Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Q&A with Daniel Palmer and a Giveaway

Today Kim Hammond grills Daniel Palmer, author of the new novel Desperate, and gives away an autographed hardback copy.

Kim: What was the last mystery novel you read that you really liked?

Daniel: Runner by Patrick Lee. There is a lot of heart to the story. The action started on page one and didn’t let up.

Kim: Have you ever come close to missing a deadline?

Daniel: Chuckle…Not yet. Maybe I should get off the phone now and get back to work.
Kim: Do you ever have doubts when you are in the middle of the writing process?

Daniel: Yes. I have doubts right now. Is this book any good? Will people like it?

Kim: Where do you usually write?

Daniel: At home, in my office above the garage. I listen to very loud music, electronica to hard rock. I never really buy myself anything but I got a cool new desk, my first splurge.

Kim: Where do you get your story ideas?

Daniel: I read a lot of newspapers, true crime, computer blogs, and I’m constantly thinking of interesting situations for stories. You never know what’s going to inspire and idea. DESPERATE was partly inspired by an experience that happened to some friends of mine who were in process of adopting a baby.


Kim: How long does it take to get a first draft done?

Daniel: I don’t look at it as first draft, second draft, third draft. I look at it as a start to finished product, and that takes me 10-12 months.

Kim: Who do you like to read?

Daniel: When I have the chance to read it’s mystery and thrillers. Missing you by Harlan Coben, Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, and the new one from Andrew Gross, Everything to Lose, are in my current reading pile.

Kim: If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

Daniel: Stephen King. I saw him from afar once. He seems like the nicest guy. I am such a fan. I was not a big reader as a kid. I just wanted to play outside. Then I discovered King. He opened my eyes to the power of reading. One of the things on my want-to-accomplish-in-life list is to play harmonica in the Rock Bottom Remainders. I know the band isn’t together anymore, but….

Kim: Who's been your biggest supporter in this career choice?

Daniel: My father, Michael Palmer, was a huge supporter and a huge mentor who taught me the nuts and bolts of the business. My mom is always my first reader and I never ignore her advice. She’s got a great sense of story because she’s so well read.

Kim: Are you shy or outgoing?

Daniel: I am used to working in a collaborative environment as part of a team. As a writer that is still true between your editor, publisher and readers. I guess that means outgoing.

Kim: Craziest book signing story?

Daniel: You might remember this because you were there. It was at the Cuyahoga County library last year. This woman was at the book talk and then came up and wanted a book signed to someone named Kathy and it’s for her birthday. I wrote Happy Birthday but it looked too plain, so I added a balloon and then I looked at the balloon and realized it looked like a sperm. Now I panic because I have just drawn a sperm in this woman’s book and I need to disguise it, so draw more balloons, which looked like an armada of sperm. I added a banner and confetti and knew I had to stop.

Kim: Do you have any say in your book titles or covers?

Daniel: I’m terrible at naming books. My dad named two of mine. I’m shown what the covers are going to look like and I really trust the experts. I think I named DESPERATE, but I can’t remember. Maybe my agency did that one for me.

Kim: What do you do when you have writer's block? 

Daniel: I have no time for it. The writer’s block I get are things in my life keeping me from my desk, keeping me from writing.

Kim: Favorite writing drink and/or food?

Daniel: Lately I eat a ridiculous amount of salad. I’m a coffee and water drinker but I don’t drink soda.

Kim: How many of your characters are based on people you know?

Daniel: Some of my characters are based on real people. I am always searching for the truth. I write what feels true. I am intuitive with people and I want to make my characters real. In Desperate, Brad is based on someone I met.

Kim: Do you ever want to write something in a different genre that no one would expect you to write?
Daniel: A YA novel. A little more on the dystopia side, or a middle reader book. I have ideas for graphic novels too. There’s a lot going on in my head.
Kim: Tell me a little about Desperate, without giving anything away of course.

Daniel: Desperate tells the story of Gage Dekker who still blames himself for the accident that claimed the lives of his wife and young son. Then he meets Anna in a grief group and in less than a year they are married and talking about becoming parents again. Anna has a miscarriage and they decide to try adoption. They meet Lily, young, pregnant, and homeless, and she agrees to give her baby to Gage and Anna in exchange for financial support throughout her pregnancy. Anna quickly becomes close with Lily, but Gage keeps his emotional distance and begins to sense something is wrong with Lily. Lily quickly proves to be an expert at psychological warfare as she pits Gage against Anna. Why? What’s Lily after? That’s really what the story is about.

Kim: You probably still remember what it was like to start off in the writing business, so do you have any suggestions for our readers who are interested in becoming authors?

Daniel: Since I am a big fan of Stephen King and I loved his book On Writing, I’ll use some of his words. Writers need to read and write. It can certainly help if you have a great imagination but if you don’t, reading is the best way to expand that vocabulary. Also, there’s some excellent examples of storytelling that can be found on television today: True Detective, Justified, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Writing may be the bones of the job, but the heart comes from telling a captivating story.

You can learn more about Daniel at danielpalmerbooks.com. You can also keep up with him on Facebook and Twitter @danielpalmer.   


  1. Great questions, it really gives a good look into the author and his writing.

  2. I enjoyed reading the interview and would love to read this book!

  3. Thanks for this informative and interesting interview. I would enjoy this novel. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Listening to loud music would NOT get me into the writing mood - that was a fun thing to learn about Daniel!! I would love to win a copy of this book. Sounds really interesting and a little creepy....all in good fun though!

  5. Would love to be invited to the Palmer Family dinner table....imagine the conversations!

  6. I always enjoy reading about author, and finding out why the write, and what other type of books that the would want to write.