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18 August 2011

Welcome special guest: author David M. Brown (@elenchera)

 Today we have author, David M. Brown, visiting. Welcome!
David was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and first began writing at college in 1999. He’s spent more than a decade working on the history of Elenchera, which now comprises twenty-three lands, 500+ maps and 47,000+ years of events.


* So, David, what inspired you to become a writer?
In 1999 I first discovered the RPG series Final Fantasy on the Playstation and fell in love with the games, their characters, stories and worlds immediately. They introduced me to Norse mythology which I soon lost myself in for months. When I emerged from months of Viking myths and Final Fantasy campaigning I decided I wanted to write my own fantasy and soon after the world of Elenchera was born.
* When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
The earliest story I can recall was in primary school and was about a group of travelers on a stagecoach. I remember it being quite a long story so maybe 2-3,000 words and it brings back memories of my feeble knowledge of history at the time. I asked my primary teacher if the travelers in my story could bump into Romans and she smiled politely and said no! I’m not sure what became of that story but if it’s been incinerated or something I won’t lose any sleep about it!
* How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
Yikes! That’s an awkward one! Having taken the decision to self-publish I suppose I technically haven’t sold a story! I had around seven short stories completed before Fezariu’s Epiphany was self-published in May 2011.
* What genre(s) do you write in? What drew you to write in it/them? What’s your favorite genre of all to write in?
I generally write in the fantasy genre though the novels I’m producing are more sagas than traditional fantasy tales. This has been my favourite genre for a long time and there was no question about me writing fantasy when I first set out to be a writer. I was drawn by the challenge of creating my own world and setting my own rules. Elenchera has been hard work but it’s been rewarding.
* What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
The best advice came at the end of secondary school when my English teacher saw potential in the poetry and prose I had written for my GCSEs and told me never to give up on them. It was sound advice indeed as a year later I started writing. The worst advice was also at secondary school. Struggling to think of an idea for a short story a fellow student told me, like him, to write about space marines from the world of Warhammer 40,000. He dismissed me when I chose to write a story about a caged animal instead. Good thing really. He got a C and I got an A!
* How do you celebrate/deal with acceptance/rejection letters?
Having gone down the road of self-publishing I no longer have to worry about them! Previously I have had rejection letters for earlier books/stories and they used to bother me at first. Today, whenever I get feedback from readers or reviewers I will spend time assessing the remarks, whether positive or negative. The good things people like I want to retain and the bad bits I want to avoid in my next novel, A World Apart. I welcome feedback from everyone and although no writer can ever satisfy every single person I’m not the sort to only listen to the comments that are positive.
* In regard to the book you’re promoting, which actor and actress do you envision playing the roles of your hero and heroine? If there’s a villain or other characters who are pertinent to the story, who would play those parts?

That’s a great question. I hope Hollywood’s directors are reading this! I suppose an actor like Jake Gyllenhaal would make a great Fezariu. His performances in Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain were exceptional and he could get to the heart of Fezariu. Drew Barrymore would make a good Alycea, Fezariu’s companion from childhood who he maintains a tenuous link to through annual letters. John Malkovich would make a great villain in the form of the brothel owner, Vincent Birchill, whose misogyny and malevolence manages to ruin countless lives.
* The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, please list the order the books need to be read in for maximum reading enjoyment.
I’ve had some readers and reviewers ask about a sequel but Fezariu’s Epiphany is very much a stand-alone novel. I may tackle a series at a later date with other ideas from Elenchera but my preference will be self-contained stories set in different periods of Elenchera’s history which will enlighten different parts of the very busy timelines. I can say for certain that there will be no more novels featuring Fezariu, his story is fully told with this book and it’s been a pleasure bringing his tale to life.
*** Now for some fun info… ***
* Are you a cat, dog or both kind of person?
Growing up my family had a gorgeous English sheepdog, Suzy, who was sadly put to sleep on my first day at secondary school. Dogs had always been favoured in my family but when I met my wife, Donna, we adopted two rescue cats – Kain and Razz. Our household has since extended to six cats with one-eyed Buggles, Charlie, and two Norwegian Forest cats – Bilbo and Frodo – joining the ranks. I have a soft spot for dogs and cats but at this moment in time I’m more a cat person!
* What’s your favorite day of the week?
I’ll go for Friday. Although much of it is spent at work it’s the last day of the week so the atmosphere is always more pleasant and when you enter Friday night it’s a really great feeling knowing you have the weekend ahead of you. After a few days of abstinence, I’ll treat myself to a beer or whisky on Friday and Saturday nights and can get some serious writing sessions under my belt at the same time. A good day all round!
* If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?
I love the desert island question. I would take my laptop, my Kindle, the TV, a DVD player and one of the games consoles. I’d like to say cooker or microwave but I’m no longer having access to any supermarkets so would make so with campfires and hopefully the island would have plenty of fruit as well.

*** About David’s book… ***

Interesting fact: When I started writing Fezariu’s Epiphany, I was working in an office and had given a colleague, Donna, some of my writing to read, even though I hardly knew her.  She wasn’t shy about her feedback!  Anyway, in the time it took to write and edit Fezariu, this hardly known colleague has gone from colleague, to friend, to girlfriend, to fiance, to wife!  Is she any softer with her feedback?  No!  If anything, she’s even harder on me now!
Tagline: ‘A young boy faces betrayal; a grown man carries a heart of stone’
Blurb:
The story revolves around the main character, Fezariu, who suffers a betrayal as a young boy that leads him to turn his back on his family. He joins the Merelax Mercenaries, convinced that their way of life will offer him a way to avoid any ties and leave his past firmly behind. In his quest to prove himself, he is forced to forge new alliances in order to survive the dangerous assignments in the colonies but works hard to distance himself emotionally. Despite his determined focus to move on his thoughts are constantly drawn back to Clarendon where the White Oak, an infamous brothel, holds the secret to his past and the childhood friend he abandoned still remains.
Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Fezarius-Epiphany-ebook/dp/B00515BM9W

***Find David here***
Website: The Elencheran Chronicles - http://elenchera.com
Blog: The World According to Dave - http://blog.elenchera.com
Twitter: @elenchera - http://twitter.com/elenchera

Thank you for joining us here today, David! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work. And, what a wonderful story about you and your wife!


David will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate! Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. Tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/06/virtual-book-tour-fezarius-epiphany-by.html.

~ BACK OF BOOK ~
     The White Oak, Clarendon’s oldest brothel, lured and destroyed men by the thousands. Fezariu was different. He had never been drawn by the White Oak’s vices but the brothel had still ruined him when he was just a boy.
     Salvation came in the form of the Merelax Mercenaries – Elenchera’s most prestigious hired hands. They gave Fezariu the chance to escape from his past. Immersed in the world of dangerous assignments in the colonies Fezariu longed to forget everything about his childhood but only in facing the past would he ever be free of it.
     RRP: £9.99/$14.99 (paperback), $4.99 (ebook)
~ EXCERPT ~
     The White Oak betrayed the impact of the stranglehold of time. The once pristine sign above the main entrance had faded, while the outer walls were cracked and filthy, their once white coat blemished and degraded. Nonetheless, the clattering of glasses, raucous laughter and jovial music still flowed from the open windows out onto the filthy streets.
     Across the street from the White Oak, Fezariu stood with one hand resting on the wall of a derelict house, his eyes were locked on the door of the White Oak and his mind was reliving that fateful day when he had seen his mother entertaining the patrons. She had pushed him aside then, defined the worthlessness that had consumed his very essence until he stumbled upon the path of salvation that led him to Merelax Island and to the mercenaries.
     The last time Fezariu had seen the White Oak he had been nothing to his mother, nothing to anyone, but now things were different. He had changed his life around, he was successful now, respected by his peers and finally of some value. With the weight of achievement supporting him, Fezariu finally had the reason and purpose to come back to the White Oak, to prove to his mother what he had done with his life; that he had thrived without her love and without her help. Today he would dictate the exchange between them, show Wild Jessamine that she was just another whore to him and not his mother. As a child, Jessamine had looked down on Fezariu and cast him aside as she would stained garments, but now Fezariu would tower above her and make her feel the same worthlessness he had.

3 comments:

David M. Brown said...

Many thanks for letting me guest today. I've really enjoyed visiting such a great site.

News just in. Fezariu's Epiphany is now just $0.99 on ebook.

Thanks again.

Chelsea B. said...

Great interview!! And, dang, I wanna be stuck on your desert island!! LOL :-)

justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

ruby95660 said...

Great interview! This story sounds really interesting.

ruby95660[at]yahoo[dot]com