by Oliver Dahl
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Salem Massachusetts, 1692: Tituba curses two young girls, but Ann Putnam Jr. isn't one of them. In order to help save her friends, Ann develops a plan to accuse the remaining supposed witches of Salem. As the death count rises, each lie buries her deeper and deeper under a curse of her own doing. This tragic experience of guilt, abuse, power, and love gives a first-person view into the spine-chilling months where neighbor turned on neighbor at the word of a little girl.
As part of his release launch, Oliver has graciously allowed me to pick his brain and share with you what I found! Keep scrolling for a quick peek into the life of a thrice published 16 year old!
Interview with Oliver Dahl
1. You're only 16, and I'm so amazed at your talent already. When did you first start writing?
Thank you! I first started writing in early elementary school. I would staple together little drawn-on packets of printer paper with some scribbled captions. Then I learned how to type and use a computer. I originally started writing because I loved to read. I wanted to write a book that was perfectly tailored to me. I still try to do this today--by writing the kinds of books that I want to read.
2. What author has had the most influence on your writing?
There's more than one! First would be Suzanne Collins, whose "Underland Chronicles" originally inspired me to be serious about actually writing a book. Another would be DJ Machale, whose fantastic world-building skills are evident in his "Pendragon" Series. Finally, the next biggest one would be Rick Riordan. His character's quirky, sarcastic, and realistic voices have notable similarities to those in my "Dreamers Adventures" Series.
3. What advice would you give to other teenagers who aspire to be authors?
The first thing would be to write. Just write. Get a draft down, no matter how lousy you think it is. (I give this same advice to everyone who asks this question). After that, you can worry about it being good. Another thing would be to practice. Just like anything else, you get better at writing by practicing. Oh, and join this facebook group! www.facebook.com/groups/
4. How difficult is it to juggle being a "normal" teenager and published author?
It can be pretty difficult. I wish I could clone myself and have 'one of me' focus solely on school, and the 'other me' on being an author. I would much rather spend time writing books than essays, and at book signings rather than hustling between classes. School's been getting a little harder this year, and it's a challenge. Having to prioritize grades over something I'm much more passionate about isn't easy.
5. Chocolate or vanilla?
Nine times out of ten, chocolate.
6. Which TV show would you most want to promote Lies on?
As in like a talk show? Ellen's a pretty fun lady. Jimmy Fallon is hilarious. I'd love to see a cameo (like the book sitting on a shelf somewhere) on a show like Sherlock, The Walking Dead, Arrow... I would say Breaking Bad but it's over. So maybe the Better Call Saul spinoff? :)
7. Lastly, what's next for you? Any new books in the works?
I'm working on one right now currently called "Beneath." It takes place under the catacombs of Paris, where a kid is kidnapped by the people who live there. It's a really different, almost weird book, like a twisted Alice in Wonderland inspired by Suzanne Collin's "Underland Chronicles." You can learn more about what I have so far at www.oliverdahl.com/beneath
Read my review of Lies here.