One of the many great things about being a book blogger, other than getting to read some wonderful books, is being able to host a visit by an author. Today, The Book Diva’s Reads is pleased to have Dale Wiley, author of The Intern, visit and discuss the path The Intern has taken to becoming a bestseller.
HOW THE INTERN WENT FROM A DUSTY SPOT ON THE SHELF TO THE BESTSELLER LIST
By Dale Wiley
I’ve written all my life. I wrote mysteries and things about superheroes when I was a kid, started writing longer-form pieces in high school, studied under Stanley Elkin in college and peppered friends and family constantly, asking them to read this piece or that piece.
During most of that time, spent reading Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Flannery O’Connor for school, I tried to write “literary” fiction, about the inner workings of the heart and the truth of the human condition. At that same time, when I was driving home from college or one of my many road trips, I would put in audio books by Grisham and Ludlum and Baldacci, and enjoy the miles as the author told wild, mysterious tales. There was a certain “ha-ha-haaaaaa” tone that opened many of the audio books at that time and I wish they had never retired that, as it had such good associations for me.
My senior year, I decided that if I enjoyed listening to and reading those as much as I did, that I should try my hand at writing them. My first attempt was very post-modern, called Prime Time, and it was pretty great, but utterly unpublishable, because it was a plot that used characters from TV to meet together in one twisted, crazy storyline. Think of The A-Team meeting the cast of Facts of Life in a Scooby Doo cartoon.
I actually got as far as meeting with a publisher in New York. But she told me the manuscript would need to be 300 pages. I looked at her like she had pumpkins for eyes. I told her I could write three 100-page stories, but there’s only so much you can do with the Fonz trying to solve mysteries with Arnold Drummond. She told me that would not work. Sadly, we parted ways.
The next manuscript I worked on was The Intern. I was tired of reading every thriller where everyone was so completely serious. And so impervious to pain. I wanted my character to give as good as he got, to complain when he hurt and be funny. It took about 18 months, but I was pretty happy with the result.
I shopped it to agents, and was just sure I was going to be famous before I even left law school. I got a couple of feelers, but nothing too exciting. Life then rang the door bell, and marriage and babies left me thinking less and less about writing fiction.
In the midst of parenthood, I did find the time to write a non-fiction book about an old-time camp meeting in Georgia, called There Is A Fountain. I self-published it and it did fine, but it was a much more limited audience than I thought The Intern would have. It was interesting to put together the history with a short memoir, but I felt like the topic was limited enough that it probably wasn’t going to hit the charts any time soon.
I got divorced in 2009, and toyed with writing again. I had started projects all along the way, but nothing that lasted or kept my attention. Then, in 2012, I started working on a new novel called Sabotage. It was big and bold and, I think, very good. When I completed it in 2013, I got some inquiries but not enough to quit my day job.
Memory crept in, and I started thinking about The Intern, how much I had enjoyed writing it and how different I thought it was. I remembered the joy of seeing the story evolve, and the rush that went with having the comedy mesh with the thrills. That’s not easy to do, you know. Writing comedy involves one cadence, thrillers a different feel. Putting them together is very intricate.
To my surprise, it read really, really well. I polished it and re-wrote a couple of sections, but it was very tight; I’m sure this was due to how much I wrote back then.
As I was looking at both of these manuscripts, I discovered Smashwords, which has been a revelation to me. It is the first pseudo self-publishing outfit I’ve ever found that doesn’t require up-front payment, but instead works with you and only makes money as you sell books. That’s a real partnership. The owner, Mark Coker, laid out the blueprint of how to get interest on-line and how to work to have a shot at getting your work noticed. I followed it completely. When the release date came and all of the orders came, it was a thrill. Seeing myself on iBooks bestselling lists was breathtaking. And then two weeks later, when Apple added it to the Biggest Books of Spring storewide promotion with Toni Morrison and Clive Barker and Harlan Coben, I had to be resuscitated. As a life-long reader, this is the stuff of dreams.
We’re a month into this process. The book has not left the iBooks charts. It continues to climb on some of the longer-term charts. Sabotage is coming out in August. And this guy is happy that he dusted off an old thing and made it new again.
Meet the author:
Dale Wiley is a Missouri attorney who has had a character named after him on CSI, owned a record label, been interviewed by Bob Edwards on NPR’s Morning Edition and made motorcycles for Merle Haggard and John Paul DeJoria. He has three awesome kids and spends his days working as a lawyer fighting the big banks.
The Intern by Dale Wiley
ISBN: 9781311987716 (ebook)
ASIN: B00USSDLPA (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Dale Wiley via Smashwords
Publication date: March 1, 2015
It’s 1995. Things are going great for new Washington, DC intern Trent Norris. He’s out on his own, he’s found a fabulous woman to date, and if he doesn’t love his internship, he doesn’t hate it either. Life is nice.
But things can change in a moment in DC, and Trent finds himself the prime suspect in two murders and a slew of other crimes. Overnight he becomes the most wanted man in America.
Trent has to find a way — any way — out. He finds a way to hole up at The Watergate on a senator’s dime and enlists a comely call girl as his unwitting ally. But with the media eating him alive, he knows he doesn’t have long before they catch up with him. Can The Intern find his way out of this mess?
From tony clubs in Georgetown to Capitol Hill murders, The Intern has all the twists and turns of a classic DC thriller, with an added comic flair.
This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Dale Wiley. There will be ONE U.S. winners of a kindle ebook copy of The Intern. The giveaway is open to US residents only. The giveaway begins on April 20th, 2015 and runs through May 31st, 2015. Stop by our tour stops too because several of them are giving away limited edition print copies of The Intern!
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