INDY AUTHOR TALK with Mallory Dauphin ~ The Cliffhanger Conundrum

Indy Author Talk Indy Author Talk

***The Cliffhanger Conundrum***
Before I started writing as a hobby, I was a reader. One of those readers that read a book a day, sometimes two, just because she couldn’t stop reading once she opened that new book and dove into the character’s world. Sure, I had my favorite authors that I reviewed for, some of which I would e-mail with on a daily basis, but none of them left me completely satisfied at the end of their books. Now, you may ask “Why were they her favorite authors if she wasn’t satisfied at the end?”
OH thanks for asking, I’ll tell you!
I have a love/hate relationship with what I like to call ‘cliffies’ for short. Cliffhangers. I love that they wrap me into the story, I hate that I normally have to wait for the storyline to continue in the next book. Either way, love them or hate them, they make you walk away from the story that you just ate up with thousands of questions. Did she live? Is he really gone? Who the deuce was that? There is one author in particular that is amazing at cliff hangers. Her characters are so strong that you get so wrapped up in the book and don’t expect the ending to be where it is. She’s notorious for them, and yet every time I read a new book of hers I’m surprised, infuriated, and anxious about the ending. Every time I am left with the measly ‘pre-oder’ link for the next book that I have to wait way too long for. Ever time I eat it up, complaining with love, as I call it, that I have to wait to see what happens to the characters that I love.
When I started writing less than a year ago (because this is all so crazy new to me) I found myself on the other end of the cliffhanger conundrum. Do I leave my books with a cliffhanger to make people want more, or do I end as a HEA with the possibility of more books to read in the series if the reader chose to?
I chose both.
When I came to what I thought was the perfect spot to end “Alive” (book 1 in the Devastatingly Beautiful series) I wasn’t sure if I was going to write another one. Seeing how reviews went and getting feedback was going to be my deciding factor on whether Molly and Tatum got an additional storyline. After hearing some of the reviews I decided to give them another go. So needless to say, the first book is possible to read as a stand alone…but you won’t want to.
By the time I got towards the ending of the second book “Betrayed” I knew where I thought I wanted to end it. Massive. Cliffhanger. I was stuck, though, because I remember my anger at cliffhangers as a reader/ reviewer. I ended it…then I went back and added a chapter to make it not so much of a massive cliffhanger…then I went back and deleted it because I decided ‘what the hell!?’ So I published Betrayed with the cliffhanger and WOW did it get responses.
Now there are only three books in the series, so everyone knows that Complete doesn’t have a cliffhanger in it so that’s no new news. What I learned from this situation, though, is that I like writing cliffies! I love the response, the impatient friends and readers that want more. It makes me feel wanted..and who doesn’t like to feel wanted?
That being said, it’s not like every book of mine in the future will have as major of a cliffie as Betrayed……but I’m not ruling anything out.

Indy Author Talk Author Bio

M. Dauphin lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and two tiny kiddos. Life as a stay at home mom is even busier at times than life as a teacher and mom. She’s incredibly happy to be able to stay home and watch her boys grow. She LOVES to read and review books for all types of authors. When the kids go to bed, she finally is able to sit down and write the stories that take over her brain all day.

INdy Author Talk QA


Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

Little known fact- it was a HUGE surprise to everyone around me when I told them I released my first book. I wrote in secret (only my husband knew due to the constant clicking away on the keyboard-apparently I type loud) My mom, my grandma, my best friend…they were stunned. It took about eight months of writing to get the first book in the series out…then about a month per book after that. Never in my wildest dreams did I think iId be considered an ‘author’, nor does it still seem real. My inspiration to write came one day during my son’s gymnastics class when I got bored and none of my favorite authors had any new material out. I thought ‘hell, I have read well over a hundred books in the last year. I could probably spend less money writing them’. So I did.

Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

I started reading Nora Roberts as a teen-what romance junkie doesn’t? recently my tastes have changed a bit, and I attribute all of my drive to HM Ward and JJ Knight…there are plenty of others, but these two have been amazing in helping me get through self publishing to helping out with online events. Their books are fan-freaking-tastic. I can only wish one day to be as successful of a story teller as they are.

Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?

No. Like I said, writing was never in my line of sight. I was an avid reader, a Pre-K teacher, a wife, and a mom. I didn’t ever think about writing. Once I started, though, I just kept going. The further I got into the series, the more detailed it became, and my mind couldn’t stop thinking about it. I love strong characters, so Molly was not going to be any less. Photography is a passion of mine so I felt very comfortable writing that in as her profession. Tatum..well. We love men with money..but I don’t as much enjoy the typical rich guy (though there are books where I enjoy them) so he needed to be rough around the edges and not care about the money so much. Their back stories just fell on me as I was writing and happened to mesh pretty well I would like to think.

Q. What motivates you to write?

It is a sort of release for me. I’m a stay at home mom so it gets crazy. Writing helps take me out of the crazy and puts me into a world that I alone created.

Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

A TON. My characters like to cuss…a lot. I wrote a ‘steamy scene’ and it didn’t totally suck. and HELLO?! Learning how to self publish is a maze in it’s own..but I did it!


Q. Where do you get your ideas?

I laughed at this question..because I don’t know the answer to it. I tell people that my fingers have a life of their own, typing out a story that sometimes I am even surprised by. 


Q. What does your family think of your writing?

They are all very supportive. After learning of it, my husband has been incredibly supportive towards it and happy that I’ve found something that I enjoy. I couldn’t ask for a better support system.

Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?

Don’t give up, and DON”T READ THE BAD REVIEWS.

Q. What book(s) are you reading now?

Destructive Gods by HQ Frost. I’m having a hard time writing this right now because I just NEED to get back to it. It’s addicting.

Indy Author Talk Author links














INDY Author Talk Extra

Indy Author Talk VLOG

The following two tabs change content below.

The NerdGirl

Blogger, Reviewer, Promoter extraordinaire, I don’t think you will find ANYONE that loves books more than her. Gladys will read anything but prefers paranormal and fantasy. She likes historical and some contemporary ….. as long as its not predictable.
  • Michelle Mauer

    Love it!! Thank you for introducing me to a new author

NGO on Twitter!