D.T. Dyllin, author of Enemy Through The Gates (a P.J. Series).
Tell us something about yourself, your background, (where you were born, live? Your work prior to becoming a writer). I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and now live in Nashville, TN. Because of that I have this weird hybrid accent that’s part Pittsburghese, part Southern, and also mixed with the influence of my Italian grandfather who came over from Calabria when he was 18 years old. I never realized how “Italian” I am until I moved to Nashville. It was quite a culture shock in the sense that things I thought everyone did (dipping bread in olive oil) were things associated with the Italian culture. Oh, and I thought I was going to starve to death with the lack of decent Italian food in Nashville! Seriously…what kind of place doesn’t have pasta shops??! Not to mention the severely lacking pasta section at local grocery stores…ugh. Okay, I’m going to move onto the next question before I type 20-page dissertation about Nashville’s need for better Italian food.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? 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 I write 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 didn’t get to share all that went into the creation of that character for 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.
Is this your first "published" book? Yes. (Sweet, a one word answer question!)
How did you come up with the idea for the book? 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 just fall into place. In this case, 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, but I was still me. When I woke up the next day, P.J.’s presence stuck with me, and by that evening I had already written the first couple chapters in ‘Enemy Through The Gates’.
How about the characters? Are they based on people you know? P.J. has some of me in her, both emotionally and physically. When I dreamt her up, I didn’t really see what she looked like, so she ended up having a lot of my physical attributes. I’ve always hated being tall, and I’ve always felt too skinny and self-conscious about it. And now so does P.J. I like when heroines are flawed in stories, and I have enough insecurities and flaws to spare, so I gave some of mine to her. It was amazingly cathartic. The rest of the characters are sort of a hodgepodge of traits from friends and family mixed together. No one is really based on anyone I know in real life. Although Bryn’s physical description was definitely influenced by my life long love of everything ‘Superman’. When I dreamt him up it was clear where my psyche got its inspiration.
Who are your favorite authors and why? I’ve read so many great authors over the years. Who I would consider my favorites would greatly depend on my state of mind and what sort of phase I’m going through when you ask me. Right now I’m kind of going through a “reliving my childhood phase” and re-reading a lot of books that I grew up on such as…The Anne of Green Gables series by L M Montgomery, and The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. Amazing authors write both series, and right now they are my current favorites…again. But like I said, ask me again in a couple of weeks and my answer could be completely different.
Yay, Anne Rice's books are amazing!! Those were my first vampire books! What are you reading right now? I’m re-reading “The Vampire Lestat”. It’s been many years since I’ve read it, and I’m surprised how many little things I’ve forgotten about the story. Lestat holds a very special place in my heart, and is still one of my favorite vampires of all time.
Oh liked Louis better than Lestat. Maybe because of that movie - Interview with the Vampire. What do you do when you are not writing and reading? It can be a very bad thing when I’m not writing, or at least reading. I have a somewhat obsessive personality and if I don’t have a creative out let to channel my “crazy” into then I start all kinds of little projects to obsess about. Usually my Hubby tells me to go write before I drive him insane. He hates coming home to find me in tears because “our house will never be organized and I hate everything about it,” or me saying, “What do you think about me dying my hair black again?” or “We should take a pottery class together!” So really…when I’m not writing and reading…I’m driving everyone insane. Whoops.
Thank you so much Dara for being here today! Can't wait to read the next installment of your book!
About the author's book:
P. J. Stone, like most eighteen-year-old girls, is a little boy crazy and somewhat obsessed with finding the perfect boyfriend. Some days she feels like she might be the last remaining virgin in her entire high school, and maybe even the entire tri-state area.
After a traumatic night at a friend’s party, P. J. realizes what she truly wants has been right under her nose all along. Bryn O’Bannon, her best friend and partner in crime since age five, is head over heels in love with her, and she feels the same about him.
But P. J.’s life isn’t that simple. She’s a member of a separate society that exists secretly among the rest of the world; the society raises gifted individuals to protect the world from interdimensional interlopers, and P. J. was taught to put duty before her heart. She is expected to choose a suitable mate in order to perpetuate the Seer line. Unfortunately, Bryn is a Guardian and is forbidden to date—let alone mate with—a Seer such as herself.
As if figuring out her love life isn’t complicated enough, P. J. begins having visions of a threat to her world only she is able to perceive. Now, she must concoct and execute a plan to avert world disaster while at the same time avoiding the dissolution of her love life.
Read my book review here.