About a little more than a year ago, Dan Wright hosted me on his site for an interview. Today, I get to repay the favor. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Dan.
J.S. – When did you know that you were a writer?
Dan – I’ve always had a somewhat overactive imagination – and would often create stories in my head all the time. I guess that was a definite sign that I needed to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and create something that people want to read.
J.S. - Tell me about your writing process. Any quirks?
Dan – I don’t really have a “process” as such, I just sit down and type on the keyboard – hoping that what I write makes a story. XD. Sometimes I plan the story for months on end before sitting down to write it, making sure that I have every detail worked out – though it never works out and I often have to go back to do TONS of re-writes!
As for quirks – well, I always make sure I write a cat into the story somewhere – or an animal in general. Being a cat owner myself I always have to add one in.
J.S. - I love cats, too, but I have a little dog that sometimes acts like a cat. Did you go to school for writing or were you born with the skill?
Dan – I was born with a strange imagination – the writing I picked up as I went along. All I can say is thank god for spell checkers! XD
J.S. - Indeed. Spell checkers are a Godsend. What is the most difficult part about writing?
Dan – Learning that no one gives a **** about what you have to say! Lol! In all seriousness, I’d say the hardest part is when you finally get your book finished and present it to the masses – that’s when the REAL fight begins. And it can be pretty heartbreaking seeing your book sell hardly anything when other writers do so well – I think every writer can appreciate how hard that is.
But then again, a true writer never gives up. After all – as they say in Batman “Why do we fall? So we learn to stand up again.”
J.S. - That is so true, and I totally agree. That moment of truth never gets easier. What do you like best about writing?
Dan – What DON’T I like about writing I think would be a better question! I love everything about it. Creating characters, telling stories, messing with readers emotions, having epic moments – the list goes on. I just love the idea that I can tell the stories the way I want to tell them – and also create characters that I think are awesome!
J.S. - Who inspires you the most?
Dan – I get inspiration from a lot of places. Whether it’s a new book, film, TV show – or even a song I hear. Also, my friends and family are an inspiration every day.
J.S. - Who is your favorite historical figure?
Dan – I’d have to say Caligula. In fact I’m interested in a lot of Roman History and that stuff – it formed the basis of one of my countries in my books. Caligula helped me a lot creating the background to my main villain as I found him very interesting – and whilst he was noted for being somewhat insane and dangerous, he actually wasn’t as bad as people thought he was if you look at his history deeper.
J.S. - Greek and Roman History is my favorite, as well as Egyptian. What animal do you think represents you the most and why?
Dan – Panda. Cause I’m cute and cuddly! Lol XD
J.S. - Cute!! Has your writing style changed much other the years?
Dan- Ever since I discovered Manga a few years ago, I have tried adapting my style to have more of a Manga element to it – with a lot of humour and madcap antics, that sort of thing. Recently though, I’ve been quite impressed with a lot of Pixar films, so I’ve tried adding some elements of that to my work.
J.S. - Pixar has been doing great work. The best so far for me in Tin Tin. Do you write one book at a time for do you have multiple projects going on at once?
Dan – At the moment I have about four projects going on at once – another Draconica novel, a children’s book, another novel and an anthology. It’s a challenge, but I aim to have them all finished by the end of the year!
J.S. - Wow, that’s ambitious! Good luck, I know you’ll do it. Do you have a favorite place to write? If so, where?
Dan – I only really write in my office. Works for me pretty well so why change it?
J.S. - If you could pick any time in history to live, when would it be and why?
Dan – Medieval times. I always loved reading about knights and chivalry and all that – so I’d love to go back in time and be a knight!
J.S. - What is your favorite quote and who said it?
Dan – “There’s no shame in getting your ass kicked, but there’s no pride in not fighting at all.” Mark Calaway – AKA The Undertaker.
J.S. - That’s a great quote, I had never heard that before. How attached do you become to your characters?
Dan – Depends on the character. I try not to have favourites (it makes it harder to kill them off otherwise XD) but I do find myself feeling sorry for them now and then. That being said it IS important to care about your characters, because if you don’t care – how are the audience supposed to?
J.S. - Where did you get the inspiration for your novel?
Dan – My main inspirations for it were the Lord of the Rings novels and the Warcraft series of video games – also Greek Mythology and Steampunk ideas. Essentially it’s what’s called a “Kitchen Sink Fantasy” – where all the inspirations I had over the years came together to create this series.
J.S. - What is the best advice you can give to a new writer?
Dan – Before you start, ask yourself “why do I want to be a writer?” If the answer is, because you want to write stories and create your own – go for it and don’t let anyone stop you! If you want to write just to be famous, stop right now, think carefully and go back to your motives. Writing is NOT a get rich quick scheme, contrary to popular belief. For every writer that becomes famous – there are about TEN writers that don’t. But writers write because they want to tell stories – that’s what you need to achieve.
And stick at it! Don’t go into it thinking it’s easy – because it’s not. You will get knocked down many times during your career, but sooner or later, you’ll make it. Keep at it – never give up – and drinks lots of soda to keep you going!
J.S. - Great advice! What is the weirdest interview question, if any, you have ever been asked and what was your answer?
Dan – You know I can’t actually remember. I think it was something about “who would win between a ninja pirate and a robot zombie” or something like that. I think I chose the ninja. Ninja’s are awesome!
J.S. - Yes, yes they are… Do you have plans for a future novel?
Dan – Yes, I have a novel coming out sometime later this year. It’s the next part in my Draconica series. It’s gonna be a dark one – think Empire Strikes Back in Fantasy terms and you’ll get an idea how dark it is!
J.S. - Where can fans contact you?
Dan – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @draconicaseries and @pandragondan
J.S. - Where can fans buy your book?
Dan – You can pick up the whole series so far in one Ebook volume! You can find it here:
J.S. - Thanks again, Dan. It has been a pleasure!