An interview with L.A. Dalston

We sat down with author L.A. Dalston to learn more about her writing.

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As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

As a child, I’ve always wanted to be an actress and writer. I wrote skits in the 4th grade, and during indoor recess, my friends and I would perform.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In the 9th grade, I handed in a short story as my final exam. I got an A.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I like to read. I’m a bit of a gym-rat, and travel whenever I can.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I think what surprised me most was being able to complete a book. It still surprises me whenever I finish a project. 

Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?

Keep writing. Always read. Don’t give up.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’m obsessive-compulsive. My work space has to be organized a certain way with no distractions. I’m a fanatic with sticky notes. There’s so much in my head that I have to write things down to keep track; the notes are like my external hard drive. 

What is the most difficult part of the writing process?

The most difficult part of the writing process for me is the final format. Being a self-published author you do everything from start to finish, and it can get overwhelming.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Ideas pop in my head, whether through a dream, driving in my car, or on a hike. I keep a notebook on my nightstand because in the middle of the night I’ll wake up and jot down something in the dark. I have notebooks with blurbs, pages that only have one or two sentences about a possible idea for a book, and then I have dream journals.

What do you think makes a good story?

Having the right character in the right book makes a good story.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Absolutely. When it does occur, I try not to overthink and go for a walk, or divert my attention to another project. It’s important to keep writing, even if you have nothing to write.