Author Interview: M. Dalto

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Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

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Interview with M. Dalto:

What inspired you to write Two Thousand Years (The Empire Saga)?

The inspiration for TWO THOUSAND YEARS actually came to me in 193 when Billy Joel released his album entitled River of Dreams and on it was a song called Two Thousand Years. My best friend and I had very active imaginations and often wrote our own stories, roleplayed, and the like — there was something about Two Thousand Years that called to me, even then, telling me there was a story there, and it needed to be written. They melody was moving and the lyrics were inspiring- battles to be won and love that spanned centuries. It was just begging for a story to be told. Let’s then jump to November 2014 when NaNoWriMo started to roll around, and I had the thought in my head to actually write a story inspired by that song I had heard so long ago, so I sat down, and 30 days later, I had the first draft of TWO THOUSAND YEARS written.

Who is your favorite character in Two Thousand Years (The Empire Saga) and why?

Reylor has got to be my most favorite character by far, at least at this point in The Empire Saga. When I started writing him, I immediately knew that he was going to be complex, and I wanted to tell his side of the story. He was an antagonist, but I also wanted him to be understood. Creating him as a character that reader have come to both hate and love has made me feel satisfied because just to have a character to receive that reaction is more than enough.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

Writing gives me an outlet. I’ve always had an active imagination about far away worlds and magical creatures and spells and the things we just done have in our reality. I love reading about them, too, so writing is just another way of me being to keep my creativity in check.

What is your least favorite thing about writing?

Editing. There’s not denying that. Getting thoughts out are the easy part- making them coherent for others to enjoy is where the real work comes into play, and sometimes it just takes so much more effort than you want to exert.

What made you decide to be a writer?

I don’t think I ever went out of my way and decided I wanted to write. I just started focusing on it and created something that turned into what we have today. I learned that I had a talent for making words sound decent when put together, and other people began to enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Winning the Watty on Wattpad in 2016 pretty much solidified that for me, and I think it was from that point on that I decided I wanted to do more with my stories.

In Two Thousand Years the main character, Alex, travels to a different realm. What made you come up with the idea for this place?

I wanted the Empire to be a fantasy realm drastic enough for Alex to need to adjust. Being more medieval in feel gave it more of that portal fantasy shift from the contemporary Boston she leaves behind, plus being a huge fan of epic fantasy novels, I needed that world where magic and horses and simpler lifestyles was a necessity.

What is your favorite book?

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. It’s the second book in her A Court of Thorns and Roses series, so without giving too much let me just say this book has everything, including the worst book hangover I’ve ever experiences to date.

If you could go to a private island and bring any three characters from books or movies with you, who would they be?

Rhysand, Jamie Fraser, and Julian Blackthorn… I mean, if I’m going to be on a private island, I might as well enjoy myself!

How many books will be in the Empire Saga?

There will be 8 total- 4 full-length novels and four character-centric companion novellas that bridge the books and fill in the gaps.

What other books do you have planned?

I am currently in the process of querying an upper-YA/NA adventurous fantasy story about sister assassins and the odds against them. And now that NaNoWriMo is over, I’m close to completing my upper-YA dark fantasy retelling about demon hunters princes from Hell.

What’s your favorite color?

Red, be it apple red, blood red, or maroon.

What advice do you have for other writers?

The best advice I give any writer, new or seasoned, well-off or struggling, is to write for yourself. ALWAYS write for yourself. Don’t write to sell, don’t write for fame, fortune or glory. When you start to do anything other than what means the most to you, you’re going to lose the very heart of your craft and all meaning will be lost with it.

About the Author:
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M. Dalto is a fiction author of adventurous romantic fantasy and her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, won one of Wattpad’s Watty Awards in 2016. She continues to volunteer her time as an Ambassador, where she hopes to engage and inspire new writers. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

Stalk out M. Dalto:

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