We are sitting down with Kevin Debler, who has a new title – The Adventures of Ero Unsughn – The Silver Band – out now. Thanks for taking a moment out of your schedule.
Not a problem at all. Glad we can speak.
What life events brought you into writing as a career?
If you listen to my parents tell it, I have always been a writer. Even before I could spell, I was always trying to tell stories. My mom would actually take dictation for me so that I could have my stories down in print.
When I was maybe in elementary school still, my dad read one of my short stories for a class assignment and he loved it; he said I should think about a career in writing. Pretty much ever since then I have been thinking about stories and book ideas that I could try to make a living with. When it came time to go to college and work on a degree, I chose a teaching degree because that way, if the writing thing did not pick-up after an immediate smash hit, I could go into teaching to make a living. While I haven’t gone far in teaching in a formal setting, I have internalized much of those lessons and tried to carry that into my writing as well as my personal life.
Who are your greatest influences as a writer?
My influences, in my opinion, are much more unconventional than many other writers. I tend to look to directors and screenwriters for inspiration; in fact, my mantra throughout writing Ero Unsughn was, “show, don’t tell,” important words for filmmakers. Beyond some of my favorite movies and directors (like Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings franchise), I did look to other authors for guidance; just not the typical kind. I look to their work and see what is great about it and what it not-so-great about it; then I strive to not repeat their “mistakes.”
One author whose body of work does come to mind as an inspiration is Terry Pratchet. Not only has he written a great deal in his famous Discworld series, but he continues to write novel after novel in the very rich (and very funny) setting. I do aspire to have his drive, energy, and sheer commitment to be able to produce as much as he has.
When I need to sit down to write, I often try to have music playing as a way for me to focus. My particular favorite, one that I used extensively while I wrote Ero, was a mix of songs from European metal band Sabaton. Something about the songs and lyrics really provides a visually inspiring auditory backdrop for me to work with.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of the plot of the book?
Sure. Amid the deserts and oasis of Suenya, a band of enterprising adventurers stumble into grand machinations for conquest and subjugation at the hands of a vampiric tyrant. At first they need to investigate why they are being targeted by the despot and then they must plan out their counter-attack to finish him off. And to me, while the plot is simple, the characters are far from simple. The story is truly carried and driven by Ero Unsughn and the other adventurers as well; from their quirks to their flaws, they are what make the book inspirational to read.
On an aside note, I love hearing from readers who their favorite character is; I take it as a source of pride as a writer that I yet to hear the same exact answer from any two people so far.
There are a number of distinct fonts used in this title, which is a nice touch. What inspired you to take that tack?
I had seen a similar technique used in other works before, so I felt comfortable treading established ground in my opinion. However, the major inspiration was my matra, “show, don’t tell.” I wanted the fonts to carry the voice and character of the individuals speaking or the language they were speaking. Breaking up the normal font with specific other fonts help convey not only different languages but also different tones or sounds to a particular character’s voice. As an example (and ideally spoiler free), when Grisnegro speaks, it needed to have a certain harshness, severity and menace in the voice; it seemed more appropriate to have his words be in a different font and allow the reader to see the tone and not just read about it.
Which goals would you like to achieve before you put down your pen?
In a general sense, I want to paint scenes and images with carefully selected words. More specifically, I want my work to be compelling; something that readers will have a hard time putting down. The kind of work you stay up all night reading and still wanting more. I don’t want anyone to actually lose any sleep and compromise their health over my work, but I would still like to know that someone had a hard time stopping anyways. Call me a sadist; sorry.
Where can readers purchase a copy of The Adventures of Ero Unsughn – The Silver Band?
Currently, it is available through Amazon.com I occasionally order a few copies (from Createspace.com) to sell in person; and provide autographs upon request. So, if you ever meet me in person, I may have a copy you can purchase off of me. You can also go to Createspace.com, search for my book and purchase it there. It should also be available for Amazon Kindle.
What does 2015 hold for you as a writer?
I have found a website where I can continue writing in smaller but informative segments; the site is called Hubpages.com. As I write more articles for the site, and as traffic rises for it, I can earn additional revenue via advertisements. I am eager to continue writing there both for financial purposes, but also as a way for me to express my thoughts constructively and educationally. I am also slowly working on a sequel to this book. I know with other factors in my life reduced in scale to where I can prioritize writing as tops, then I can certainly aim to have another major chapter in the exploits of Ero Unsughn written and available for print. No guarantees unfortunately.
On a more personal note, I am most looking forward to my fifth anniversary with my loving and supportive wife.
How can interested individuals contact you?
I do value my privacy, particularly when it comes to the internet. That being said, anyone who wishes to contact me can do so via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. When you do, please state your intentions very clearly in your subject line; otherwise my spam filters might send it away and I may not see your words/thoughts.
Do you have any final thoughts for our readers at NeuFutur?
Just that I would encourage everyone motivated to read my work to take that extra step and find other authors, and give them the same opportunity. Especially if they like my work, please nurture that courage and give others that same effort; if not more.
Thank you so much for your time
Thank you; and thank you for your patience.
Kevin Debler Interview