Monday, August 8, 2011

Interview with fantasy author David M. Brown

Today's guest is David M. Brown as he tours his debut fantasy novel Fezariu's Epiphany.

David is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a lucky commentor. See below for details.

David was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and first conceived the idea of the Elencheran Chronicles at college in 1999. He spent ten years compiling the history of Elenchera, resulting in 47,000+ years of events, 500+ maps, 2000+ pages, several short stories and many much-needed acquaintances with Jack Daniels. David also has a blog, The World According to Dave, which features stories, reviews and dramatic tales of the horrors of owning cats.

David, please tell us about your current book release.
Fezariu’s Epiphany is the first in a series of self-contained novels that will be set in the world of Elenchera. The novels are not intended to be read in any order, but each one will offer enlightenment on a particular period of history and one or more lands that make up Elenchera. Fezariu’s Epiphany is set in the Fourteenth Shard of history and focuses on Fezariu who endures a turbulent childhood before finding solace in the hired hands of the Merelax Mercenaries.

What inspired you to write this book?
As I wrote about the history of Elenchera I was frequently drawn to the institution known as the Merelax Mercenaries, their distinct black attire with bejeweled sleeves, their fierce discipline and exemplary military skill. None of the history I wrote gave them a prominent role and I decided I wanted to write a novel which offered some insight into how they operated. Fezariu’s Epiphany was the book that was born of that wish.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve already started my second novel, A World Apart, which will be set in the Sixteenth Shard of Elenchera’s history and focuses on life in the western colonies, which also feature in Fezariu. The focal point of the novel will be a love triangle that begins for the three protagonists in their teens and continues into their adulthoods. A World Apart is already set to be a much longer novel than Fezariu’s Epiphany and I think the emotional love triangle at the heart of it will stand the book in good stead.

Writing life:
As well as novel writing I also run my blog, The World According to Dave, which features around 3-4 new articles a week and also write blogs for other sites as well. Sharing a house with my beautiful wife, Donna, and six rampaging cats makes life quite difficult when you want to grab a moment for some quality writing. I’ve learned to just snatch whatever time I can amidst the pandemonium.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose the moment I felt I was a writer came with the completion of my first novel, The Anglo-Asininity Chronicle, in 2004. Although that novel was scrapped I still considered it a landmark to have completed a book in full for the first time. It’s one of the biggest boosts I’ve ever enjoyed as a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Writing full-time is still the dream at the moment. Work-wise I’m currently between jobs but eager to get back into work as soon as possible. This extra time has allowed me to focus on supporting my wife, Donna, in the promoting of Fezariu’s Epiphany. From day one she’s been doing sterling work getting the book noticed and I couldn’t have got this far without her.

Away from writing I’m an avid reader of many kinds of fiction and history, I enjoy films (especially world cinema), gaming (RPGs of course) and when time and money allow I’ll reacquaint myself with the pain and suffering that can only come from supporting my home football team – Barnsley FC. Watching them is so nerve-wracking that I’m sure one day tranquilizers will be issued to all fans passing through the turnstiles just to see them through the 90 minutes of hell on the pitch!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I would have to say my desire to do something different with the fantasy genre. While Elenchera is a very different world to ours I want the characters to be more prominent than the land they inhabit and to not just enthrall the reader but affect them emotionally. Fantasy isn’t the favoured genre of every reader but with the novels set in Elenchera I want to reach out to a wider audience. I’ve so far had feedback on Fezariu’s Epiphany about the story being one that could take place anywhere, it just happens to be set in Elenchera, and those are the kind of responses I’m hoping for.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember being indecisive about my future for many years. I always enjoyed reading and at school my favourite subjects were English and history so I naturally stuck with them through college and university, still not really knowing what direction I wanted to go. I remember having to fill out a form at school listing three occupations I was interested in and I wrote “author, porter and librarian.” I’m determined to keep pursuing the first of those three career choices.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My two favourite pieces of advice are to find yourself a critic you can trust. My wife, Donna, offers me the critical feedback I need for my work and the great thing about her is she isn’t afraid to be brutal. It’s not easy having someone condemn aspects of your work, but over time you’ll develop a thick skin. I would also recommend having a blog. You can post articles about absolutely anything and if you post links on Twitter and Facebook it’s a great way to build up an audience and begin networking with fellow writers. There are thousands of brilliant writers out there and on Twitter especially you’ll find it nigh on impossible not to find them.

Thanks for being here today, David.

Readers, David is going to have a drawing at the end of his virtual book tour and a lucky commentor will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. So, leave a comment here, and check out his other blog tour stops. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win.


Robert W. Birch said...

I enjoyed reading your interview and was impressed by your years of research and your productivity. I figure if you were in college in 1999, you are somewhere in your mid-thirties. You've accomplished a lot. Congratulations.

I was interested to learn of your houseful of cats. We have two, one of which loves sitting on my computer desk, blocking my view of the monitor screen. The other cat is spinal cord injured and is confined to sitting at my feet meowing for attention. In addition, we have three dogs. This leads up to a question - Do cats (or other household pets) find their way into your books?

Keep up your good work and best wishes for much success.

Anonymous said...

Great interview! This story sounds really interesting.


mj said...

Congrats on your book! That was great interview, as well.
marajbrandon AT gmail DOT com

tammy ramey said...

i love the cover and the book sounds wonderful. i can't wait to read it.

David M. Brown said...


Thanks for having me today Lisa!

Robert, thanks so much for your kind words and thanks for sharing about your pets - it's always good to meet a fellow animal lover. My cats don't really find their way into the books, although I do have a cat-headed race in Elenchera so perhaps they'll still have their day! However, they regularly find their way into my blog with their naughty ways.

Thanks to Ruby, Mara and Tammy for continuing to follow the tour!

See you soon

Chelsea B. said...

It's nice, the lovely way you speak of your wife :-) I'm having fun following your tour!!


jenny milchman said...

History + fantasy--very cool cross genre.

Brutal is good--I agree.

Best of luck with your books!

Unknown said...

Great interview. The book sounds very good.