Dale Alderman [dalevt84]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
As a kid, I always loved suspense and thrillers. I guess that's why I tend to write horror novels now. I was also heavily into superheroes, which explains why I wrote The MegaDog Tales - a middle grade adventure book about a dog who becomes a superhero.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
All of my books can be found on Amazon.com:
and Barnes & Noble:
and my publisher's web site:
My humor books are: "Everyday Dad" and "Big White Panties"
My middle grade book is: "The MegaDog Tales: Unleash the Power" which is the first in a series of 10 books.
My horror books are published under a pen name, Joel Eden, and they are: "Lazarus Kaine" and Gevaudan."
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I always know where I want the story to go before I write. I can't just start typing and meander all over the place. I create an outline and I usually stick pretty close to it. I write about 1,000 words a day. Morning is my best time to write.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
I like to read Dave Barry for humor. He's the gold standard. For horror, it's Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Interesting, flawed characters are the key to a good story. Without good characters, the story is boring. Conflict is a necessary element as well as a bad guy without a conscience.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
First person doesn't allow you to get in the heads of other characters and see their perspectives. I never write in first person for my novels - always third.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Dave Barry, David Sedaris, George Carlin, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Thomas Harris.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Flaws - both physical and emotional. Perfect characters are boring.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for me. If you try to write for other people, you'll fail.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Sure. It's cathartic. Plus you can kill and maul people without going to jail.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Sometimes. I like to hear what people think is funny or exciting, but I don't pay attention to reviews.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Only my wife. No one else.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I'm a Southern boy, so my writing style reflects my background. I've been called a "Blue Collar" author. If that puts me anywhere close to Jeff Foxworthy, then I'm happy.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I write at least 1,000 words a day.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
All I need is my golden retriever, Gracie, and a cup of coffee.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I have a Master's Degree in Information Systems, so I'm a geek. I never print out my writing. Everything is done on the computer.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I don't participate in writing groups. Sharing anything about my manuscripts doesn't interest me at all. You have to trust yourself and your editor. Other people will try to force their opinions on you and all that will do is screw you up.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Publishers have pre-set ideas on what they're looking to put on the market. If you fit into their mold - fine. If you don't, they're not interested in you at all.
What are you working on now?
I'm about to release my 2nd Joel Eden novel, "Gevaudan" in May. I'm also writing the next MegaDog book, "The Eye of Anubis" and I've started to work on my 3rd Joel Eden novel, "Cry of the Wampus Cat."
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Finish them, hire a good editor to clean them up for you, and submit them to agents and publishers.