Monday, 13 May 2013

Chris Dahl

Shah Fazli
Chris Dahl, Welcome to our live author interview, and thanks everyone else for being here, Chris, what is exciting about your writing, or what is dark, new, and even true about what you write, what you like to write and why, if your writing is in any way related to your personal life, please introduce yourself, are you an exciting, adventurous, or someone who is willing to take a lot of risks in life, please share what you want to share with us, it's your event, and we are here to listen?

Chris Dahl I feel like my writing is definitely a risk. It deals with killers, rapists, guys who are sitting on Death Row waiting to see their lives end. It's material a lot of people don't want to deal with, you know? It's about guys who have murdered the nephews of senators, killed special needs kids and been life-long pagans and witches. So I guess I am willing to walk along that dark path, gather the information and convey it to people who would rather not go down that path __ but still want to find out about that "other" side of life.

Georgina Hannan Does that affect you emotionally or can you stay detached?

Chris Dahl I have lived a bit of a rough life so i can stay emotionally detached for the most part, but there is a certain mood, aura or residue from reading a letter that comes from Death Row, from a killer. They are all hand-written so you get a feel of their personality, their quirks and mood swings just in the hand-writing. You get to see this is an individual but one who has gone beyond the pale of what most of us do. So, it stays with you but there does have to be a certain distance. If you read the books you see I try to stay apart form judgement.

Georgina Hannan Thanks, I'll try & take a look but as you've said there are some who don't want to go there. I do find those topics hard.

Georgina Hannan Did you always want to be a writer? if not when did you first realise you wanted to write?

Chris Dahl yeah i have always wanted to write and to read. i wrote my first book at age seven. i found this picture of my father in his army uniform and I made him the hero of this story where he saved new york city from a sea monster coming our of the east River. hopefully, the books have gotten more complex since then. i went through a poetry phase, but as Ernest Hemingway said, "You wouldn't ask me why i quit writing poetry if you had read any of it."

Shah Fazli Thanks, you said you have lived a rough life, but do you still face a lot of challenges in gathering the information you need for your writing, what do you have to do to collect the information?

Georgina Hannan Aw lovely. How many books have you got published?

Chris Dahl five. but the next one the sixth is going to be the big one. its much more mainstream than anything, but still a bit of a horror-show in its own right. my mother went mad with schizophrenia and she chronicled the whole thing in journals. so i got them, interviewed people in the journals and tried to piece together the last few years of her life. its a rare glimpse into the mind of a psychotic. and when i was done writing it, i was like, "this was my life?"

Will Dahl Who did you interview for the book about Mom? Is there a projected release date?

Georgina Hannan Wow! I have a lot of respect for you! I know I wouldn't have been able to cope with that. I'm glad you've found an outlet & I really do wish you all the best with them.

Chris Dahl obviously you're in the book. and your father. and some shrinks and stuff. a lot of dad's family from the bronx. more people backed out than you would think. again, as stated in the book: even her death she was anathema. weird.

Shah Fazli Thanks, you said you have lived a rough life, but do you still face a lot of challenges in gathering the information you need for your writing, what do you have to do to collect the information?

Chris Dahl in some cases, i have to confront hardened, life-long killers about whether they are trying to hustle me for money while in jail; sometimes i have to sit down at a table and look at photos of a husband who has been blasted by a shotgun; sometimes I just have to face my own past, which I have spent most of my life avoiding -- so the process is cathartic for someone -- or everyone -- on some level. i guess it's just a matter of who realizes what. and then, when dealing with true crime, you wouldn't believe the cover ups and the red-tape.

Shah Fazli Can you tell us about a piece of information you have written in the book, and you think it's been the most shocking or tragic, or whatever you think it makes it a story worth knowing about?

Chris Dahl first of all there is the guy here in florida on death row who claims to have killed the nephew of senator john edwards and to have raped his niece. but then there's the story of john couey who abducted an raped jessica lunsford, which led to national child protection laws and whatnot. i had to drop that investigation because supposedly "died of natural causes" on death row after swearing he would tell me everything about his case. that was fishy, but then no one was allowed to talk to me about the case. no cops, detectives -- no one. one guy contacts me and convinces me to meet him in his jurisdiction one night at a restaurant, supposedly to tell me the real story. turns out i walked right into a hive of police. the whole lace was full of police. they wanted to know what i knew about the case, because it was a really botched, controversial case, so they were checking me out. i haven't gotten back to that project for obvious reasons, even though there's some pretty wild stuff in it..

Emma Hinks If there was one person you would like to write a book on who would it be?

Shah Fazli Thank you, what do you enjoy about what you write?

Alexa Ralicki That sounds pretty intense!

Chris Dahl to emma: i would choose a very dark subject i am sure. like alestair crowley would be fascinating and controversial and everything i strive for. to shah: i like going deep into those dark matters precisely because they are exactly what everyone avoids. i was asked in one interview whether i was worried about the police retribution or anything like that, and for some reason i just don't seem to care. tellling a good, controversial story and shedding light on the truth is more important than someone's panties getting up in a bunch.

Chris Dahl it was pretty intense. i drove 92 miles home shaking my head and saying, "nah, that couldn't have been a sting. no way." the guy friended me on facebook that week.

Shah Fazli Can you read from your book for us please?

Chris Dahl how would i do a reading?

Shah Fazli Just copy and paste a few lines from your book please?

Chris Dahl sure just give me one second. there's a lot of free stuff at

Chris Dahl From Circumstances of Offense: Robert Saint Bailey on Death Row

Chris Dahl Oops: heres the excerpt:I actually got my nickname Saint after that. My mom had come to visit me and the CO said to her that she was there to see her Devil Child. She told him, "I’m here to see my little Saint." The name stuck and that’s what I’m known as ever since …

… I ended up hooking up with a gang called the Simon City Royals. It was a brotherhood, a family, a way for me to be embraced with the love I craved. We are labeled as a gang but to us we are not a gang; we are a brotherhood – a family. A lot of people join gangs in prison for the protection it provides …

… A guy in a nice suit came into my cell and told me that if the State didn’t kill me, he would make sure personally that I was killed one way or another for what I did. They took me out to the transport van where the media cameras were snapping photos and asking questions ...

Chris Dahl Here's something from Meet the Devil, the story of the guy who killed the nephew of Senator John Edwards:Look at my crime, accused of killing a boy and raping his sister over a 2-day period; on my jury sat a corrections officer who voted death for me, when I got sentenced to death and taken to FSP—that very same corrections officer was at the door to greet me and he and six of his buddies beat me down to the ground, I’m handcuffed and shackled—defenseless—they beat my ass, all because of what I was accused of and that guards so try.

As a child, I endured pain and tortures beyond any comprehension. I was literally beaten with everything imaginable and within reach, from broomsticks, mop-handles, pieces of water-hose @ 3 ft long filled with sand, wooden rolling pins, cast iron skillets, fly swatters (metal ones), switch’s, belts, etc. and if you cried out or flinched, you got more. I have been locked in stairway closets, old packing trunks and footlockers. I have been stuck in 55 gallon drums that were capped off and filled with water forcing a sink or swim scenario for retaliation for putting my mouth to the hole so I could breathe.

246 pages

Chris Dahl Night of the Beast:In a letter postmarked March 13, 1993, the family received its first

eerie confirmation that their suspicions were correct: “I have AIDS. I am

dying. I must make my peace with the Lord. I killed your daddy 15 years

ago. He found me in his bedroom. I had no choice. Please pray for me.”

New Orleans on an Amtrak train, 1995, the murdered man’s sister-inlaw

is approached by a lady who was summoned by the spirit of her dead

father to tell the true tale of what happened the morning of March 13, 1977:

Robert Dirscherl was murdered.

October, 1997, Noreen Renier, noted psychic tells the same tale:

Dirscherl was murdered.

The case was officially dropped for many mysterious reasons, but

psychics – as well as the worldly facts of the case – say the same thing. It

was not suicide. It was a killing. Moreover, there were dark, seedy

implications of a young man in the sway of drugs and some larger,

malevolent group who was willing to steal and to kill not just for money or

thrills – but for some greater satisfaction.

Shah Fazli Thank you so much, where do you have to be next, what do you have in mind, and how far do you have to travel to get that information you need?

Chris Dahl i am just wrapping up the book about my mother going mad, and then yes, with my thick skull i am probably going to tackle that john couey book again. i will have to travel that 92 miles north into another hive of cops, but its good it keeps you alive.

Chris Dahl go to for some free samples. there are other links that will give you free stuff for the upcoming project as well or just hit me up on facebook.

Shah Fazli Thanks, give us a piece of advice on writing, why do you think we should write about the stuff you are writing?

Chris Dahl What i write about is a personal choice. some people have a rosier view of the world. some people escape into fantasy. the reason i choose to write what i write about is because i refuse to escape into fantasy. otherwise, just realize that if youre going to write you are going to fail -- and fail in public at large -- so keep a thick skin and keep writing.

Shah Fazli Thanks Chris, I leave the conversation now for others if they want to ask any quesitons, it was real different and informative to have you with us tonight. See you again, hopefully.

ShahSight Shop: Circumstances of Offense Chris

Chris Dahl love to come back any time. thanks for having me.

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