Interview with Robin Wyatt Dunn

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up first in Texas; I moved to California when I was eleven. They're the second and third biggest states in the union, sometimes too big for their britches, and very occasionally they're cognizant of the responsibility and the humility that size demands. Hopefully I manage the same feat.

Whatever is Texan in me is stark; Texans like simple things and they like poetry. They like the country and they like food, men and women, the land, nature. Texans don't have complex attitudes about the land, and about Nature, it's there, and they like it.

Californians love Nature too but it's a work in progress. It's something we either screwed up, are in the process of screwing up, or are in the process of fixing, and of course it's always all three. Also Californians tend to see Nature as an escape: get away to Nature, away from the hustle and bustle, whereas Texans tend to see it as part of the whole thing.

These are all shameless generalizations, of course, but I've benefited as a man and as a writer by absorbing the unique cultures of both states.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing before I could write, apparently: my Mom wrote down stories I told her. One that survives concerns a character named "Back-It Pallusus" who could "back it" people from the dead. In other words, he was a necromancer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My Name is Dee is about a magician in present day Los Angeles who is going insane. But his madness is really only as crazy as the average Angelino. It's a science fiction book about LA culture, about humans and aliens, and about the nature of reality.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Well, in contrast to "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" is, I suppose, "if you can't join 'em, beat 'em!"
What are you working on next?
Currently I'm at work on a novel set in the far future, after Earth's sun has died.
Who are your favorite authors?
Gene Wolfe, Sheri S. Tepper, James Joyce, Kim Stanley Robinson, William Shakespeare, and the author of The Epic of Gilgamesh make up a partial list.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To see what's happening.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm currently studying at Chapman University, earning an MFA in fiction. Orange is a nice quiet little town, rather frighteningly so, considering it's situated dead center in one of the most densely populated counties in the USA, Orange County.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember audio books; I used to demand my parents turn over the tape for me in the middle of the night because I didn't know how to do it (they quickly taught me, so they could get some sleep).

I remember a scary story for children called "Knee Knock Rise" that had a great soundtrack and was filled with suspense and mystery. Later I recorded over the tape and made it blank because I found it so scary, but regretted it later.

I also remember an audio book called "The Little Blue Brontosaurus" which was full of adventure and drama, and the pain of growing up.
How do you approach cover design?
I drew the cover for My Name is Dee myself. Knowing how many hours and days and weeks of work it is now makes me infinitely grateful to have the assistance of a cover artist on my forthcoming book.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Book of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe. In some ways, it's a microcosm of the entirety of human experience. It's like The Bible, The Iliad and Joyce's Ulysses had a love child set in a science fiction universe.

There's five books in that series:

The Shadow of the Torturer
The Claw of the Conciliator
The Sword of the Lictor
The Citadel of the Autarch
The Urth of the New Sun
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I've gotten some good results from free giveaways.
Published 2013-08-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Black King of Kalfour
Pre-release—available February 1, 2019. Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 29,020. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Who is a man married to, when he is married to a woman? And what if they get divorced, but only one of them remembers? The Black King of Kalfour catalogues one man's quest for his woman across multiple dimensions.
This Isn't One of the Stories I Remember
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 31,350. Language: American English. Published: August 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The city has been burning for months. Robert needs a new job, and a new dog, and a new wife. But he's not going to get any of those things. Instead he is sucked into a series of parallel universes, chasing the job, dog, and wife he already has.
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 17,890. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Debudaderrah, far colony, receives a surprise: a sentient robot from some Earth which does not yet exist. The robot has orders to eliminate all life it finds; but the robot is also human, and has a troubled conscience. Science fiction poetry by Robin Wyatt Dunn.
What Black Delirious Daylight Sets You Forward in the Boat
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 3,570. Language: American English. Published: October 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry
“A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country.” A poet is home in his work. Here, Dunn both enumerates and interrogates the hidden dream we are too distracted to encompass; as simple souls in the brush, we do not wish to disturb the Universe. Yet Dunn did this for us. - Dustin Pickering, founder of Transcendent Zero Press
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 66,080. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
The population of Los Angeles has vanished. John Dee has to find out why.
Black Dove
Price: $4.99 $2.50 USD. (50% off until Dec. 16!) Words: 32,170. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2016 by Scarlet Leaf. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Love and war in the Middle East: Robert is a disillusioned reporter; Rachel an agent for Mossad. Modeled on the Song of Solomon, Black Dove explores the intricate interconnectedness between love and war, violence and friendship, and the complicated relationship between the United States and Israel.
White Man Book
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 20,300. Language: American English. Published: August 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Fiction » Coming of age
WHITE MAN BOOK is part jeremiad, part expose, part prose poetry novel. It endeavors to wrestle with the implications of our beloved James Baldwin’s observation that the white man is the “real nigger baby."
Colonel Stierlitz
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 29,220. Language: American English. Published: September 10, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Colonel Stierlitz, a ghostly remnant of Semyonov's literary character, comes to life in a dream Moscow, tasked with defending his Motherland against all external threats.
Conquistador of the Night Lands
Price: $7.50 USD. Words: 71,950. Language: American English. Published: December 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
The world has ended; the sun has died, but life goes on. Join Soad and Weel, defenders of the Redoubt, and The Producer and Woad, a Hollywood producer and a giant whale, on a journey to remake all of reality. "A tour de force" -- James Blaylock, author of ZEUGLODON.
Julia, Skydaughter
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 17,100. Language: American English. Published: October 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Julia is fighting for her country. She is twelve years old. On the outside, a burqa. Underneath, satellite communications hardware linked to her AI in orbit. Her mission: overthrow a theocracy. An immersive look at a hyper-religious technological future, JULIA SKYDAUGHTER examines questions of morality and identity in the middle of a blazing fast adventure.
A Map of Kex's Face
Price: $6.00 USD. Words: 36,960. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Roberto and his wife Sasha are busy acting out a bad campus novel in a recently seceded California when the known universe undergoes some fundamental changes. Campus administrator Kex is more than a human being, it appears, but also an avatar around whom mandala-like emanations revolve, frequencies whose meaning Roberto must discern if he is to legitimize his new Department of Cartography . . .
Fighting Down into the Kingdom of Dreams
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 77,420. Language: American English. Published: June 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Long ago lived Ing, who gave us Inglish. Eighty generations later, Ing's descendant Hrothbert fights down beneath the surface of another Earth, hunting the Wight. To regain his honor and his reason, Hrothbert must recover the lost dreaming of the Rat City of Roth, re-fight War War One with fusion weapons in a parallel New York City, and rearrive at Howth Castle and environs ...
Line to Night Island
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 20,510. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Kiss me, you’re beautiful. Will you come to Night Island? I’ve been calling.Tell me, are you there? I am coming but I cannot say what it is; what are you? Do I understand it right, that you are reading me? My name is Dun; I am Dark Knight, I am Dark Island, from Night Island. These words hurt me but they are necessary; tell me, can you feel it too? That something is coming to an end?
My Name is Dee
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 68,250. Language: American English. Published: August 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
John Dee is a magician in Los Angeles. He is going insane. My Name Is Dee is a novel of noir action, intrigue and dark romance, for the child in all of us who wants to go on adventures, and for the fearful adult too who marvels at the terrifying scale of this universe. John Dee must choose what moral course his life is going to take: can he stand to still wear the grey hat?
Los Angeles, or American Pharaohs
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 92,940. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Transgressional fiction, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Robert, an independent filmmaker in Los Angeles, is hearing voices in his head. Alice Hershlug is slowly torturing him via The Grapevine, a kind of mental telephone. Hoovey Weinerschniztel, a movie producer in New York City, is blasé about his recent rape and imprisonment of one of his employees. Part political diatribe, part philosophical essay, part picaresque, this novel is dynamite.
Son and Woman, A Short Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,740. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Adventure » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
In ancient times, a warrior leads his family on an adventure of survival.