Q & A's AND SPECIAL FEATURES
Posted on 01/22/2019 at 11:07 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
What would we do without our friends?
We might not have known to interview Kirsty Dallas, an international bestselling and award-winning author, without our friend Randi’s recommendation.
And Dallas might not have turned her lifelong hobby of writing into an actual career, if her new friend David hadn’t offered to help her polish her skills and encouraged her to take the leap into publishing.
She certainly threw herself in, with a dozen books (including the Mercy's Angels series about violence against women as well as several standalone books) already out, and two more about to hit shelves in the next few months.
As she prepares to launch the dark romance Beauty and the horror-action-comedy mashup Zombie Playlist, Dallas took the time to answer a few of our questions (plus one, of course, from her fan Randi).
SADYE: How did you decide to write novels and seek publication?
KIRSTY: I've always been a writer. I began writing short stories for fun when I was fourteen and continued on periodically until I published my first novel in 2013 at the sprightly age of thirty-five!
My decision to take the step from hobbyist to published novelist came when I met a wonderful man by the name of David Bryan Russell.
He is a storyboard artist who has worked on films such as Star Wars, Narnia, and The Avengers.
His stories about the world of film just captured my imagination, and I mentioned that I liked to write.
He had me email him through some of my work, and we spent a year working on my writing technique.
Eventually he told me I was ready to spread my wings and fly, and he pushed me out of the proverbial nest. Lucky for me, I flew.
I'll be forever grateful for his help and friendship.
SADYE: Can you tell me more about your screenwriting adventures?
KIRSTY: I found (film director) Chris Sun through Facebook around 2007, and we began exchanging messages.
When I took the plunge into publishing, he was super-supportive, and when he screened his first full feature film, Come And Get Me, I was there in the cinema with him.
One day Chris rang me and decided he wanted to try writing a novel. I helped him work through his awesome slasher novel, ED, and in exchange he had me work on his film Boar.
We made a great team, often bouncing ideas off each other and laughing at how stupid we could be. We could both be pretty damn stupid!
That was my first foray into the world of script writing. It was super-challenging as it's a whole other beast compared to writing novels. It's difficult not to be too wordy.
Chris has future projects on his mind that we will hopefully get to team up for again, and I've begun converting my novel When Nothing Is All You've Got into a screenplay.
I've got every limb crossed that one day I might just see a world from my imagination come to life on the big screen.
SADYE: What’s your favorite genre to write in?
KIRSTY: That's really hard to answer. I love all the genres I've written in.
I guess if I were to be honest, I absolutely loved the world-building in When Nothing Is All You've Got.
That has a bit of a dystopian flavor to it; it's very raw and edgy (and) dark. I absolutely loved working on that novel.
SADYE: You offer to serve as a mentor to debut authors — can you share a particularly rewarding experience?
KIRSTY: I've had quite a few new authors reach out to me for advice and help on their projects, and every moment spent helping them navigate the literary world and perfect their craft has been rewarding.
Like I said earlier, I had help in the form of David Russell, and he wanted absolutely nothing in exchange for his time. I promised him I would pay it forward, and I'm doing just that.
Watching H.B. Butler go from avid reader to published author was super special.
She's a lovely lady with a heart for Australian romance, and she was so nervous to put herself out there. She did it, though, and I am so very proud of her.
Same goes for Angela Marie. She struggled to hit the publish button, but she got there with perseverance.
Sitting back and knowing the absolute joy these ladies felt when they finally reached that goal was something else.
SADYE: Beyond those mentoring successes, what has been your proudest achievement as a writer?
KIRSTY: When I hit publish on my first novel, Saving Ella, I didn't know what to expect — perhaps a badly edited novel to disappear into the vast electronic bookshelves of Amazon never to be seen again.
I certainly wasn't expecting people to actually contact me and tell me how much they loved my book. That blew my ever-lovin' mind! That was absolutely my proudest achievement.
The success I had with Decker's Wood was also a real buzz. Definitely another proud moment.
Reaching the top ten of comedy in the Goodreads Readers’ Choice awards was pretty amazing.
I've had such a wonderful career thus far. I can only hope that I'm still writing and publishing into my old, grey, and slightly senile years that are yet to come.
SADYE: What is your biggest grammar pet peeve?
KIRSTY: When I'm writing, I'm not sure I have a particular pet peeve. ..
When I'm reading I absolutely hate unpolished and childlike grammar.
"Should of" and "till"— gah, I hate those words. "Should have" and "until" is what we're looking for, people!
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Interview with BOOK GOODIES 2018
What inspires you to write?
I don't know that any one thing inspired me to write, it's just always been in my heart. I've been writing since I was 14, and for me it's natural to have all these worlds and characters constantly swirling in my mind.
Tell us about your writing process.
I always start with a really, really rough plot. It's more like the moment I purge all my thoughts down on paper as a rough draft, then I start writing and usually deviate from the original path I paved for myself in my rough plot.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Always, my characters often say and do things I would never do, and many times I don't want them to say or do the things they do. But my stories aren't about me, and I have to follow the direction I'm often being dragged kicking and screaming.
What advice would you give other writers?
Be brave, step outside the box, and wear a hard shell, because our world can be cruel and you need to be prepared to let any cruel words/reviews bounce off your shell. And get a darn good editor.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was lucky enough to have an already published author guide me through the process. I did get an opportunity to pitch to Penguin back in the early days, but the book I presented was a YA fantasy, a genre they weren't interested in taking on at that time. Now I'm too impatient to try traditional publication. When I write a book, I want to share it right then, rather than wait potentially months, if not years, for a traditional publication journey.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It's a weird, scary literary world right now, and so many changes have come to pass since I began. I honestly can't predict where everything will lead, but I think and hope traditional publication might loosen it's submissions. We might see more authors pursuing those kind of publishing deals.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance – Contemporary, comedy, dark and horror
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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