About Daniel Humphreys
Dan grew up in a small town in southern Indiana. His parents divorced before his first birthday, so he doesn’t even remember having a two-parent household.
He was a always a bookworm growing up; it was not uncommon for him to check out twenty or thirty books at a time from the public library.
Around third grade, this amazing kid got an adult library card and started checking out Stephen King books. The increased vocabulary he garnered from his more advanced readings got him into trouble a few times.
Dan believes that a desire to write and the love of reading go hand in hand, but it wasn’t until 5th grade that he realized you could tell a story and be compensated for it, rather than just getting a grade. His school had a creative writing contest to win tickets to see “The Land Before Time” on opening night. Like every 10-year old, he was a nut for dinosaurs.
He was always a very laid back kid, more lackadaisical than competitive, but he remembers telling himself that he was going to win a ticket. And he did, with a handwritten story, on double-sided wide-ruled notebook paper that ran, if as he recalls, about ten or eleven pages. Even then, he tended to go on and on.
Becoming a Writer
Progressing through junior high and high school, Daniel kept writing, laying weird stories on friends or teachers when they made the mistake of assigning them. By then, he’d moved out to Phoenix to live with my father. he even got the idea in his head that he was going to go to college and major in creative writing. Thankfully for his future prospects, he decided against that and began his career in IT. Getting his own, semi-modern computer was a big stepping point for him. (see blog post here: https://daniel-humphreys.net/2018/09/22/freeawfulnovel-parts-14-and-15-end-of-the-box/
By the time Daniel turned 22, he’d written four full-length novels. The first three weren’t much to talk about, but the fourth one … he felt he had something worth publishing. He went through the process of submitting to agents, checking the mail every day for the inevitable rejections, and paging through his copy of Writer’s Market to see if there were any possibilities he’d missed.
And then … one day it wasn’t a rejection!
Ups and Downs
The problem was, the agent who didn’t reject him turned out to be a notorious scammer. (Background info here: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/04/victoria-strauss-lisa-hackneymelanie.html
). He was canny enough to recognize that certain things she said rang his alarm bells, and he reached out to a couple of the authors she claimed to have gotten deals. At least one of them was a shill account, because within an hour of sending an e-mail inquiring as to their satisfaction with Melanie’s representation, his “agent” sent him an email terminating his contract.
He’d dodged a bullet, but the fact that the only agent he could get turned out to be a scammer was a huge blow to his confidence. He posted a snippet from his novel on the web forum of a writer he respected, seeking input, only to have it shredded. Dan has thick enough skin to take constructive criticism, but this struck him as unnecessarily harsh. He thought it might be something about the way he’d asked, or his relative youth, but he took it pretty hard.
Life goes on
For the next decade or so, Dan put his dreams on the back burner. He focused on his career, met the wonderful woman who became his wife, and started a family. Once in a while, he’d write a something, but that little doubting voice in the back of his head would always pop up, and he’d shelve it after writing a few chapters.
In the summer of 2014, Dan earned a promotion at work to a virtual office job, and he suddenly had lots of spare time. He finished up long-overdue remodeling projects, and one day his wife asked if he ever thought about returning to writing. He had, but he’d never really done anything with it. It’s safe to say she pushed him back into it, and he has no regrets. It was the push that started him on his career as a published writer.
Back on track
Dan took some writing classes, made some networking connections with other writers and started writing seriously. He published his first novel, A Place Outside The Wild
, in September 2016, and he’s put out four more since—two self-published, and two through a traditional publisher.