Friday, 9 December 2011

Interview: Robert Day

I'm thrilled to welcome Robert Day to my blog today, author of the fantastical Demon Gates. I just love it when a high fantasy is written well, which Demon Gates certainly is, and I'm so pleased Robert agreed to a grilling so I can dig a little deeper behind the scenes. Here's the blurb:

The land of Kil'Tar has a long and bloody history of war between the Kay'taari and the Ashar'an. Aided by Dragonkind, the Kay'taari have protected the world against the Ashar'an and their demonic followers for many centuries. With demonkind banished to the Voids, and the Ashar'an all but destroyed, Kil'Tar has enjoyed an era of peace.

However, the seals binding the portals to the voids are failing, and the Ashar'an are abroad once again. Both the Kay'taari and Dragonkind are nowhere to be found on Kil'Tar.

Can Valdieron, a young man raised in the small village of Shadowvale, fulfill his destiny and rid the lands of this menace once and for all, or will he falter, and condemn Kil'Tar to demonic destruction?

Hop over to my full review of Demon Gates.

How would you describe Demon Gates in a tweet (140 characters)?

Demon Gates is an old school epic/high/dark fantasy which pays tribute to the fantasy authors of the 80's who helped give me my voice.

How did the idea for Demon Gates and the Nexus Wars Saga come about?

Having read a lot of fantasy (and books in general) growing up in the 80's and 90's, I had a lot of ideas running around in my head. So one day I thought "How hard can it be?"... the result is The Nexus Wars Saga.

Valdieron is a fantastic hero character who develops really well throughout the book, how did you come up with his character and the characters of his companions?

I guess Valdieron was the conglomeration of many main characters I had read about. I like to think he embodies the characteristics people find relatable in a hero - humility, humour, respect, honour, purpose and determination. Hence, his companions all have characters which reflect these characteristics in Valdieron, as well as create their own persona.

Is there much research involved in writing epic fantasy? Did you find out anything interesting in your research for Demon Gates?

For me there wasn't. The process all seemed very natural, and once I started, things seemed to fall into place. There came a certain point, however, where I needed to write down all these extras in order to keep tabs on my story and not have it wallow in its inconsistencies. Fantasy is pretty much whatever you want to make it, and as I was paying tribute to my favourite authors while writing it, I wanted to make it as perfect as I could.

I’m always intrigued to know how writers of epic fantasy go about building their world. How do you create a whole new world? Do you make maps or notes on the world to help you?

As answered in the previous question, there ended up being quite a bit of world-building in order to give my work an authentic and in-depth feel. This included a lot of data on characters, locations, a timeline, bestiary, calander and a crude map showing the realm of Kil'Tar. Luckily I have never had too much trouble creating names, and this creation process proved relatively easy, though time consuming and constantly evolving. The biggest challenge is making everything believable.

When and why did you decide to take the plunge and self publish your book? Did you always plan to publish it?

When my initial creation reached about 250,000 words, I figured it had grown to the point of having a life of its own. Where initially I had been writing just to see if I could, the story came together in such a way that the idea of being a writer became a dream, albeit a distant one. After a few half-hearted attempts at soliciting an agent and publisher, these dreams died as I worked on refining the content. I split Book 1 from the manuscript and was left with a good part of Book 2. Once both were finished, I edited and edited and edited some more, and continue to edit to this very day. Then one day I was introduced to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, and realised the avenue for getting my work to an audience was available.

What kind of writer are you? Do you have any rituals? Do you plan a story from start to finish or just see what happens?

I am a lazy writer :) With The Nexus Wars Saga, I have a grand overview in my mind, but the story is constantly evolving and changing as I write. I have no rituals, other than trying to get out of writing whenever possible, even though I know I shouldn't.

What is the story behind the cover?

With the basis of the story being the age-old struggle between good and evil, the Demon vs Dragon symbolises the conflict within the series. I was lucky enough to find a very talented artist who worked with mye to create the image in the form of the yin/yang.

If you had room on your shelf for only 3 books, what would they be?

Besides my own 2? ;) They would have to be:

1) Magician by Raymond E. Feist. This is, and will continue to be, the book that gave me the desire to write.
2) The Hobbit. Like many people, this book was my introduction to fantasy, and from there I have never looked back.
3) A good dictionary/thesaurus. A writer's best companion.

Can you give us an idea of what happens in the next books in the saga?

The following books in the series continue Valdieron's quest to find and possibly unite the pieces of the Disk of Akashel. It also sees a few more main characters come into their own and play some hopefully important roles in the outcome of the story. You will also find out a few things about the nature of Valdieron's heritage and discover his destiny is greater than even he imagined it could be.

A huge thanks to Robert for answering my questions, I would definitely recommend Demon Gates to anyone who loves a great epic fantasy, or anyone who enjoys a good story and great characters.

Find out more about Robert Day on his website or blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment