Welcome to Three Questions with Van Heerling. This is where you get to meet authors, actors, painters and anyone else that is bent toward the arts, but on a more personal level.
My guest today is Dale Phillips, author of A Memory of Grief, A Fall From Grace and many other works.
DP: Howdy, folks.
VH: Hi Dale. If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?
The most important thing to change about our world is our propensity to do violence to our fellow humans. I just don't get why we still feel the need to hurt and kill people.
It's a big theme in much of my writing. Life's tough enough without us helping others (or ourselves) to a premature demise. Just think what we could accomplish--and how sweet life would be for all--if we just helped each other, instead of fighting and killing.
Seems like we haven't evolved much in the last few thousand years. We seem to be not far removed from vicious, half-crazy chimps. (Cue scene from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, with apelike creature bashing a bone on the skull of another of its kind.)
Imagine the marvel of picking up the morning newspaper and reading that there were no killings or wars in the world--anywhere--on the previous day.
VH: Amen. For what are you grateful?
DP: Oh, so much. I'm lucky enough to know how good we've got it. Have seen horrible poverty and conditions, and know that we are the most privileged, fortunate populace of all time.
I practice an "Attitude of Gratitude," and each day write down five things I'm grateful for. Being alive, my happy healthy family, having a decent job that meets our needs, being able and willing to help others, and having my Life Mission of writing, of pouring forth stories that do more than entertain.
If you focus on the things that are good in your life, you'll do a lot better than complaining and dwelling on the petty things that don't matter. Fill your consciousness with what's going right, and you'll enjoy life a lot more.
VH: I couldn't agree more. And lastly, if a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected?
DP: And what would you do to postpone the inevitable? Hah! The secret to surviving zombie attacks is proper armor and weaponry, supplies, and perimeter defense, so I'd do well.
I've been in a Medieval re-enactment group, where we use chain mail and 16-gauge steel plate-- and I know where to get those in a hurry. Zombies cannot bite through metal. Plus I can use any type of sword, and other weapons that are much better than guns against the brain-eaters. They're also silent, reusable, and don't run out of ammo at critical times.
Then you need good perimeter defenses, and I can rig some dandies in a pinch. So in the time of the big zombie apocalypse, come to my camp. Life will be good. And we'll be hearing great stories, too...
VH: When the zombies are on the come, you will be the first person I call. Thank you Dale.
A Memory of Grief (Zack Taylor Series)
Troubled ex-con Zack Taylor is haunted by the accidental death of his brother years before. Zack's guilt and anger have pushed him into a shadowy, wandering life, with little purpose and few attachments. When he hears of the death of his close friend Ben Sterling, a supposed gunshot suicide, Zack finds he now has a purpose-- to find out what happened. Then his purpose becomes an obsession.
Zack goes to Maine, where Ben died, and is a fish out of water, with no connections, no information, and no credibility. People don't want to talk about Ben's death, so Zack gets ever more frustrated, making enemies, getting into fights, and breaking the law in his search for the truth. The only bright spot seems the potential for a relationship with a sympathetic nurse-- if he can control his violent streak.
To draw out the killers, Zack offers himself as bait. But without a gun, he must rely on his wits and his physical skills to survive a dangerous game of drugs and death. Though managing a measure of justice, Zack is changed in the process, and must learn to live in a very different world.
A Fall From Grace (Zack Taylor Series)
When a single mother is wrongly accused of murder, Zack Taylor must work to clear her name. Not an easy task, as everyone in the Maine town of Mill Springs thinks she's guilty. Zack finds, however, plenty of people who wanted the victim dead. He discovers that when small-town politics mix with big-time ambition, the combination can be lethal.
A Fall From Grace cascades like a growing avalanche, through revenge, greed, illicit sex, corruption, murder, and the difficult choices that must be made to go on living. There are those who do the right thing, and those who choose to commit desperate, horrible acts. As the events around him spiral out of control, Zack begins to do the same.
With two novels and six story collections published, I've also published over 20 short stories, poetry, and a non-fiction career e-book, How to Improve Your Interviewing Skills. I've appeared on stage, television, and in an independent feature film, Throg. I competed on two nationally televised quiz shows, Jeopardy and Think Twice. I co-wrote and acted in The Nine, available at www.Libertynewstv.com. I've traveled to all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, and through Europe.
"For me, writing is a joyful torture or sorts." ~vh~
“In this life, seek your own answers, and quote yourself for a change.” ~vh~
The muse has tapped my shoulder and my ear is turned toward her lips. I am waiting for her whisper. ~vh~
"The funny thing about life: more often than not it’s laughing at you rather than you laughing at it." ~vh~
"At some point there is a moment when you should give up. I’m here to tell you that today is not that day." ~vh~
“If you are afraid of the truth, never ask a young child a question.” ~vh~
“The frailty of life is most evident at its last breath.” vh
“Prove not to the world but to yourself that you are above your current circumstance.” ~vh~
"Don't be wishful when it comes to your dreams. Take aggressive action in your pursuit of them. Start now with a single step, no matter how insignificant it may feel." ~vh~
"Nothing is more powerful than an unwavering, unapologetic decision to BE." ~vh~
"Strive to be the light in an ever-darkening world. SHINE!" ~vh~
"Think big and then think small. That’s where the details live." ~vh~