Dale T. Phillips


The sixth book in the Zack Taylor mystery series is now out: A Darkened Room.
I studied writing with Stephen King, and have published over 70 short stories, story collections, poetry, and non-fiction. I've appeared on stage, television, and in an independent feature film, and co-wrote and acted in a short political satire film. I've also appeared on Jeopardy, losing in a spectacular fashion. I've traveled to all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, and through Europe.
Check out my works at:

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember reading an excerpt from Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine at a very young age. The story talked about a new pair of sneakers at the start of Summer being absolute magic with their potential, and it sparked something within me that continues to today.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Long ago, I read about the legend of the Wendigo, and it's such a powerful and disturbing idea, I've never let go of it. Wrote a bad version of the book a long time ago, but wasn't good enough to make the book a good one. Last year, the idea for making it work came to me, and it's now coming to fruition.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Dale T. Phillips online


The Crooked Paths
Three different books of short stories detailing tales of crime and mystery. All The Last Crooked Paths contains all three books of the series.
Crooked Paths
Price: $2.99 USD.
More Crooked Paths
Price: $2.99 USD.
The Last Crooked Paths
Price: $2.99 USD.
All the Crooked Paths
Price: $4.99 USD.
Fables and Fantasies
These tales are a mix of fear, fun, and fantastic elements. Some of these stories are humorous, some are scary, some end well, some badly, and some have mixed blessings for those involved. Kind of like life. Fable and fantasy blend to make a journey into other lands and times and magics.
Fables and Fantasies
Price: $2.99 USD.
More Fables and Fantasies
Price: $2.99 USD.


The Last Fables and Fantasies
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,610. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
In this, the final volume of the Fables and Fantasies collections, we have a number of dark tales: a twisted version of an old fairy tale, a fantastic ride that does not end where the rider thought, horrible creatures from a legendary world of monstrosity, a terrifying clown in a macabre fantasy setting, and a hunt where the tables are turned, by a creature of myth.
How to be a Successful Indie Writer
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 47,870. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2021 . Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / Success
There is much to learn in the modern world of Independent (Indie) book publishing, and more competition for sales every day. This book details the methods used by successful writers, both traditional and Indie. Covers a great deal of material: adapting to the mindset for a long career, creating your business profile, setting goals and expectations, and where and how to publish and sell.
Five Fingers of Fear
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,160. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Horror comes in many shapes. Here are five more scary stories, where people meet their fate in a number of ways. Never-before tales of terror to keep you unsettled. You never know whether Death or salvation is just around the corner. Pleasant screams...
The Return of Fear
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,910. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Here are five scary stories about different types of terrors that haunt us. Some are deserved, some come from pits of evil for the innocent. These tales come together for the first time to keep you up at night. Enjoy the ride on the scary rollercoaster.
Deadly Encounters
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,970. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Grieving over a past tragedy, troubled ex-con Zack Taylor has spent a lifetime in the shadows. He has finally found a measure of peace in Maine, helping others as a way of dealing with his grief, guilt, and rage. But he finds even simple problems have unintended consequences, and danger lurks in the most unlikely places.
Neptune City
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 32,300. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
When LA detective Jim Lloyd reluctantly returns to his NJ hometown for a final funeral, he is pulled into his troubled past, and a world of secrets, deceit, and danger.
How to Improve Your Interviewing Skills
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 10,360. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2019 . Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Human resource management, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal success
Hiring is a major concern for companies. It is harder to find a good job and to stay employed for significant periods of time. Being unemployed is stressful, with worries about self-worth, income, and the future. So you need a competitive edge when applying for jobs, in addition to the knowledge and skills required for the position. You need interviewing knowledge and skills.
The 2nd Zack Pack: 3 Zack Taylor Mysteries
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 135,820. Language: English. Published: December 24, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
This collection combines the second trio of Zack Taylor mysteries in one volume. Contains three novels: A Certain Slant of Light, A Sharp Medicine, and A Darkened Room.
A Darkened Room (A Zack Taylor Mystery)
Series: Zack Taylor. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 43,870. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
While searching for a missing man, Zack Taylor stumbles across another body. Though it looks like a suicide, Zack doesn't buy it, and he tampers with the crime scene to keep the police on the case. They do so, but are suspicious of Zack's involvement. More than his freedom is at stake when pieces of the dead man's activities become known, and the danger mounts for Zack and the woman who hired him.
All the Crooked Paths
Series: The Crooked Paths. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 42,550. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
All The Crooked Paths is a collection of three books: Crooked Paths, More Crooked Paths, and The Last Crooked Paths. Fifteen stories of mystery and crime, dark chronicles of those who walk a crooked path, and so very often pay a terrible price for what they do.
The Last Crooked Paths
Series: The Crooked Paths. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,250. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Here are five more tales of crime and mystery, telling of those who walk crooked paths and pay the price for it. Here are crooks and cops, killers and victims, and those who walk the line between good and evil. Take a few short trips down the darker side of life, where crime can be a casual or planned event. This set of stories shows people on the run, and police and ordinary citizens.
A Sharp Medicine
Series: Zack Taylor. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 49,860. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Zack Taylor's life is once again in shambles. Having narrowly escaped death, guilty over the pain he's caused a loved one, he's hurting and angry. When looking into the disappearance of a reporter, Zack's death wish may be his cure for his troubles as he uncovers corruption and evil in a world of politics, passion, and power.
The Zack Pack: 3 Zack Taylor Mysteries
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 179,420. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
This collection combines the first three Zack Taylor mysteries into one volume. Contains A Memory of Grief, A Fall From Grace, and A Shadow on the Wall.
More Fables and Fantasies
Series: Fables and Fantasies. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 19,250. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » General
In these five tales you'll read serious stories about dragons, swords, castles, people on quests, demons, witches, and also fairy-tale characters acting out in fun. So there's a little something for everyone. These are lands where the people may be like us, but the landscape is of the fantasy realms, and anything can happen. You may change upon this journey, like the characters themselves.
A Certain Slant of Light
Series: Zack Taylor. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 48,830. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Trapped by a final promise to a dying woman, a reluctant Zack Taylor seeks her missing grandson, a slippery con man of the art world. Zack discovers the corruption beneath the glossy exteriors, confronting murder, greed, fraud, and a host of crimes that belie the beauty of the art in which the people deal.
More Crooked Paths
Series: The Crooked Paths. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,130. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
More tales of crime and mystery, those who walk crooked paths and pay the price. People on the spot, when things have taken a bad turn. A young woman facing a deadly challenge. A man who walks into the wrong bar with the wrong attitude. A boxer who refuses to quit. A DA with a grudge. A rich man who finds his motives questioned by the police. These are the stories of the darker side of life.
A Shadow on the Wall
Series: Zack Taylor. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 58,460. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Zack Taylor's new life is crumbling. His fledgling business is in jeopardy, he's been dumped by his lady love, and a murderous gang leader is bent on revenge. A shattered Zack is enticed onto a movie shoot to provide martial arts expertise and security, when a sudden murder raises the stakes. Zack must deal with his own demons, as well as a host of shadowy tricksters with secrets to hide.
A Fall From Grace
Series: Zack Taylor. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 53,350. Language: English. Published: February 22, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
When a single mother is wrongly accused of murder, Zack Taylor must work to clear her name. Not an easy task, as everyone in the Maine town of Mill Springs thinks she's guilty. Zack finds, however, plenty of people who wanted the victim dead. He discovers that when small-town politics mix with big-time ambition, the combination can be lethal.
A Memory of Grief
Series: Zack Taylor. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,270. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Troubled ex-con Zack Taylor is haunted by the accidental death of his brother years before. Zack's guilt and anger have pushed him into a shadowy, wandering life, with little purpose and few attachments. When he hears of the death of his close friend Ben Sterling, a supposed gunshot suicide, Zack finds he now has a purpose-- to find out what happened. Then his purpose becomes an obsession.
Halls of Horror
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 32,020. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2013 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » General
This collection of ten tales of horror involves monsters, mayhem, and murder: everything from war to everyday homicide, to otherworldly terrors from hell dimensions. The horror may be internal or external, in your heart or in your cellar. Here are people making bad choices, and people reacting to terrible situations. These are stories to make you think, tremble, and shiver with fright.
The Big Book of Genre Stories
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 52,940. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2013 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General, Fiction » Horror » General
Here are five books combined into one big volume of stories, thirty tales in different genres. Strange new worlds and encounters with the unusual, in stories from light to dark. Some to make you laugh, some to make you think, and some to scare you. Dip into the Big Book for a taste of monsters, mayhem, myth, magic, and murder. Crime and Mystery Science Fiction Horror Fables and Fantasies Magic
Shadow of the Wendigo
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 41,480. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2013 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
In the snowy Canadian wilderness, a terrifying legend springs to life, sparking a series of gruesome crimes. Government agent Sean Laporte is sent to investigate, and contends with an obsessive, resourceful foe, a hostile environment, and an elusive search for the truth. He is soon pulled between worlds of myth and madness, a present haunted by the past, and a primitive world of mystery and power.
Apocalypse Tango
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,820. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.00 from 1 review)
How does the world end? Self-launched bombs, asteroid from space, rain of fire, alien invasion, or virus and pandemic? Maybe none of those. Maybe it's giant lobsters. Or zombies. Here are five different takes on the end of the world-- as we know it. It's a tango done at the Apocalypse, dancing as the race of Man comes to a close. Come take a whirl.
Strange Tales
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,570. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Here are five tales of people going off the beaten track of reality to experience something completely new and unwordly. Stories of individuals in pain who ride a rollercoaster of odd happenings that show life in a different perspective. People running to something or away from something, or finding something unexpected.
Jumble Sale
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,940. Language: English. Published: February 11, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
This blend of all previously-published stories crosses many genres: science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror, humor, magic realism, and mainstream. There are fractured fairy tales, cautionary parables, peeks into disturbed minds, and amusing little romps. Everything from people with problems to giant lobsters, demonic creatures, small-time gangsters, and perverted dwarves.
Crooked Paths
Series: The Crooked Paths. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,190. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Five stories of crime and mystery, people who walk crooked paths and pay the price for it. Stories of criminals and heroes, killers (accidental and deliberate), rumrunners, safecrackers, people framed for horrible deeds. Some of these stories have been published in mystery magazines.
Fables and Fantasies
Series: Fables and Fantasies. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,270. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
These five tales are a mix of fear, fun, and fantastic elements. Some of these stories are humorous, some are scary, some end well, some badly, and some have mixed blessings for those involved. Kind of like life. Fable and fantasy blend to make a journey into other lands and times and magics.
Blades and Butchery
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,140. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
This bawdy, probably offensive, parody of Epic Sword and Sorcery fantasy pays homage to the great Fritz Leiber, and his immortal characters. Here, Fatbird and the Gay Louser are rather far from heroic, but manage to hack and slash their way to fortune, while rescuing a princess.
The Little Guy
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,670. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
A strange little man gets kicked around all his life, but then has a chance for sex, riches, and glory, when he uses his powers to help a young maiden in dire straits. This is a funny, bawdy take on an old tale.
Our New Queen
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,110. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
When a mysterious enchanted maiden in the forest is awakened by the prince, they marry, and she becomes queen. But she and her little men have a dark secret. This tale of dark fantasy puts a new twist on an old story.
Froggy Went A Courting
Price: Free! Words: 4,230. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
The ugly High Count is rich and powerful, and when he demands to wed the daughter of a noble, she cannot refuse, though her heart is not in it. Her mute sister, though, practices the dark arts, and will stop at nothing to save her sister. No matter who gets hurt.

Dale T. Phillips' tag cloud

action mystery    amateur sleuth mystery    anthology    apocalyptic    beach mystery    canadian horror    crime    crime and mystery fiction    crime and mystery short fiction    crime and mystery short stories    crime and mystery stories    crime fiction    crime mystery    crime short    crime stories    crimemystery    crimestory    dark fairy tale    dark fantasy    end of world    epic fantasy    fable    fairy tale funny    fairy tales    fantasy    fantasy 2016 new release    fantasy and fable    fantasy fable    fantasy fairy tales    fantasy folktale    fantasy humor    fantasy magic    fantasy medieval    fantasy other worlds    fantasy realms    fantasy short fiction    fantasy short stories    fantasy short story    fantasy stories    fiction horror    fiction short    fiction short stories    fiction shorts    finding a job    funny fantasy    genre fiction    hard boiled    hard bolied mystery    horror    horror anthology    horror collection    horror fantasy    horror fiction    horror short    horror short fiction    horror short stories    horror shorts    horror stories    horror tales    humor    indie authors    indie books    indieauthors    indiepub    interviewing    job advice    job finding    job help    job hunt    job interview    job searching    job seeking    jobs careers    light fantasy    magic and fantasy    magic realism    magic realism short fiction    magic realism short stories    maine authors    maine coast    maine crime and mystery    maine fiction    maine murder mysteries    maine mysteries    maine mystery    maine mystery books    maine mystery fiction    maine novels    maine setting    maine settings    maine writers    modern myth    murder mystery    mysteries    mysteries set in maine    mysteries set in new england    mystery    mystery action    mystery action noir    mystery amateur    mystery amateur sleuth    mystery amateur sleuths    mystery book    mystery book series    mystery books    mystery crime    mystery drama    mystery fiction    mystery ficton    mystery hardboiled    mystery murder    mystery noir    mystery novel    mystery novels    mystery police    mystery series    mystery set in maine    mystery short fiction    mystery shorts    mystery stories    mystery story    mystery suspense    mystery tales    mystery thriller    mysterycrime    mysteryfiction    mysterymurder    new england mysteries    new england mystery    new england setting    noir    noir mystery    novels set in maine    novels set in new england    paranormal short fiction    paranormal short stories    parody    police mystery    publishing    scary stories    scary tales    science fiction    science fiction short fiction    science fiction short stories    science fiction stories    selfpublishing    selling a book    selling books    series mystery    short crime fiction    short fantasy    short fiction    short fiction horror    short genre fiction    short horror    short horror fiction    short horror stories    short mystery    short mystery fiction    short mystery stories    short stoires    short stories    short stories horror    short stories mystery    short stories of crimemystery    short story humor    short storyfantasy    sleuth mystery    stories    stories of horror    story bundle    story collections    supernatural    sword and sorcery    swords and sorcery    thriller    tough guys    twisted fairy tale    twisted fairy tales    vampires    writing advice    writing career   

Dale T. Phillips' favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Dale T. Phillips

  • Least Wanted on Jan. 04, 2011

    This is one of the series starring the character of Maryland attorney Stephanie Ann "Sam" McRae. Sam is a hard-boiled, tough-gal lawyer who helps the downtrodden, and this book is a slam-bang action ride. In the classic vein, the book opens with the arrival of a troubled (and troubling) client. Sam starts off on a simple matter, and soon becomes entangled with a batch of baddies, bodies, bruises, and blood. Sam's gritty background and determination enable her to go where others could and would not. She can navigate different worlds, from the street-hard gangbangers to the suited sharks of courtroom and boardroom. Despite growing frustration and ever-increasing personal danger, Sam is determined to find out the truth, amidst a nest of deceit and depravity. Because she has to keep others safe, her moral code allows for lapses in strict legal conduct. And she admits she can't save the world and everyone in it, but she can try to help a few of those in need. If you like your mysteries with a hard edge, and enjoy reading of the tribulations of tough lady lawyers, you'll want to meet Sam McRae.
  • Fishermen's Justice on Dec. 26, 2011

    Unsettling little tale of the sea, and of the strange things that happen on the water. Violence, revenge, and long-buried secrets make for a spooky Downeaster yarn. Nice framing story adds just the right touch. Works as a great caution to anyone who thinks they can get a free lobster by pulling someone else's trap. Watch out for those old-time fishermen!
  • Wind Castle on Feb. 22, 2012

    In the first book of his new series, Wind Castle, author Brian Hammar has given us a wondrous new world of imagination. Think of Oz, Narnia, and Middle-Earth, with all their glorious strangeness, and yet their perils and lurking dangers. In this magical land, many of the creatures of mythology and legend reside: griffins, dragons, unicorns, trolls, even Sasquatches. The land itself is alive, giving sustenance and healing. But of course, there is something wrong in this world that must itself be healed-- before it destroys the land and all that dwell within. On orders from his boss, George Severe goes looking for this rumored place, and finds it-- and finds a lot more than he ever could imagine. Aided by his crusty, folksy, guide Annie, he's soon embroiled in a battle for the soul of the land and its people. A war is brewing, and George must aid a peaceful, embattled folk who know little of defense or aggression. But George is no warrior-- he must find other means to stop the spreading violence of a charismatic, power-seeking madman. George falls in love with this marvelous magical place, but he's torn by thoughts of his family left behind. We're with him in this conflict, and want him to succeed, but what will he decide? Will he lose himself in saving others? There is much to enjoy in this debut novel. We are constantly reminded that we're not in Kansas, that this is a place where different rules apply. It is a fully-fleshed-out fantasy world, and one you might like to visit.