Interview with Dave Devine

When did you first start writing?
I wrote a book called Puo and the Dream Princess in the 2nd. grade. It was a hit because I added my classmates as mischievous, plucky comic relief, and the lunch lady was a disagreeable antagonist. My next book was called Knight tracks of Darkness, about a dream knight who set out to guard the dreams of his king.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Doomed to Prevail series follows the story of a young boy named Andre who was born imprisoned, locked away in a magical tower by kings and priests to shield the world of Eos from his frightening powers. In Book 1, Fall of the Minotaur King, Andre's escape culminates in the death of a beloved hero.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like the idea of building and cultivating a grassroots readership, and being able to communicate with a small group of devoted readers, answering their questions, and weighing all their feedback. I want to create fun, interesting, meticulously crafted worlds populated with compelling, absurd, despised, and wretched characters. I hope others will enjoy reading me up as much as I enjoy writing it all down.
What are you working on next?
I already have the cover ready for a book project called "Action Figure War," half memoir/half fantasy.

It's about a boy who copes with the vicissitudes of life by orchestrating violent conflicts among his action figure collection. I've been researching Just War Theory and Voltron. There are action figures who claim to speak directly to the boy, figures who believe in him and figures who don't, some complain about him or blast him, some follow him blindly and claim to be his voice, and others have deep conversations about him while he sleeps. "Who is this collector and what is our purpose here?" The aim of this book project is to wax philosophical but make it interesting and funny, then weave in the relationship between the boy's brother and his family.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Khalil Gibran's The Prophet, The Little Prince, The Tao of Pooh, and Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces. I just finished Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, and I loved his Sandman graphic novels. I studied the Hebrew Scriptures in college, and took notes on JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillion. I didn't want Robert Jordan's A Memory of Light to end. I need to re-read Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, and I think Game of Thrones does a good job of filling the void Wheel of Time left behind. I secretly love Kate Dicamillo's books (especially the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane) and I'm ten pages away from finishing Haruki Murakami's Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm a morning person. I rise with the sun! Always eager to get out of bed. My mornings are sacred to me, and the rituals I observe (like reading Utmost for his Highest while blasting Metallica, and working out) set the tone for the rest of my day. I keep a journal and I made it my business to take my kid brother to school every morning. Every day is a gift, and running is the best gift we can give to our bodies. I keep a color coded Journal in order to sift through my story ideas easier without having to re-read moments in my life that make me cringe!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Life is always getting in the way of my writing, but that's the writer's paradox: Life informs your writing, but it also gets in the way! I write like a madman, I run like a madman, I bike like a madman, and whenever I find a good video game to play I run it into the ground. I usually wait for the games to go down to 20 bucks, and by then I've watched enough reviews about it, and then I launch into it. I like games where you can customize your own character and you can do anything you want in an open ended world. I read profusely, usually on the train ride to work. On weekends, I love karaoke. My girlfriend is a family therapist downtown. Dating a therapist is probably the greatest gift God has ever given me. She loves everything I write, even though Fantasy is her least favorite genre. Later today I plan to watch Season 3 of the Walking Dead on Netflix, followed by dinner with a certain therapist.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Puo and the Dream Princess was about a boy who met a girl in his dreams and he followed her through many adventures. I wrote four or five stories about Puo in the 2nd. grade.

Twenty years later, I revisited the story idea and entered it into a contest. I changed the story a bit. Eventually, I'm going to post it here on Smashwords as soon as the cover art is finished. In Puo and the Dream Princess: The King of Nothing, a boy thinks he is on a dream quest to save a princess, until he discovers that the princess is leading him on a very personal quest to save his father (The King of Nothing) from a drug addiction.
How do you approach cover design?
I contact a very talented friend of mine named Piya Wannachaiwong (pronounced wanna-CHAI-wong). We were in the choir together in college, and we sang at a papal audience at the Vatican, during the beatification of Edith Stein. We reconnected many years later, and I learned that he loves to draw dragons. He designed the cover art for FOMK and ZP. My approach is very simple: I email Piya, I give him a vague skeletal idea of what I'm looking for, I send him a money order, and he gets to work. No deadlines and full artistic vision and freedom to do whatever he wants. He sends me several thumbs and sketches, he once sent me different spear heads for the Minotaur King! I select the one I like, then he scratches everything and starts all over after showing the sketches and thumbs to his other artist-confidantes. He returns to me a month or so later with something even better than I ever imagined. Piya will do the cover work for all 7 installations of Doomed to Prevail.
Describe your desk
You should have seen what it was last night. I put a chair on top of the coffee table, opened the laptop there, placed my composition notebook and journal under it, wireless mouse on my lap, a bottle of black cherry sparkling seltzer water on the coffee table, and the Xbox on playing "Solar Sailor" from Daft Punk's Tron Legacy Soundtrack on repeat. I moved two hours later, created something else on the glass dining room table. My dog Chewie moves with me, curls up into a ball, and passes out. I look at him often, filled with envy. I can't sleep when ideas are stirring inside. Being unpublished is like being pregnant and never giving birth.
What do your fans mean to you?
My mother loves all of my stuff, even though she hasn't read any of it. She put Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone down the minute "a giant dropped out of the sky on a motorcycle." She can't stand fantasy, even though I always remind her that her favorite book (the bible) is filled with many wondrous fantasy elements. "Yes," she says, "but those are all true!" My fans are like extended family, they're not going to adore you because you wrote a book on the internet. Every fan is a glowing ember. Your continued support keeps me warm and sharp and purposed and content :)
Published 2013-09-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Knight: Tracks of Darkness
By
Price: Free! Words: 19,240. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
"The story of a King who was bitten in his nightmare and cursed by a spider, and the heroes and villains who worked together to lift the curse and vanquish the spider forever, and all the great feats and deeds of arms that happened in between.”