“When a 21st Century man takes his family camping in the Everglades he is forced to face 16th Century evil and his own lack of morality.”
Author’s Name: DL Havlin (Dennis Lee)
Professional Background – world-wide divisional customer service director, production manager, materials manager, MIS director, systems analyst/procedure writer, product line manager, multi-plant manufacturing manager, general manager for a chemicals distributor, call center service tech rep, president and general manager of a manufacturing company, newspaper sports reporter.
Life Experiences – high school football coach, licensed boat captain, extensive world travels, fishing guide, avid fisherman, hunter and camper, amateur historian studying early Florida, Civil War and World War II, former regional director for the Florida Writers Association, have been writing 32 years.
Educational Background: Elementary school – Ft. Myers, FL / High school – Cincinnati, OH College – University of Cincinnati, BBA / College – Rollins College, master’s work
Published works – Novels – The Hangin’Oak/ September on Echo Creek/ A place No One Should Go/ Blue Water, Red Blood/ The Cross on Cotton Creek/ Bully Route Home/ The Bait Man/ Escaping Skeletons/ Turtle Point/ Out of Italy/ + others…
Writing Under Fire is excited to have a dear Florida Author friend with us today, DL Havlin.
Joanne: DL currently lives in Bokeela, Florida, an island west of Fort Myers. I’ve been friends with DL since we worked together on a Southwest Florida Conference pre-Covid. As a multi-published author, I’d like to talk to you about one of the first pieces of advice I heard you say to new writers. That is, about starting with non-fiction. Can you expand on that a little for our readers?
DL: It’s all about exposure and getting your name out there. If you research the market that supports your passion, as an example: the research and volunteer work I did for Randall Research, an important archaeological site in Florida, gave me the opportunity to talk to organizations interested in archeology, which I first used as non-fiction articles and later merged into my mystery novel, A Place No One Should Go.
Joanne: That makes sense. As a woman that writes women’s fiction, particularly mother/daughter stories, something like parents’ groups might be a good place for me to start. Speaking to large groups is easy for me, but that is not so for a lot of writers. In fact, there are probably more introvert writers and extrovert. They’d rather sit alone in their homes and write.
DL: Wouldn’t we all? However, even a traditional publisher expects you to market your book yourself, and that really mean marketing yourself. If you really want to sell books, you need to get out there. Writers could start with small local groups, even book clubs. Word travels fast if they enjoyed having you. My main source of marketing is speaking to groups, at personal events and on the internet.
Joanne: Thanks DL. Can you tell us what you like best about writing or being an author? And reversely, what you like least.
DL: What I Iike best is the ability to help and inform others. And to make an impact on their attitudes. Even my fiction will teach you something you may not already know and perhaps make a shift to a more positive attitude toward life. Least? I don’t really have one, except maybe the time delay working with publishers. It takes a long time, sometimes years to actually see your book in print.
Joanne: The book cover for A Place No One Should Go is kind of scary. I guess that was the point. Do you have much opportunity for input on your covers? I ask because I have heard that a lot of traditional publishers give little or no weight to the author’s ideas. Some even change the title.
DL: I have been very fortunate to have extensive input with the current publisher. It is true that the larger the publishing house, the less input is accepted by the author. They have a whole team that looks for what they believe will make the biggest impact. It’s true: You can judge a book by its cover.
Joanne: Thank you so much for spending time with my readers. Where can they buy your books?