My latest interview is with author P.B. Dillon who was kind enough to answer my questions :)
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
P.B. Dillon: When a friend once asked if I’d continue to write if I was stuck on a deserted island with no hope of rescue (but with a pen and some paper), I thought about it for a moment and said, “Well, sure. Why wouldn’t I?”
That’s how it’s been for me ever since I was a kid. It’s like having a chronic disease; I know life would be easier if I didn’t have it, but I do. So all I can do is manage it, feed it from time to time, try not to let it get out of control, and hope for the best.
At the moment, that means spending my mornings working on fiction, and the afternoons putting together corporate communications for the company I work for. It’s a pretty good balance.
Other details: I live in New Zealand, which might sound exotic but is really just like anywhere else except that travel costs more. I’m married to a wonderful woman who doesn’t quite understand why I do what I do, but at least tolerates it without complaint. I’ve won awards for my writing, both nationally and beyond—but the last time I entered anything was years ago.
Books & Writing: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
P.B. Dillon: The very first story I remember writing was in primary school. I was about eight years old, and I can still remember being excited. Possibly too excited, given that I had no clue at all what to write about.
In the end, I wrote a story about someone who lived under the ocean. It was quite long—more than twelve hundred words, I think. I can’t remember the plot, but I do remember that it was inflicted on my classmates by being read out loud.
I hate to think now of all the things I’d done wrong, but it’s interesting that even then my genre of choice was fantasy.
Books & Writing: Were you inspired by someone or something?
P.B. Dillon: Interesting question. I’m constantly inspired by everything I see. Snippets of conversation lead to ideas. Something I’m reading—or watching (I’m a big fan of film)—will trigger a thought. If I’m lucky, I’ll capture these moments of inspiration and perhaps lock them away in the back of my mind, for use later on.
But if you’re asking if I was inspired to write, well, that’s different. I can’t say that any one thing inspired me to do that. It’s always just been there; it’s who I am, and who I always will be, regardless of what level of success I achieve with it.
I can, however, remember the moment when that desire first awoke. I wouldn’t call it inspiration exactly, but rather a kind of recognition. I was very young, about four years old, and I was watching a TV show about the process of writing a book. I was enthralled, and from that moment on I knew what I wanted to do.
Books & Writing: What do you love about writing a story?
P.B. Dillon: Everything. I love creating the characters, building the worlds, developing the plot, weaving in themes and everything else.
I even enjoy the process of sitting down at my laptop, bringing it all o life and watching it grow. I’m partway through a new story now, and am just at that stage of having created enough to know it’ll work and it’ll be good. Now I’m looking forward to finishing it off.
Books & Writing: What attracts you in Fantasy?
P.B. Dillon: Fantasy is the genre I grew up most wanting to read. The stories are simply more magical than you can find anywhere else.
Interestingly, there’s still a stigma associated with writing fantasy tales. Literary writers tend to look down their noses at fantasy writers. But for me, fantasy offers the greatest challenge—much more so than any other genre.
You see, fantasy novelists are still required to create believable characters who live and breathe and leap off the page, just like every other sort of novelist. But with fantasy, you also have to create a believable world, complete with its own set of rules.
You can’t get more exciting than that.
Books & Writing: Can you tell us something about your book “MAGE-WROUGHT”, which i understand is part of a series, and the main character Lito?
P.B. Dillon: Mage-Wrought is my favourite story that I’ve written. It’s a serious fantasy story, and I think it’s great! (Am I allowed to say that if I wrote it?)
Anyway, Lito is the main character, and he’s unlike any other main character you’ve ever seen. He is a construct given life by the Theurgist Gavin. He’s of a golem—not Gollum from the Lord of the rings, but a man made of clay brought to life. His purpose, as defined by Garvin, is to protect Tyrealla, Garvin’s daughter—and he’s been given the skills he will need to achieve this.
It won’t be easy, because Lito, Garvin and Tyrealla live in a castle that’s about to be attacked by the Kelits, fierce warriors who paint themselves blue and file their teeth. Their leader is a Dark Mage who will stop at nothing to accomplish his goal.
The Dark Mage seeks immortality – which he believes he can gain through the use of a jewel that forms part of Tyrealla’s favourite necklace.
Added to this are the complications that Lord Cirovan believes Lito was made to protect him, Tyrealla treats him as if he were repulsive, and, because of how he came into being, Lito doubts that he qualifies as fully human.
Will Lito be able to help defeat the invading Kelits? Will he be able to save Tyrealla from the Dark Mage? Will he win her over, or learn to accept who and what he is?
That’s what this story—and the series—is about. It’s a heroic fantasy, similar in many respects to the stories of David Gemmell, but different as well.
Books & Writing: How does it feel to have a book published that you worked so hard on.
P.B. Dillon: Great. There’s a satisfaction to having brought something into the world that’s totally new. There’s no other feeling like it.
Books & Writing: Are you working on something new?
P.B. Dillon: Always. I’m the type of writer who constantly has a number of projects on the go. At the moment, I’m working on a sequel to my first book (The Mage’s Servant), another in the Mage-Wrought Warrior series, and have started to plot a complex, multi-book tale that spans the universe, crosses science fiction and fantasy, and is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
But mostly I’m working on a humorous fantasy novel featuring a very mischievous character who counts a dragon as part of his ancestry. It’s a laugh-out-loud romp, and the first draft is getting close to being complete. Perhaps in another month or so?
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
P.B. Dillon: There are many, many tips I’ve picked up over the years, but the one that really influences everything I do is this: “Nobody wants to read what you write.”
That’s the truth. These days, everyone is too busy to read. We don’t read emails all the way through, we don’t read news stories all the way through, we pretty much don’t read anything. And yet, authors constantly have the belief that what they’re writing is so important, so wonderful, that everyone will make an exception just for it, and read every word.
Unfortunately, they won’t—unless you make them. Give them the story they want to read, and present it in a way that they want.
That’s your job. Succeed, and you’ve made it.
Books & Writing: Which author inspires you?
P.B. Dillon: Many, many authors have inspired me, from the greats consigned to history through to some of those who are struggling even now. If I have to narrow it down to one, then for me Stephen King takes the crown. He’s fantastic with story, but also very good with the art of writing itself—and that’s something it seems people regularly fail to see.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
P.B. Dillon: Amazon, mostly.
They have this thing called KDP Select, and to sign up to that (which I have), they demand exclusivity for a while and I’ve still got a few months left. This is my author page:
You can also read the occasional short story (along with a few other things) on Scribd:
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on internet?
P.B. Dillon: I don’t have a Facebook page, but I’m around on many other places. I’ve recently set up a Twitter page, and am most active there: @PBDillonAuthor.
Your other best option is my website: http://pbdillon.com.
Click on the next link to open an extract from the book MAGE-Wrought. Mage-wrought-extract