Interview with Sarah Dieng (author of Deadly Dreams – A Death Walker Novel)
Interviewed by: Mary Pruitt
What made you want to become a writer and why?
I have always loved to read and writing always came easy to me. Having a very vivid imagination helped too. It seems that my imagination decided to become written form. I always have a story lingering in my brain. Most are half formed, or there are a few sentences of dialogue. Some are even long stories based on something I have seen, read or heard. Around 20 years ago, and that sounds like a long time to me, I tried to get a short story I wrote printed. Of course I was turned down. Back then I didn’t know much about writing other than that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a journalist and for awhile I did do that too. I had an English teacher tell me that I articulated better in writing than actually verbalizing. That kind of sounds like criticism, but I took it as a compliment because I know I am not good at public speaking. In High School I always excelled in writing so I took that as a hint of what I needed to focus on.
It’s the popular thing now. I only started reading it myself a couple of years ago. I realized that YA fiction was just as good as and sometimes better than adult fiction.
How hard was it to write a YA novel?
Being an adult it’s sometimes hard to relate with teens today. It’s been so long since I was one and back then things were so much different than they are now. Reading YA novels has helped some. I am used to writing adult fiction so toning down that insight wasn’t all that hard.
Is this a series?
Yes, there will be four books all together.
How did the idea for Deadly Dreams come about?
To tell you the truth I don’t entirely remember, but I think it started with the idea of the first dream sequence and then the sentence that Danielle thinks, “It’s always disconcerting when I actually wake up after one and realize I am still alive.” Sometimes my ideas for a book start with just one sentence that pops up in my mind, one that I have to write down immediately before I forget it.
Describe the characters in Deadly Dreams?
Danielle and Mitch are both fifteen years old and are orphans that live in a state orphanage with a house mother and five other kids. They are the main characters.The “twins” as Danielle calls them are Goth teenage girls and there are also three other boys. Danielle and Mitch are both juniors in high school only because they both skipped a grade because they were advanced in their learning. Danielle is the one that has the nightmares of darkness and death and Mitch is her best friend and protector.
Without giving too much away, can you tell me a little bit about it?
Danielle has nightmares and has had them since she was really young. The nightmares show her death and darkness and the older she gets the closer she comes to getting sucked into them. Also the older she gets the more she sees and learns and once she figures it out she is seriously tested. Mitch is her best friend and protector and helps her in her quest to find out why she is having them and can they stop whatever is coming before it’s too late.
When is the second book coming out?
I am hoping to have it out in the Winter of 2011.
Can you tell me what the second book is about?
It starts where the first left off, with Danielle learning more about herself and her nightmares. It has some romance, some mystery with a few twists and turns.
Do you have any other books in the works?
I do. I have a couple of adult fiction books that I started and never finished. I will continue to work on at least one them after the Death Walker series is complete.
Your cover is beautiful and from reading the book myself, expresses the story line wonderfully. How do you pick out your covers?
Thanks, I thought so too. As to how…I search for a picture that catches my eye and when it does it usually strikes a chord with me emotionally. As soon as I see it, I think, that is the one. It will usually be a picture that not only goes with the story line, but portrays the characters feelings in the book in some way.