Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Same Six Questions - David M. Brown

It's that time again! Another round of The Same Six Questions. Today's guest is author David M. Brown. Welcome, David!

Thanks, Andy! I was born in Barnsley (UK) but moved to West Yorkshire so I could read History with English at Huddersfield. I still live in Huddersfield and I’m now married to Donna and we have six rescue cats: Razz, Kain, Charlie, Buggles, Frodo and Bilbo. Charlie was the only one we named (because ‘John’, as he was called, is no name for a cat!). Obviously I love writing but I also enjoy reading, watching world cinema, anime and films in general and, when time allows, playing RPGs such as Final Fantasy.

1. Have you published a book yet?

I’ve recently self-published my first novel, Fezariu’s Epiphany, which you can find on Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu.com, and many other websites. This will be the first in a series of books set in the fictitious world of Elenchera which has been more than ten years in the making and boasts 47,000+ years of history (I used to have a lot of time on my hands!)
The novels will be self-contained stories allowing the reader to pick and choose whichever book they wish. There’s no specific order but each one will unravel a different period of history in Elenchera and over time I intend to cover all twenty-three lands that make up this unique world. I’m also trying to do something a little different with the fantasy genre, making it more accessible to a wider range of readers. The characters will be more important to the novels than the world of Elenchera though I do hope that readers will find Elenchera to be an absorbing means of escapism from their busy lives. Fezariu’s Epiphany tells the story of Fezariu who suffers many upheavals during his childhood, the most significant being the
abandonment of his mother. Unable to cope with the fresh wounds inflicted by his past, Fezariu flees home to join the Merelax Mercenaries – the most prestigious hired hands in East Elenchera. Fezariu’s hope is that the life of a mercenary will help him to become worthwhile to his peers and most importantly to forget about the past. Fezariu learns the hard way though that the past is something you can never leave behind.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed reading fiction from my early teens and fantasy novels in particular were favourites of mine. Going through school I imagined the life of a writer was a wonderful dream to fulfil but I didn’t have the inclination to begin my own writing until college. I firstly discovered the RPG series Final Fantasy and that led me to Norse mythology which I had never read before. A combination of those two influences gave me the desire to build my own world and writing quickly followed.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

I can vaguely recall writing a short story towards the end of primary school which was quite a lengthy piece. I don’t recall if I came up with the idea or whether we were given a title and told to write whatever we could. The story was about a group of people on a stagecoach just travelling from town to town. Such was my naivety at the time that I can remember asking my teacher if the Romans would have been around at the historical period the story was set in. I was given a polite “No!” in response but I do think a chuckle quickly followed from that teacher. Encouraging, eh? I don’t recall any major resolution to that story, just the people travelling in that stagecoach and talking to a watchman at some stage. I don’t own that piece of writing sadly though if I still did I imagine I would have jettisoned it in some cunning and destructive manner!

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

I first conceived the idea of Elenchera in 1999 and began working on a novel entitled Verisimilitude which I never finished though I intend to return to at some point. By 2000 I had started work on my first epic novel, Endeavour, which took four years to complete. In 2004 I had a very productive summer. Before finishing Endeavour I started and finished two short novels, The Anglo-Asininity Chronicle and Amarstrea. When I finished The Anglo-Asininity Chronicle I realised that I had succeeded as a writer. Though I wasn’t published, I knew I could complete a novel, take an idea and see it through from start to finish. Those novels are all obsolete now though I may revisit them one day but I still think of them proudly as testaments to the motivation and commitment I knew I would need to be a writer.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

A decade of writing history, 47,000+ years of it, and I have to choose just one character to meet in real life! That’s tough. I’ll make it easier by picking one of the characters from Fezariu’s Epiphany. I do like Fezariu, of course, but he’s a very troubled young man and I’m worried I’d spend our entire meeting listening to his problems! Instead I’m going to opt for Fezariu’s comrade and fellow mercenary, the verbose toldere Vintaro. A lover of alcohol and good humour I think Vintaro and I would get along famously. He can be a serious character on occasion but generally he takes life in a relaxed manner, finishing his battles quickly and heading straight for the nearest inn or tavern. My only issue with Vintaro is his love of the Atlantian herb, Mizuansi, which is smoked in a pipe. I’m not a smoker myself but don’t imagine Vintaro would have much consideration for “No Smoking” zones!

6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

It’s Ben Affleck and he needs a favour. Two of them in fact! He wants me to write the screenplays for his next two projects because they’re guaranteed to be critically acclaimed money makers. The films? Haven’t you guessed? Pearl Harbour 2 and Gigli 2!

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Brilliant, David! Thanks for sharing with us. For more of David and his writing, be sure to check out his web site, blog, Twitter profile, Facebook pages (elenchera and fezariu), and Goodreads page.

Be sure to stop back on Monday when author Sue Santore will be my guest!