Dasha Kelly

Dasha Kelly
All Fall Down

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
June 17, 2003

Q. Who is Dasha Kelly?

A. Dasha Kelly is an author, poet, businesswoman, mother and wife. In these --and all other-- areas of her life, she chooses to pursue her furthermost boundaries, always dancing outside her boxes, pushing her own envelopes and building new opportunities.

Q. What inspired you to write the novel "All Fall Down?"

A. I've always been intrigued by the dynamics of the mind and decided to shape a character that offered an honest --although tragic--pictoral of modern mental illness issues. The first kernel of an idea for All Fall Down began with Emorie and Denise's confrontation in the mall. From there, I just kept typing and watching the story's layers and character histories add themselves.

Q. How did you come about Denise's Character?

A. It was important for Denise's character to come across inititally as "normal," with just a few quirks. I've gotten a lot of feedback from readers, in fact, who describe how they know someone like Denise. I did a signifiant amount of research on various forms of schizophrenia to make sure that my doctors' explanations, traits, prescriptions, etc. Once I had those pillars in place, I wanted to depict her unravleling; I wanted the reader to feel like they knew her from the beginning.

Q. Why did you chose to let Denise's character have bipolar schizoaffective disorder?

A. A schizoaffective disorder is an imbalance that will not immediately signal concerns to a "layperson", like depression, obsessive-compulsive, or more severe forms of schizophrenia. I wanted the reader to be taken by surprise, just as Emorie was, by her unraveling sanity.

Q. How long did it take you to write "All Fall Down?"

A. About a year and a half, with research and revised revisions.

Q. Are you currently working on another book?

A. Yes, a sort of coming of age story about a woman missing her destiny. I've been dreaming the scenes and characters for some months now, commiting them to paper here and there. I've only gotten on a writing schedule in the past few weeks, now that I've completed my promo tour.

Q. What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

A. Timely question, as I'm currently trying on new "vibes" for size. With a toddler now, gone are the huge blocks of time in which my writing used to flourish. Now, I'm training myself to get up extra early and write little bit everyday, rather trying to carve out hours at a time once or twice per week. It's usually quiet, as my husband and daughter are still in the bed. Ideally, I like to have jazz playing in the background.

Q. How did you come about the title "All Fall Down?"

A. We're all vulnerable at some point to things/people/situations we believe to be immune. Emorie, James and Denise were all taken by surprise by their situations ... we "all fall down"

Q. Do you recognize any of your personality traits in your characters?

A. Sure, even in James.

Q. What message would you like readers to receive from reading "All Fall Down?"

A. First, that mental illnesses are health conditions that sufferers must address daily throughout their lives and society must make efforts to understand. Second, always remember that things --and people-- are not always what they seem. Third, Dasha Kelly is a compelling storyteller looking for a few fans!