Interview with Dan L. Woods

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I spent my pre-teen years in a small town in Idaho. From there, at thirteen-years-old, I was transplanted into the Phoenix metropolitan area. It was a shock to my system, but it helped me learn more about different cultures, ideas, and city life. I moved back to Idaho soon after adulthood and have stayed here ever since. My writing is influenced by the life experiences I've had in both environments by bringing in the wilds of nature and the wilds of the city.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love reading action and adventure books. The themes of man against nature have always been a favorite of mine. Some fantasy novels are okay, but I like more realistic books. It's enjoyable to read about things that could actually happened, are happening, or could happen. It's easier to occupy the position of the protagonist.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I loved 'The Hunger Games' Trilogy. It was full of action and adventure. I loved the way Suzanne Collins kept you reading with her chapter endings--often cliffhangers. My fourth book I favored is 'The Shack'. I liked how it gives you something to think about in preconceived perceptions of deity. It was a very emotional book as well. Finally, I enjoyed 'The Giver' by Lois Lowrey--along with its following books. They were well written and provoked interesting thoughts about reality.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Kindle Fire. I also have an older Sony ereader that I really like. The glare is very low on it. The Kindle Fire is easier to use and supports color.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing bedtime stories for my daughter when she was an infant. They were a hit with her. I never published them; but now, thirteen years later, she has encouraged me to write my first novel. When she was given a sample telling of the first part, she refused to listen to me any longer because she wanted to read the finished book. I have written stories in college in creative writing classes that I enjoyed writing, including some poetry. Writing fiction is my favorite.
What is your writing process?
My writing process begins with an idea about something I want to share. I take the idea and write. I allow my mind to flow like a movie that I type out as I go. The story flows well, and I go back and edit or change things when I'm finished with it. I like to think of things that are current events that I may have knowledge of to link to my fictional stories. It adds that realism I look for.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided to be an indie author for one main reason--cost. Sure, I'd like to have thousands of dollars to spend on marketing my books, but I'm a school teacher. Most people know how poorly they're paid. This route was faster and free. I don't worry about making a living off my writing. I just want to share it with my students and family. If it goes beyond there--that would be great. I do put my heart into the stories and, as all authors do, believe it's a great story.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is having the opportunity to become lost in the story and letting it take me wherever it wants to go. I don't like to plot my story out. I tried a story board, but as soon as I began to write, the story went on its own route, so I followed it. There is still so much I have to add to it that a series is ensured. The final thing is the excitement and joy I see in other people when they read the story. If I can get people--especially my students--to read more, it makes me very happy.
What's the story behind your latest book?
There are a lot of conspiracies about our government and a lot of apathy in our nation. I wanted to write a story about people being blind to what's going on--generally speaking--and tease my students in my classes about using cellular phones too much. That drove me to include the spying on them by government agents through their phones. It will be fun to see their reactions to the story. I always tease my students and daughter by telling them that smart phones make them less intelligent. It fits right into my novel.
(Update) After publishing the first book in the series, a Fox News story was broadcast about how spying is being done through phones, computers, etc., and it followed my book well. Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. I have completed the second book of the series, and I am adding more. I am currently working on book three.
How do you approach cover design?
I changed my original cover to a more professional cover. I wanted to go with fire on the first one to link the plan to a destructive force, and there is plenty of fire in the first novel. The second novel's cover shows a picture of the Constitution. I like it because the book represents those fighting to save it. I want the covers to be professional looking, but simple. Too much is not always good. I want people to read my books because of the content, not the cover.
What are you working on next?
I just finished the fourth and possibly final book of the series in 'The Plan'. The paperback versions of the series are available (Level IV by July 30). I am also working on finalizing my young children's bedtime stories book that I wrote for my daughter. It teaches moral values. I am not sure when that will be available. It will need illustrations.

I plan on starting another novel. It will likely be a stand-alone novel this time.
Published 2016-07-20.
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Books by This Author

The Plan: Level IV: Consequences
Series: The Plan, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,030. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
The fourth book in the series reveals how Gabe's group must fight through more battles in order to survive. They join the Organization For Freedom and Gabe is instrumental in providing a plan of attack on the agency that could change everything. Live's are saved, yet some lives are lost. Can the agency be stopped forever? Will life ever return to normal for Gabe and his freedom fighters? Read it!
The Plan: Level III: Peace Never Lasts
Series: The Plan, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,630. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
In this third book of the series; Gabe, Hanna, Sophi, and others continue their struggles to thwart the agency and 'The Plan'. They must fight for their lives, use alliances with others, and overcome difficult setbacks. Fighting for what's right and defending the weak, the group hopes to end the war in order to return to their normal lives. Their futures are on the line. So is the nation's.
The Plan Level II: War Never Sleeps
Series: The Plan, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 69,740. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
The agency has been wounded, but it wants revenge. Determined to eliminate Gabe, Hanna, Sophi, and anyone who assists them—the agency strikes back in this second book of the series. A secret war is on, but they have weapons to fight and expose the agency. They learn of love, loss, and sacrifice as they battle for survival in this modern day adventure. Can they survive? Hope drives them forward.
The Plan Level I: The Awakening
Series: The Plan, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 54,760. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Someone is watching and listening. The world is not what you think. The Plan has begun. Seventeen-year-old Gabe Anderson watches a video about conspiracies, including ‘The Plan.’ When the video creator becomes a school shooter and commits suicide, Gabe and Hanna look for clues, unleashing a ruthless agency bent on their destruction and creating a Dictatorship in the U.S. Our hope- these patriots.