Interview with M. Dylan Blair

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first one I can recall was about a little girl who wakes up in the middle of the night in her pajamas and goes into the woods behind her yard to find an alien teleporter sitting there.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) Prophecy, by Elizabeth Haydon, from the Symphony of Ages Saga
2) American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
3) Son of the Shadows, by Juliet Marillier

Other than that, I don't really have favourite novels but favourite authors. I also like Piers Anthony, Jacqueline Carey (talk about fandom - I have a Kushiel's rose tattoo), R.A. Salvatore, John Grisham and a few others.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My most recent novel, FALL FROM PARADISE, coming out next month (February 2014), is about a woman on her deathbed who wakes up to find a strange man in her hospital room late at night. Not only does he reveal himself to be an angel, but he gives her a choice: He can heal her, but in doing so, he takes her for his own. With nothing left to lose, she agrees and finds her illness reversed. Now released from the hospital in the pinnacle of health, she quickly becomes enveloped in something bigger than herself.

This new angel begins to haunt her every waking step, only to reveal that she is now Damned with him. Worse yet, she is actually Eve and he, Adam, the two thrown out of Eden and that there are those that would drag them back to Hell. When he gets kidnapped by the Seraphim, she's forced to decide whether she's willing to risk her soul to save a man she doesn't remember.

It's a love story at its heart and a fantasy novel at its front with all kinds of things mixed in. Angels. Demons. Heaven. Hell. Magic. Alchemy. It's about how far you're willing to go for someone and the consequences of those actions.
What is your writing process?
One word: chaotic. At least to someone else understanding my process. I don't write in a linear fashion and I don't think that I ever will. I might get the first 5, 10 chapters out in order - maybe even 15 or 20, if I'm lucky. But at a certain point, everything breaks down. I write the ending, then Chapter 25, then 38, then 31, and so on and so forth.

I'm still open to seeing if it will change, and while I'm sure a lot of it is chocked up to discipline, I try not to harp on myself too bad because that could just be my "writing process" which, of course, I don't want to ruin, just tone. With each book that I write, I watch and see how far I can get before my brain starts taking me elsewhere.

I'd rather write it as it comes because it's really devastating to lose all that dialogue and prose. More often than not, you never get it back once it's gone. It's better to get it out while it's fresh and flowing, than to drop it off in an idea notebook.

I have several idea notebooks and they always just sit blank. As long as I'm tuned into the project, it does a pretty good job at flowing. I've learned something about writer's block through this process, too.

If there's a block, it's because it's just not right. Not the right idea. The right dialogue. The right character. The right location. Something isn't right and until it's fixed, the story won't "write" itself.

I also write every new book out on paper before eventually transcribing it to the computer. Then I print it out, edit a couple times on the same copy, then maybe scrap the whole edit and start a completely fresh edit without any of my previous ideas.... It's the long way but I don't have a laptop/tablet so it allows me to keep working regardless of where I am.

Writing is a fluid process. It moves and bends with you.
When did you first start writing?
Around seven or eight years old on a Brothersoft word processor, which I still wish I had though it's now obsolete. I started off in short stories and then moved onto screenplays and poetry in my teens before finally settling onto full-length novels towards the end of high school and into college.
What do you read for pleasure?
Honestly, anything. I have an INTJ personality which means two things.

#1, I'll read anything that I get my hands on. Religious texts. Car manuals. Newspapers. Fiction. Terms of Service. (I'm not even kidding, sadly.)

LOL, but more specifically - FICTION: Fantasy (all sub-genres), Crime, Thriller, Law.
NON-FICTION: Religion, Theology, Mythology, Foreign Languages, Technology, Cooking, Permaculture, Horticulture, Gardening, Decorating. The list goes on and on...

And #2, I research A LOT. When I mean a lot, I mean A LOT. Like I have more "random, useless information" so I've been told in my head than most people want to know in a lifetime. It'll all mean something someday. You watch. lol.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Right now, I'm using Calibre on my desktop. It runs everything.

If it's something really important, like a book I've been dying for, I'm probably still buy it in paperback instead.
Describe your desk
Like everything else, chaotic. I don't so much have a desk as I have a clipboard. My clipboard is my desk. As long as I can get to my keyboard, that's all I care about. Now if I don't know where my clipboard is, well, that's another story.

It can get messy. Like I said, I do everything hard copies and by hand.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Reaching THE END and knowing that it's true.
What are you working on next?
My WIP, EYES LIKE MINE, set to come out later this year, came from a dream a few years back about a Nazi soldier and a young girl in the rain on a mountaintop. Kind of reminiscent of The Sound of Music in a way.

The novel starts with the death of Kara's mother, a hereditary witch, who on her deathbed swears Kara and her brother to secrecy. The world they have grown up in is cruel and unforgiving and run by the Fuhrer and his Nazis, the Red Death. The RD search endlessly for Rares, those whose magic is determined by their eye color. Unlike the Commons and the UnCommons, the working and intelligentsia classes, the Rares can control time and space, have mind control and other similar abilities. When the Red Death kidnap Kara's younger brother, with his black eyes rumored to be the most powerful of them all, she has to rescue him and keep him from using his powers for evil less he will be Branded forever...

There's a lot more to it, but it gives you a basic idea hopefully about it. My novel, FALL FROM PARADISE, features a 10 page preview at the back of it from EYES LIKE MINE.
Published 2014-01-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Fall From Paradise: Book One Of The Genesis Trilogy
Price: Free! Words: 85,690. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Choose a side. Survive. That's all I had to do. But I was no hero. I was no villain. Instead, I became both... My name is Eve, and I am still alive. Ω