Walter Danley is a mystery and suspense novelist that took twenty years to write his first novel, The Tipping Point: A Wainwright Mystery. Walter may type slowly, but he writes highly praised fast-paced thrillers to die for!
Danley was inspired to create Garth Wainwright, his protagonist in the series, using elements from his life in investing as the basis of the story. Wainwright learns some valuable lesson in Tipping Point, as we all must to achieve our maximum potential. The firm, the characters, conflicts, conspiracy and murders in the story never happened, but the fraud, sex, and partner greed where significant elements of the syndication business of the 70s and 80s. The Tipping Point reflects the multi-billion dollar real estate syndication business of that time.
Walter says that writing is the most satisfying activity he has every experienced. As a retired investment executive, he now writes mystery and suspense thrillers instead of living them. Critics say that if you like your adult mystery and suspense with exhilarating thrills, blind curve plot twists, and page-turning action, you’ll love Walter Danley’s novels.
“If you took Barbarians at the Gate and The Firm and blended them together with the best stories of Michael Crichton and John Sandford, then you’d get The Tipping Point by Walter Danley,” bestselling author Mark Fadden.
Born an Indiana Hoosier, his family moved to California at an early age where he grew up on Southern California beaches surfing and sunning before time for his daily paper route. At home, he was surrounded by a loving family who worked in construction or real estate.
Walter Sr. was a third generation residential building contractor who taught young Walter the value of hard work. Walter Sr. worked at his craft well into his late 70’s before he passed away. Other members of the extended family practiced architecture, mortgage finance, and cabinet making. He came to the industry naturally enough and three of his sons have followed the family tradition in the construction trades.
His blue collar background is far from the emotionally compelling, high-flying characters he developed in The Tipping Point. Following high school, Walter served his country as a Navy Hospital Corpsman, and later as a medic in the Fleet Marine Force. You can bet that some of those stories will show up in later novels. Following an honorable discharge, he worked selling kitchen & bath cabinets to tract home and apartment developers in SoCal. He managed to attend Cal State Long Beach College nights while also preparing bids for the projects his company would supply. One of those developer clients recruited him into commercial real estate, where he spent his career on the investment side of the property business.
One of Danley’s proudest accomplishments is his five grown sons, three working in construction and two who are Certified Public Accountants. The boy’s mother was such a wonderful wife and mother Walter married her twice; his oldest sons born in the first marriage and the twins and the youngest from the second time around. Now, this is where Walter’s story gets to be a little complicated.
Walter has had four marriages to three women, all who celebrate a birthday between October 1st and the 7th (of differing years), or as he reports it, four Libra property settlements. The last of these happy unions (and they were all happy) was to Broadway, film and television actress, Christopher Norris. Danley proposed marriage on their second date. She accepted five years later and the couple were married for eighteen years during the young Danley crew’s formative years. He credits many of their qualities as adults to the wonderful influence of their stepmother,
Walter and Christopher traveled extensively during their courtship and marriage. The trips were either for location shoots for her business, real estate transactions for his or an occasional getaway just for the two of them. Danley’s novels are rich in international themes. These derive from his travels to exotic places that include; Australia, Tahiti, the Lesser Antilles Islands, England, France, Italy, Wales (his ancestral home,) Scotland and Germany, several of these many times.
Time was often spent with friends in the Canadian cities of Montreal, Quebec City, Edmonton, Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise. They were privileged to visit Norway, (her ancestral home,) Sweden, and Denmark, the last three countries courtesy of the producers of The Love Boat specials in which she starred. Walter enjoyed being invited by the production company to join the cruise and learned much about the cultures and peoples of those countries.
Danley’s business travel itineraries included much of the US as the firm had operations in most states. He was a frequent customer of airport passenger terminal book racks. He says that is the genesis of his love of books. The long flights would have been much less enjoyable without the company of good paperback friends like Frederick Forsyth, Arthur C. Clarke, and Dashiell Hammett. The stretch from reading to writing seemed to Walter to be a natural progression. In the back of his head, he thought that he would like to learn the craft. Thinking that one day soon he’d try retirement, again, he stuffed story ideas into notebooks over the years which now are being put to good use.
Danley is a veteran of four decades of real estate investment business on a national platform. He wore many operational hats during that time; sales, marketing, acquisitions and dispositions of properties. In mid-career Walter again focused on his education and enrolled at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, earning an MBA in the Presidential/Key Executive program.
He was invited to become a partner of the firm by his fifth anniversary. He served on the UCLA Real Estate Advisory Board for three years and during that time he authored the course Creative and Unconventional Finance, which he taught and lectured at five campuses of the University of California. Inspired by his P/KE experience and wanting to continue his post-graduate edification he enrolled at Claremont Graduate School of Business in their Ph.D. program. Danley was fortunate to have taken several of Dr. Peter F. Drucker’s class and to have him as his doctoral dissertation advisor. In business circles, Drucker is known as the father of the modern corporation.
Danley suffered a stress induced heart attack after having completed his first year of course work. He turned his focused attention on the exponential growth his firm was experiencing. In 1986, the partners sold the forty companies under their corporate umbrella to an American Stock Exchange listed company. That was the year Congress passed the devastating 1986 Tax Reform Act, which unintentionally destroyed the multi-billion dollar real estate syndication business.
With the sale of the companies, Danley retired to his home on the beach in Malibu to write the Great American Novel. This was not meant to be. In less than a month, a friend asked him to consult on an apartment project in Seattle. Before long, the would-be author was back in an executive role with a new organization. The next several years flashed by with other opportunities to pursue. He partnered in a new venture requiring him to add a Series 22 securities license from the National Association of Security Dealers (NASD) to his California Real Estate Broker license. These certificates allowed Danley to offer real estate security interest to investor clients.
Walter’s brother, following in the family tradition, was a building contractor in Hawaii. The brothers had only seen each other four times in the past forty years. When his brother retired, he and his wife bought property in Texas and relocated there. After five years in their new home, his wife developed a serious illness and he asked Walter to join him there to help with her care. Danley obliged so as to reconnect with his estranged sibling and provide some help to that family. Walter had three marvelous years with him before his brother died and his sister-in-law was institutionalized. Danley likes Texas and has stayed.
He now lives in the Texas Hill Country with his books, computers and a cat named Baby. Walter reports that currently he is busy working on the sequel to The Tipping Point. When he is not writing, he is reading one of the hundreds of novels that line his library. Since his sons and fourteen Grandchildren are in California, Walter has time to research and outline a third book, which he describes as a historical western with a supernatural/suspense twist.
Walter is available to chat with book and service clubs and welcomes comments and emails from his readers. He is a member of Independent Book Publishers Association and the Texas League of Writers. Visit Walter’s website for all the latest news and be sure to “Like” him on Facebook and Twitter for special book excerpts and giveaways.