Although her reading tastes are varied, her writing tends to be the highly imaginative, interweaving of Science Fiction and Fantasy where she forges tales that also take on an Action Adventure feel. After over thirty years of writing, she still loves her journeys to unknown places, meeting unheard-of peoples.
Dale also loves her family, friends and the wonderful people who read her stories. She enjoys the Australian bush, and loves learning about photography and gardening.
What inspires you to write?
I love going into imagined worlds and meeting imagined peoples and/or aliens, creatures, magicians, kings, queens, and so much more. It’s the grandest of all types of escapism, pure and simple. Of course, reading is also great escapism, but then I’m reading other writers imaginings. Great stuff, and while I enjoy my time in their worlds, I still love to be surprised by my own.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a sometime pantser, sometimes plotter. Sometimes I just have an idea and have to get it down before it goes away, but it’s usually not a fully fleshed out story, so then I will think about what will happen next and make notes like a plotter would do. I think about stories in groups of four or quarters. Sometimes I know the ending at this stage and sometimes I just go with the flow of the quarters until I approach the end of the third part.
First I think about the beginning quarter especially with characterisation, what the characters want out the story and what or who will stop them from gaining that want. I need to know what will happen if the character/s don’t get what they want at this stage. The end of this part, the character will decide or be persuaded to do something or go somewhere.
Next is the second quarter, which takes the story to the middle. A lot happens here and it is great fun. However, to keep my characters from running around all over the place willy nilly, I need to know how the story changes in the middle. So, I’ll figure that out before I start writing. It’s a matter of character tries to get what he wants, fails and tries again until the middle.
In the middle something usually happens to force my character to rethink his goals and who to get them. Here is where he/she might set out on a new want or change the way he goes about getting the same want. Then we’re off again, trying, failing, collecting clues etc.
The fourth quarter is where all the good stuff happens, the character finally works out how he is going to achieve his want and sets out to obtain it. There is always a major battle or little battles leading up to the major one no matter the genre. The battles can be as simple as arguing/debating until he/she wins or settles a dispute or an all out war. No matter, the win is always going to be a big deal to the character. Then it’s a round up of the story and The End.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Sometimes I’ll just keep writing and let the characters show me what they want or where they’re going, other times I will sit and ask them how, why, what questions and scribble down the answers. I love the ‘what if’ questions like: Q: What if so and so goes here? A: But he can’t go there, so and so will be there. Q: What if he finds the letter. A: If he can read it, he’ll know where to go. If he can’t read the language then he’ll have to find someone who can read it. – See? Each answer will lead to the next scene.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write, write, write is the obvious answer to gain experience and speed. But also, write what you love which is usually the kind of books you are drawn into reading without being pushed. And when you’re writing, go with your gut. Allow the story to evolve and sometimes let it change directions. Even if it’s the wrong direction, you haven’t lost anything because you will have gained a deeper understanding of character, setting etc plus, writing skills. It’s all learning experience and you will never, never stop learning.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After a great Letter of Recommendation from my first assessor/editor, a 1990 Miles Franklin Award winner, I submitted to a few agents. One of the best Australian agents asked for more of the story after I queried, then more again after they read it. However, they still declined with the usual, this isn’t right for us at the moment stuff. An Australian publisher actually read an entire novel, said they enjoyed it but again, it wasn’t right for their lists at present. Self-publishing was just taking flight and while I sat on my books longer than I should have, I finally decided I wanted somebody to at least have the chance of reading my scribblings.
It’s been hard, but I’m coming to grips with, and learning, all the work an indie has to do for themselves. I can’t do everything of course, there’s editing, covers, formatting etc I need to pay others to do, but I understand and use social media, have a website, blog and try to pay it forward to writers as much as I can.
I’m probably slower than most at publishing because it can get expensive but I love it. I love being able to do, well, do what I like really.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe, publishing is going to get more exciting for indies in the future and I’m glad I made the decision to self-publish.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: I’ve published Science Fiction/Fantasy,Teen &Young Adult so far. However, I do write, Romance, Children’s Fiction, Horror and short stories.
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Both eBook and Print