By Juan Pablo Cain
Contributor to WERZOMBIES PRESS
THE NORTHWEST – In his own view, Alan Dale shouldn’t be alive today, right now, as the story is written.
His near non-life or death could have already been checked at the counter, he shouldn’t be a part of any interview nor even be speaking of future books and projects he hopes to make grand.
No…Alan Dale…believes none of this should have a chance to take place.
Yet, it is, so now you are stuck with him.
Like it or not.
Dale, a long-time journalist and new author, is planning to launch the first book of Dead Nations’ Army trilogy CODE FLESH on Wednesday in hopes of bringing about a new kind of horror/zombie tale. One that he hopes crosses genres and educates more than entertains, even if it is potentially, highly entertaining.
He wants to shake the core, the system, the world’s governments.
He has his reasons…he almost never was or at least almost shouldn’t be alive.
“My mother and her parents escaped Hungary during the revolution of 1956,” Dale recalls. “My grandparents survived Hitler and Stalin. The three of them escaped by living in sewers at night, eating raw horse that had died in bombings, and trying to avoid being caught or shot. My mother was eight-years-old and they would be lying low in the basements of destroyed buildings. Rats the ‘size of big cats’ would crawl over my mother and take bites out of her while my grandfather would tell her to be quiet or they would get caught. No eight-year-old girl – no one really – should go through that.”
Dale tells of his grandfather living three years in a Nazi labor camp and being the only one to survive that went in when he did. He shakes his head at the tales of his grandmother going through the multiple rapes (“at least a dozen”) she endured at the hands of occupying soldiers.
Both his grandparents, having died over the past year and well into their 90s, survived and escaped to the United States, living in Chicago for 25 years before relocating to Arizona.
Yet, the scars made it harder on their lives, even if living was better. Their nightmares affected how they raised their daughter who ultimately married Dale’s father, but it was never easy.
“My grandparents were scared of everything and my mother, by default, was too,” Dale said. “I was raised in a family that was always terrified and crippled by that fear…I guess that’s why I turned out as the other extreme.”
Dale has turned out to be the guy you always want to hate if he says it like it is and someone doesn’t like it. Or, he is the guy you want to fight in a foxhole with, because he will battle to the death.
“I saw what it was to be crippled by fear and saw how ugly it made you, how it retarded your growth,” Dale said. “I’d rather talk shit at you while you do the cowardly thing of putting a gun in my mouth. Of course if you decide to put it down…well…then it’s on…you ready?”
Born and raised in Chicago, Dale, who began writing when he was five, may not have had the greatest upbringing, but he believes his self-esteem comes from two key factors, one parents should heed.
“I could write like no other and since I was very little,” Dale admitted. “But also, it wasn’t how my parents talked to me or motivated me. No, it was what they didn’t say that made all the difference. They didn’t cripple me with negative words, but I did have to motivate myself.”
Doing it himself has always been Dale’s battle cry, rarely relying on anyone to come through in a pinch.
“I am polarizing,” Dale said. “I say the things most want to say, but are too afraid to say. Many people who want to back me just shy away. They feel they will but hurt by being associated with me. Sad thing is, everywhere I have gone I have won…and won big. So why would it be any different?”
Dale wrote through his young life and was placed in advanced English and writing courses.
By the time he was 14, he was working for his high school newspaper, writing sports, features, and news stories.
“A lot of teachers told me it was weird how when we passed out the papers almost every kid in class would turn right away to my column,” Dale said. “I had something to say and I guess a lot of kids wanted to read about it if they hadn’t heard about it at the last few keggers.”
On the first day of his senior year one of his classmates never made it to school. She had killed herself.
Dale, in response, wrote an editorial – “more like a therapy piece” – the day it happened. His mother submitted it to the local big city newspaper in Phoenix where they had moved a few years earlier.
The Phoenix Gazette ultimately ran the piece, presented Dale with an award, and his own column in their paper.
“I gave my award to my junior English teacher,” Dale said. “She was the only one who pushed me. The other teachers were either too intimidated or too insecure.”
He then earned a sports stringing job working around other men and women at least 10 or more years older than him.
In his freshman year of college he was awarded the side piece at the Class 4A state championship football game, the state’s second highest level of play.
“It was cool that I had earned that respect,” Dale said. “But a lot of the older reporters hated me for it.”
Throughout his four years at the University of Arizona, Dale worked for Gazette part-time, while working for the school’s sports magazine covering six different beats and writing columns, and running a Fraternity/Sorority magazine with three other coeds. The four of them began making a profit in the fourth month and were in the black for two-plus years through graduation.
“While everyone was getting 4.0s, taking classes and doing shyte, I was getting a 2.5, building a resume, making money, and getting respect,” Dale said. “I also met a lot of women…bonus.”
After graduating Dale began a period of time freelancing for various newspapers in the Chicago area, where he returned to when school got out, and began a 10-year coaching career in basketball, tennis, and volleyball.
“My teams were always known as tough, physical, overachieving teams,” Dale said. “I pushed all my athletes hard, but I always expected a lot from them. You raise the standard, you raise the performance.
He also began teaching to make ends meet, working in what he calls “the most corrupt system in the United States,” for about five years.
“I taught English and writing,” Dale said. “I never followed the state brainwashing standards and my students scored higher than those who did. I wasn’t going to allow a corrupt, inherited wealth majority government to de-ball our future. Not on my watch.”
His stances and his want to fight the system has ultimately cost him. He won’t speak much of it, but all he will say is, “A lot of people have wanted to shut me up or were threatened by my stances,” Dale said. “I can swear on the life of my loved ones I have never acted with malice or stated a fight. Many others do…I am just really good at ending the fight.”
Dale also notes that attempts on his life figuratively and literally have come by his way and he has survived because the “truth is the greatest cure.”
Once he got his bearings, Dale got back into full-time journalism and began penning his books, first The Enternet: Trapped Inside A WEB and now the DNA series.
The DNA trilogy represents much more to Dale than an opportunity to become a big name in writing.
“I have my respect already,” Dale said. “I have won seven national awards, been published 12,000 times or so, and have gotten a ton of accolades from persons regarding my creative writing. I can die now and be fine. But, the DNA series is much more to me. We need to make some serious, sweeping, changes, high and low. We have a world run by mostly inherited wealth blowhards with zero concept of how to survive in survival mode. We have a world populated by a 99 percent base of people holding less than two percent of the wealth. Half of those people just complain and try to leap-frog one another through lies, whining, and trying to hurt others going nowhere like themselves. We have to find a way to fix our human standards because we are running out of time. I believe DNA tells what will happen if we don’t.”
Dale, is also hoping to get success for the books and thus create a windfall for his KID KAT PROJECT which joins an independent artist (musician, author, film maker) with a NO-KILL animal shelter. There, part of the proceeds from a work would go toward that shelter.
All in the name of his cat, Kid, who he has had for almost four years and owes a lot to.
“For a time I felt I had nothing left,” Dale said. “The wars with the people who had issues with me, issues with being exposed as the frauds that they are, were killing me. I had nothing to come home to. Then I saved this stupid little cat, who turns out to be brilliant and smarter than most animals and people, and I had someone who depended on me. I was at the point where being hit by a bus was a good concept. She gave me a purpose. She gave you DNA.”
Dale also hopes to write a companion Young Adult series to DNA, called the Dead Education’s Army…where the two stories will be written in alternative universe style.
He has already begun…FLESH CODE.
“It could be a lot of fun,” Dale said. “Let the war begin. I won’t hide like my family did. I will fight in broad daylight. Some of you may not like me for standing up to you for your petty ways or bully tactics, but tough. How many of you would want someone like me on your side too? Yeah? That’s what I thought.
“Join this army…it may be worth it.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION on ALAN DALE and his WORKS,