Friday, 22 February 2013

Author Interview: D. E. M. Emrys

D. E. M. Emrys has written From Man To Man and It Began With Ashes.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
Hi there! I’m D. E. M. Emrys, but you can call me D. Home for me is Chelmsford, Essex, in the not-so-sunny UK. Though, being a member of the British Army, my working-week home is on a military base…at an undisclosed location. Dun, dun, dun!

2. Do you have a pen name?
D. E. M. Emrys is in fact my pen name. I chose to publish under a pen name because 1) my real name would kill search engines by the mass amount of people in the world who share it, 2) due to the nature of my job, I thought it best for security reasons, and 3) D. E. M. Emrys is special to me. My father took his own life when I was sixteen, and left very little as a legacy. To put something of him down in history, I adopted his middle (Emrys) and first (David) names into my Author Persona. And so, D. E. M. Emrys was born.

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
‘It Began With Ashes’ – An epic start to a new fantasy series. It’s about living on your feet or dying on your knees.

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
‘It Began With Ashes’ and its prequel ‘From Man to Man’ are both part of the wider ‘Wroge Elements’ series. I am currently writing the sequel, titled ‘A Stirring of Dead Embers’.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I was a late bloomer with reading. I didn’t start picking up books (outside of school) until I was eleven years old. Even then I jumped the gun, and started with Adult-reading-level books. Namely the heroic-fantasy tales of David Gemmell and James Barclay. These got me into the genre.
From time to time, I’d find a book that I didn’t like the end of, or in some cases a book that I wanted to continue. I’d pick-up where the book finished off and continue the story. This eventually saw me start writing my own works. The first time I started writing stories for myself? Thirteen years old.
As I said earlier, when I was sixteen my father committed suicide. Suddenly, the desire to write stories became the desire to write books. I wanted something concrete, something to leave behind not only for me, but him, too. When it came to publishing, I even chose to adopt parts of his name to craft my pen name.
As far as further inspiration that’s down to work, family and friends. I’m a serving soldier for the British Army, and my experiences as part of the military have played a massive part in bringing the kinetic side of my stories to life. Family and friends? That’s self-explanatory, I hope. Earlier, I mentioned my writer’s doubt? That in itself was a wall to be taken down, and all credit for that goes to my girlfriend. She inspires me to keep going, to keep putting the pen to paper, but most importantly, share.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Of course! I’m Indie after all, so I write for the pleasure of others!

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
The cover for ‘From Man to Man’ was designed and created by myself. I wanted something to reflect the gritty mood of the main character, Draven, and a stark image that put the reader in the mindset of a dark and violent persona.
‘It Began With Ashes’ was concepted by myself, but I commissioned the very talented Rachelle Fryatt to produce the artwork. She’s done a fantastic job, and I’m more than happy with the handsome cover to the story.

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
Easily ‘It Began With Ashes’.

9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
Bar from having the budget to hire Rachelle to re-do ‘From Man to Man’? Nothing.

10. Do you have a playlist in mind for any of your books? 
I listen to pretty much anything, but I am something of a sucker for listening to movie soundtracks when I am writing. For ‘From Man to Man’ it’d have to be anything by Avenged Sevenfold, particularly the song ‘Gunslinger’. ‘It Began With Ashes’….Nickelback? I think the different tones of their songs would mix well with the rollercoaster of emotions that the story throws at you.

11. Did you listen to any particular songs whilst writing your books?
Movie soundtracks. Big fav being the Pirates of the Caribbean stuff.

12. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
I think that I would. I mean, the artwork tastes across the globe are so different that I’d love to cater to them all.

13. How did you come up with the title for your book?
‘From Man to Man’ – a play on words for how Draven turns from being the man of his bloodied past, to the man he wants to be.
‘It Began With Ashes’ – I like the idea of great things rising from the ashes (not just phoenixes!). And, with ‘It Began With Ashes’ being a story of how characters react when everything is at risk, ultimately, how far will they go to protect all that they know? And if they can’t, what will be left after they’ve lost it all.

14. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
A question I ask myself almost every minute of the day? The short answer…no. The long answer…still no. I believe that I’ve done all that I can at this moment, and if I kept going back and editing then I’ll never finish!

15. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I haven’t yet, but it is something that I’m looking into.

16. Do you have a “Dreamcast” in mind for any of your books?
I do! I won’t give too much away, as I’d rather readers picture my characters as they want, but I’d definitely want Jason Statham to play Draven.

17. What is your opinion of ARCs?
Fantastic promotional tool, and a reward for loyal fans!

18. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I prefer hardcovers – nothing beats the feel of a well loved hardback.

19. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
I’m an Indie author and proud of it!

20. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
So many times! Particularly the works of David Gemmell. My copy of ‘Legend’ is dog-earred and tatty, but it’ll last a few years yet!

21. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
Anniversary edition of ‘Legend’ by David Gemmell.

22. What is your opinion of novellas?
A story is a story. It’s not about how long it takes to tell it, but what it entails.

23. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
Yes – and sometimes I’ve cursed myself for it, other times I’ve found a rare gem.

24. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Not so far.

25. What is your favourite film based on a book?
Who wouldn’t say Lord of the Rings?

26. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
Fantasy, and I think that it will be.

27. What books have made it onto your wishlist recently? And why?
Peter V Brett ‘The Daylight War’, as I’m a huge fan, and Myke Cole’s ‘Control Point’ – why not, I’m a soldier and a fantasy fan so this is a must for me!

28. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
John Gwynne ‘Malice’ in hardback. It’s fantastic! If you like fantasy, check it up!

29. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
David Gemmell (he may be a writer but he’s a celebrity to me), Keith Lemon, Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold, and the Hoff. I mean, it’s a motley crew, but it’d be one hell of a dinner party!

30. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Writing has taught me a lot about myself. I pour myself into my stories. They’re personal – thoughts, opinions, hopes, fears, dreams, experiences. I apply myself to everything I write, in an effort to bring out what I want to share with the reader. This doesn’t help with the doubts mind you, as the fear of negative response isn’t just a critique, it’s something more.
So to all the writers out there, I know you feel the same. But don’t be afraid to share. Write for yourself, that’s most important, but get out there and do it.
The best advice I’ve ever been given? Apart from don’t eat yellow snow? ‘Just write’.

31. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
As part of my job I enjoy keeping fit and shooting, so I’m a pretty active guy. I’m also a very amateur DIY’er seeing as I’ve just bought a house, and I play the guitar.

31. Where can your readers follow you?

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

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