The Tercentennial Baron (The Bellirolt Chronicles Book 1)
1- What five words represent your most notable characteristic or values? #In5Words
#In5Words Honor yourself and honor others.
2- Will you continue doing audiobook narration?
Absolutely I will continue doing audiobook narration! That has allowed me the resources to publish my book the way I wanted. I plan to narrate for at least the near future.
3- Did you learn something new about audiobook narration from your new writer point of view? Or have you approached writing differently thanks to your narration skill?
I think I’ve always been best as a narrator when I perform the book as if I wrote it. That sort of ownership is essential when you take on the telling of any story. In terms of writing, I’ve gained a much deeper appreciation for how a book SOUNDS when read aloud. Rhythm, pacing - that all clicks into place. If the book can’t be read aloud easily and fluidly, you need to edit more.
4- Can you share a story from your life that shows who you are as a person and why you are a writer?
A brief tale: I was obsessed with Star Wars as a kid; that was my first introduction to another UNIVERSE that someone else had created. So the first story I ever wrote was a total take-off on Star Wars. I think I even called it “Space Battles.” (I was in 3rd grade; give me a break.) It was literally a Luke vs Darth Vader story with different names, but somehow I knew I wasn’t just doing it for fun. I was starting to explore taking a world I loved and making it my own. I never finished that story, nor any other, until The Tercentennial Baron.
5- What ignited your passion for writing?
Reading other stories I loved AND watching movies. Probably movies even more! Just look at my previous answer. I knew as a young kid I wanted to create other worlds that people would want to be a part of.
6- What made you want to write a historical fantasy?
I love history, and I love fantasy. It really was that simple. I haven’t even read much historical fantasy, but to me history is a kind of fantasy in itself, because it concerns other worlds that have now fallen away - where lives were totally different - and yet parts of them still remain with us today. That, to me, is kind of magical, and the perfect set-up for a mystery.
7- Would you share a picture with us of a view of Scotland?
Glen Coe - one of my favorite parts of Scotland, with some of the most dramatic scenery. My fiancee and I hiked through there and fell in love with it.
8- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?
Short term, I want to reach the point where I can make a living solely on my writing. By which I mean, my own original stories - not writing on assignment. Long term, I want to expand my repertoire of written work to many different series, not just the Bellirolt Chronicles. I want to create a variety of different worlds that fans can explore, so many different kinds of readers can enjoy my work.
9- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?
Oh boy… I’m sure it’s a toss-up between my mother, my sisters, and my fiancee. How do you measure such a thing? They each appreciate different things about my work. But I think one thing they can all agree on is they feel very connected to the journeys of the characters in the book. And they can’t wait to read more about them.
10- Have you ever used a sword, perhaps while acting?
I have, indeed. I was trained in 18th-century swordplay while acting at Colonial Williamsburg, and one of my best friends and I did a sword fighting scene there that ran for well over a year. We used the 18-century smallsword, which also makes a brief appearance in my book…
11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?
There are many scenes I hope will resonate, but I don’t want to give any of them away! As for emotions, I hope readers feel fear for the danger the main characters find themselves in, curiosity to discover the truth, and the chilling sense of awe that comes as that truth is revealed.
12- What most helped you to improve your writing craft?
Learning to pursue revealing the story, not creating the story. I can create lots of things, but only one in a hundred of them will really serve the story and the characters. Once I learned to view the story as something to be discovered, all the pieces of it finally fell into place.
13- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?
I would say the Baron’s green eyes. It’s never explained why his eyes have a tendency to glow a vibrant jade green, but they are what has marked him throughout history. And of course, eyes are the windows to the soul, and the Baron has quite a tortured soul.
14- #DiversityBingo2017 What's your favorite book that covers a square on the card?
I am forever a fan of Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon”, as it had a tremendous effect on me when I read it in high school. And that certainly fits with Author of Color, Biracial, Black, and Person of Color on the Cover.
15- Which character has your favorite Personality Contradiction?
I can think of many personality contradictions in the Baron’s character, but I think my favorite is in the character of Granny McGugan. She protects the young hero, Percival (her grandson), by being exceptionally manipulative and tyrannical toward him. It’s all based on her deep desire to shield him from harm, but it manifests itself as outright cruelty sometimes.
16- Can you think of any small change in the world you could make to benefit hundreds of other authors or readers potentially?
Honestly, I don’t think I know enough about the business to answer that yet. At the moment, the change I’m focused on making is introducing my book to the world, and I think that every enjoyable story encourages more people to read, to talk about it, and even to add their own contributions. And the more people are contributing, the more involved and connected we all feel.
17- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
I am most motivated by the description on the back cover, and if a trusted friend or two shares their passion about the book beforehand. If a friend can sell me on it (and I’m pretty skeptical by nature), I will probably check it out.
18- How will you measure your publishing performance?
Number of books sold, and the responsiveness of fans to the books (as in, they share it with others, they say they want to see more, etc.).
19- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I had been thinking about self-publishing for a while, as I was submitting the book to agents and editors. When I finally hit my 75th rejection, I decided to stop giving the traditional publishing world a chance, and take on the project as my own business. I was very attracted to the amount of control I could have over the final product compared to what I would be afforded as a debut author with an established publisher.
20- What is one question (or discussion topic) which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?
How do you most often discover new books that you HAVEN’T heard about from friends? Examples could be ads (online, in magazines, on billboards…), reviews by a particular blogger, reviews in a particular magazine, recommendations by your favorite authors, etc.
21- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
I would love to share this one review that AudiobookDJ posted a few weeks ago - it was actually the first review the book received! Based on the overwhelming positive response the print version has received on Amazon, I don’t think this experience is unique to people listening to the audiobook, though you should certainly check that out if you like audio!
Here is the review: http://audiobookdj.squarespace.com/home/2017/10/15/the-tercentennial-baron.html
You can find me on social media on Twitter @jwdamron, Instagram @jwdamron, and Facebook @Damron.Stories. Feel free to check out my website as well - http://www.willdamron.com - though it’s undergoing renovations right now and a brand new one will be going live within a few weeks!
The Tercentennial Baron (The Bellirolt Chronicles Book 1)