Interview with #WriteMentor M. Dalto

Congratulations on having your novel published. Tell us a little about the novel.

Thank you so much! So, TWO THOUSAND YEARS in the first book on my Empire Saga series. It’s a New Adult romantic fantasy novel and I like to tell people it’s Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses meets The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. It’s about Alex, a Starbucks barista in Boston, who’s swept away from her home to a mysterious realm known only as The Empire, where Treyan, it’s Crown Prince, insists she’s their predestined Queen Empress and the only one who can save them from the threat of the opposing Borderlands. There’s a little bit of action, some adventure, humor, a lot of emotion – a little bit of everything that I hope readers can enjoy!

Where did the idea/inspiration come from?

The inspiration for TWO THOUSAND YEARS actually came to me in 1993 – and now I’m probably dating myself. Billy Joel released his album entitled River of Dreams and on it was a song called Two Thousand Years. My best friend and I had very active imaginations and often wrote our own stories, roleplayed, and the like — there was something about Two Thousand Years that called to me, even then, telling me there was a story there, and it needed to be written. They melody was moving and the lyrics were inspiring- battles to be won and love that spanned centuries. It was just begging for a story to be told.

Let’s jump to November, 2014 when NaNoWriMo started to roll around, and I had the thought in my head to actually write a story inspired by that song I had heard so long ago, so I sat down, and 30 days later, I had the first draft of TWO THOUSAND YEARS written.

MBTell us about you…

Ironically, I hate talking about myself- *haha*

I was born and raised just south of Boston, Massachusetts, USA where I still live with my husband, our daughter, and our corgi names Loki. School wasn’t exactly my favorite thing, and it actually took me 13 years to complete my undergraduate education. But it was my time in school that actually taught me that writing might be my calling. I was that person who could procrastinate until the night before an assignment was due, throw together an essay, make the words sound meaningful, and could still get an A on it. It was that point I realized that maybe it wasn’t art or sports, but words that were my calling.

I really didn’t start taking writing seriously until that NaNoWriMo in 2014, but now it’s a part of my life and I don’t know where I would be without it.

When I’m not writing, I’m a full-time real estate paralegal, which means writing is taking on the form of a second job, a part-time nightly endeavor that I would one day love to see because full-time but that’s a long ways away. When neither my full-time job nor writing take up my time, I enjoy reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee.

Where and when do you write?

Because of my schedule, both professionally and personally, I carve out time at night to get my writing in. Usually it’s once my daughter has been put to bed- I go down to my computer desk, open my laptop, and if any writing is getting done it will usually be between the hours of 8:30pm and, depending on the night, 10pm to midnight.Rarely I get the chance to sneak way to a cafe, but when I can, those are the moments I cherish as a writer.

What are you working on now?

With NaNoWriMo now over, I can finally say I am almost done writing my YA dark fantasy retelling that I started almost a year ago. Other than that, I’m editing my upper-YA assassin story for querying, and working on edits and revisions on the remained of the books in my Empire Saga series.

Desert Island books?
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare, and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Does writing energise or exhaust you?

Depends on the day. I have General Anxiety Disorder so there are plenty of times where my anxiety becomes so debilitating, the very thought of having to write exhausts me. I find that I need to take breaks more often than not so that I don’t burn out- if I do get to that point, it could very well be months before I allow myself the time to refocus and get the words out. This is, in part, why I’m a huge proponent for self-care. If you feel like you have writer’s block coming on, and that writing is becoming an obligation, just stop writing. Be it for an hour, a day, a week- take as much time as you need to because you are you important than the words you write. If you are at your best, neither will be your writing.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would tell myself that sometimes, there are going to be people who aren’t going to like what you write. And those people will feel the need to let you know- harshly- and sometimes they do it with the intent of just to bring you down to make themselves feel better. And sometimes- no, most of the time- those people are wrong. Those people are the ones who need to stop what they’re doing and reassess themselves- not you. Never allow another to keep you from what you’re doing, or from doing that you love. It’s your heart and your story that’s being poured into the world- that you’re making the effort to share it is more important than anything the naysayers may fling at you. And never, ever stop because of them.

What is the first book that made you cry?

The first book that made me cry was A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. The end of it. Everyone probably knows the ending by now, but reading it for the first time almost twenty years ago was devastating.

Finally, where can we get your book?

TWO THOUSAND YEARS is officially released December 11, 2018. Preorders are currently available, as are paperback versions:

AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GHYZGPJ/

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/two-thousand-years-m-dalto/1129581675

PAPERBACK http://www.parliamenthousepress.com/product-page/two-thousand-years-by-m-dalto

Also, I’m currently having a preorder giveaway where anyone who preorders can submit their confirmation emails and receipt to ttypreordergiveaway@gmail.com  for a signed bookplate, a bookmark, and exclusive character stickers. And then everyone will be entered into a grand prize giveaway for a personalized signed copy of TWO THOUSAND YEARS and a custom ‘Treyan’ candle made by A Court of Candles. All the details can be found on my blog:

https://authormdalto.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/pre-order-update-and-giveaway/

 

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