A lifelong Coloradoan, John Daly graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in business administration and computer information systems. He spent the next fifteen years developing accounting software and Internet-based workflow collaboration solutions.
With a thirst for creative expression that went beyond the logic and absolutes of computer programming, John developed an interest in writing. His early work included newspaper editorials and film and television reviews for entertainment websites. He later became drawn toward more substantive commentary on world events. He currently writes political, cultural, and media analysis columns for the website of Bernard Goldberg, former CBSNews journalist and The New York Times bestselling author.
John felt compelled to take his writing to the next level after watching a television interview with former NFL football player, Tim Green. Inspired by Green’s career transition from a professional athlete to an accomplished author, John found the motivation to begin work on his first novel, From a Dead Sleep.
John lives in Greeley, Colorado, with his wife and two children. You can visit John’s website at johndalybooks.com .
It’s my pleasure to welcome John Daly here today on this stop
of his blog tour organized by Virtual Author Book Tours
cncbooks: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently in your writing career?
John: I would have started writing earlier in life. It took me over thirty years to figure out that writing was my passion. I think I always had it in me. I’ve long enjoyed telling stories, and as far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by people and how they react to adverse situations. It wasn’t until I finally formed an appreciation with literature a few years ago that I found myself transferring my thoughts and creativity to writing.
cncbooks: If you were a castaway on a desert island, what 5 things (not people) would you want with you?
John: I suppose I’d want something to cut with, something to dig with, something to keep warm with, something to signal planes or boats with, …and perhaps season 2 of “Lost”. That was the best season, and I might just learn some relevant survival tips from watching it.
cncbooks: Name one place you’d like to visit, anywhere in the world, and tell us why.
John: I was asked this very question by an extremely persistent timeshare salesperson when I was on vacation last week. I think Italy. The city of Venice just seems too intriguing not to visit at least once.
cncbooks: What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
John: Well, with From a Dead Sleep being my first book, and this interview being conducted just prior to its official release, not many people have actually read my work as an author thus far. The early feedback I’ve received has been quite positive, though my father did tell me that he thought my book had too much cussing in it. Good old Dad.
I do write a weekly national column that often delves into politics. It’s pretty opinionated so I’m used to people reacting harshly to the things I write. It helps to have thick skin.
cncbooks: What has been the best compliment?
John: Of those who have read my book, I’ve been told by several that they “couldn’t put it down”. I can’t think of a better compliment than that.
cncbooks: Is there one author (mystery or otherwise) who has really influenced your writing career?
John: Tim Green’s novels are what hooked me into the suspense genre. I enjoy his writing style. His successful transition from an NFL football player to an accomplished writer is one of the things that made me believe that a software developer like me could actually write a book.
I’m also a big fan of Cormac McCarthy’s work. His novels about rugged individuals pitted against overwhelming odds are phenomenal reads.
cncbooks: Who did you pretend to be when you were a kid?
John: A professional wrestler known as the Dynamite Kid. I was a huge WWF fan back in the mid-1980s. I could suplex a sleeping-bag filled with pillows like nobody’s business! I also did a pretty good job of emulating Huey Lewis’ on-stage performing style. A simple broomstick made for an excellent microphone stand.
cncbooks: Who is your favorite character other than Sean?
John: Probably Hank Bailey, Sean’s landlord. The short and stout, former Marine is a pretty over-the-top character that I had a lot of fun creating. I think his back and forth interaction with Sean is very entertaining.
cncbooks: Back on that desert island, with no hope of rescue, who is the one person, other than family, you would want with you and why?
John: The professor from Gilligan’s Island. He has the experience, and he always seemed to have a pretty good handle on things. It’s not just anyone who can create an endless number of helpful contraptions using just bamboo and coconuts. Mary Ann would be my second pick, but since my wife might read this interview, I’ll skip the explanation for why.
cncbooks: What part of your crime research has been the most interesting?
John: This will probably sound kind of odd, but learning about law-enforcement jurisdiction is one thing that I found quite fascinating. The character Gary Lumbergh originally started out as a sheriff instead of a police chief. Jefferson was a deputy and not an officer. I wanted to portray law enforcement jurisdiction and responsibilities in the state of Colorado accurately, and I learned a lot about it in my research.
cncbooks: What is your #1 secret–or not so secret–addiction?
John: Diet drinks that are really, really bad for me. My current favorite is Sparkling ICE – Black Raspberry flavor.
cncbooks: If you could spend a weekend with one fictional character not your own, who would it be and why?
John: Since you didn’t limit the question to a fictional character from a book, I’ve got to go with Jack Tripper from “Three’s Company”. No character has ever made me laugh harder. If you can’t tell by now, I was a quite a couch potato when I was a kid. Not at all now *wink*.
cncbooks: What’s in store next for your readers?
John: I’m currently writing the early chapters of my second novel. It’s again of the suspense genre. I’m actually considering making it the second book in a Sean Coleman series, but I can also take it in a standalone direction if I choose to. I hope to make some good headway on it later this summer.
Thanks so much, John—it’s a pleasure having you visit Buried Under Books!
Few residents in the small, secluded mountain town of Winston, Colorado, have kind words to say about Sean Coleman. He’s a bully, a drunk, and a crime‐show–addicted, armchair detective with an overactive imagination. After a night of poor judgment, Sean finds himself the sole witness to the unusual suicide of a mysterious stranger.
With the body whisked away in the chilling rapids of a raging river, no one believes Sean’s account. Tormented over the doubts and mockery of the people of Winston, Sean embarks on a far‐reaching crusade that takes him across the country in search of the dead man’s identity and personal vindication. At the end, he hopes to find redemption and the truth—but sometimes the truth is better left unknown. There are times when the truth invites evil. There are times when the truth can get you killed.