Mike Dellosso is the author of nine novels. He also teaches writing at various conferences and as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College. When Mike isn’t writing or teaching he’s usually spending time with his wife and four daughters.
How to connect with Mike...
Author Interview | Mike Dellosso
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I never wanted to be a writer. In fact, growing up I hated writing. Hated it. But in 1998 something happened that not only pushed me into writing but literally changed my life. My brother-in-law was in a very serious motorcycle accident. As he clung to life I wrestled with God, trying to make sense of such a senseless accident. As a way of coping with my pain, my anger, my hurt, my confusion, I turned to writing. It gave me an outlet, a means to express myself that was safe. And through that experience I fell in love with writing.
...Now, there’s another part to this story. Actually two. The first is that my brother-in-law pulled through and because of God’s grace and healing made a full recovery. The second is that through writing I discovered my voice. I have stuttered since I could talk. Growing up it was a severe disability. I could barely string together three fluent words. Writing gave me a voice, it allowed me to express myself without stuttering. And once that happened, the stuttering improved greatly. It was truly amazing.
What has kept me writing?
...My readers. Literally. Honestly, every book I write I say will be my last. Writing is difficult and takes a lot of time. With a full time job and family I don’t have a lot of time. At times it feels like the payoff just isn’t there. I want to quit. But then I get an email or message from a reader saying how much she enjoyed one of my books, how much it inspired or encouraged or convicted her and then I remember why I write, why God has me doing this thing, and I determine to plug along.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...My favorite book of mine is DARLINGTON WOODS. It was the first book I wrote after battling colon cancer and there’s just a lot of symbolism and deep meaning in the book. It was truly therapeutic to write it and sort through all the emotions and struggles I’d had going through cancer. To this day that book holds a very special place in my heart.
What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...For me, the hardest thing is deadlines. If I miss a deadline it’s usually not by that much but just having that date looming over me is very counter-productive. I feel pressured, stressed, anxious . . . and that makes it difficult to focus on the work at hand, to feel creative and free to write. But the other side is that I can tend to be a procrastinator of sorts and the deadline helps keep me on track.
Tell us a little bit about your book.
...My newest novel is CENTRALIA. It’s a psychological thriller in the tradition of the Jason Bourne series or Shutter Island or Total Recall. There’s intrigue, government conspiracy, action, suspense, and plenty of twists to keep the reader guessing right up to the end. The story is also about family and love and faith. It tackles an important thought: can our faith be taken away from us?
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...That no one can rob you of your faith. Faith resides not only in our minds but in our spirits. The mind can be manipulated, even stolen, but faith remains.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Both. I work full-time in the medical field and meet some very interesting people every day. Some of them become inspiration for a character. Many times settings are inspired by real places. Plots come from news stories, personal stories I’ve heard, my own life. I’m an observer by nature so I’m always watching what’s going on around me, listening, taking mental notes. And much of it becomes fodder for future books. I also have a very active imagination. People ask me about that and I tell them your imagination is like a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it gets. I love to imagine, to make up scenarios in my head, to create situations, people, worlds.
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I have lots of intentions. To entertain the reader, to provoke thought and introspection, to inspire, encourage, and convict. I want my books to glorify God by pointing people to Him or causing readers to think about Him and how He works in our life. My writing has always been about more than just writing and creating stories, it’s about the readers, how they are impacted, what the story means to them, and what kind of influence the story will have on them.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Don’t give up. 100% of published authors didn’t give up. Think about that. It’s obvious but it’s true. Push on. Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep practicing. Discouragement will come, failures will happen, the road is long and rough, but if you just keep walking eventually you’ll reach your destination.
How did you celebrate the 4th of July?
...We went over my parents’ home, had a cook-out, then watched the fireworks in our hometown. Nothing special. Just being with family makes me happy.
How are you making the most of your time this summer for writing and relaxing? Do you do anything different in the summer months?
...Nope. I work full-time so nothing really changes for me in that regard. I try to keep the same writing habits all year long. This summer, though, we are hosting a young lady from an eastern European country. She is really a sweetheart and we are having a blast with her. It’s been an interesting journey so far and has reminded me of how precious family is.
Do you enjoy hot weather or cold better?
...Oh, cold all the way. My favorite months are October, November, and December. Can’t get enough of them. I love long pants and sweatshirt weather! Changing leaves, the holiday season, cool crisp air. It’s the best.
Thanks so much for being my guest today Mike! Your journey to writing is truly amazing. I love how God uses anything and everything to draw us to Him. I am right there with you about deadlines...as I post this I have a few looming ahead myself. Your advice to writers is fantastic as well - simple but so true: don't give up! And I am with you all the way on the cold weather. Is it Fall yet?
Thanks again Mike and readers, make sure you comment here to enter to win one of 2 copies!!! Share away on social media too - I love being sociable and I'll retweet, comment, and like it all :)
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For Beth K Vogt's Crazy Little Thing Called Love we have...
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