Dalene Flannigan will be on the blog today. Her self published book The Truth About Us has some great reviews out there and I look forward to reading it myself once I get some time. It’s one that had interest from publishing companies but sadly that feel through despite this she surged forward and got it out there. Please make her feel welcome and thanks Dalene for being on and for my review copy I promise I will get to it soon.
Has the writing bug always been present or is it recent?
Always present. I’ve been ‘making up stuff’ since I was a toddler. I’ve written for theatre, television, video, and magazines but I treated it as a part-time job or hobby—something I did for pleasure once I did what I had to do to pay the bills. I’ve only taken myself seriously as a writer in the past five years. I think it has been a combination of self-esteem (can I really call myself an artist?) and the fact that I’m doing things backwards from the norm. I had children very young and consequently never went off to be an exploring, starving artist. Now that my children have all left home, I’m enjoying guilt-free self-centredness!
What is your work space and working routine like?
Ah, that makes me think of Lisa Scottoline’s Book, “My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space…” Well, when you’re empty-nested, you also end up with spare rooms. For the past few years now, I have had my own office and I love it. I can close the door and talk to myself—which, for me, is a necessary part of writing. I am not a writer who can write in a coffee shop because I have to ‘try on’ the dialogue—act it out. I need to be able to close my office door and feel free to talk out loud.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Read, of course, and I love theatre. I’ve always been involved with community theatre. I act in, direct and write plays. I’ve written 2 full-length plays, ‘A Mournful Rustling’ and ‘Rescuing Elephants’ and a number of one-act plays.
My husband and I love to travel so I’m usually planning (and saving for) our next trip. My daughter just moved to China – so that is definitely next on the list.
What kind of experience did you have in getting published?
I haven’t had a published novel prior to ‘The Truth About Us.’ I’ve written and produced, ‘Unheard Voices’—an award-winning video on Hard-of-Hearing issues, published magazine articles, written for a TV show, and written and directed plays. Deciding to write a novel has had its highs and lows. It did get me an agent and she was terrific, she got it out to a number of influential editors. It did receive significant attention (escalating meetings) by traditional publishing houses but it’s a tough go nowadays for new authors. My husband really encouraged me to research the e-book self-publishing business; actually, he pestered me about it. I did the research and decided it was the way to go.
What has the post publication experience been like?
It’s a work-in-progress. Self-publishing can be very gratifying but it’s also a lot of work. I’m still learning—an absolute newbie—so I’m grateful to writers like Joe Konrath for providing terrific direction and resources.
What have you found to be the most helpful in getting the word out about your book?
Definitely bloggers; bloggers willing to take a chance on a self-published author. Bloggers like you, Jessica have been very kind about answering emails and reviewing my book. Online it is definitely, ‘she told someone and then she told someone and so on and so on…’
For those not familiar with your books please tell us a little about them.
I’ve come to realize that everything I write is about the space between good and evil, truth and lies, right and wrong. I mean, are there absolutes when it comes to the truth? And, without context, where is the definitive line between right and wrong? It is a grey, murky area and I wanted to explore that in a psychological suspense story. That’s the spark for ‘The Truth About Us”. I started thinking about what I would be willing to do out of loyalty to a friend. How big a secret could I live with? What are the costs of these kinds of secrets? So, I created a story about three friends and a very big secret.
What future works do we have to look forward to?
Right now, I’m in the middle of my next novel. I’m a writer who doesn’t plot out the book so I can’t give you a plot line but I can tell you that it’s about the seeming chaos and uncontrollable trajectory of our lives. How, when you look back, there seems a destination but, going forward, it seems random. That sounds vague, doesn’t it? Well, I’m just on the first draft so it hasn’t settled yet.