s on the verge of committing everything he has to her. But questioning his faith, not only in his religious convictions, but also in women, Liam let’s his heart guide his path with all the relationships with women in his life. The story takes various twists and turns as Liam discovers whom and what are most important. He also realizes that finding his soul mate sometimes is not in his control, but that of a higher power.
I like to ask people: have you ever wondered how life’s puzzle pieces fit together? Things may not make sense as life happens, but after awhile you realize that there’s a reason for everything. Sometimes you meet someone that has an interlocking part, but you’d never know it at the time. As time goes on, you can see that puzzle taking form and by the end you realize how everything fits together – perfectly.

Summer Letters (Dan Petermeier)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
My wife and I “met” in 1993 through a (hand-written) letter exchange. We lived half-way across the country from each other and never expected anything more than a “pen pal” connection. However, God had other plans for us and after exchanging dozens of letters, we met in person and married almost exactly a year later. Inspired by the unique way we met and fell in love helped form some of the ideas in Summer Letters. While there are other real-life inspired events illustrated in the book, this is clearly the highlight.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
I believe that the primary target for Summer Letters are females aged 16-40. However, I’ve known people over 80 that have read it and loved it as well.
The book is available at many online book retailers such as Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Walmart.com. It can be purchased at booksellers nationwide, though they may not regularly stock it. For the best pricing of eBooks, Paperbacks and limited edition hardcovers, as well as the option of obtaining a signed copy, I encourage people to visit SummerLetters.com, a website I operate.

"[...] a story that most people can relate to at some point in their life"

What makes your book special?
Summer Letters tells a story that most people can relate to at some point in their life: Dating and developing relationships, falling in love and falling out of love. There comes a point that if you find that you’ve met the right person, you may have obstacles to overcome. You’re forced to dig deep into your moral character and determine what is most important in your life. Are you willing to sacrifice your beliefs, your career, or your family in order to hold on to love?
You’ll follow the real-life inspired journey of a young man and the people that impact his life during his search for his soul mate.
Summer Letters will evoke all the emotions of life: From sadness and tears, from anger and resentment to laughter and joy. As one Goodreads reader review put it: This book had me laughing and crying all the way to the very last page.

Are there any questions from readers about Summer Letters that you hear more often than others?
I’m often asked if the book will become a movie because so many recent romance novels in the same genre have movie adaptations. Of course I’d love Summer Letters to get picked up by a production company, but first I believe it will take additional recognition by the public in its present print form.
Another question I have been asked several times is: “How much of the book is real?” This question is one I struggle with answering because there are many things (situations, places, etc) that are inspired on something that is real, but it has been dramatically enhanced. To make the story what it is, the majority of the book is complete fiction, but a portion is real or inspired upon real events.

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
Summer Letters has been out for about ten months. While I receive a lot of praise for the story and I am blessed to have a sizable following on Facebook and Twitter, I am a little surprised that many of these fans haven’t picked up the book yet. I believe it is just a matter of time before Summer Letters is a well-known and recognized love story.

How long did it take it to write the book?
I wish I had logged the hours that I spent writing it, rewriting it, reviewing it and making corrections after it was edited. I started writing the book several years ago, but the initial work looks nothing like the completed novel. I also didn’t expect it to be over 400 pages in length when I first started writing it. That being said, I believe that I have somewhere around 2000 hours invested in writing Summer Letters.

"[...] feel the emotions of falling in love as well as the pain of losing someone dear to your heart."

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am nearing completion of my second romance novel. Unlike Summer Letters that is inspired on some real life events, this book is complete fiction. The storyline is split between two geographical areas and tells a tale of finding love through an interesting twist of events. Like Summer Letters, I believe that those that enjoy a tear-jerking love story will no doubt feel the emotions of falling in love as well as the pain of losing someone dear to your heart.
Depending on the completion of my initial manuscript as well as the opportunities I may have for publication, I am hopeful that the novel will hit the shelves in 2015.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
There will probably always be a demand for paperbacks and hardcover editions, but there clearly is a movement toward electronic versions and therefore I could see a reduction, but not elimination of book stores in the coming years.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I’ve only read electronic books on a laptop and iPad.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
The bulk of my time is spent online writing. I operate a small marketing company that involves website design plus various writing projects. Right now, I’ve been trying to devote half of my time to completing my next novel so I can start on the next one. In my free time, my wife and I enjoy relaxing at the beach, biking and watching TV and movies.

How can readers connect with you?
For more information about me and my book, please visit SummerLetters.com.
I also can be found on Facebook and Twitter and the best way is to reach out to me through the sites devoted to Summer Letters.
Connect with Summer Letters on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SummerLettersDanPetermeier
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Summer_Letters

Thank you very much for the Interview, Dan.

About the Book Summer Letters

Summer Letters (Dan Petermeier)
Click to Read an Excerpt
After a series of relationships including one that breaks his heart and crushes his spirit, the protagonist, twenty-year-old, Liam Roberts, is introduced to a sexy young woman from a wealthy family. Still recovering from the sting of past relationships, he is afraid to let her get too close to him. Liam questions everything about his life and wonders if he is on the right path or if God has other plans for him. A romantic young man, Liam hopes that he won't have to search forever to find his soul mate.

The flirty and affectionate young woman is virtually everything Liam ever dreamed about and as spring turns to summer, she waves her way into his life and his heart. But then an unexpected letter arrives in the mail and Liam's summer takes a turn he never imagined.

Will one letter bring two people together or force them to say goodbye - forever?

"It is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It pulled at your heart from start to finish. The story had you laughing at time, and brought you to tears the next. I highly recommend this book!" - Reader Review

Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback Summer Letters with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook Summer Letters with Excerpt on Amazon

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