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IR Approved Author Daniel Maunz: “Being an indie author gives you a great deal of latitude in thinking outside of the box…”

Questions of Perspective received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Daniel Maunz.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?  

My book is titled Questions of Perspective and it was published on May 14, 2020.

What’s the book’s first line? 

“No one, let alone me, realized it at the time, but April 19, 2011, was the most important day in the history of the world.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.  

Questions of Perspective is the story of two dissatisfied attorneys – Dave and John – who both struggle to find their respective roles in the Universe after John inexplicably takes over the role of God. John is unsure of what he should do – if anything – with his newfound power, while Dave is forced to reevaluate his own unfulfilling existence in the wake of learning of John’s ascendency. The two differing perspectives of John, an omnipotent being existing outside of time, and Dave, a mortal who can only view reality through the prism of a particular moment, come to a head after Dave experiences a personal tragedy that can only be rectified through divine intervention.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?  

I began writing this novel shortly after leaving a ten-year career as a litigator, where I had little time or energy to pursue my creative pursuits. After a shift in careers, the challenge of simply reclaiming my life to do what was fulfilling to me seemed like something that was worthy of tackling in a novel. It occurred to me that, for the purposes of a story, an interesting, life-altering triggering event could be a brief exposure to Godhood, and the rest of my story flowed from there.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

My book tackles some pretty heavy questions – Why do bad things happen to good people? What is the purpose of life when it is merely fleeting anyway? – but does so in an entertaining and engaging fashion. Although the story has fantastical elements, it is intended to be very grounded with real and funny protagonists. The supernatural elements of my story are there to illuminate real issues that people struggle with – just from a different perspective.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?  

My protagonist – Dave Randall – is primarily based on me, so it warms my heart a bit whenever I see a review that describes him as funny or likable. Dave – like me – is generally a good person, but it is not an effortless process for him. So while he will generally do the right thing, the story allows us to see how the wheels are turning in Dave’s often cynical mind, which is something that I find amusing (and hopefully readers will, too).

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

I feel like Lin Manuel Miranda could do a good job with Dave Randall. A fair amount of the action is taking place solely in Dave’s head, and Lin Manuel Miranda has the expressive eyes to convey a lot of that internal drama without being over the top.

When did you first decide to become an author?  

In high school, my friend Ed and I would often write scripts together during science class. We would take turns writing scenes, passing sheets of paper back and forth when our teacher wasn’t looking. That was around the time that I realized how fun it could be to tell stories by putting words to paper.

Is this the first book you’ve written?  

This is the first novel I’ve written. I’ve dabbled in screenplays and short stories, which I’ve written primarily for my wife’s amusement.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing? 

I am an attorney, working as in-house counsel for a major insurance company.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?  

I tend to do most of my writing in my head. I will map out a story if I’m out for a walk, riding on the subway, etc. By the time I can actually get to a keyboard, I have at least a rough idea of what I want to write. That is all a long way of saying that I likely spend less time staring at a computer screen than many other authors.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?   

The best part is the ownership you have over the finished product. I worked with an editor that I selected myself. I hired a cover artist with my own idea for the cover. The end result – good or bad – truly feels like it is 100% mine. The downside is that you will occasionally feel like an island – it’s scary to be out there without someone holding your hand every step of the way. But I think it makes the moments of success that much more rewarding at the end of the day.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?  

Other writers will often cite various “rules” of writing. Being an indie author, in my opinion, gives you a great deal of latitude in thinking outside of the box and deviating from the norm. I would encourage indie authors to only think of these rules as guidelines that are worth ignoring if the story demands it. I’m fairly certain that Questions of Perspective broke a few of these rules, but the story was ultimately better for it.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

After spending years working on a book, my goal is to just get as many people to read it, and hopefully enjoy it, as possible. If an opportunity came along that would allow me to do that, without sacrificing my vision for the story, then that is something I would have to seriously consider.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?).  

Simply trying to provide a wonderful life for my wife, our two year old son, Patrick, and our two cats.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?  

Pat Conroy. In fact, he had a lot to do with our choice for our son’s name. One major influence Pat Conroy had on Questions of Perspective relates to his ability to have parts of a novel that will drive you to hysterical laughter, while another chapter of the same book can drive you to anguished tears. Life can be a comedy or a tragedy, or anywhere in between, and Questions of Perspective has a few different tonal shifts to reflect this reality.

Which book do you wish you could have written?  

I remember reading a paragraph in [Ken Follett’s] The Pillars of the Earth describing how clothes were cleaned in the twelfth century and thinking to myself: “This paragraph alone would have taken me eight months to research.” I wish I had the patience and knowledge to tackle historical fiction, and I always feel a bit jealous when I see that genre done well.