Dale Phillips mystery and horror writer

Dale T. Phillips – Writer

Dale T. Phillips mystery writer - Author of the Zack Taylor mystery series

Contact Information

Please send requests, edits, suggestions, comments, to me at:


Speaking Engagements

ATTENTION Book Clubs/Libraries/Schools:
Dale is a featured member of the Sisters in Crime Speakers Bureau, a teacher and lecturer on writing and publishing, and frequent panelist at conventions, including Bouchercon, Killer Nashville, and Crime Bake.
He has some interesting stories on a host of subjects: having Stephen King as a writing teacher, Jeopardy, making movies, writing in different genres, and aspects of the writing and publishing world.
He enjoys connecting with readers in Book Club Meetings either by Skype or in person, if possible.
Contact for more info.



Dale T Phillips is a New England writer, spent his formative years in Maine, and has lived and worked in a number of different places. He graduated from the University of Maine at Orono, studied writing with Stephen King, and has worked for over thirty years as a Technical Writer in a number of major industries, translating the work of software developers into clear instructions for using computer software.

Before that, he’s worked as a farm laborer, entrepreneurial bait salesman, yard worker, golf pro shop assistant, factory assembler, clean room machine operator, holiday Santa, construction worker, hotel worker, office assistant, theater apprentice, busboy, waiter, bartender, wine steward, assistant maitre’d, website designer, lab experiment subject, and blackjack dealer.

He has published novels, over 70 short stories, collections, articles, jokes, and poetry, and has appeared on stage, television, and in an independent feature film:

He has also appeared on two nationally televised quiz shows, Jeopardy and Think Twice. He co-wrote and acted in a short political satire film, The Nine.

He has traveled to all 50 states and a number of countries, spanning half the globe, from Hawaii to Greece, and now lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Discussion Points for A Memory of Grief

In A Memory of Grief, the first book of the Zack Taylor mystery series, the title and theme refer to a man who becomes unmoored when his friend dies, and an important anchor in his life is suddenly removed. How does Zack cope with this news and a new path in life?

Nathaniel Hawthorne held that the sins of the past (even those of our ancestors) affect us and shadow our lives. Do people feel that the choices of our past determine our future? Can people change their course, break from their background and history, to become someone else, or does the past carry so much weight that it prevents complete escape? Does Zack have a future, or will he succumb to his demons?

People react differently to tragedy. Do you feel it’s better to feel nothing, cultivate an emotional numbness, than to live with the constant pain of powerful feelings? We can see this in patients who have been heavily medicated to the point of smothering their reactions and responses to life.

Is it better to accept events on the surface and remain ignorant of hidden layers of wrongdoing and criminality in society, or to seek understanding, and then be faced with the responsibility of taking action, and guilt if we don’t? Is ignorance bliss, or oblivion?

People who know the dark side of life and have seen terrible things, such as firemen, police, medical personnel, court case workers, criminals, etc. often find it difficult, if not impossible, to fit into normal life, and have easy relationships that many of us take for granted. Substance abuse and even addiction are common. Zack talks about the Night People, those who know darkness and seek out others like themselves, always running on a dangerous track. He feels he is one of them, unable to relate in many ways to the life of people with regular jobs, families, and lives untouched by tragedy. Will he be able to successfully adapt to such a different world?

Zack constantly goes up against dangerous opponents who use firearms, while he does not. Is this a hindrance, or would his problems get easier if he used guns, as so many fictional sleuths do? What changes and adjustments does he have to make in order to survive these encounters with weapon-toting foes?

Please send requests, edits, suggestions, comments, to me at:



This is the site of Dale T Phillips. There are other Dales one can find on the Internet:

A Dale C Phillips, who has some books out. He ain’t me, and I ain’t him. There’s a Dale Phillips who’s a professional actor. Not the same, though I have done quite a bit of acting.  There’s a tourney poker player with that name; wish I’d made as much at poker as he has!

And others. All aspects of things I’ve done, but still not me. Because we choose to live insanely, frivolous litigation has triumphed over sense in this country, and people seeking money for nothing are rampant. So here is a spell of legality in the hopes of warding them off.  In no event will Dale T Phillips or his heirs be liable for indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or economic damages (including lost business profits, business interruption, loss or damage, and the like), or the use or inability to use any information on this site.


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