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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Interview & Giveaway! Mike Dellosso ~ Author of Frantic!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Mike! Will you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Melanie, well, I'm turning 40 this year. In some ways I feel much younger than that but in other ways I swear I must be hitting 50. My wife and I are also celebrating 15 years of marriage this year. I have four daughters and work full-time in physical therapy. Writing is a passion of mine but right now one I can only do on a part-time basis. I do my writing in the early morning while everyone else is still sleeping. That way it doesn't interfere with family time and responsibilities. I'm also a cancer survivor, been free of colon cancer now for 4 years. God has blessed me in more ways than I deserve and I just want to honor him with the ability and opportunity he's given me to write.

 What is Frantic about?

Frantic is about Marny Toogood, a regular guy thrust into an extraordinary circumstance. He embarks on a mission to rescue Esther and her little brother William from their deranged and overly-possessive "uncle," Gary. What he doesn't realize is that the evil that lurks in Gary is much darker than he ever expected. Soon his world becomes one of running for his life, near death experiences, serial killers, and a boy with a very unusual gift that will change Marny's life forever.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

September, 1998. My brother-in-law was in a very serious motorcycle accident and given little chance to survive. I turned to writing as a way of dealing with the emotional upheaval I experienced. It was an outlet. I fell in love with it and haven't stopped writing since. By God's grace, my brother-in-law pulled through is just fine now.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Frantic is my fifth novel. I've also written The Hunted, Scream, Darlington Woods, Darkness Follows. My favorite is a toss-up between Darlington Woods and Frantic. I love DW because it was the first book I wrote coming off my battle with cancer and so much of my own struggles and fears and anxieties and uncertainties made it into the story. So much of the story is symbolic for me. Frantic I love because of the trio of main characters. I just adore them.

Where do you get your information and/or ideas for your books?

Ideas come from a million different sources. I'm always looking for ideas. As I walk through the mall, work with my patients, drive around town, read the paper, watch the news, talk to different people. I'm constantly filing things away in my brain for later use in a story.  I get information from research. I don't do a ton of research for a novel, just enough to make it feel authentic and make it look like I know what I'm talking about :) I do online research, sometimes visit the locations, talk to experts (police, lawyers, doctors, etc.). Whatever it takes to get those details right. Details make all the difference and give the story and setting a feel of authenticity.

What would you say is the best and/or worst part about being a writer?

Best part is knowing I'm making a difference in the life of readers. My stories all contain very meaningful and profound themes and I get a lot of feedback from readers about that. It's important to me to make my writing count and it brings great satisfaction knowing the message is getting through.

The worst thing is the insecurity writing brings. A writer lives (in a loose sense of the word) one contract to the next. And everything depends on sales and impact. There's no let up on the uncertainty about how a manuscript is going to be received, how the editing is going to go, how the book will be received in the market place, how reviews will go, how sales will pan out. I'm learning to just trust God, to do my best and then put it in his capable hands and not worry about it.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How vulnerable I could be on the page. I use my own experiences and emotional blue print a lot when creating characters. I can really pour my soul out on the page and the reader never has to know how personal I'm getting. Also, the freedom writing gives me to express myself. My whole life I've struggled with stuttering. When I was young (through college) it was really bad. Ever see The King's Speech? Yeah, it was that bad. So mostly I stayed quiet because talking was just too much of a chore and embarrassment. When I started writing I found a freedom I'd never known before. I'd found my voice and could say exactly what I wanted to say and express myself exactly how I wanted to without stuttering. 

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Spend time with my family. I adore my family and wouldn't want to be with anyone else except them. I'm a homebody by nature and just love being around my wife and kids. I used to enjoy golf, but then it got too expensive and I got too short on time. I like watching movies, reading, hiking.

What are three things you wouldn't want to do without (besides the Bible, food, and family)?

Really? I could do without anything except those three. Okay, maybe clothes, a house. But as far as material things go I have little connections. I need my computer for writing; it's kind of part of the job. And I need a car to get around. So maybe those two.

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?

I'd love to go to New Zealand or anywhere in Italy or Ireland.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

Favorite movies . . . Suspense: I am Legend; Action: The Bourne Trilogy; Fantasy: Lord of the Rings; Sci Fi: Star Wars (episodes 4, 5, 6); Drama: Last of the Mohicans; War: The Patriot or Blackhawk Down; Comedy: Get Smart.

Favorite songs . . . I enjoy Christian music and various artists rather than individual songs . . . Toby Mac, Building 429, Casting Crowns, Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me, Skillet, etc.

Do you have any favorite authors?

On the suspense/horror side of things I love Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Other authors I enjoy are Charles Martin, Dale Cramer, Nicholas Sparks.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Joshua 1:9 . . . Haven't I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Don't be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you tell us a little about it?

Yes! Always. I have a novella coming out in May titled Rear View. It's part of a seven-part anthology called 7 Hours. I got together with six other authors and we all wrote a novella concerning a central character, Thomas Constant, and a unique gift he gives folk on their death bed. The other authors are Rene Gutteridge, Ronie Kendig, Travis Thrasher, Tom Pawlik, Robin Parrish, and James Wilson. Look for it in e-book version first releasing May 7 from Tyndale.

I'm also working on the edits for my next novel, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, releasing in October. Can't say too much about that right now other than it will be a big change for me and point my writing in a whole new direction.

Thank you so much for being here! Where can we find you on the web?

You can follow my blog at www.mikedellosso.wordpress.com or like my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mikedellosso. I'm also on Twitter:www.twitter.com/mikedellosso. Thanks for having me!

Book giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of Frantic! You can read my review here. US and Canada only.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below (here is a tutorial, if you aren't familiar with Rafflecopter). The mandatory entry is to leave a blog post comment on this blog post - after you do that, the other entries will become available... So, what are you waiting for? Go ENTER! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Wow, Frantic sounds really intense! I also love the cover, I've got a thing for lighthouses...living in New England will do that to a person!

    I also really like his favorite Bible verse. I'm not really religious, but I've always loved the aspect of religion that you're never alone and God is always with you. Makes some days feel less lonely, ya know?

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    1. Sallie, Frantic is set in Maine and Massachusetts. I think you'll find some of the places mentioned familiar.

  2. oohh 7 hours sounds really good! And with so many great authors can it be anything less than amazing?! Thanks for this giveaway-I keep hearing good things about this book and would love a chance to read it!

  3. I have never heard of this Author. Kinda reminds me of Ted Dekker (who is one of my favorite Authors). I will have to give him a try sometime.

  4. Name-Sandy VanHoey
    sandy1955 at comcast dot net

  5. Sounds so exciting! Please enter me. Can't wait to read it! :)

  6. I have not read any of Mike's books, but am anxious to do so! Please enter me! Thanks.

  7. This book sounds great! I love his favorite verse also. I've been looking for more christian books to read.

  8. I have four kids also but they're all boys. Frantic sounds like a very intense book looking forward to reading it! 7 Hours has really got my attention. Can't wait for it to come out! Glad you are doing better health wise.

  9. I read Scream, loved the story and the message. Very exciting book.

  10. I read Scream not knowing that it had a Christian message, but I absolutely loved it and it spoke to me in a lot of ways. I am currently going through a struggle right now and have become closer to God because of it and I believe that He brought this book and this author to me. I can't wait to read the rest of this author's books!!

  11. I enjoy reading Christian Fiction! I like putting positive reading in my head. Grateful God has blessed you with health and talent.

  12. So excited to read FRANTIC and everything upcoming from Mike Dellosso! Thanks for the opportunity.

  13. Just finished reading Scream last week and would love to win Mike's new book. Thanks for the chance!

  14. "Frantic" sounds great! I love the character that Mike has developed for this book. Thanks for having such a good. Your presence online is so refreshing!

  15. oooohhh this book sounds good!! Sadly my library doesn't have it. =( thanks for the giveaway and the great review on this book.

  16. Love the cover and the title. An author I should look out for. Thanks.

  17. I am so happy to have found this author! I just finished Scream a couple of days ago and am about to begin reading The Hunted. I can't wait! I enjoyed this blog post. Thanks!

  18. This is a new author to me! I'd love to be entered :)

  19. Haven't read any of his books yet, look forward to reading one

  20. Looks like an interesting book.

    Tierra G

  21. Thanks for the great interview and giveaway! I just put the baby to sleep to some Building 429...nice music selection!!!

  22. Awesome cover! IT sounds like a truly intense read! Thanks for the giveaway!!
    -Kimberly @ www.turningthepagex.blogspot.com

  23. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway too.
    BTW, I went to New Zealand on business not long ago - you should definitely go! Especially to the South Island. SO inspiring!

  24. Frantic sounds like a wonderful book! I am always looking for new and intriguing authors. :) Thank you for the giveaway!!

  25. I need more good Christian books, thanks for the giveaway!
    eg kaufman

  26. I haven't heard of this author before, but this sounds like a great book. I'm really looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  27. The book cover is awesome! I wish I could frame it and stick it on my wall...

    eve @ essence of eve

  28. I have been hearing a lot about this book recently - all positive and enough to make me know that I need to read it! Thanks for the opportunity!

    Jan Marie
    (janmarien @ embarqmail dot com)

  29. This book sounds terrific. I would love to win it and read it.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  30. I've read some other reviews about this book, and can't wait to get my hands on it!

  31. I've been dying to read this book!! Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway! I love getting to know the authors of the books I want to read :)
    Julie Witt

  32. Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. Thanks for the giveaway. The book sounds great.

  34. lots of comments button pete thanks


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