Interview with D A Bale, author of Running into the Darkness

Publish Date: November 3, 2011

Order Links:  Kindle / Nook / Smashwords

Running into the Darkness Book Summary: Death follows Dr. Samantha Bartlett throughout her life until it claims everyone close to her. There's one powerful man responsible on whom Samantha sets her sights for revenge. The price is her soul. For centuries, sex has been the weapon of it's her turn.

“I never intended to kill the President. As a doctor, I swore an oath to protect life – not take it. But that was before...”

Second year resident, Dr. Samantha Bartlett, is swept from the frigid New York winter to once again confront the sting of death back home – and face those she left behind. But she’s not alone. A strange man she dubs Shades haunts her every step as she seeks answers to the inferno which claimed her grandmother, an eerie reminder of her parents’ deaths. The secrets Samantha uncovers forever changes her image of those she only thought she knew.

Confronted by Shades, Samantha joins a secret underworld known only as the Elite, where a web of power and control is woven deep within governments worldwide. Their sights are set on the power structure of the United States, and Samantha becomes the unlikely key to infiltrating the White House at its most intimate levels.

The quest for blood threatens to destroy Samantha. From the darkness there is no escape.

D A Bale's Bio: Sometimes life emulates fiction.

Life is filled with tragedy and Ms. Bale's writing reflects this reality. However, there is always a silver lining...even if one must spend their entire life searching for it.

In her previous career, Ms. Bale traveled the United States as a Government Relations Liaison, working closely with Congressional offices and various government agencies. This experience afforded her a glimpse into the sometimes "not so pretty" reality of the political sphere. Much of this reality and various locations throughout her travels make it into her writing.

She dreams of the day she can return to visit Alaska.

Interview: 1.    Please tell us about your current release.

DAB:    Running into the Darkness is the first in the Deepest Darkness series – and it pretty much lives up to the title.  It presents a question all of us have faced or will face in one form or another – how far would you be willing to go to exact vengeance?  Dr. Samantha Bartlett has dealt with reality’s harshness from a young age, and it has made her bitter and angry with the world and most everyone in it.  But the past is not content to let her rest and seemingly unconnected circumstances force her into taking matters into her own hands.  Her choices, coupled with the decisions of secondary players, place her on a dark path and set about actions she must undertake that she neither wanted nor saw coming.  Vengeance ultimately imprisons her.

2.    Can you tell us about the journey that led you to writing?

DAB:  Oh gosh, it’s been a lifelong process.  After being introduced to Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians (also known as And Then There Were None) in sixth grade, I started writing my own little murder mystery on my mom and dad’s ANCIENT typewriter (peck, peck, peck).  I quickly overcomplicated it and never finished that particular piece, but from that time on I wanted nothing more than to become an author (well, and a wife and mother someday, but that’s beside the point).  Throughout junior high and high school, I consistently earned high marks for my writing assignments, stories, and research papers with comments from my instructors many times saying they felt like they were actually “there” in regard to my descriptive style.

Then life happened.  For most of my early adult years, I neither read nor wrote unless it was something work-related.  My career took me many wonderful places and afforded me the opportunity to meet some pretty incredible people – and also to see the dark side of humanity crouching unexpectedly in the shadows.  Reality left me quite jaded for a time.  Then I picked up the “pen” again and started writing.

3.    If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your current release?

DAB:    Not a thing.  I worked far too many years crafting the initial storyline of Running into the Darkness, developing the characters and “living” with them that they feel just about right.  Plus, I had far too many drafts of RITD to ever want to create another one.  The cover is really good, but if I changed anything at all it would be to just tweak it a bit and maybe add a background image of the White House or Congressional building in DC.  Kinda got that idea after deciding to add a background image of Moscow State University’s Main Building to the second book in the series, Piercing the Darkness.  The third book will have a background image too, but I’m not set to reveal that yet. :-)

4.    What is the hardest part of writing for you?

DAB:  Finding the time to write!  It seems I have too many irons in the fire at various times in my life.  Unfortunately, 2013 has become one of those “irons in the fire” years thus far, and I’m getting my dander up about it a bit.  Stress and I don’t like each other very much. :-)  Last year I made a very concerted effort to drop as many distractions as I could to allow for an almost total writing focus.  It was very productive, writing wise, but now I’ve gotta restock the financial coffers a bit.  Plus my son is still at home and needs dear old mom to give him at least a smattering of attention from time-to-time.  He’s been such a trooper through the last couple of years.

I’d say then, after the novel is done, the next most difficult is writing that little book jacket synopsis/book description.  Trying to take a complex novel and condense it into a couple of paragraphs that tell enough of the story without giving it all away – AND whet the potential readers’ appetites to click that “BUY NOW” button – that’s hard stuff, let me tell you!  I write a bunch of stuff down and then cull, cull, cull, send it back and forth to my critique group members, cull some more, until I get something halfway decent.  Then I set it aside for a few days and start the whole process over again.  I’m never happy with the book description, but at some point you just have to say “DONE”.

5.    Do you have a musical playlist you listen to while writing?  If so, what kind of music?

DAB:    Nine times out of ten I listen to movie soundtracks.  Hans Zimmer is one of my favorite composers, so I have a lot of his works from movies on which he’s collaborated.  Running into the Darkness was heavily influenced by the “Batman Begins” soundtrack, which also featured James Newton Howard (another favorite composer).  Steve Jablonsky reminds me a lot of Zimmer in his “Transformers” soundtrack, which I’ve used at times.  There was one particular song from the “Spiderman” soundtrack (Danny Elfman) that fit a very sad and poignant moment in Running.  I found myself tearing up while writing this scene to that song, and it meant a lot to me when several people from my writer’s group confessed to me they started tearing up and/or crying in this same scene.  Music can take me to deep emotional places when nothing else can.  It also helps prime the pump when I’m having a bit of a writing dry spell.

6.    What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

DAB:    Hmmm – not sure it’s really that interesting but maybe it IS quirky.  I keep notebooks and notepads all over my house so when I have an idea for my book(s) I can write it down before the thought escapes.  I keep a small one in my purse and have been known to be writing in it while careening at 65/70 down the highway in rush hour traffic (don’t tell the police, please!).  Of course, when I’m trying to find where I wrote that really great scene, it can take awhile to dig through everything.

7.    Do you plan any subsequent books?

DAB:  Late last year I released the sequel eBook to Running – Piercing the Darkness.  The third in the series will be released either late 2013 or mid-2014 (probably closer to the later, the way things are right now) and will complete the Deepest Darkness series.  I’m going to take my time finishing this last one, just to ensure all of the loose ends are properly tied up.  I do not want to rush it just to get something released.

8.    Please tell us your latest news.

DAB:    Somewhere in there I’m hopefully going to finish the fan requested sequel to my very long short story, The Study.  It’s presented a bit of a challenge.  Then I’ve got several other novels in various stages and a whole crop of new ideas just waiting for me to find the time.  One of these new ideas is something really different than what I’ve ever done before, but it has me really intrigued to explore the characters a bit more.  It’s going to take me in a more paranormal direction – but definitely NOT into the vampire/werewolf territory.  Think ghost hunters or something like that.

9.    Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

DAB:    As always, a HUGE thank you for taking a chance on reading my work.  I’ve been overwhelmed by the kind comments, reviews, and correspondence from readers around the globe.  Knowing that so many of you “get” my stories and actually enjoy them makes all of the work soooo worthwhile.  Your support has been the encouragement that keeps me writing.  Now tell your friends!

Thanks also to The Bibliophilic Book Blog for hosting me on this leg of my Tribute Books blog tour.  I hope to “see” you again soon.

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