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Friday, August 5, 2011

Fezariu's Ephipany - Blog Tour

Admin Note* THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY ($25 Amazon gift certificate) during the tour. We encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more comments, the better your chances are of winning. The tour locations and dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/06/virtual-book-tour-fezarius-epiphany-by.html



Where do you hail from and what do you love most about your hometown?


I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and spent my first eighteen years there. The most endearing thing about Barnsley is its history as a mining town. My father, uncle and grandfather all worked in the pits and today you can still see some remnants of its proud past. Much is been done to make Barnsley a thriving town again but it seems the place is unfortunately still the butt of many jokes.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your career?

I don’t recall having one particular career in mind when growing up. I was pretty useless at trying to plan out a future for myself. When I was leaving secondary school we had to fill out a careers form with three potential careers we’d like to pursue. I had no idea what I wanted to do so wrote down author, librarian and hospital porter. Going to college saw the start of my interest in writing, a love I have maintained ever since and I’ve been so focused on my aims to do this full-time that I have settled for doing admin work to pay the bills until I realise this dream. A huge risk I will admit but I’d rather take a chance than regret it later in life. 

Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

Fezariu’s Epiphany is the first in what will be a series of many novels set in the fictitious world of Elenchera. The novels will make up the Elencheran Chronicles but readers will not need to read them in any particular order. Each one will depict a different period of Elenchera’s history and be set on one of the twenty-three lands that make up this world. I’m currently working on my second novel, A World Apart, which will be a much longer novel than Fezariu’s Epiphany and will focus on a tragic love triangle across many years.

Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?

History in general has been a huge inspiration for the world of Elenchera. When first creating the world my bible was Cassell’s World History; the edition I had ran from the earliest recorded fossils right through to world events in 2004. I read the book from cover to cover and took note of any events that stood out for me as potential stories. I then adapted and changed these to suit the Elencheran timelines. I owe a lot to that World History book.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Conveying the stories in my head onto the page is never straightforward. I can easily get the general story down but when it comes to reflecting the images that are clear in my mind it isn’t always easy. I often have to find the balance between description that is too elaborate and too vague. Fezariu’s Epiphany turned out well I feel in capturing a story that has been with me for a long time. At present I have a clear idea of how I want A World Apart to come across on the page but matching that criteria will, of course, be something of a challenge.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

My first piece of advice is to have a reader that you can trust to be open and honest with you. My wife, Donna, is both my critic and editor and is not afraid to challenge me about anything in my novels or stories.  She was reading my work before I even knew her properly and has never been afraid to be vocal about any misgivings!  I’m pleased to say that she hasn’t softened now we’re married.  If you stick with the same reader you’ll forge a strong working relationship, they’ll understand your style and if they have good attention to detail then they’ll help prevent any glaring errors in your work. I would also advise writers to start a blog if they haven’t done so already. You can blog about anything and they’re a great way to keep your writing sharp, help you network if writers and readers, keep you in the public eye while you work on that next novel and when your latest release is approaching you’ll have a ready-made site to make your exciting announcement. 

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

I’m fortunate that I work on different subjects with my writing. If my inspiration with a novel has dried up I’ll either go back to writing some more of the history of Elenchera until new ideas come to me or may lose myself in blogging for a few weeks. I write blogs on a variety of subjects so it’s difficult not to be able to write something no matter how bad writer’s block becomes. If all those things fail, then I freshen my mind with a long walk or just picking up a good book for a while often alleviates some of the mental strain.

Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?

Haruki Murakami is responsible for my favourite novel, Norwegian Wood, but I suppose my favourite author would have to be JRR Tolkien, the father of fantasy fiction. Tolkien’s works are testament to a creative genius and his invention of different languages is phenomenal. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will have influenced many fantasy writers at some point and I am no exception. Norwegian Wood is a very special book to me and its influence transferred to my wife, Donna, who was deeply touched by the story. There is simplicity in Murakami’s language but it still conveys a very profound and moving tale. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels are also important and were one of the catalysts for me wanting to something a little different with the fantasy genre. I would never try to write humour and rival Pratchett, but I do want to try and break from some of the fantasy norms and do something unique.

How did you deal with rejection letters?

I used to take them badly but now when it comes to feedback I will analyse what has been said and take on board criticisms and look to improve myself as a writer in the process. The downside with many rejection letters is agents and publishers seldom have the time to provide you with a detailed response so it’s hard to know where you’re going wrong. Self-publishing Fezariu’s Epiphany has been risky, of course. Not all readers are in agreement that self-published novels should be taken seriously but there is a lot of work ahead for authors that go down this route. I certainly wouldn’t have made it this far without the patience and help of my wife, Donna.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

A laptop to start with, just for the portability benefit that they provide. If you’re writing at home but keep getting distracted by the television or chores then grab your laptop and head to a café or maybe a quiet park if the weather is nice. You’re at the mercy of your laptop’s battery, of course, but the change of scenery that it allows can be very beneficial. Whether you have a laptop or not I would still carry a notepad and pen whenever you’re out of the house. Walking in and out of town in the past I frequently mulled over writing ideas and storylines and I’ve experienced many a horrible occasion when a great idea has come to me and I’ve had to keep it in my mind until I get home so I can write it down. Finally, a good dictionary should be to hand. We’re all human when it comes to remembering words and definitions. I think it was Stephen King that recommended not using a thesaurus though and I agree with that. Whatever word comes to you first, try and stick to that one but if in doubt of the definition the dictionary is there for you.

Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?

I want to try and tell stories in an entertaining way and don’t wish to bore the reader with overlong descriptions. I wouldn’t spend 3 pages describing a sex scene but if I want to convey the image of an alluring woman then I will describe her facial and body features but in no more than a paragraph or so. Battles are depicted in Fezariu’s Epiphany and fighting will be a strong theme in many other stories from Elenchera but once again I don’t wish to dwell on blood and gore in my descriptions. If a character is wounded I’ll briefly describe how but I won’t dwell on too much detail. Gore and erotic content will always be mild in Elenchera novels unless the story demanded something more extreme but if that doesn’t happen then I’ll not detract from the main plot just for shock value.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?

Nothing controversial I have to say. The majority of my research is done through books and online but I can draw on unusual life experiences when writing some aspects of my novels. Journeys are not difficult to convey, especially on foot. In the summer of 2006 my brother and I decided to test ourselves by walking from my flat in Huddersfield to Barnsley. We anticipated having plenty of time to be in Barnsley before England’s World Cup match against Paraguay. We set off at 7.00 a.m. and five hours later reached my mother’s house in Barnsley. We covered around 15 miles in that time and the fatigue we felt was conviction enough that the pair of us had suffered temporary madness even coming up with the idea. Even worse, is we have done that same walk at least another three times since!
Short Blurb:  
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
Prologue
A sudden lull in the snowfall allowed the overhanging moon to bask the valley in its nocturnal splendour. Fezariu’s gaze fell upon the crystalline glitter on the surface of the snow and he felt a slight ironic smile come to his numb lips as he absorbed this intricate beauty in the midst of countless fading lives. In his arms, Tessera awoke and now seemed oblivious to the mortal wound she had suffered in the battle the mercenaries had so decisively lost.
   ‘Do you remember when we first trained with General Bayard, Fezariu?’ Tessera asked, briefly closing her eyes, causing tears to run down her face, their trace briefly alleviating the bitter and enveloping cold.
   ‘My erstwhile teacher with selective hearing,’ Fezariu replied with a wry smile. ‘How could I forget?’
   When Tessera failed to respond, Fezariu began to feel her edging closer to delirium. Her questions became frequent though she awaited no response or acknowledgement of any kind from Fezariu.
   ‘Do you remember sitting on the wall overlooking Redemption with Vintaro and smoking Mizuansi?’ Tessera asked, between painful coughs. ‘I can still see the luminous stars through the myriad of colours rising from the bowls of our pipes. The seemingly endless conflict throughout the streets was over and with it the rebellion. The city stood subdued and silent save for the foundations of the tallest buildings that still trembled in the aftermath of the devastation. Do you remember the torches that lit up the harbour at Strathmore? Our journey to Clarendon changed everything. We should never have gone there. It was never the same after that. Do you remember, Fezariu?’




Author bio:

David M. Brown was born in Barnsley in 1982 and first conceived the idea of Elenchera in college. His love of history and English led him to read these subjects at Huddersfield University. David is inspired by medieval history, Norse mythology and Japanese role-playing video games and anime films. He lives in Huddersfield with his wife Donna and their six rescue cats.



The Elencheran Chronicles: http://elenchera.com
The World According to Dave: http://blog.elenchera.com

3 comments:

David M. Brown said...

Hi

Thanks for hosting me on the blog today and allowing me to talk about the book. I've really enjoyed my visit :).

Dave

ruby95660 said...

Great post! This story sounds really interesting!

ruby95660[at]yahoo[dot]com

marybelle said...

The more I learn about "Fezariu's Ephipany" the more I know I want to read it. Interesting post.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com