I’m delighted to be joined by Daniel Waltz on my blog today. Daniel’s debut novel, The Water Travelers: Heir of the Unknown was released in July 2014 and it sounds amazing! (Click here to get your copy.) With more books to follow in the series, Daniel gives us the low-down where he gets his ideas from and what we can expect from the rest of The Water Travelers series…
Hello Daniel, a huge, warm welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hello! My name is Daniel Waltz, I am the author of The Water Travelers series. I am a 20 year old Michigander who loves following God and changing the world.
Can you tell us a bit about your novel The Water Travelers: Heir of the Unknown?
Heir of the Unknown is the first book of seven in the series. It deals primarily with the love story between Aaron and Madi and starts to touch on some of the greater story details as well. This book is really about the start of their relationship and only begins to set up things for the rest of the books. When I try to explain the writing style to people I say that the goal is that it feels like a John Green style romance crossed with a Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings style adventure. This isn’t a typical fantasy book. It’s supposed to feel more contemporary and young and adventurous and fun.
I love the synopsis for The Water Travelers – it sounds exciting, imaginative and completely gripping! What inspired you to come up with the storyline?
I wanted to go on an adventure, really haha. I wanted to get lost on an absolutely crazy adventure myself that I would never forget. The original concept started as a film idea I wanted to do but when I was convinced to write a world of possibilities opened up. In film, everything you do costs money, but with writing it’s free! So once I really discovered the liberty in writing the story line started to develop and become more and more creative because the possibilities were endless. The Water Travelers was never supposed to be seven books, because that much story was crazy to think about! But once I started writing I discovered my passion for telling crazy in depth and elaborate stories.
Where did you get the idea for the planet Upitar?
Upitar really stared to form after the idea for water travelling started. Once I got into writing the world I began to spend more and more time on Upitar. I then realized that the world of Upitar is actually a lot like a golf course. Big open spaces with sparse trees, lots of little ponds, and a few forests here and there. So, I would say that the idea for the planet spawned from my subconscious of running around on golf courses in my spare time.
How long did it take you to write The Water Travelers?
I started the book my senior year of high school and finished about two thirds of the way through. Writing it is the easy fun part that I love, but the hard part is the editing and marketing. Those are the draining parts that take the longest time.
There’s going to be seven books in the series – what can readers expect from The Water Travelers series as a whole?
The series is going to get crazy, haha. Along with Upitar and Earth, there are twelve other worlds. You learn about some of them in book one but the later books get into them more. With their being fourteen total worlds, there are also fourteen total Keepers (the wizards who protect the orbs to their worlds.) As you learn a little in book one, there is a Keeper named Herrathos who is growing more and more dangerous and the seven books deal with him being the main force against Aaron and Madi. I can’t give you too many story details, but I will tell you this:
Book One is the love story
Book Two is when problems start to hit the fan.
Book Three is when the good guys strike back.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Not really. I’ve always wanted to tell stories, and all though I’ve always wrote I never thought of myself as writer until now. I’m really really glad I am one though!!
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
Publication has been an experience, that’s for sure. Being self-published, I have to do all of the marketing for my series. And I’ll tell you, I am no marketing genius. I’m a storyteller, not an advertiser. So as fun as publishing has been, it’s also been super stressful and challenging because it’s really hard to get people to read your book!
Who are your favourite authors and what kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I would say John Green is up there as one of my favourites! I enjoy writing that isn’t afraid to go on the adventures we all want to go on. I also really like Gerald Morris. He’s more of the adventure, magic, swords and knights type of guy. I’m a big fan of romances and adventures, hence why The Water Travelers is a straight mix of those two things.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
Currently I’m working on getting Book Two, The Curse of Senapin edited for its April release! (Ahhhh, excited!!) I’m also working on writing Book Three (80 pages in so far :DDD) At the same time I’m on six films sets and I’m a full time student! Busy busy busy!
A huge thank you to Daniel for participating in this interview. Don’t forget to grab your copy of The Water Travelers: Heir of the Unknown and start the adventure… ♥