Saturday, August 6, 2016
Author Interview: Dallas Coryell
Today I have author Dallas Coryell with me for an author interview! He is the author of Melody's Key. You can read all about it in my book spotlight.
A Little Bio about Dallas Coryell:
Dallas Coryell is a musician and author residing deep in the untamed wilds of Michigan, USA, where he desperately attempts to assign meaning to his world through bouts of maniacal creative catharsis and pitifully doomed hopeless romantic fantasies. All of the songs written by the characters in this novel are real and can be viewed on the author’s fledgling YouTube channel. Selfies and other assorted randomness can be found on the author’s Instagram.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think it was in 5th grade when I wrote a short story entitled King Arthur and the Gnome
King. I read it in front of the class to rave reviews and my father had it framed. It was
pretty much a done deal after that.
How long does it take you to write a book?
My first novel was 70k words and it only took about a month because I was unemployed
at the time. For my latest novel it took about a year from writing the first word to
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I have a full time job working as a business manager at a major university, so that leaves
nights and weekends, that is, unless I can sneak in a few paragraphs during lunch. It’s
really hard to set it aside when I’m feeling inspired so sometimes I write late into the
night causing me to be a zombie at work the next day.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Probably the fact that I try to combine several different genres into one story. I am a
huge fan of many different types of stories, so it’s impossible for me to be constrained to
only one. Also, I MUST chew gum when I write.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I have always been something of a daydreamer that feels deeply and thinks obsessively
about things. My mind is always creating scenarios which sometimes even manifest in
my dreams, causing me to fight mutants all night to rescue a beautiful woman that turns
out to be my high school crush…then we cuddle. When someone inspires me the
experience usually finds its way into my writing somehow.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Aside from writing and reading, music is a huge part of my life. I tend to use songwriting
as an outlet for processing emotions and events, which has led to some very beautiful,
but occasionally heartbreaking songs. I primarily play guitar, although I am starting to
teach myself piano. I’m also a bit of a gym rat, although I don’t get credit for staying in
shape because I love it. Any spare time left over is used for manscaping…I’m
kidding…or am I?
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned that my mind is infinitely more romantic and twisted than I could have ever
imagined. I wrote a sci-fi horror story once and had one of my friends read it. He never
looked at me the same way again, often regarding me with a mix of horrified shock, timid
curiosity, begrudging respect and mild distrust. He said one scene shattered his
world…I took it as a compliment
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What
impact have they had on your writing?
The authors that first got me excited about reading and writing were Lloyd Alexander and
C.S. Lewis. In 4th and 5th grade I read The Chronicles of Narnia all the way through twice,
and in sixth grade I read all the books in the Chronicles of Prydain as well as Westmark
and The Foundling. I was astounded at how Lloyd Alexander could merge several
different compelling plot lines into one story.
Michael Crichton unexpectedly pulled me into the world of “grown-up” books when I
read Rising Sun in 8 th grade without really knowing what it was…probably shouldn’t have
done that, but he was an amazingly detailed writer! More recently I thoroughly enjoyed
all of the Hyperion books by Dan Simmons, which partially inspired my song Awaken. I
read John Green, Nicolas Sparks and Stephanie Meyer in preparation for writing my new
book Melody’s Key. The Fault In Our Stars was the first book I ever read that actually
made me cry. I probably just lost my man-card for admitting that.