Donovan Neal M. S. N. P. has served in the ordained ministry and as an instructor in the Bible for 20 years, and is the author of the self-published book, ‘The Gospel Explained.’ Donovan is also a prolific songwriter and singer having written over 50 different songs of praise and worship for the local church, and has performed in various schools and churches in the Ministry of Christian rap.
He is an Adjunct Professor at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also a freelance writer for Examiner.com. Donovan has spent his entire 23-year career, helping underprivileged and disempowered populations ranging from abused and neglected children, adults with disabilities, to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. He has recently become the executive director of Hospitality House; a food pantry in Walled Lake, Michigan working to end hunger in his community.
He has been an experienced trainer in such areas as nonviolent crisis prevention intervention to adult CPR and First Aid with the Red Cross, Working with Different Personalities, and many more. Donovan brings a wealth of experience and interests that has allowed him to write on a host of subjects ranging from gaming, internet/technology, Christian themes, to nonprofit management and leadership.
Donovan is currently working on the sequel to the The Third Heaven the Rise of Fallen Stars.
What inspires you to write?
I love music. There are some trailer music that has literally sparked my imagination and a whole book was created in my mind just by listening to music. So music moves me emotionally and then I write. I am also inspired my images, its been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Well when I get some images in my head I must search for the thousand words to describe the image.
Tell us about your writing process.
Essentially I outline first. I pretty much know how the novel will end before I finish it. What I don’t know is how I’m going to get there. That requires a lot of thinking about the cause and effects of my characters decisions, and how it plays out in the story. What types of characters must be in my novel, I ask why? Then I go about developing back story on the characters. I also develop the world if need be I use good old fashioned pen and paper to outline. I also take the outline and convert it to a excel spreadsheet. This helps me to see things and I can move the cells around or rows as I deem feet to get the outline together. I love using the excel spreadsheet. Its so easy and I can mark as i write how far I’ve completed the books outline. I use the color green to show past work that in the plot line has been written. The I color coordinate the subplots so I can see the thread all the way through.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I ask them questions. About why they are doing what they are doing? I listen to see how they sound. Do they sound consistent throughout the manuscript? I imagine myself listening to their dialogue at the move theater.
What advice would you give other writers?
Your not writing unless your writing. Writing is a lonely job, but if your consistent you make something that others want to enjoy. Take the time to get a good editor. (Something I’ve had to learn the hard way). Write fast to get the first manuscript out. Just get it out. You can go back and revise later. But for Petes sake get the first draft done. It wont look pretty but most newborns when they exit the womb are kinda bloody so don’t let that bother you, once you wipe off the blood and film, you will love that lil creation forever.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided that self publishing was the way for me to go. That the speculative Christian fiction market was tiny but I had the audacity to think that perhaps I might generate some interest where a traditional publishing house might just ignore that genre. I then decided to go with Lightningsource as that was the best option to get into stores, but i ended up going with Createspace as well. I am happy with the results and both companies produce excellent work.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t think physical books will disappear. But I do think that electronic books will continue to grow in the marketplace. That the indie publisher is becoming more of a force to be reckoned with, and the poor image people have of the indie writer is slowly being chipped away. The internet has greatly disrupted the industry.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
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