Interview with Oliver Dahl

Oliver Dahl is the author of ‘The Dreamer” series and “Lies”. Like me he is a teenager. So it was obvious that I had to interview him.

A. J: 1) Tell us a bit about your Dreamer series and Lies.
Author Oliver Dahl:
Sure! So The Dreamers Adventures series includes my first two books, and follows a kid who discovers that he can live inside of his dreams. Both books follow his adventures in the Dream Realm, where he meets other dreamers, keeps it safe, and fights evil. Lies is my newest book, a historical fiction novella acting as Ann Putnam Jr.’s recounting of the Salem Witch Trials. Ann was twelve years old during the trials and acted as one of the leading accusers.
A. J:  2) Are there going to be sequels to your above works?
Author Oliver Dahl:
I have ideas for a third and likely final Dreamers book, but haven’t started writing any of it. Lies is a definite stand alone, and I do think I will tend to do more standalone books now rather than series.
A. J: 3) You first self published when you were 13, didn’t you? How much do you think self publishing has changed from when you first did it?
Author Oliver Dahl:
I did, yeah! I wouldn’t say it has changed too much actually. Nothing dramatic, anyway. But things like being able to purchase custom ISBNs for cheaper change the game with CreateSpace. And then there are just a wider selection of tools and sources to utilize now. I started with bookbaby and moved to draft2digital and that was a great decision for me. I’m sure we’ll continue to get more innovative, instantaneous, easier platforms to use and tools to aid us in our self publishing endeavors.
A. J: 4) How has your self publishing journey changed your life at school?
Author Oliver Dahl:
It hasn’t too much, honestly. At most, I’m sometimes seen as “that author kid” but people tend to think it’s a little cool even if I’m not. 🙂
A. J: 5) Do you write everyday? What is your highest single day word count?
Author Oliver Dahl:
I don’t. I mean to, or tell myself I will but it rarely happens. I
think my highest single day word count (while I’m not entirely sure) is somewhere near 7-8,000. Probably during NaNoWriMo.
A. J: 6) Beneath is going to be your next book from what I read on your website. You want to publish it traditionally, don’t you? Any luck with trad publishers?
Author Oliver Dahl:
I would like to publish my next book traditionally, yes. I’m working on another project more than Beneath at the moment, title not really secured yet. I’ve never submitted to the traditional publishers before, but I’m hoping my relative success as a self-published author and my existing “fan base” of sorts will help provide a convincing platform to support what I believe will be an incredible book. I’ve got a while before I can even realistically think about sending those books out to publishers, though, as they’re very far from done.
A. J: 7) Has being a teenager helped you sell more books or do you think people underestimate your writing capabilities?
Author Oliver Dahl:
Hmm. I think there is sort of a novelty factor to it that helps sell books sometimes. But my favorite reviews of my books completely leave out my age, treating it like any other book, or even just not knowing it was written by a 13-16 year old. I can definitely track the progression of my writing abilities through each book and I keep improving for sure. So that’s another cool thing for readers, being able to follow that improvement as well.
A. J: 8) What has been your best marketing strategy so far?
Author Oliver Dahl:
Hmm… book signings are always a lot of fun, and I consistently sell more than I would just tweeting about the books. I just can’t do them very often. But it’s a great way to get word-of-mouth going, meet the people who are going to read what I’ve written, and inspire myself to write even more!
A. J: 9) I am pretty sure there are other teen authors who write fantasy and have published through Amazon kdp. Do you know any? And if so, what would you say to the idea of an anthology or bookbundle containing contributions from only teen authors in the future?
Author Oliver Dahl:
I know of a handful, though the fantasy genre filters out a few of them. I think a book bundle or anthology would be very fun! We all have different followings so the opportunity to merge some of those followings would benefit us all, and allow readers to find a new favorite, perhaps!
A. J: Then I’ll ask other teen authors as well about doing a bundle and we’ll see what we can come up with. Anyway, we have come to the end of the interview now, would you like to say anything more?
Author Oliver Dahl:
Cool, that could be fun! One thing, I guess! I’m always kind of blown away whenever anyone decides to read my book. There are so many other things they could do with their time, and to think about a person I’ve never met reading something I’ve put so much of myself into is astounding. It just means a lot! I hope that appreciation never fades away. 🙂 thanks for having me!


About A J Chaudhury

A. J. Chaudhury is a young author from India of fantasy and historical fiction. His short story "A Song of Blood", set in historical Pragjotisha, has released recently, and more tales are following soon.
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