Interview with D.E. Dunlop

What do you read for pleasure?
Some people in my life have claimed I have a strange reading list. I like to read. I read just about anything. I've read C. G. Jung, Stephen King, Patrick Rothfuss, John Irving and many others. The genres range from psychology and philosophy to biography, fantasy, literary fiction, folk lore and now I am reading a history book titled, "The Norse Atlantic Saga". (True, the latter is for research, but I truly am enjoying it like any other book I've read.)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have two devices that I use. My iPhone and my Kobo mini. I love them both.
Describe your desk
I have two different desks. The desk that gets the most writing done however, is the lunch table at my day job. I usually write during my coffee and lunch breaks. The second desk is in the living room at home. I share it with the family and therefore it is usually cluttered with kids stuff like toys, candy and iPod accessories. My third location is at the kitchen table which is pretty much a kitchen table.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Simcoe County in southern Ontario, Canada. Specifically around the city of Barrie. I absolutely love the landscape of that region and could easily see my characters interacting therein. When I was old enough to go out unsupervised, high school, I would ride my ten-speed bike all around the city. When I was old enough to drive I would take a map of the province and drive. I would turn on roads I'd not travelled just to see where they went. So my first novel really had no choice but to take place there; albeit in a future day and age.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing poetry in high school. Not flowery beautiful poetry, mind you. It was dark and strange and it occurred on a constant basis. I especially wrote in art class. I wrote on loose paper, napkins and if I had one a book. I started writing my first novel, "The Quest for the Black Dragon", in my graduating year of Fine Art College. That threw me for a loop. I spent three years in college for Fine Art and suddenly all of my creative juices were flowing in literature?
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is still in the works. It is actually a series of at least two books. There is a character of legend in the first novel. His name is Kozlov and he is the first King of the protagonist's home city of Bayfield. (500 years before the story begins)
So the series I am working on is called, "The Legend of Kozlov". I am also working on a series of graphic novels to go with this character. The working title is, "Kozlov; Tall Tales". It is a series of short stories written in the POV of other characters about The Great Kozlov. The cartoonist I am working with is Steve Mills of Worth It Studios. (worthitonline.com) We met in college in the early 90's.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I don't have much time to write so I had even less time to query publishers and agents. I did try several different agents and publishers. It was very time consuming and many wanted exclusive queries. So I would research the many different options, format the query to fit, submit and then wait several weeks to get a no thank you. After about a year a co-worker suggested I self publish with Apple on line. I did some research and found Smashwords.com. In my research I saw how the print sales were dropping severely and the e-book sales were sky rocketing to say the least.
It looked to me that it was the only choice. As much as I like print books, they are going the way of the dinosaur.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has everything you need to be an Indie. How to format your manuscript. How to market your book. How to build an internet platform. Editors and cover artists are available as well. Mark Coker has written some invaluable "How To" books and provides them for free.
Smashwords has the widest distribution platform as well and to the biggest retailers.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think it's a toss up between actually getting it out of my head and having someone tell me they enjoyed it.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without fans the story isn't anything at all. The fans are the other half of the story. I want to write stories they can escape into and not want to leave. I want them to live vicariously through the characters.
Who are your favorite authors?
My two favourite authors are Patrick Rothfuss and George R.R. Martin.
Rothfuss creates a very believable and lyrical world with loveable and hate able characters. The read is effortless and you never want it to end.
Martin creates a very believable world as well, however, he is much more explicit with character relationships.(In my opinion, sometimes too explicit because I can't recommend it to my mother or hand it over to my children) He is also very gifted at creating the suspense and drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat; like killing your favourite character.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Getting to work on time.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to spend time with my family. We play games, toboggan, ride bikes, hike, draw and watch movies. When we aren't doing family activities I like to read. Some day I will spend more time in my studio painting. I love oil painting. There's a new art centre in my town. One day I will check it out and maybe there is a print making facility there. I would love to get back into a printing studio. It's been too long.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember writing a story about an elf when I was in grade four. The story was read to the grade one class. I, unfortunately, do not remember how the story went. I also remember writing a story about a werewolf in grade eight. It was an assignment in our creative writing class. It was a group project and I like to think the three of us did quite well. Steve Gunn had the scary ideas. I had the ability to describe and drag it out and Lisa McGuinely had the grammar, punctuation and spelling down pat.
What is your writing process?
My process is rather chaotic, I think. While I'm day dreaming an idea will form about a character or particular event. When I have an opportunity I will write it down. The next scene may not have anything to do with the first. Sometimes the next scene has nothing to do with the current book. As these scenes are developing and being recorded I start to see how they intertwine and I will eventually place them in the order I like. Once they're in order I examine the flow. I tweak and re-tweak, sometimes re-write until I have what I like. The Quest for the Black Dragon was written in this fashion and took many years. I don't want the next to take as long so I wrote a brief and very simple outline. So now I simply will place the scenes into the order of the outline. This way I also know what types of scenes or events I will need and I can nudge the daydream in the corresponding direction.
Published 2014-03-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Quest For the Black Dragon
Price: Free! Words: 94,520. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Tinne is a disenchanted young Story Teller. He is thrust into the Quest for the Black Dragon (a lost magical stone whose power allows the Story Tellers to create the future) by the need to keep the stone from Katharine, the Story Teller Queen of Sitty, whose intentions for the Black Dragon are purely selfish and evil. His quest leads him through many turmoils including betrayal and war.