Based near Augusta, Georgia, Dyal is an avid reader and enjoys all genres, but especially mystery, suspense, and thrillers. Her novel, The Artisan, is available on Amazon. It's the first of several books in her new Artistic Assassin series.
1. How did you first become interested in writing?
I wrote a lot of poems when I was eight or nine and won some sort of prize in school for one of them. I remember that encouraging me. But I've been scribbling in notebooks since I can remember.
I first got into journalism--writing magazine articles--about 20 years ago. The whole time I was toying with fiction on the side.
What they say about it taking 10 thousand hours to become an expert at something is very true with writing, except with me it took 20 thousand hours.
I wrote and threw away a full mystery novel that I called "Murder on the Half Shell" about 15 years ago. It was truly atrocious--and unspeakably therapeutic--lol. But I'm used to failing my way to success, so I kept at it.
2. How do you balance your writing work with your work as a restaurant owner?
The restaurant owner part is easier than being a mom with seven kids. Being a homeschool mom is the really tough job. We have awesome general managers who run the restaurants; my husband is more of a comptroller, and I handle the marketing. We both work out of our home on the lake.
As far as time management, because of my busy life, I usually have only five to seven writing days a month. But when I write, I write crazy fast. Sometimes I use Dragon Dictate, and that speeds me up even more.
When I start the early editing process, not with my editor Judy in New York, but really early when I'm using several proofreaders on fiverr.com, I run it through a minimum of three or four editors at once.
Then I use multiple computer screens and run through all their edits at once. Not only is it time saving, but it helps me to see a consensus. Plus it keeps me from wasting time pushing commas back and forth, because much of editing varies according to perspective.
I'm feeding them pages right now. It's really fun, getting them to guess what comes next.
3. Your book, The Artisan, is described as a thriller, but with comedic elements. What distinguishes your book from other thrillers?
Humor is something I can't seem to help. I'm a naturally smart aleck. But it actually enhances the drama. Like an emotional judo flip.
I wrote a popular humor book under another name called Fish Gutting For Newlyweds.
I'm not sure how to explain my humorous bad guys, Gunter and Antonio. They are a lot of fun for me to write, but hard to control. They kept trying to take over the whole book.
4. What was your process like in writing The Artisan (was it fun and/or challenging and/or...?)?
I loved it!! I really and truly have a blast while I'm writing. And I attack my laptop like a leopard going after a hunk of raw meat. It's not pretty, but I like it.
5. What at writing projects are you currently working on--and what are you currently reading in your free time?
I'm knee deep in the second book of this series. I have five in the Artistic Assassin Series outlined already.
That's another key to writing fast, knowing where you're going in the book. I do all my outlining on my iPhone--then I email it to myself. It works great for me, because when I get a cool idea, I can just pick up my phone and etch in the changes.
I'm finishing up The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (brilliant), and I was half way though Digital Disruption (awesome) when I decided to re-read Waiting for Your Cat to Bark.
Last week I read a Brad Thor thriller, The Black List (loved it) and I read Lee Child's Without Fail--I love Lee Child; he writes more like an American thriller writer than most American thriller writers.
The other night I was up with a sick kid and read two books by J. Goldberg about online income. I'm using her books as part of a homeschool course I'm teaching my teens this coming fall.
I guess you could say I read kind of crazy fast as well. My Kindle makes it way too easy.