Welcome to another Friday. Today's author is so young, he completely blew me away. It is so wonderful to find such a talented young man, and it is an honor to feature him here.
The Page Walker: Hello, Oliver. I'm sure you are as excited as I am, so why don't you make the introductions yourself.
Oliver Dahl: Hello! I’m Oliver. I'm 16 years old, and I write books and try to be funny. I live in Idaho, am a sophomore in high school, and also enjoy playing piano, and spending time on the internet. Let's be friends! :)
TPW: I've seen your site and some photos, it's obvious that you're quite a reader too. Which writer inspire you?
OD: Christopher Paolini, the teenage author of the Inheritance Cycle is a great inspiration to me. Suzanne Collins' original series before The Hunger Games (called The Underland Chronicles) is probably the series that first inspired me to write.
OD: My lovely desk! And the top of my mini-bookshelf next to it.
OD: I always enjoyed just writing for fun, but when I discovered self-publishing, and how simple it could be for me to fulfill my own dreams of getting published, I decided to take it seriously, and... here I am now, just over three years later!
OD: Originally, it was going to be "Vexed," describing the girls who were afflicted or "cursed" by the witches. But as I continued to write the story, the idea shifted to showing the affects Ann Putnam Jr.'s actions were having on the town of Salem during one of the darkest times in colonial history.
OD: I actually designed the cover myself. It has taken a long time, and as many, if not more, revisions than the book itself! The matching color of the title and the noose hanging from the tree tell you at first glance that it is because of someone's lies that people are hanged. And that is, essentially, the idea behind the book. Everything builds and snowballs until the main character changes herself through what she justified as good actions.
OD: I have to admire Mary Warren. She, like Ann, decides to act as if she were also cursed by the witches, but for attention, rather than Ann's originally good intention of helping her friends. However, Mary is able to make a hard choice and comes out as faking her afflictions. This becomes the "straw that broke" Ann. When she, in turn, accuses Mary of being a witch, she recognizes the power she has to do such things.
OD: "Lies" is aimed at readers from high school (and maybe upper jr. high grades) on up. (PG-13 rating)
OD: I'm more of a science fiction/fantasy guy, myself! I love incorporating elements of these genres into reality. When thinking about what I could write in terms of historical fiction that already contains elements of fantasy, the Salem Witch Trials quickly came into mind. Maybe there had been witchcraft in Boston in 1692. Who knows? That element of intrigue definitely drew me in.
OD: Well, I'm starting young, so hopefully a lot! :) I'm currently writing another, longer epic novel, which takes place under the catacombs of Paris. I'm super excited about it, but it will likely take well over a year to get it near publishing.
OD: If any of you reading this have any questions, I'll try and answer them best I can! And if you end up grabbing a copy of "Lies," or any of my other books, let me know so I can personally thank you! Also, please be sure to check out my website, www.oliverdahl.com.
OD: Thanks for having me!