S. Dalambakis Interview Published on: 16, Nov 2019

Could you tell us a little about where you grew up and your what your childhood was like?

I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. My favorite place is Mill Creek Park Rose Garden. Let’s just say I didn’t have the best childhood growing up, but it did shape me into the person I am today. And she’s someone I’m really starting to like.

How has been your experience of being a graduate of Youngstown State University?

I love being a graduate of Youngstown State University. Go Guins! It might not be a well-known school, but I’m proud of it.

When and why did you decide to study criminal justice and biology?

I was in high school when I decided to study criminal justice and biology. I watched all the crime shows I could. 9/11 happened my freshman year and it changed the nation. It changed me. I think that was when I truly decided I wanted to go into in field. Writing has always been a passion of mine, but I didn’t think I could make a living off it. I studied my other interest instead.

At what age did you first read Harry Potter? Who's your favorite character in the entire series?

I first read Harry Potter around the age of 11 or 12. My grandmother bought me the first book for my birthday. I’ve been fan ever since. It’s funny, the Battle of Hogwarts happened exactly on my eleventh birthday (according to the timeline). It’s why I never got my letter. My favorite character is Professor Snape. I love how in-depth and thought out his character is. He’s this gray area, not necessarily good, yet not necessarily evil.

How often do you go and buy pens, paper, and planners?

Way too much. Ha-ha. I think I need an intervention.

What are some things that haven't been done in the romance genre that you hope to introduce through your books?

I’m not sure there isn’t something that hasn’t been done. I can only hope my readers will love my version of the tropes.

What is your favourite time of the day to write? Have you ever pulled an all-nighter when writing?

I love writing in the mornings, right after I’ve had a cup of coffee. My kids are at school and my husband is at work. It’s peaceful and quiet. I feel like I’m more productive. I have not pulled an all-nighter writing…yet, but I do keep a pen and a notebook on the side of my bed. I’ve woken up a quite a bit in the middle on the night to jot down and idea or scene.

How did you begin writing the Gypsy Notes Series?

Lindsey Stirling is a huge inspiration for the idea behind the Gypsy Notes Series. She’s an amazing violinist.

How was your experience of writing "Reign: Shifter Royalty Novella"?

I was a little sad, yet happy, writing Reign. I was saying goodbye to the characters that got me started on my indie author journey. Yet, I happy to let my readers see a little glimpse into their lives years later. Those characters will always have a special place in my heart.

Where are the oddest places that you've thought of a really good book plot or character? Where did you get the inspiration for your book "Alpha Queen"?

I don’t know if I have an odd place where I’ve thought of a plot or character. I’ve gotten ideas in dreams, while driving, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, in the shower, at the gym, while talk to my husband, even waiting for my kids to get out of school. I pull inspiration from everywhere around me. The cover for “Royals” book 1 in the Shifter Royalty Trilogy had a huge part to play. I feel in love with it. I was also struggling with the direction to take the novel. I felt like something was missing. I had half of it written and didn’t like it. It’s then that I found the cover and a new idea for the trilogy. But I didn’t know if I wanted to change what I had written because the novel was half finished. I talked with a good friend of mine and she encouraged me to write the rest of the story with my new vision and go back to the first half afterward and change it to match. I’m so glad I did.

What is a rookie mistake that many first authors make and how do you advice to avoid or remedy it?

The biggest mistake I made was not getting my first novel professional edited. I couldn’t afford it and thought if I self publish this, I could go back and edit it later, after I got out there. I lost readers before I ever had them because that, and I got some pretty bad reviews as well. That can make or break you, because word of mouth is what indie author live off of.

When researching for a book, do you prefer to talk to people or read books or articles for research? Or a combination of both?

When I research for a book my first instinct is to search the internet. Then I generally bounce ideas off my husband and two closest friends. I do take what I’ve read in other novel and try to change it, so it better fits my writing style and what I need it for.

How did you come up with the character of Callyn in "Queen's Guard"?

Callyn is a reflection of myself. They say write what you know. There are scenes in the novels, especially “Royals”, that I took from real life experiences. They didn’t happen exactly as I wrote because I toned it down. I know the feeling of helplessness, and the urge to escape but didn’t have a way to. I poured a lot of myself into her, from her feelings to her reactions, even her description.

If you could describe your journey as an author in one word, what would it be?

Amazing. Hands down, one of the best things I’ve done in my life. It can be stressful, but my readers make it worth it.

What are your thoughts on AllAuthor and its services?

I love AllAuthor. I’ve gained new readers and followers since becoming a member. The services are easy to use. Making teasers and ads are faster to produce since I do those myself. Everyone from the company that has messaged me has be kind and helpful. I definitely recommend AllAuthor.

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