God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Hopefully more contracts J I’m currently in the middle of a four-book contract finishing up book three. When it is complete I’ll immediately begin work on the final book and then begin the process of seeking another contract. God has blessed me beyond belief so far with the opportunity to continue writing and do some projects that came about unexpectedly (like the 7 Hours project with six other authors). I don’t take for granted for one minute what He has done for me and allowed me to do.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife and I will celebrate fifteen years of marriage in June and we have four daughters ranging from thirteen to one year old. The oldest three are homeschooled and my wife does a wonderful job with that. We live in a small town in
Pennsylvania near Gettysburg. We love
spending time as a family, picnicking, exploring, and just goofing off
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Well, for one, I have less time to read. I usually read at night before going to bed but I have such a difficult time staying awake. But since my writing has taken a turn for the serious, I read more now to learn than for pleasure. I choose books that I know will advance my own craft and read with an eye toward how the author writes the story, the prose, the dialogue, the pacing, suspense, character development. All of it.
What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up my next suspense novel, The Prodigy, which will release in February of 2013. I’ve been working furiously on this story to get it finished by deadline and am pleased with some of the turns it’s taken. I think my readership will very much enjoy it and be intrigued by the twists and turns the story takes.
What outside interests do you have?
Boy, not many because at this point in life I really just don’t have time for outside interests. I like being outside, taking walks, hiking, that sort of thing. I enjoy reading when I can stay awake. My wife and I are hooked on BBC shows like Lark Rise to Candleford and
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Well, up until my last novel they’ve all been set in the general area of where I live, southern
or northern Maryland.
Then I set my last book, Frantic, in Maine. I love my local region because it’s a
very rich area, not just in history but in geography. Lots of rolling hills, wooded
land, farmland, small towns, back roads. But favorite place is Maine. We’ve vacationed
there several times and my wife lived there as a child. I can’t get enough of
it. The contrast at the coast between the huge boulders and jagged rocks and
pine trees and the ocean. Small coastal lobstering communities, lighthouses,
lots and lots of forest. Can’t beat it and such a neat place to set a suspense
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Thomas Jefferson. He seems like he’d be such a genuine and thoughtful person, intelligent, courageous, dedicated. I could learn a lot from and glean a lot of inspiration.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How much time you spent doing it and how hard it was to establish yourself in the industry. There are so many authors out there it’s hard to get noticed by readers. It seems most people have the handful of favorite authors and are reluctant to try new writers. I know I may be stepping on some toes here but I’m not alone in my sentiments. Authors are like restaurants, people have their favorites and when they have money to spend they want to stick with what they know and love.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Trust. I have such a tendency to want to manipulate my writing and career, to try to over-manage it, force it this way or that way, instead of just doing my best to write a great story, doing my best to promote it and let people know about it, then getting out of the way and letting God doing His thing.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Continue to improve your craft.
2. Know why you’re writing, your motivations, your inspiration, your purpose
3. Get to know your readers
Tell us about the featured book.
Frantic is the story of a trio of characters on a harried and dangerous journey to discover what it means to really trust. Marny Toogood has lived under a “curse” his entire life and has therefore avoided much contact with people. That is, until he receives a desperate plea for help from Esther Rose, the over-protective sister of William, a boy with cerebral palsy and a very special gift. All three find themselves on the run from Esther and William’s maniacal and possessive “uncle” and wind up somewhere much more dangerous.
Here’s the back cover copy:
Can a deranged serial killer be stopped before it’s too late?
For gas station attendant Marny Toogood it s just another day on the job when an urgent message from a young girl in the backseat of a car draws him into a daring rescue attempt. Now on the run with the girl and her brother, Marny begins to realize he must conquer his own past and surrender all to Christ.
As they face kidnapping, underground cults, and other evils, can Marny trust the simple faith of a child and stand his ground against a power so twisted?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The night Marny Toogood was born it rained axheads and hammer handles.
His grandfather made a prediction, said it was an omen of some sort, that it meant Marny's life would be stormy, full of rain clouds and lightning strikes. Wanting to prove her father wrong, Janie Toogood named her son Marnin, which means "one who brings joy," instead of the Mitchell she and her husband had agreed on.
But in spite of Janie's good intentions, and regardless of what his birth certificate said, Marny's grandfather was right.
At the exact time Marny was delivered into this world and his grandfather was portending a dark future, Marny's father was en route to the hospital from his job at Winden's Furniture Factory where he was stuck working the graveyard shift. He'd gotten the phone call that Janie was in labor, dropped his hammer, and run out of the plant. Fifteen minutes from the hospital his pickup hit standing water, hydroplaned, and tumbled down a steep embankment, landing in a stand of eastern white pines. The coroner said he experienced a quick death; he did not suffer.
One week after Marny's birth his grandfather died of a heart attack. He didn't suffer either.
Twenty-six years and a couple of lifetimes of hurt later, Marny found himself working at Condon's Gas ’n Go and living above the garage in a small studio apartment George Condon rented to him for two hundred bucks a month. It was nothing special, but it was a place to lay his head at night and dream about the dark cloud that stalked him.
How can readers find you on the Internet?They can find me at www.mikedellosso.wordpress.com or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mikedellosso) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/mikedellosso)
Thank you, Mike, for sharing about this story.
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Frantic - paperback
Frantic - Kindle
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