Author Interview: Dan Lawton

About the author:
Dan Lawton is an award-winning literary suspense, mystery, and thriller author from New Hampshire. He is an active member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) Organization.

His fifth novel, The Green House–a Bronze Medalist in the Adult Fiction E-Book category for the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY Awards), a finalist in the Fiction category for the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and a finalist in the Mystery category for the 2020 Book Excellence Awards–will be released on 7/30/20.

Dan's fourth novel, Plum Springs, won the 2019 New Hampshire Writers' Project Readers' Choice Award for Fiction. His first novel, Deception, was named one of the best thriller novels of 2017 by the Novel Writing Festival.

What inspires you to write romantic fiction?
Simply, I just love it. Reading other books, watching movies, and everyday events can be sources of inspiration for me. Whether there's any commercial success or not doesn't impact my inspiration—you never know if/when something will pop. I write everyday stories, which often include romance.

Tell us about how you write.
Generally, I am a seat of the pants writer. The most recent book I wrote did have a top-level outline of where the story was going, but it changes so much as I write so it would truly be a waste of time to outline everything out ahead of time. When I do outline, I keep it simple: I make a chart in Word, along with my notes. Nothing fancy.

Do you listen to or talk to to your characters?
I've never talked to them, per say. My interaction is watching them evolve as the words are typed, really. How they react in certain circumstances is entirely organic and can alter the scene or future scenes or any plans I had for the book—hence why I don't spend too much time outlining.

What advice would you give other romance writers?
Just write. The only way you're going to improve is to keep doing it.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried to get a literary agent for my first book but failed, so I self-published. For my second, I did the same and also indie publishers, and while I had an offer to publish, I chose to self-publish again. For my third, I almost got an agent but wasn't quite there, so I published with an indie press. I had an agent for my fourth, and though I didn't get a "big deal," I published with another indie press. For my fifth, I signed with another indie press—and I intend to have them publish my next three books as well, if they'll have me! Self-publishing for me was a good way to get introduced to the industry and learn about all aspects of it. It was a good transition to an indie press, then an agent, then bigger and better presses.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
While the industry is competitive and becoming a digital world, I don't think print books are going anywhere. Personally, I prefer reading print books still, and I sell more print than digital—which surprises me, frankly. I do see advances from publishers going down and more independent presses and self-published authors making a serious run at relevancy. I feel like it takes too long to market for the big publishers, especially for those writers who have other books an an audience; the readers want more content, not to wait two years for the next book.

Which romance sub-genere(s) fit your stories best?
Mystery, Suspense, Literary, Contemporary, Psychological

My books are available in the following formats:
eBook, Print

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