Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fantasy Fanatic -- David Brown


I'm super excited about my guest on Vintage Vonnie today -- Fantasy Author, David Brown. David has a love of creating worlds. In fact, he's spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera.

David is on a whirlwind blog tour promoting his book, Fezariu's Epiphany.  To ONE lucky commenter on this tour, he's giving away a $25. Amazon gift card. So make sure you comment here AND the other stops on his blog tour that runs until June 1st.

      What is your life like away from the computer? Tell us something about your household.

It’s a busy household. I live with my wife, Donna, and our six rescue cats – Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo. When not writing I’ll be keeping the house in order, watching films, reading or sneaking out for a nice coffee with Donna.

     What authors and genres do you like to read?

I read fantasy as I’m continually learning from my peers with the like of Tolkien, Pratchett, Goodkind and Donaldson being among the best teachers. I also enjoy the work of Murakami, Orwell, Hemingway, Marquez and Irving. When not reading fiction I can’t resist a good history book or biography. Fiction is always a joy but it’s good to learn more about the world and those that inhabit it.

What is your writing schedule like?

I prefer to clear chores and things in the house before I sit down to write. If I have blog posts to do they usually get cleared first. Once I’ve freed up some time for my novels I’ll soon drift away into the world of Elenchera and be lost for many hours at a time. They’re the best moments as a writer, when you’re in so deep you can hardly hear anything that is going on around you.

What is the story behind your book title?

When building the world of Elenchera I was drawn to the Merelax Mercenaries – a renowned force of hired hands. My initial thoughts were having a character join them believing the life of a mercenary to be illustrious only to discover it is brutal and life changing. The revelation of this gave me the title Fezariu’s Epiphany. However, the novel storyline would change completely before I started writing it but the title remained and thankfully tied in with the new plot. The main character, Fezariu, experiences a life changing epiphany at the end of the book, a reflection on all that has come before in his life.

Do you ever dream of writing in a different genre?

It’s certainly crossed my mind and I would never rule it out. I just feel comfortable in the fantasy genre and with the world of Elenchera I’m trying to do something a little different. I want to write novels where the characters have more life than the world they inhabit and the stories could effectively occur in any world, including our own, they just happen to be in Elenchera.

How do you research your storylines or locations?

History is my primary area of research especially if it’s medieval history.

Oh, I love medieval history. It's probably one of my favorite eras to read about. There were some fabulous things happening. What about researching locations?

Location-wise my world is fictitious but I still consider aspects of our own world in shaping the lands and cities of Elenchera. World history has taught me a lot about how nations are founded, built up, how some fall and others endure. When building the world of Elenchera my best friend was Cassell’s World History which covered all the key events in human history. I learned so much from that and was inspired by so many events that building Elenchera wasn’t as difficult as I had feared, although it did take around a decade!

What part of the writing process brings you the most pleasure? The most angst?

It’s undoubtedly the first draft. Getting ideas down on paper and putting the basic outline is always fun and there’s no real pressure. When it comes to the editing the real challenge begins. I do like editing but I do find it difficult at times as well. I believe you can edit a manuscript too much so finding the right balance is always the hardest for me.

I so agree. When I first started writing full-time, I often edited the life right out of my chapters.

    What is one of your most embarrassing or laughable moments?

I’m not a heavy drinker, I know my limits and I stick to them. However, one night many years ago I was drinking with friends and late at night I walked them both home before proceeding to make my own way home. In my inebriated state, I began talking to myself and started a debate about how drunk I was. This discussion went on to the point where I had to prove to myself that I was sober. I pictured a straight line in front of me and was confident I could walk it. Although I kept the line in sight it veered left, then right, then left, then right and so on as my staggering took over. I made it home safely that night but it was embarrassing waking the following day and remembering it!

Good thing it was never made into a YouTube video... 

What are you currently working on?

I’m finishing final edits on my second novel, A World Apart, which is due for release in May 2012. It tells the story of three childhood friends – Demetrius, Eleyna and Halcyon – that find themselves in a love triangle in their teens. Demetrius leaves when Eleyna marries Halcyon but the three friends are reunited a decade later only to find they are no longer friends but enemies. The novel is on a much larger scale than Fezariu’s Epiphany and I believe it is a better novel which is what I will always aim for with every book I write, to grow and develop as a writer, and never be content with maintaining one standard.

Tell us about your current release…or soon to be release.

Fezariu’s Epiphany was published in May 2011 and was the first in a series of self-contained novels collectively known as The Elencheran Chronicles. Fezariu suffers many setbacks in his childhood including the abandonment of his mother and the murder of his stepfather. Believing these tragedies are because of him, Fezariu flees what little family he has left and joins the Merelax Mercenaries. He rises through the ranks to become one of the best mercenaries and with each success he believes his past will gradually be buried. However, Fezariu soon learns that the past will never let go and to be free of it he must go back to his childhood and learn some painful truths.

Did you bring us an excerpt?

I did, yes. But, first, I want to share some reviews the book has garnered.

** There are many plot twists and turns in this masterfully written book chronicling the life of a mercenary named Fezariu. Fezariu's Epiphany is a fantasy work on a grand scale in which you enter an imaginatively drawn world filled with many lands and spanning great periods of time.
   Jason Sullivan - Different Outcomes and author of The Dark Yergall 

** When a reader that normally does not like fantasy novels set in world with unknown names falls in love with a book from that genre, then you know the author did a spectacular job of bringing their story to life for all to enjoy. 
   Talina Perkins - Bookin' It Reviews/Night Owl Reviews
   Night Owl Reviews "Top pick"

** You can almost smell the filth and corruption that permeates Clarendon, a true cesspool of a city. This is a story of how a boy grows into being a man and accepting his faults and redeeming his failures. I recommend it.
   William Bentrim - Azure Dwarf and author of The Adventures of Hardy Belch

Jessamine’s arrival at the White Oak was the subject of conflicting rumours. Some said that Vincent had found her on the streets and offered to take her in, others professed that Jessamine was a prostitute from a rival brothel and that Vincent had persuaded her to join the White Oak. The worst of the sceptics claimed that Jessamine was payment from one of the local merchants who was heavily in debt from his frequent visits to Vincent’s inn and had been forced to sacrifice his own daughter. Whatever the truth, Vincent arrived at the White Oak one day with eighteen-year-old Jessamine by his side.
The atmosphere at the White Oak changed completely. Vincent quickly found himself overwhelmed by love for Jessamine and his hostile demeanour descended into a rare placidity that was welcomed by all that frequented the inn. It seemed that Vincent’s days of sexual promiscuity were at end and with Jessamine he had found the reassuring comfort of monogamy. However, Vincent’s new found and tender devotion did not last long. 
Within months, Vincent’s love submitted to the lure of opportunity. During the long nights sitting with Jessamine by the bar, Vincent hadn’t failed to notice the lustful gazes of the patrons. Their eyes, wide with desire, followed Jessamine’s every move. Rather than feeling the insecurity of a jealous lover, Vincent was struck by a glorious epiphany, one that could increase his already vast wealth. 
Vincent took his time in laying the foundations of his treacherous scheme. He enticed Jessamine with sweet words, flowers, rich trinkets and promises of impending marriage and children. Once Jessamine was at his mercy, Vincent introduced her to the wealthiest and most impatient of his patrons. His assurances to Jessamine spoke of monogamy and sacrifice that would bind them together for all time. If this had been the beginning of their relationship then Jessamine would have refused Vincent’s proposal and walked away; however, by this point her heart beat to the same rhythm as Vincent’s and to leave now was simply unthinkable. So Jessamine submitted body but not soul to the eager patrons, all the time thinking of Vincent’s reassurances that they would one day be married.  
Jessamine’s new life as a prostitute of the White Oak brought fame and wealth. The mysterious and shy girl Vincent had first brought to the inn became spellbound by the power of her own intoxicating femininity. As her confidence grew Jessamine learned to dominate the room, giving equal attention to each patron before choosing to share her bed with the highest bidder. Vincent remained in the background and watched the patrons – old and young – offer money and fabulous gifts for just one night with Jessamine. The partnership was perfect. Jessamine would earn a fortune by day but at the end of the night would sleep in Vincent’s richly adorned arms. 
When Jessamine passed her first year at the White Oak she saw a sudden change in Vincent. His greed, seldom constrained, was now unleashed in all its ferocity. Jessamine began entertaining patrons day and night to line Vincent’s already bulging pockets. Their nights of tender lovemaking and untarnished promises of marriage were forgotten. Jessamine, believing it to just be a phase Vincent was going through, worked even harder to please the patrons and win back the adoration of the one man she loved. 
The Elencheran Chronicles:
The World According to Dave:


marybelle said...

I enjoyed the interview thank you. I would imagine there being a lot of angst in preparing your story for publication.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting David today.

David M. Brown said...

A big thank you to Vonnie Davis for hosting me today and for a great interview as well :)

David M. Brown said...

Hi Mary,

I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

Yes, preparing for publication is a busy time but unlike somne writers I am very lucky in having the support of my wife, Donna.

Waiting for the first review was nerve-wracking for me. I hoped readers would enjoy my work and although that isn't the case with everyone, many people seem to have enjoyed their visit to Elenchera.

I hoped for an average rating of 3/5 for Fezariu's Epiphany and so far the total is 4/5 so I couldn't be happier. 5 star ratings are always nice but I never want to get complacent. I want to always keep trying to improve my writing.

Kylie Frost said...

I'm typically not a Sci-fi reader, but the world you've created sounds interesting, in a dark themed sort of of way. Congratulations on those great reviews.

David M. Brown said...

Thank you for commenting Kylie.

Elenchera is a very dark world where it is hard to survive. I think I wanted the realism of our own world to be in there. Life is hard for so many of us and the characters in Elenchera are no different.

Yes, I've been very fortunate to get some really kind reviews. I take on board all feedback whether it's good or bad. I want to keep improving as a writer and listening to readers is the best way.

MomJane said...

I have really enjoyed following your tour. Each time, I learn something new. This book sounds just fantastic, but the next one has already grabbed me.

I also have a rescue cat, 10 year old, black named Camille. She was thrown away because she was so old.

Vonnie Davis said...

Oh, MomJane, poor Camille...yet, lucky Camille, she has you. I turn 64 next week. Hope no one throws me away!!! Thanks for stopping by. David had created an intriguing world, hasn't he? I love the video he has and am in serious "video envy" here. Now, I must go feed my cat, he's batting at my cheek and giving me THAT look.

Anonymous said...

That's interesting, about editing a manuscript too much. There is probably a fine line between perfection and being overwrought.


Catherine Lee said...

Poor Jessamine...The ending of the excerpt doesn't sound promising for her.

I also have rescue cats...between Vonnie, Momjane, David, and me, I'd say we'd have more than a Cat House full of cats!

David...I see you listed Irving as an author you read. I just ordered his new one, In One Person, for my Library. The reviews on Amazon are WILDLY divergent. It will be interesting to read and see what side I come down on.

Vonnie Davis said...

Oh, Catherine, I don't mean to imply my cat is spoiled, but he does have his own Twitter account and from time to time Jazzie Miles Davis tweets for snacks. He has no pride, only a bottomless pit.

I thought the same thing about Jessamine, but then smiled. Just when all hope is lost, a good writer surprises us with an unexpected, yet believable twist. I suspect David won't disappoint.

Catherine Lee said...

LOL Vonnie! Our 2 "resident" cats are SO spoiled! Into the mix, we've been trying--unsuccessfully--to integrate a rescue from our local drainage ditch, Tabi. THEN, we acquired another rescue, Coco, who used to live across the street from us but was run off by a new, mean cat that THEY brought home. Poor Coco had been relegated to the streets for about 6 months when we found him 2 blocks away. He has integrated beautifully with our residents. NOW, everyone gets along except Tabi. It is a well-choreographed dance each morning and evening, taking care of the brood!

Vonnie Davis said...

Catherine, would you have life any other way? Books, cats, laugher, love...the building blocks of life.

David M. Brown said...

Hi Jane,

I'm glad you've enjoyed the tour so much.

I applaud you on rescuing Camille. I wish more people would take on older cats. Sounds like Camille has a great home now :)

David M. Brown said...

Thanks for your kind comments Vinnie.

A Twitter account for your cat? Love it :)

I'm glad you like the video trailer. I've been lucky to work with some very talented people.

Jessamine does have a hard time in the book, as does Fezariu. I won't give anything away about the ending though :)

David M. Brown said...

Hi Catherine,

It's a long struggle for Jessamine and Fezariu doesn't fare much better sadly, at least early in the novel.

Sounds like you have your hands full with all those cats :)

Yes I do like Irving. I haven't read the latest but I enjoyed The World According to Garp and A Widow for One Year. I'm looking forward to reading A Prayer for Owen Meany too. Hear that's very good :)