Jessica: Readers would like to know a little bit about you and your writing. Tell us how you came to be a writer.
Daryl: It all started over 30 years ago. I hadn’t turned ten years old yet and a friend of mine, ironically enough his name was Daryl too, was reading a book that had no pictures. I commented on that and asked how he could read page after page without any pictures. He said that I was wrong and that the pages filled with text actually did have pictures. He said that the words formed pictures. I couldn’t believe it so I grabbed the book and started to read. Instantly I saw a picture form of the scene I was reading and was completely hooked with the magic of stories. Within days I started taking the pictures inside my head and making them into stories. My first short story was called Dracula vs. Frankenstein. I wrote this 30 page story in pencil longhand in 1979 when I had just turned ten.
By the time I hit 30 years of age, I had dabbled with writing, not taking it too seriously as I built a small retail empire. During the long hours away from home in hotels I decided to take my laptop and write the stories that were eating away at me. I have since written four novels and over fifty short stories. I was contracted to write a monthly short story for a magazine in Northern Ontario for over three years and a few of my stories have won awards. My current novel won second place in a contest called strong opening scenes and it has been long listed in a literary agencies Great Novel Openings contest.
Jessica: Your latest book, Paranormal Precognitions, was recently released. Tell me a little about the book and where the idea came from.
Daryl: The story is about a girl named Sarah Roberts, who is an automatic writer suffering from trichotillomania. Automatic writing happens when she falls into an unconscious state and writes notes about crimes that are going to happen. Someone on the Other Side is using her to try to stop these crimes before they happen. But things go terribly wrong when she tries to stop a kidnapping and ends up being kidnapped herself. The kidnappers want to know how she knew about them and will stop at nothing to find out.
A massive chase ensues with the help of a renowned psychic who the police begin to suspect as cashing in on kidnappings as he has moments of clarity and suddenly knows where kidnap victims are. (Trichotillomania is the name given when someone is a puller. It is similar to cutting, but Sarah pulls her own hair out. She’s gone so far as to’ve removed most of the hair on her head and all of the hair on her forearms, neck and so on. She actually looks quite sick so she covers herself with lots of clothing and a red bandanna.)
I got the idea one day when I was thinking about fake psychics. The original premise was called False Prophets as I wanted a story about psychics who were kidnapping teenage girls and then after the ransom was paid a “psychic” would show up and find her, not only making these psychics rich but also popular. The story idea changed a little and became what it is today: a story about a girl who is kidnapped but who is actually a real psychic with a lot of inner conflict.
Jessica: Who are your writing influences? Do you have a Muse?
Daryl: The only one I could name here would be Stephen King. Before I got serious about writing again, I read “On Writing”. It was after that, that I decided I would sit down in front of my keyboard and start writing, but this time with the intention of publication.
Jessica: I loved that book! All writers should read it. What do you do when not writing?
Daryl: Probably the biggest time consuming activity I do is read. I’m constantly reading books. I have a huge library and there’s one whole bookcase filled with my to-be-read pile. Other than that, I would say my next love is golf.
But, now that I’m talking about love, I do all these things with Brenda, my first love, my wife, who is also a writer, reader and golfer.
Jessica: Ready for some fun questions? Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
Daryl: I’ve met politicians, television personalities and authors. It’s difficult to say who would be the most important because that would be based on where you are or who the individual reader would classify as important. For instance, I met Kevin Frankish at one of my businesses about five years ago. We sat and chatted for an hour. That name won’t mean much to you unless you’re a regular watcher of Breakfast Television in Toronto. If you are, the you’d know he’s quite the celebrity in and around Toronto.
So, for this question, I’ll stick to authors: I’ve had lunch with and chatted up Diana Gabaldon and Bob Mayer. I’ve met C.C. Humphries and Jack Whyte and Michael Slade. I even met Max Haines, a true crime writer, back in 1989.
Jessica: If your book were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play the leading roles?
Daryl: Great question. The only female that comes to mind would be Noomi Rapace. She is the intense actress from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies (Swedish versions). I’m not really a lover of the huge stars that Hollywood sells by the pound. If she couldn’t do the female lead, then I would want Dakota Fanning or a previously unknown to do it. For the main psychic I’d love someone like Jeff Goldblum, and for the leading cop I’d go with Gary Oldman.
Jessica: Which fictional character can you most relate to?
Daryl: This one is tough because fictional characters live larger than life. They go through their respective stories having to face huge challenges and struggles. There are characters I’ve grown to respect and others I’d love to emulate. I’ll label a few and the reasons that they inspire me.
1. I wish I had this characters skill and instincts. His ability to foresee things and make deductive reasoning his friend has impressed me to the edge of awe and beyond: Sherlock Holmes
I wish I had the strength and tenacity of this character. I long to possess his level of honor and duty. If only for a day, I yearn to walk in his shoes: Jack Reacher (Lee Child)
Finally, another character of honor and intelligence. One who has friends that would walk through any fire with him and have his back without whining or questions. A brave and awesome character. Two men fit this bill: Myron Bolitar. (Harlan Coben) and Penn Cage (Greg Iles).
Jessica: If you could visit any time period, when and where would you go?
Daryl: The only time period that comes to mind is the future. The past interests me and at times I read historical novels, but nothing in the past has ever enticed me enough to want to visit it in real time so I’d go to the future. I’d love to see what it’ll look like in ten or twenty of even fifty years from now. Will we be here? Will the air be cleaner? Have nukes been used yet?
Jessica: Lastly, where can people purchase Paranormal Precognitions?
Daryl: Paranormal Precognitions is available at Amazon. That’s probably the best place because they’re offering the most competitive price. You can download a free sample of the beginning of the novel so you’ll be able to see if it’s something you’d be interested in. It’s also available in print at Amazon.
Thank you, Jessica, for the interview and your kindness. I appreciate the time and care you took in preparing this interview.
If people have further questions or just want to say hello, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.