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Author Interview img

The Author Interview

Jeff Davis
Latest book title
The Seeds
Available at
wherever fine eBooks are sold
Spring 2012
Channel links
What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out, or do you just let it unfold?

I generally start with what I call a “bones” document, which is akin to an outline. I set out major points to cross. How the characters get to each point sometimes takes on a life of its own. It seems like I rewrite the “bones” almost as much as the story!

What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
I’ve always marveled at fantasy fiction’s ability to transport the reader into a realm at once so alien and yet so recognizable. As a lover of the genre, I set out to write a book I’d want to read.
Tell us about your latest effort, (Title, genre, etc.)

The Seeds is a sweeping tale of epic proportions that could take place in your own back yard. It concerns a race of winged beings called Tarols, who are just about as tall as a Blue Jay. Their magics come from the Seeds. Matra, a rival leader of the beings known as Woodbines, seeks to steal the seeds in order to have her followers become equals with the Tarols, by growing wings.
Matra is using an exiled Tarol named Claudios to achieve her ends.

Central to the story are the Tarol Queen’s three children, Michael, who serves as High Marshall of the Queen’s forces, and twin sisters Varia and Dartura, who serve as generals. While Varia is the diplomat, Dartura is more of a punch you in the face first, ask questions later sort.

As the sisters unravel Matra’s plot to steal the seeds, they must deal not only with the antagonistic clans of Bats in their area, but the machinations and political structure of their own society.

These are not your grandmother’s faeries!
How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
I like to have one character, usually a minor supporting character, to be my voice. This gives me the chance to vent, without turning the whole story into a repository for every dark thing in my head.
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
That’s tough. For me, I tend to be more creative at night, so I’ll really dig into the work after the kids go to bed. It really becomes a question of priorities. All of the work I do, be it writing, painting, video editing, etc. , I tend to lump together into "work". "Work" has its place in the hierarchy, after kids' homework, necessary chores around the house and family outings. I try to take it on a case-by-case basis, though. Sometimes I'll pass on an event, to stay home and work, but, if its important, I'm there. I'll write later.
What breaks you out of a creative slump?
I’ll paint, write a blog post, shoot some video… anything to keep the juices flowing. If all else fails, I’ll watch cartoons. Instant super-charge to my creativity.
Do you ever censor your writing to avoid offending or displeasing people?
I do. And then I write it anyway.
Is there a story you want to tell but avoid because it would be too controversial?
My next story after “The Seeds” may approach a controversial topic from a fantasy perspective. I’ve got a few other ideas lining up in my head that are sure to offend someone. With all of the crazy people in the world, I can't honestly say that I don't think about it, but I try not to let that fear taint what I'm doing. There's a fine line between controversy and just dumping on people's beliefs, though. The benefit to becoming the hero of one audience segment at the expense of another has got to be transitory at best.
How can you write an honest autobiography without offending people who recognize themselves?

I wouldn’t, because no one would believe it. I’d much rather look ahead than to look back.I suppose if one was to write one, you’d have to make a choice before the first word is down… write it honestly and offense be damned, or soften it up and protect yourself from the slings and arrows that are sure to follow.

How do YOU build or create an effective platform to reach your audience?

It’s different for everyone, and I'm still trying to find the right path. Some writers are naturally sociable, so social media platforms are a good fit.For others, it can be way too daunting and exhausting to engage, engage, engage all of the time. It is, however, crucial to do so, especially for an independent author.

The key is to communicate with your audience. That doesn’t mean just post stuff about you and your work and sit back. You have to really engage. Talk to people. Read their work. Comment, (nicely) on it. Share when its appropriate. Above all, though… don’t expect the audience to flock to you. There are lots of great writers out there.  Have patience, hone your craft and don’t be an jerk about it.

What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?

Read as much as you can, both within your favorite genre and out.
Write as much as you possibly can.
Read everything you can find about being a good writer, and then toss the lot and write the story you want to read.  If you still like it after the third or fourth revision, chances are it’s a good story. If you’re bored, the reader probably will be, too.
Don't be afraid of editing. Again, especially for indie authors. What you publish will follow you forever, so a good editor can save you from yourself as time goes by.

Interview with Jeff Davis

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Interview with Dawn Batterbee Miller

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