Girls*Heart* Books: Author Spotlight: D.T. Dyllin

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Author Spotlight: D.T. Dyllin

D.T. Dyllin, the author of the fantastic Enemy Through The Gates was kind enough to talk to me about being a writer, what's next for her heroine & a few other odds & ends. 


Can you tell us a little about what's next for PJ?
Hmmm…what to say without giving too much away? In ‘Enemy Through The Gates’ P.J. is very young, and I’m not just referring to her age, but emotionally. There is a version of herself that she strives to be but hasn’t quite realized. But…how’s the clique’ go? Oh yes…the plot thickens in book two. She will have a lot of character growth, some from her own choosing, and some forged in the fires of battle, so to speak. I like to write flawed characters, in other words, realistic ones. I had one reviewer of ‘Enemy Through The Gates’ state that some of P.J.’s tantrums towards her parents set her teeth on edge. Honestly, that was what I was going for, and that statement had me patting myself on the back for a job well done. I want people to like P.J. but not always like her actions. Whether you love her or hate her, as long as you feel something for her, then you’re emotionally invested. Essentially, all of my stories are character studies. I’m an emotionally driven person and all of my stories follow suit. So what’s next for P.J.? A lot of twists and turns and surprises that I can guarantee no one saw coming. I was just getting started with the first book!

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always been a writer of some sort, whether it was short stories, poetry, songs, or now novels. I made the jump to novels when songwriting no longer seemed to satisfy me creatively. When writing a song, it’s like creating a snap shot version of a character’s emotions at a particular point in their lives. In my head there was a before and an after, but I couldn’t share all that went into the creation of a character within the context of the song. Eventually, the characters I created had too much to say, and not enough time to say it in a 3-4 minute platform. I was left feeling like my creations were unfinished and incomplete. That’s when it became clear to me that my characters needed to have their stories truly told, and that it was time to move on to a different medium. 

Where did you get the idea for 'Enemy Through The Gates'?
 All of my ideas come to me from my dreams. Sometimes it’s just a particular character, or sometimes it’s the backdrop for the story. But once I have the first little spark of creation, everything else always seems to fall into place. In the case of ‘Enemy Through The Gates, I dreamt that I was P.J. in what is now the opening scene of my book. It was if I was in her head, and could hear her thoughts, yet I was still me. The next day P.J.’s presence haunted me, and by that evening I had already written the first couple chapters of ‘Enemy Through The Gates’.  

Are any of your characters inspired by people from your life? 
My characters are definitely influenced by people I know in the way of certain phrases and small interesting quirks, but as a whole…no. I’m afraid if I did that and I was mad at someone I might kill them off or torture them or something. My mom was upset with what happened to P.J.’s mom in ‘Enemy Through The Gates’ and begged me to change it. Her mom is nothing like my mom, and that caused me more drama than I wanted. So mom…if you happen to read this…NO, I’M NOT CHANGING THE STORY FOR YOU. 

What are you reading right now?
I’m currently re-reading The Night Huntress series. I love me some Cat and Bones! I’ve got so much other stuff going on now that I don’t want to pick something new up to sidetrack myself. So I’ve been revisiting a lot of books that I’ve already read lately. 

What do you consider 'perfect' writing conditions?
 For me it’s the basics… A full belly, and a comfortable place to sit. Sometimes I listen to music, and sometimes I need complete silence. It all really depends on my mood. But if I’m hungry and uncomfortable…forget about it! 

Do you ever get stuck when writing? What do you do to help yourself get unblocked?
 I don’t get stuck in the way of writers block. (Knock on wood.) I get frozen in place in my story because I can’t decide what’s going to happen next. I’ve usually laid out way too many options for myself. That’s actually why in all the books I’ve written so far I’ve had a moment when I’ve deleted a bunch of pages and rewritten a certain portion of the plot. When I have the big delete moment that always seems to do the trick. I heave a huge sigh of relief and resume my writing. 

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
 Don’t aspire…just do it. Whether you’re published or not doesn’t change the fact that you’re a writer, so write, write, and write some more. Don’t let anything stop you from creating in the medium that fulfills you creatively.
Again, I'd like to say thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Can't wait to see what happens next for P.J. & her friends!

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