Sunday, July 12, 2009

An Interview with Patrick Dilloway

Hi readers! We're happy to bring you an interview today from author Patrick Dilloway. Thank you for joining us...

1. How long have you been writing to get published and what do you think finally garnered your success at it?

I’ve been writing stories since about third grade. Around seventh grade was when I really started writing novel-length stories. But what I think made me a better writer was in reading good books. It’s so important if you want to be the best to read the best. If you read garbage, well, then garbage in, garbage out as they say.

2. What inspires your story ideas?

Anything can inspire my ideas. A name, a title, a character, or a basic premise. Basically how the story developed was that in watching news coverage of Prop 8 in California and similar measures around the country, I started to get mad. So I decided to write a story about gay marriage, but I didn’t want it to be a preachy stump speech on the subject; I wanted it to still be a story. It occurred to me one day: what if there was a guy so terrible at marriage that he couldn’t make it work with either sex? That’s how it all started. From there I just expanded on this idea that some marriages are just not going to work not because of the genitals of those involved, but because they aren’t compatible for each other spiritually. To me, that’s what’s most important in any marriage.

3. How did you come up with your title?

The original title was No Matter Who You Are, after a Bob Seger song. But when I was working up the second draft, I decided that the theme-like substance for this version would be that Frost wants to find Where He Belongs.

4. Do you use visual aids to help you write? If so, what kind?

No, not usually. I did consult some maps in the library, which was especially important for the opening scene where Frost and his mother are on an Iowa highway. The map helped me figure out which highway they would be on.

5. Do you relate more with the hero or heroine in your stories?

I like to think I relate to all my characters in some way.

6. Whose POV do you like to write your love scenes from the most and why?

I don’t really like writing love scenes any more than the rest of the novel. It’s all part of the whole to me.

7. Describe the hero and heroine of your current release.

The three main characters are Frost Devereaux, an orphan whose face is scarred in the accident that killed his mother and later becomes a writer. In kindergarten he befriends twins: Frankie Maguire, a free spirit who becomes a crusader for gay rights, and her brother Frank Maguire, who is far more uptight and becomes a big-time financial guru. These three lives intersect over the next thirty years. Frost is at first drawn to one of the twins and then later the other.

8. Is there wiggle room for a sequel and do you have plans to write one?

I suppose there could be a sequel since Frost doesn’t die. I don’t think I’d write one.

9. What are you up to now? Do you have an upcoming release you'd like to share a little info on?

Right now I’m working on a story called “Liberation Front,” which is probably just a working title. It’s an old-school alien invasion story, with one difference: the “Martians” invading are actually human colonists returning to the home world. It’s a complete 180 I suppose from Where You Belong, but I’ve always thought that a writer should have a little variety just to keep from getting stagnant.

10. Tell us something we'd be surprised to know about you.

Since we don’t know each other I suppose everything would be a surprise.

11. What is your favorite fictional love scene of all time (can be literary or film)?

I have no idea. They’re all equally awesome.

12. What can readers expect to see from you in the next few years?

I’m not really sure. I don’t think about this stuff too far ahead, pretty much just go whichever way the wind blows me. I just hope that I’ll have some more really good ideas that can equally or exceed Where You Belong, which is easily the best thing I’ve ever written.

Thanks for having me on and asking such interesting questions.


Orphaned at an early age, the closest people in Frost Devereaux's life are the free-spirited Frankie Maguire and her conniving twin brother Frank. Over the years Frost's life takes him from the lush fields of the Mideast to the burning heat of the desert to the sparkling promise of Manhattan. His heart, though, never strays far from the two people who have meant the most to him. Ultimately, Frost must decide where—and with whom—he belongs.


I wake up again and the hand is gone, but I’m not alone. I sense a figure lurking in the shadows, hovering there like a ghost. I think at first it’s my mother; unable to speak I revert back to babyhood and whimper in what I hope is a reassuring fashion. The figure, caught, shuffles forward and I see it’s not my mother—it’s my father.

“Hey, kid,” he says. “How you feeling?”

This is a stupid question as I’m in a hospital bed, surrounded by machines with my face wrapped in bandages. He hesitates before taking the seat next to my bed. For what could be a minute or an hour he sits there, staring at me as he searches for something to say.

“It’s too bad about your mother,” he says.

Though not quite four, I understand this means something terrible has happened. I whimper again, this time mournfully. This rattles my father; he twitches uncomfortably in the chair. He doesn’t want to be there and I don’t want him there; I want Mommy. My father was only the man who lived in our barn.

His hand reaches out to touch my forehead, but his skin is sweaty and warm, not the cool, soothing presence of my other visitor’s. I try to move my head to shake it away only to find I can’t. “I’m not going to hurt you, kid,” he says. His hand moves across my forehead to the bandages. He peels these back gently and then leans close to me so that he can see what lies underneath. Whatever it is causes him to quickly pull his hand back, letting the bandages fall into place again.

“Oh shit,” he whispers into the darkness. I’m too young to know the meaning of this expression. Still, from his tone of voice I gather something’s wrong and whimper again. “It’s all right, kid,” he says, trying to sound cheerful. I know he’s lying. I know things aren’t going to be all right. Not ever again.

My father pats my left hand with his. “Hang in there, kid,” he says. He backs away until the shadows swallow him again. He pauses for a moment before making a decision. The door clicks shut. I wait a moment for him to come back, but he doesn’t. Not ever again.

1 comment:

Teresa Reasor said...

Thank you for joining us here on Inspiration-Ink.
Your book sounds like a very touching story and like your character has to do a lot of growing to get to where he belongs.
Good luck with it!!! I hope you sell a bunch.
Teresa R.

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