Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | February 7, 2012

Mike Dellosso–Master of Suspense


I pick my books like I pick my friends—very carefully.  I’m always hesitant of a new writer especially if no one has taken the time to introduce us.  I read a short summary of Mike Dellosso’s “Scream” and thought to myself that sounds like a good book, but I didn’t take a risk and buy it.  After “Darlington Woods” was published, I won a copy from a blog I just happened to follow on Twitter. Afterwards, I couldn’t wait to read other books by Dellosso and devoured “The Hunted” and “Scream”, two more excellent books in the Dellosso genre.  “Frantic,” Dellosso’s fifth book, is being released this month and is his best book yet.  Suspense is too tame for what Dellosso puts you through.  From “it was raining axheads and hammer handles” to the final word, Dellosso will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to take the next breath.

Growing up watching The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and The X-Files, it is no wonder that suspense writing found him.  However, it was the pace that ultimately hooked him.  “I’m a rather impatient person with a short attention span and needed to write something that would move quickly,” said Dellosso.  “For me the pacing of suspense and the intensity of it works well, both to read it and write it.” Becoming a writer surprised him in part because all through his educational years he hated anything having to do with writing.  In response to a family tragedy in 1998, he turned to writing to deal with the emotional turmoil and fell in love with it.  He has stuttered his entire life and chose to remain silent over expressing himself.

“Through writing, I found my voice and found that I could freely express my feelings, thoughts, emotions without a single stutter,” he said.  “It was an amazing freedom.” Now, the stories just burst forth.  He says when he’s on a roll he can’t type fast enough to keep up with the unfolding story in his head.  Of course, writer’s block slips in occasionally and brings everything to a standstill.  It is awful, he claimed, “especially when your writing time each day is limited to just an hour or so and you’re on a tight deadline.”  When he gets blocked, he remembers three things:

  • “One, take a breath and step back, remember the block is not permanent, that the creativity will start to flow again, it always does.
  • Two, pray about it, give it to God and put it in his hands.
  • Three, find a way around the block. For me, that’s usually by reading certain authors who always inspire me (re: writing) or listening to uplifting, meaningful music.”

Juggling his job, his family and his writing is extremely difficult, noting that when he first began writing he wrote any time he could find a few minutes. “This infringed on family time real fast. One day, my wife called the computer ‘the other woman.’ That was a wake-up call,” he said, “so now I get up early in the morning (4:30 am) and do my writing when everyone else is still in bed. It’s important to me that my writing doesn’t interfere with my family life.”   The biggest challenge is when he is actively writing a story and spending so much mental time in that other world. “Straddling two worlds—the real world and the fictional world—can be very taxing emotionally and mentally,” he said and struggles to find the balance.

When asked how he gets his ideas for stories, he said they come from a million different places.  He takes personal stories of people he’s met, news stories, tall tales and twists them up, mulls them around and sews them all together. He said, “I do a lot of thinking about plot and story as I write. I’m constantly a few chapters ahead of myself, testing different plot trails to see which is best.” “Sometimes I find inspiration for characters in people I know or have met. William in Frantic is a great example of this. My full time job is in homecare physical therapy and a couple years ago I worked with a young boy who had cerebral palsy. Despite his challenges, both physically and mentally, he never spoke a harsh word, never showed anger or frustration. He was kind, patient, loving, and asked some of the most insightful questions you could imagine. I knew I had to base a character on him. And thus William was born. Also, every one of my characters has a little of myself in him or her. I draw a lot on my own experiences and emotional blueprint when creating characters to populate my stories.”

Dellosso has recently completed a project called the 7 Hours Project, but he can’t reveal too much about it right now.  He teamed up with six other authors, Rene Gutteridge, Veronica Kendig, Travis Thrasher, Robin Parrish, Tom Pawlik, and James Wilson to bring readers an anthology of novellas exploring time in a very unique way. 7 authors, 7 stories, 7 hours. The project has been picked up by Tyndale and is set to release in May. You can find out more by liking our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/7-Hours/218628601550788

Because of the Internet, e-books and e-readers, the publishing industry has changed drastically since his first few books. I asked him if he found this intimidating, refreshing or to fill in his own words.  He said it was an open door for opportunity. “The ever-changing industry is a challenge. Every author and publisher is trying to keep up with the changing times and stay on the wave without getting pulverized by it. Some are heading out and trying to blaze a new path. That’s all good. I see the e-book revolution as a good thing because it gives authors yet another outlet to get his or her work in front of readers. I’d love to self-publish some short stories or novellas for readers to pick up between regular releases (if I had the time) and know a lot of writers who do that.”

Dellosso’s advice for aspiring writers is this: “Don’t give up on your dream. Start a manuscript and FINISH it. Make it the best it can be with the help of editors, then send it out there. And while you’re waiting for a response, start on the next project.”

Dellosso considers “Where I Belong” by Building 429 an anthem for himself.  Quoting the chorus, “All I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong. Take this world and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong.” “With everything I have gone through in life and everything I continue to go through I constantly remind myself that this world is temporary. We are merely visitors, aliens, on our way back home.”

In his own words, this is what Dellosso wants readers to know about him:  “I write stories of suspense with powerful messages of faith and love. I write to glorify God first and entertain and encourage readers second. I’m a husband, a dad, a cancer survivor, an employee, and most importantly a child of God. I’ve been blessed to write and be published and don’t take it for granted for one single second. Frantic is my fifth novel and there’s more to come . . . so stay tuned. Please follow me at www.mikedellosso.wordpress.com and like my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mikedellosso.”

GIVEAWAY:  To enter, please “Like” Mike Dellosso’s facebook page and  leave me a comment saying you’ve done so.  Winner will be chosen randomly on February 10th.

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Responses

  1. […] the Fire . . . guest post “Live Like You Mean It” (giveaway) I am Believing God . . . “Mike Dellosso is Master of Suspense” (giveaway) Examiner . . . “Mike Dellosso is Master of Suspense” Window to My World . . […]

  2. Read Scream earlier this year. My first read of his. Loved it! Ready for the new book!

  3. looking forward to this book – and I also liked the FB page

  4. […] the Fire . . . guest post “Live Like You Mean It” (giveaway) I am Believing God . . . “Mike Dellosso is Master of Suspense” (giveaway) Examiner . . . “Mike Dellosso is Master of Suspense” Window to My World . . . […]

  5. I’m excited for this book. I’ve liked his page!

  6. […] the Fire . . . guest post “Live Like You Mean It” I am Believing God . . . “Mike Dellosso is Master of Suspense” Window to My World . . . Interview Nikole Hahn’s Journal . . . guest post “People Come […]

  7. […] Rose . . . “Being Intentional” Into the Fire . . . guest post “Live Like You Mean It” I am Believing God . . . “Mike Dellosso is Master of Suspense” Window to My World . . . Interview Nikole Hahn’s Journal . . . guest post “People Come […]

  8. I liked his page…I want a book…
    following ur blog also…

    rebecaafsantos@hotmail.com

  9. I liked his page as soon as I started reading SCREAM. Now would love to win FRANTIC!

  10. Jill, I liked Mike’s page. Throw my name in the drawing. OK? Thank you.

  11. Liked Mike Dellosso’s Facebook page! Downloaded my copy of Scream today. Already have read several chapters. I have a feeling I’ll be buying all of his books eventually! His work is right up there with Frank Peretti & ted Dekker.
    Would be nice if I were to win Frantic so I’d have a little extra cash to download all of his other titles! =)
    TracyLynn.077@gmail.com

  12. A day late but too bad for me.. Still, I just wanted to say how much I liked SCREAm and look forward to more of Mike’s Christian fiction


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