31 Days of Author Madness: M. Dalto

The Fiver:

1. What is your writing process?

I don’t know if I actually have a process when it comes to writing. I don’t outline my stories, and plan very little once an idea comes to me. Only once I start writing a story do I then consider where I want it go- it’s backwards but it works. Just so long as I have enough coffee and/or wine, a good playlist on Spotify, and the occasional quiet time to think, I could spend hours working on a new project. And when it does come time to planning out the rest of my ideas for it, I always write the ending first – I need to know where I want to story to go, even if I don’t end up there immediately or directly. Otherwise, I’m a pantser to the finest degree and I let my characters lead the way!

2. What inspires you to write?

There are a select few things that can inspire me to write. First- a song, or more importantly, a particular lyric from said song. But for example, TWO THOUSAND YEARS was inspired by the Bill Joel song of the same name. When I first heard it, I knew that there was the makings of something fantastical within those words, and though it took me a long time to actually start to write it, when I did it flowed from me like the notes on sheet music. Second- a picture. If I can find a work of art that tells a story great enough, it could be enough to spark something new. Recently, I had a friend once make me a book cover with a random title, give it to me sight unseen, and it’s since become a new dark fantasy story I’m loving. You never know where or when inspiration can hit, so best to run with it and see where it goes!

3. Writing is considered a dream job by many, but what if you were granted the opportunity for a true, magical ‘dream job’. What would it be and why?

Believe it or not, writing is not a dream job of mine. It’s an enjoyable, part-time pastime, yes, but I don’t think I could ever do it for a living. Unless, of course, we’re taking 7-figure book deals, then I’ll do anything you want me to! But no- seriously, always wanted to be an attorney, and I was almost there too! But time, and money, got in the way and I never made it to law school. But I think that’s the one thing I would want to do the most – be a lawyer. A criminal justice attorney. I would love to go all Law & Order in a court room… but again, this is just a dream, and the chance of this ever happening in my lifetime is zero to none. But it is nice to dream!

4. You are standing on a stage, addressing a high school auditorium of teenage creative writers. What advice would you impart to them about the craft and the career path of being a writer?

The best bit of advice I would give anyone at any point in their lives is Write For Yourself. Write for yourself. There are so many writers out there who thing they need to limit themselves as to what they can, or should, write, whether it’s because they want to ensure they can sell it off to the highest bidder, or that they’re more concerned about people reading it than actually writing it. They just need to remember once you start writing for anyone other than yourself, you begin to lose a bit of the heart and soul that your writing deserves. You’ll lose what makes it yours- what will make it stand out above all the others. And that is what’s most important – remembering that it is yours, and you did it for you. And only you.

5. You’re stranded in a snowed in cabin, well stocked up on food, but no internet. What is on your emergency book shelf?

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas will always have a home on any bookshelf of mine. Other than that, I would have it stocked with some of the many books I have but haven’t even read yet- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat, Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, and Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, just to name a few.

Where to find her:

Any other news or updates you would like to share?

My debut novel, TWO THOUSAND YEARS, is being published through The Parliament House and will be available at the end of the year! Be sure to follow me on the social media outlet of your choosing for all the updates!


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