Name D. Dalton
Where are you from?
Kansas, USA. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in anthropology/archaeology. But my first passion has always been writing, ever since I was a kid. My mother, a professional librarian, always encouraged us to read and write when I was a kid.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just released my steampunk anthology, Steamscape World Pack – 3 short stories and 1 full length novel. I will also be hosting a kickstarter campaign in early February for my epic fantasy manga, which will be out in April.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Fifth grade. We were assigned to write a short story for class and I found my love. I wrote a silly little horror story based on a Girl Scout song about camping in the meadow, and have never stopped. In retrospect, I’m not sure how my teacher felt about the a student writing horror.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Ever since I was in elementary school.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had written a series of short stories in high school, inspired by our Dungeons and Dragons group, and they were all linked in the same world. I just kept working on those and never stopped fiddling. In 2009, I published the first book based on those stories, “Crown of the Realm”.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Style can mean so many things! I tend to stick more in the realms of science fiction and fantasy. I also alternate between writing prose and scripts.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
This was kind of easy. The novel is entitled “Steamscape” and so I expanded it out to “Steamscape World Pack” since the other stories take place in the same group of nations, which are collectively called the Steamscape.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Nothing in particular, it’s just some fun adventure stories.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
As far as technology and countries, it’s not. However, the characters are human and have all of the same hopes and flaws that people in the real world do.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, nothing intentional anyway.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
My favorite book when I was a kid was Michael Crichton’s “Eaters of the Dead” which was a “realistic” retelling of Beowulf. I think that also helped to inspire my interest in archaeology as well. I never really had a personal mentor in writing though.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
A geology textbook. Yes, that’s what I do for fun.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Oddly enough, I don’t actually read much fiction anymore. I try to pick the stories apart too much and it’s not enjoyable.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Right now, I am finishing up my manga with illustrator Michiru Bokido. I’m also working on an epic adventure screenplay based on my fantasy novels called “Storm Readers’ Light”.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
One of my best friends from college, Luke Andrews. He’s also a great author, and he is helping me co-write a novel. He has always supported me and has encouraged me to publish my work.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do. It’s not enough to quit my day job right now, but I have been able to make money through script sales and writing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think that I would like to make the novel portion have a better ending. It has an emotional victory, of course, but I left it open for a sequel that I just don’t have any inspiration or time to write it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think in my love of reading at a young age. My mother and older sister were always reading, so it was something that I just grew up doing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! This is the start of the last short story of the anthology:
Stetson St. Kyle paused to gaze up at the prismatic aether bands and clouds overhead. From here, the bands looked like writhing rainbows, twisting in the sunlight. He lay flat on his back on the shining tin roof. Sweat rolled off his cheeks and steamed when it hit the metal. He remained motionless, watching.
He heard the footsteps moving away, and he could see the tips of the guards’ rifles as they rounded the corner below.
He counted to twenty as slowly as he could make himself. Then he shimmied up the roof on his back until he reached the telegraph wires. He reached down, withdrew the knife from his boot and quickly sawed through them.
He replaced the knife as he slid down the roof, leaving a trail of sweat behind him. Stetson swung his legs over, slithered over the edge and held on by his fingertips, wincing at the heat applied to his digits. Hearing nothing, he dropped, crouching as he landed.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
For me, it’s taking on too many projects at once. I have so many ideas, but not enough time, and I sometimes burn myself out trying to do so much.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I really enjoy the works of the late Terry Pratchett. Maybe because I enjoy the deep philosophy mixed with the ridiculous humor.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
As of the moment, no, I’ve been able to do most things via the internet and through Skype and email.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve had several different artists over the years. Currently, I am working with Michiru Bokido for my covers as well as the manga.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
This was my first foray into the genre of steampunk, so I had to do much research into it. I discovered a whole culture that I did not want to disappoint!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I actually learned a lot about turn-of-the-twentieth-century technology and innovations that I could adapt into a new world that played by different laws of physics. That was exciting to do.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Persistence pays off. Writing is an art, and like most things, you have to be willing to be bad at it before you can be good at it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you read this book! But seriously, I would like to thank them for their continued support as I’ve found my voice over the years.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No idea. I know that reading was part of everyday life from when I was an infant and up. I don’t recall when I learned to transition from being read to into reading for myself.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I am a sucker for dog movies! They usually make me do both.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Hmm… Augustus Caesar, probably. It would give me a chance to practice my Latin, and he’s always been a fascinating historical figure to me.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
If I were to have some sort of memorial marker, I would want it to be some kind of joke. But my revenge from the grave plan is to ask my relatives to scatter my ashes on a mountainside, so that they would have to undertake a journey that I would hope means something to them.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I enjoy sketching/doodling. I am definitely no artist in this regard, but it’s fun for me, and it helps me to relax.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Let’s see, the spouse and I have just finished watching all of 30 Rock on Netflix.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I definitely enjoy a good burger cooked on the grill on our porch. As for music, I tend to enjoy a little much of everything – depending on the mood and what I am writing and doing at the time.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I have always been interested in history and the earth sciences, but writing so far has always been something that’s fun for me to do as well as paying for some bills, at least.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes, it is www.deborahdalton.net
Amazon Author Central
Link to my Epic Fantasy series