Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Q&A with author K.J. Dahlen

K.J. Dahlen is the author of 14 mystery/thriller novels, including The Prophet.  

After a three year search for a serial killer known as the Prophet, FBI agents Michael Roane and Rheta Morgan; both who have personal reasons for wanting to stop the Prophet, finally get a break and the Prophet is within their reach. Confrontation with The Prophet leads them to discover a secret network called “The New Brotherhood.” The more they find out about The New Brotherhood the more determined they are to stop it once and for all. When the Prophet takes Rheta and Michael’s sister hostage the race is on to free the hostages and bring the Prophet and The Brotherhood down.

K.J. Dahlen lives in a small town (population 495) in Wisconsin. From her deck she can see the Mississippi River on one side and the bluffs, where eagles live and nest on the other side. She lives with her husband Dave and dog Sammy. Her two children are grown and two grandchildren and for that fact she feels blessed. She loves to watch people and that has helped her with her writing. She loves to create characters and put them in a troubling situation and just sit back and let them do all the work. They surprise even her at times. They take on a life of their own and the twists and turns become a story. She found she liked mystery/thrillers the best. She likes to keep her readers guessing until the very end of the book.
Web site:
She is on Facebook and Twitter as kjdahlen

How did you end up writing fiction? Is it what you planned to do, or did it happen more by accident?
I’ve wanted to be a writer from a very young age. I love reading and I wanted people to read my stories. If I can take my reader on an adventure with my work or even get them to turn the next page then I’ve done my job.

How do you classify your books? Is there something all of them have in common?
The one thing my books have in common is the evil vs the good thing. Evil may exist in the world but the good always wins. My characters may struggle to find the evil and vanquish it but they always find a way to right the wrong. 

Your books seem pretty "edgy." Why do you like to write about dangerous situations?
Because at some point the characters take over and I like to see what they are going to do.  I usually write from an outline at least I start out that way but often I veer off at some point. I usually know how I want my book to end but how I get to the end is anybody’s guess.

Who is your favorite of your characters, and why?
I like them all. Each has his/her job and they do it very well. I created them to be their own person, at least in my mind they are real and I try to give them each a little piece of myself or people that I know well.

Is there a certain thing about your books that makes them stand out, something that makes them better than other, similar books?
I try to put some unique twists and turns in all my books that my readers might not be expecting.  My beta readers get mad at me because they can’t put the book down until they are done.

Do you plot your books carefully, or do you wing it? Something in between?
I start out with a detailed outline but usually end up with something entirely different. It goes that way sometimes. 

What do you do to get in the mood to write?
I’m lucky enough not to have to work outside my home, my kids are grown up and don’t live with us anymore so I have all day to write. Sometimes getting into a story is no problem and sometimes I avoid writing all together.  A large cup of coffee and a cigarette is usually all I need. But I am trying to quit smoking so coffee will just have to do.

If you had to pick a movie or TV show that's most like your book(s), what would it be?
A show like NCIS. Each of the 30 minute shows are different, yet the good guys always get their man!

What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
When my old boss Lola came into her office and yelled at me because she didn’t get to sleep until 1 am. She’d been reading one of my first books and she couldn’t put it down. Or when my friend Tessi said she stayed up most of the night reading just one more page…

What's your favorite book (of yours) that's out right now?
Bones was my first print book so that holds sentimental value and while I like them all I think I like The Prophet the best. It’s only one third the whole story but I put it in the town I grew up in and the places and people in the story are places and people I grew up with.

What are you working on now?
I’ve outlined so many new books I really have my choice but I think I’ll restart the second book in this series called The Covenant.  It takes up when The Prophet leaves off and takes the story to a whole new level.

Who is your favorite writer?
There are so many I wouldn’t know who to choose. James Patterson, John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark and so many others. They all have a story to tell and they do it very well. There are a few new writers I like too, Bruce Satre, McKensie S Heart and others. I enjoy any good writer that has a story to tell.
If you couldn't write, is there some other kind of art you would do?
I think I would be lost if I couldn’t write. I could at one point draw but that was before I picked up a pen.

Did you do well in school? Do you think any of your teachers are surprised that you're a writer?
I hated math but loved English but I don’t know if any of my teachers , or class mates even know I write

Go here to check out the rest of K.J.Dahlen's books.


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