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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Author Dan O'Brien: Following His Literary Path with Confidence

by Cyrus Webb

Over the past decade I have had the privilege to interview hundreds of authors, however, few are able to leave an impact like Dan O'Brien. He has discovered the ability to not just write a book but to bring the reader into the experience in a way that it's difficult not to be able to feel a part of the adventure. That to me is the sign of a true storyteller, and thankfully he doesn't seem to be showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.

To date I have read 4 of his books (Bitten, The Journey, Cerulean Dreams and his newest one The Path of the Fallen), and each time I can't help but see lessons that I thought we in the 'real world' could benefit from. It was because of this that I reached out to Dan about sharing parts of his journey with me so I could then bring it to you.

DAN O'BRIEN ON SHARING THE GIFT OF STORYTELLING:
'It is a privilege. I have loved writing books since I was a kid, so it feels good to be able to put a piece of yourself out to the world. I wanted to write stories that people would want to read and have the confidence to put them out there. To see the response gives meaning to what I do and confidence to continue on.'

DAN ON THE CHARACTERS AND STORY LINES HE'S CREATED:
'Sometimes I get to the end of a book and say they really grew from the sketches I created for them. They become larger than life to me. Some characters are tougher to part with than others.' In all of his books, regardless of the genre, there is the theme of good versus evil, but not in the conventional sense. As in real life, sometimes the lines are blurred as to where one ends and another begins. 'The notion of good and bad is fun to play with, " Dan said to me, and it shows.

DAN ON JUDGING YOUR WORK:
'You really have to be your own worst critic. There's a great quote that says "Words don't bleed so cut them." Being critical is important to your growth.'

DAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
'Without social media I wouldn't be where I am now. I have to build a community. My blog is less about me than my interaction with the world. It helps get some discourse going with others.'

DAN ON FAITH AND SOMETHING GREATER THAN HIMSELF:
'We are all a conduit for something: some kind of knowledge, some kind of belief, something that we want to see enacted in the world. Art gives us that.' he says, and it is for that reason that he chooses to take advantage of it.

Among the other things that Dan mentioned to me during our conversation was his literary consultant business Amalgam Consulting. At www.amalgamconsulting.com he says this: "My job is simple: take the guesswork out of putting together a plan for your small business. I specialize in editing/publishing and creating social media and marketing platforms for authors, artists, musicians, and consultants who are new to the business field." When explaining to me why this was important for him to do, Dan said "Paying it forward is important to me. The more I can do for others the better. That way we can move forward together."

One of the greatest lessons that Dan has learned is one that he shared during our conversation, one that I definitely wanted to share with you, the reader. "We all have a prominent role in creating the world that we want," he said.. And role is one that we take us each and every day of our existence. Thankfully we have individuals like Dan O'Brien around to encourage us towards that objective.

New to Dan's work? Then join Conversations Book Club's online fiction chapter during the month of September as we discuss his novel BITTEN. We will even have a LIVE ONE-HOUR discussion of the book on Conversations LIVE Thurs. September 26, 2013 @ 8p.m. et (7p.m. ct/5p.m. pt) at www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive. Save the date and make plans to join us.

For more information about Dan O'Brien and his projects visit his blog at  http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and keep in touch with him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordanobrien as well as Twitter at www.twitter.com/authordanobrien.

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