Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Same Six Questions - J.S. Dunn

It's Thursday, December 15th (nine shopping days left if you're counting)! Welcome to The Same Six Questions. Today's guest is historical fiction author J.S. Dunn.

The Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?

Bending The Boyne, a fresh take on ancient Ireland; this novel shows the new ideas about who were the first Celts.
Circa 2200 BCE: Changes rocking the Continent reach Eire with the dawning Bronze Age. Well before any Celts, marauders invade the island seeking copper and gold. The young astronomer Boann and the enigmatic Cian need all their wits and courage to save their people and their great Boyne mounds, when long bronze knives challenge the peaceful native starwatchers. Banished to far coasts, Cian discovers how to outwit the invaders at their own game. Tensions on Eire between new and old cultures and between Boann, Elcmar, and her son Aengus, ultimately explode. What emerges from the rubble of battle are the legends of Ireland’s beginnings in a totally new light.

Larger than myth, this tale echoes with medieval texts and cult heroes both modern and ancient.


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

My postgrad studies and career have always involved writing. Learning the tools for writing fiction was a challenge, even though I’ve always read historical fiction.


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?

Here’s the humorous answer: the first piece of “fiction” was probably the first appellate brief, where one is massaging the facts from trial to make persuasive arguments that will win on appeal. If I recall, that brief was a winner.


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

Uhm. See prior answers. Also, when this debut novel won a national, judged competition. That was a fairly clear sign. Winner, historical fiction, Next Generation Indie Awards 2011.

In addition, my first indication that I probably would not use a NYC publisher was when an editor there actually asked the following question regarding 2200 BCE:

Were there people in Europe then?

The reading public are sharper than that NYC editor for historical fiction. --- No wonder the mainstream publishers are going broke.


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

As it happens, the characters are based on people I met while living in Ireland during the past decade, so I’m very glad to have met them already. Eire is a lovely island with wonderful people who chat, wind you up, spend quality time, and make every day a delight. For example, my postman (whose surname also happened to be Dunn) used to sneak down the lane to fish my section of the river. But he'd throw part of a fresh salmon in through the window every now again. He knew that I knew, and that was his thanks. So I lined the windscreen and side windows of his postal truck with blackberries. That was to say, You're very welcome.


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?

My next novel in its still incomplete form, and it won’t go away, the unfinished manuscript stands like a naked orphan and keeps knocking and begging to come in....come in from the cold, finish us finish us finish us. You get the picture.

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Thanks for sharing with us, J.S.! For more on J.S.'s writing, check out Facebook.

My guest on Monday will be Nate Granzow. See you then!