RAWA: When did you first discover that you were a writer?
DT: I’ve always enjoyed writing stories, ever since I was a kid. When I was in my twenties, I decided to
|Dan Trumpis, Author
begin pursuing it professionally. I started screenwriting then transitioned into prose. I originally wanted to write for adults, but when I became a teacher I decided to start writing for kids, namely middle-grade.
RAWA: What is your favorite part of writing?
DT: I love it when the idea for a story first comes to me. I sit down with it, furiously scribbling notes, and before I know it a story emerges. However, I think my absolute favorite part of writing is when the characters start talking to me. They tell me the story, and I just write it down.
RAWA: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing?
DT: Since I teach full-time now, finding the time and energy to write each day is difficult. I have to wake up at 4 AM Monday through Friday in order to get in a good 2-3 hours worth of writing before I go to work. If I don’t do it then, it doesn’t get done. When I get home, I’m just too exhausted.
RAWA: Tell us about your latest release.
DT: Welcome to Harmonyis a middle-grade fiction book full of magic and monsters. The main character, Dillon Howell, is a twelve-year-old boy who has recently discovered he is a werewolf. His all too human parents know this, and after a “close call” in their old neighborhood in LA they move to Harmony, a small town in Northern California. However, Dillon soon discovers he isn’t the only person in Harmony who isn’t what he appears to be.
RAWA: How did you come up with the title of your book?
DT: It came from an episode of The Prisoner called “Living in Harmony.” Harmony was the name of the town where the episode was set – and let’s just say it wasn’t a very harmonious place. I liked the idea of a town being ironically named Harmony, and since Dillon has just arrived in town Welcome to Harmony seemed fitting.
RAWA: Who are some of your favorite authors?
DT: Growing up, I read everything by Edgar Rice Burroughs I could get my hands on – Tarzan, John Carter, you name it. I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman too, going back to his comic book days. The Graveyard Book will go down as one of my all-time favorites. Charles de Lint has also been a big influence. I plan on writing a series of stories that take place in Harmony, focusing on different characters, much like his Newford Stories.
RAWA: What do you think has influenced your writing style the most?
DT: Working with kids has definitely been a big influence on my writing. I think it’s helped me capture a youthful voice and tone. Being a teacher has also allowed me to have my work beta-read (for free) by kids in my target audience.
RAWA: As a writer what is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
DT: Creating Harmony and all the characters who live there has been huge. I can make an entire career out of writing books that take place there.
RAWA: How did you get published?
DT: For years, I tried the traditional route. I had an agent for a while, to represent a book about a young superhero that I wrote. He took one meeting with Tor Kids and that was it. I told him about Harmony. He asked for a copy of the manuscript, but then I never heard from him again.
Since then, I got “teased” by another agent, but nothing ever came from it. I eventually decided to self (or indie) publish. It seemed to be a growing trend and no longer had the stigma attached to it that it once did, so I decided to go for it.
RAWA: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
DT: Always look to improve your craft and be receptive to constructive criticism. If you want to pursue the traditional route – querying an agent and so forth – just be patient and determined. I hope you have better luck than I did. But don’t be put off by self (or indie) publishing. I haven’t regretted it yet.
Welcome to Harmony
by Dan Trumpis is available online at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and Apple iBookstore.