Today, I’m participating in a blog tour for Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World so I’ll be interviewing Bryan Davis. Bryan Davis has been instrumental in my writing journey and is always willing to help beginning writers.
There are also two giveaways at the bottom. To participate in the more complicated one for the grand prize, you must find the bolded/underlined number in this post and add it to the numbers you find in the other blog tour posts.
What project(s) are you working on now?
I am working on a young-adult science-fiction, space adventure. The working title is Search for the Astral Dragon. It follows the adventures of Megan Willis, a 12-year-old girl who works as a mechanic for a space cruiser that is searching for the captain’s kidnapped son. I have about 90,000 words written, and I expect it to be significantly larger than that, probably between 120,000 and 150,000 words. I also expect that it will be a series, but I don’t know how many books it will include.
Please tell us about your favorite project or close second, if you already told us about your favorite.
My projects have been important to me for different reasons, so they’re hard to compare. An intriguing project was “Let the Ghosts Speak,” a novel for adults I recently finished that takes place in Paris in 1860. It is part psychological thriller, part ghost story, and part spiritual introspection.
A dream I had more than a dozen years ago inspired this novel. It gnawed at me for all that time until I finally wrote it earlier this year. I had a lot of fun conducting research, reading at least seven books on the history of the time as well as consulting countless Internet resources. I am now in the process of seeking a publisher for this novel.
How did you get into writing?
I began writing as a way to get my children interested in the craft. We created a story together and added to it bit by bit until it became a full-length novel. I enjoyed the process so much, I decided to get more training by reading books on writing and going to writers’ conferences.
During that eight-year learning journey I accumulated more than 200 rejections. I finally found a publisher at a writers conference in 2003, and my first books were released in 2004.
What is your writing process?
I am what is often called a seat-of-the-pants writer. I have a basic premise in mind and maybe a main character, but I have no idea how the story will progress. I just sit down and start writing about a character’s ordinary world, then I ruin that world with some sort of crisis event.
That event creates an object of desire, a goal that the character wants to achieve. Most of the rest of the story follows how the character pursues that goal, though I don’t know what will happen until I actually sit and type it out.
Since you’ve been published traditionally and independently, what are your opinions of these two methods, and do you have one you prefer?
There are definite pros and cons for each. With traditional publishing my books have been far more likely to get onto shelves at bookstores, which has allowed for a lot more sales than for my independently published books. With independent publishing I have complete control over every aspect of the publishing process, including titling, editing, cover design, and formatting. I enjoy that.
At this time, I prefer traditional publishing. Although I make more money per book sold with independent publishing, I have sold far more books through traditional publishing, which results in a higher overall income. Yet, money is not the main issue. Of course I want to make a living, but my number one goal has always been to get my books into readers’ hands no matter what the revenue stream might be. Traditional publishing has been better at achieving that goal.
What advice would you give to beginning writers?
Learn the craft. There are too many aspects to mention in an interview, so my advice is to read books on writing such as Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain, attend writers’ conferences, and join a critique group. Aspiring writers can get a lot of tips at my writing blog – www.theauthorschair.com.
Experience tells me that new writers often rush their stories by beginning with intense action instead of developing the characters and setting up the story world. Others tend to dump information about the back story without progressing the main story. It is better to allow the story to progress while intermittently dropping tidbits about the back story and at the same time provide character development before starting any intense action.
What about experienced writers?
I speak to myself with this advice. Watch out for ruts and repeated devices. I find myself using some of the same kinds of characters, actions, and dilemmas without realizing it until I review some of my older stories.
I don’t mind, however, repeating themes. I always include sacrificial heroism, forgiveness, and other timeless themes. They never get old. Yet, if they are employed in the same manner again and again, the devices can become too familiar, thereby harming the effect the themes might have.
What are some of your favorite books, authors, movies, and/or TV shows?
My three favorite novels are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Joan of Arc by Mark Twain, and Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis. My favorite author is C. S. Lewis.
Movies are varied – Ben Hur, To Kill a Mockingbird, Saving Mr. Banks, Tangled, and many more. I like movies with ethical, heroic protagonists, especially men who are willing to sacrifice in order to do what’s right.
I don’t have any favorite TV shows. I do watch a couple to ignite story ideas of my own, but I find them all too flawed for various reasons.
Any closing words?
Thank you for the interview. It will be exciting to see how readers respond to this new story, especially since I am reaching out to a different age group with a genre I haven’t tried before. Even though the target age is young, I think teens and adults will enjoy it as well. I certainly enjoyed writing it.
About the book:
Eddie Hertz is smart, real smart. He has to be. What other twelve-year-old patrols the streets of Nirvana alone, hoping to foil the schemes of the evil Mephisto? Since Eddie is small for his age, he trusts in his Batman-style gadgets belt and acrobatic skills as well as lots of experience, like knowing how to swing across dark alleys without being seen.
Eddie has a dream, to become like Damocles, Nirvana’s great superhero. To make that dream come true, Eddie invented a device that is supposed to give him superpowers, but using it on himself is dangerous, maybe even fatal. He doesn’t have the nerve to try it.
When Mephisto unleashes an earthquake machine on the city, Eddie gets a surprising teammate — his quirky eight-year-old sister, Samantha, who comes up with an unexpected way to help Eddie in the frantic battle to prevent the biggest earthquake of all.
Since Damocles has lost his ability to help in physical form, Eddie and Samantha are the only hope for Nirvana and the world.
About the Author:
Bryan Davis is the author of several bestselling series, including Dragons in Our Midst and the Reapers Trilogy, speculative fiction for youth and adults. Bryan and his wife, Susie, work together as an author/editor team to create his imaginative tales.
Links to his pages:
And here’s the giveaway:
Wednesday, September 20th
Tour Kickoff @ The Author’s Chair
Book Spotlight @ Backing Books
Book review and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Zerina Blossom’s Books
Book Spotlight and Review @ The Spooky Bookshelf
Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Scattered Scribblings
Book Review and Character Interview @ Light and Shadows
Thursday, September 21st
Book Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Red Lettering
Spotlight and Author Interview @ The Reader Addict
Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ target verified
Book Review and Character Interview @ Hidden Doorways
Book Review @ Ashley Bogner
Book Review @ The Page Dreamer
Friday, September 22nd
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Story of Fire
Book Review @ Inkwell
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Liv K. Fisher
Book Review @ writinganyone
Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Superheroes @ Dreams and Dragons
Author Interview and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ March to a Different Drum
Book Spotlight @ Author Jaye L. Knight
Saturday, September 23rd
Author Interview @ Jessi L. Roberts, author (You are here)
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Book Lovers Life
Book Review and Character Interview @ Verbosity Reviews
Book Spotlight, Author Interview and YOU WRITE: Superheroes @ Creature of Graphite
Character Interview @ Wanderer’s Pen
Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Adventure Awaits