North County, meet your hometown cozy mystery author
PASO ROBLES — The first chapter of any novel is vital. It usually depicts the main character as feeling perfectly content in her comfort zone, though it’s all a set-up for the inciting incident—that moment when circumstances beyond the character’s control launch her into a brand new adventure she never saw coming. It’s a call to adventure that initially shakes her world but ultimately challenges her perspective on life and pushes her to live out her true potential.
Enter Sally Dallas circa 2007—Vice President at a large, international bank, happily married, proud mother of three grown sons. That’s when the stage 3 cancer diagnosis came from out of nowhere and shook her whole world.
“Thanks to aggressive treatment, I’m in long-term remission,” Dallas said. “As anyone who has experienced a life-threatening event will tell you, it changes your perspective on everything. You appreciate the simple things in life and realize your time is limited.”
Two years post-diagnosis, in 2009, just when Dallas was beginning to feel healthy again, the banking industry was in upheaval, and the bank laid her off. For the first time in thirty years, Dallas found herself with time on her hands.
“I’m talking about a WINDFALL of time,” Dallas said. “It was fabulous. I thought, ‘I’m going to do what I want. I’m going to write, start my own consulting business, and
travel.’ Thanks to my supportive husband, I have done exactly that. Fast forward ten years—my husband
is now retired, I have four grandchildren, time to write, time to travel, and consider myself the most blessed person on the planet.”
Sally Dallas is the pen name of Paso Robles resident Sally Coons, who spent three years writing her first published novel, Deceptions of Chenille, which debuted in February of 2020. Dallas describes it as “a clean romantic suspense novel and white-collar crime thriller.”
“It was difficult to find a genre in which I felt immersed. Romance portrayed women as weak. Chick lit was too cheesy. Fantasy was, too, well, unrealistic. Crime thrillers were too graphic. I decided to write novels that I would like to read—suspenseful stories with strong female characters,” Dallas explained.
Dallas recommends her books to “anyone who wants to read an intriguing thriller that’s free of graphic violence and erotica.”
Dallas is simultaneously writing books two and three of the Chenille trilogy, and in January, she published a novella titled “Death is Personal,” an ebook that has landed a spot on Amazon’s Top 2,000 Two-Hour Reads. When you consider that there are well over six million ebooks now available on the Kindle store, that puts Dallas’ latest work firmly in the top 0.03 percent of available ebooks.
It’s safe to say that when life put substantial challenges in front of her, Dallas accepted her call to adventure, overcame all obstacles, and is living up to her true potential.
“What battling cancer did for me was boost my confidence. Pre-cancer I was too busy with everyday life and thought I wouldn’t be good at writing anyway. Post-recovery, I knew that physically I was never going to be my former self, but mentally I felt recharged—almost invincible.”
Dallas’s books are available on Amazon, and you can find more info at sallydallas.com.