I’m happy to welcome today author of Fezariu’s Epiphany, David M. Brown. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about his life as an author, and his latest book.
1. Tell a little about yourself, what you do when you’re not writing, what are your aspirations for the future?
I was born in Barnsley, a former mining town in South Yorkshire, England and remain close to my roots today, now residing in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, with my wife Donna and our six cats – Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo. When not writing I’m an enthusiastic book worm, an aspiring film buff and music lover. Aspirations for the future? Simple. To be a full-time writer and live the ultimate dream.
2. When and why did you start writing?
I had always enjoyed creative writing at school and advancing to college I began writing in 1999. The previous year I had discovered the RPG series, Final Fantasy, and became immersed in the games. Their use of gods led me to Norse mythology and within a few months I had drawn a world map of Elenchera. Tolkien once said he wrote to give England its own mythology, something we could be proud of, well, I’m no match for one of the fathers of fantasy. Instead, I just wanted a world that has something to offer for everyone through a style of fantasy that is weird and wonderful but also akin to our own reality.
3. Have any particular novels or writers influenced your writing?
Fantasy novels such as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, His Dark Materials, The Redemption of Althalus, the Discworld and Sword of Truth series are personal favourites and have had a big impact on teaching me about the genre. In terms of writing style I lean more towards Hemingway’s deceptively simple style and the beautiful prose of Murakami who is responsible for my favourite novel, Norwegian Wood. Sci-fi and fantasy are challenging genres for readers and writers alike. I think it’s hard to find a balance when it comes to detail and world building techniques. My writing influences make me favour a more concise yet simple style when conveying the world of Elenchera – to give the reader as much detail as possible but in the fewest words.
4. Give us some back story about Fezariu’s Epiphany, where and when did you write it?
Fezariu’s Epiphany was a very different novel to what it is today when the idea first came to me. In its previous incarnation the focus was more on the mercenary life and fighting, a good idea I thought but not a great one. I then wrote a short story, A Mother’s Blessing, about an assassin that returns to the town of his birth to assassinate a government official and is reunited with the mother that cast him aside as a boy. After many months as separate tales, Fezariu’s Epiphany and A Mother’s Blessing were suddenly merged and I had a different, but more importantly, much better novel on my hands. It took two years and six drafts before I was happy with the book but it was worth the many edits.
5. What inspired your novel?
I spent ten years building the world of Elenchera – timelines, maps etc – and as the early history came together one of my favourite groups were the Merelax Mercenaries – elite warriors whose only loyalty is to money. As the history played out the mercenaries were more bit players in the timelines rather than central to any major events. I decided I wanted to write a novel that explored them in more detail and that’s what inspired me to start Fezariu’s Epiphany. While the mercenary life isn’t the central focus of the novel I still think it gives the reader a good insight into the mercenaries through Fezariu’s experiences of them.
6. What was your favorite part of Fezariu’s Epiphany to write?
That would be Chapter 20, The Embers of Redemption, where the bulk of the chapter was written in one sitting. Whenever I’m writing I tend to veer between slow, plodding and head scratching to fast, relentless and hardly able to keep up with the ideas I desperately need to get on paper. It doesn’t happen often but when I’m in the zone and there are no impediments to my writing and conveying ideas I can reel off many words in a short space of time. This was the case with this chapter where Fezariu is given his first real taste of combat. I had a rough idea how the chapter would play out but once I started writing Fezariu, Tessera, Vintaro and Arshea raced ahead of me and kept shoutingback at me to keep up. I just about did and they guided me through the burning city of Redemption and through a richly rewarding session of writing.
7. Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I have recently completed the first draft of my second novel, A World Apart. Set many centuries after the events of Fezariu’s Epiphany, A World Apart centres round three childhood friends – Demetrius, Eleyna and Halcyon – who are inseparable until their teens when a love triangle develops. Demetrius leaves his friends behind to join the army but years later the trio are thrown back together by ill fate and circumstance to find they are very different people to who they once were.
8. Any advice for other debut authors?
If you haven’t already, start a blog. You can write about anything and as regularly as you like. I find it is a great way to keep my writing fresh as I focus primarily on film and book reviews, so can have small breaks from writing novels and go back to them feeling somewhat rejuvenated. Blogs are a great way to not only gather a loyal group of readers but to meet other bloggers who may share useful tips or set aside space on their blog to interview you, let you do a guest post or just give you something great to read.
9. Do you have any tricks to your trade, bottomless coffee, a magic pen, a special muse?
Copious amounts of tea have seen me through many a late night writing session, but in terms of support you can’t beat a muse. My wife, Donna, is my muse, having been a fan of my writing before we were even together. She helps keep me disciplined with my craft and has proved invaluable to me with my books so far, being both a friend and critic, and helping me make my writing as good as it possibly can be. Having a good critic is essential and the stricter they are the better. Donna has fed back to me in the past and nearly reduced me to tears but it’s been worth it. As a writer never be content, always strive to do better and you’ll never get complacent. As pleased as I am with Fezariu’s Epiphany I know A World Apart will be better because of what I have learned the first time round. It’s a steep learning curve but once your journey has begun you’ll never want it to end.
Be sure to check out David M. Brown’s new book, Fezariu’s Epiphany.
12-year-old Fezariu thought his mother died when he was little, but when his beloved stepfather dies the boy discovers she is alive and well – and working at the most famous brothel in all of Elenchera. When she cruelly rejects him it’s more than he can bear, and he runs away to join a band of ruthless soldiers for hire. The Merelax Mercenaries will fight for anyone who can pay them, no matter the justice of the cause.
Fezariu grows up among the soldiers and becomes one of them. He thinks his time with the mercenaries has hardened him. But a campaign in his old home town pushes him too far, and he discovers what really happened to his mother. Maybe there are some things money shouldn’t buy… and maybe it’s time Fezariu took his revenge.