Daniel Wimberley is a professional web developer, moonlighting writer and self-proclaimed voice of the dork. Well, the voice of a dork, anyway. He isn’t smart enough for the fraternity of nerdhood, yet he’s helplessly drawn to it like an ewok to the Starship Enterprise.
Daniel lives with his wife and children near Owasso, Oklahoma. He enjoys the nuts and bolts of website development and integration, application development, audio and video production and photography. He plays bass guitar weekly on a praise and worship team.
What inspires you to write?
Just about everything inspires me. Nature, science, conversation, relationships–you name it. I find that I’m most inspired to write just after reading an amazing book, or even watching a good movie. Great fiction makes me hungry to create my own. The trick is to be near a computer when the appetite strikes.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process is a pretty messy affair. I start with a sloppy outline. From there, I map out key characters and their timelines. Then I drink more coffee than is probably healthy and start pounding out my story. I try to push through the first draft before my better sense gets in the way. I find that it’s easy to get caught up in premature polishing and rewording if I’m not careful, so I make a conscious effort to focus on the story and not the writing.
When I’m satisfied that the story is exactly as it should be, I begin editing a few pages at a time. I polish a few over and over until I can’t think of a better way to word anything. I try not to ignore my gut along the way; if a sentence seems okay yet draws my attention for any reason, I tend to rework it. I go through an entire MS several times in this way, usually with a month or two between passes.
I can’t swear by my process. I’ve written things that blow me away, and I’ve written things that just blow.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
It isn’t unusual for me to forget that my characters are fictional. They are usually built from the nuts and bolts of real people, so they feel very real to me. I don’t actually listen to or talk to them–my wife would absolutely divorce me if I gave in to that urge–but I do find myself wondering what my characters might do in real life situations. More than once my own behavior has been shaped by one of my characters. Interesting psychology.
What advice would you give other writers?
Give yourself plenty of time to work without unnecessary deadlines, especially when the end seems near. It’s easy to get excited when a light suddenly appears at the end of the tunnel; if you aren’t resolute, you’ll make a mad–and premature–dash for the finish line. I’ve done this several times now, and I’ve regretted it every time.
Also, enlist some impartial beta readers for feedback after the first couple of drafts; or better yet: hire an editor. If there’s a problem with your MS (character development, pace, timeline, et cetera.), you want to catch it earlier than later. It’s very frustrating to discover a structural problem in your MS once you’ve finished the daunting task of polishing it. Most of us are ready to wash our hands of a MS at that point.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
What writer doesn’t want to be snatched up by a publishing house? But the odds are against us, and it has little to do with our ability to write. Successful authors are peddlers of their wares, and having a big publisher doesn’t necessarily change anything. I made the decision to indie-publish based on pure numbers. My research revealed that a publisher isn’t going to do much for me other than opening distribution channels (nothing to sneeze at, by the way). As an author, it’s still up to me to market my book and to keep a buzz going 24/7. I encountered several statistics that showed most traditionally published authors made a few thousand on their first book. I made that off my first book selling it out of my car.
The lengthy and exhausting task of query letters, promotional plans and constant rejection slowly pushed me toward indie-publishing. My publications are surrounded by a giant slush pile of crap. Maybe mine are crap, too. I sincerely don’t believe so, but my opinion doesn’t count for much. Nevertheless, I’m happy to have something to show for my time, and it’s nice to have a foundation in place for future success to spring from.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Like many readers, the publishing industry seems grossly out of kilter to me. I’m guessing that traditional publishing houses will eventually change tactics. Many already have, actually. On the other hand, I sense some disparity on the indie-publishing side as well. There’s just so much crap being published, and the mechanism we depend on to vet the quality of a book isn’t doing its job. There are books with hundreds of great reviews posted by friends and acquaintances of the author. I’ve been duped many times by misleading reviews and wondered, did I get the wrong book somehow? I’ve been solicited by services that promise positive reviews without vetting my book for any level of quality. This needs to be dealt with or indie-publishing will eventually self-destruct.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
science fiction, memoir fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, christian fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print