Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hopebreaker by Dean F. Wilson & Author Interview

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born and bred in Dublin, Ireland, where I still live today. Writing has always been a passion, and I've worked as both a writer and a journalist. I'm also interested in art, music, TV, film, and gaming. Essentially, media in general. I am always intrigued in the unusual and otherworldly, which probably explains why I ended up writing fantasy fiction.

Q ~ If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?

An owl. Probably because I'm a bit of a night owl as is, and hey, who doesn't want to be able to fly? As a matter of interest, if I was forced to choose between cat or dog, it would be a cat. I like their independence, and there's something a little mystical about them. I think that's also the case for owls, which are known for wisdom.

Q ~ What is your favourite electronic gadget?

A bog standard PC, because it can usually do more than any of the newer gizmos and gadgets, like smartphones and tablets. Sure, it's not very transportable, but a high-end PC typically lets me do more, at a much faster pace, and often simultaneously. I prefer that comfort and efficiency over waiting for 3G networks, not to mention the comparatively slow processors, buggy interfaces and small screens of other devices.

Q ~ Ebooks, paperbacks, or hardcovers?

Generally paperbacks, if they're books I want to reread. Otherwise, ebooks, so that I can save some valuable bookshelf space. I usually only bother with hardbacks for collector's editions, which may not even be read. Overall, I think there's room for physical and digital books, and I see the pros and cons of both.

Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?

I see the official time as being when I wrote my first novel, when I was age 11. My family thinks it was earlier, and I do recall a school report card from a much younger age, which commended my ability to come up with unusual sentences. I think I always had a love of language, and I was a creative child, so perhaps it was somewhat inevitable.

Q ~ Do you have any writing rituals that you follow? What is your go-to snack while writing?

Not really. I typically write in the evening or night, mainly because I'm a night owl, and I like to write chapters in separate documents, but I don't do anything in particular other than plop my butt on a chair and open a word processor file. You know, exciting stuff. For snacks, I prefer savoury to sweet, so it'll almost always be crisps of some kind.

Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about Hopebreaker and what inspired you to write it?

The original idea came about when I thought about how smuggling contraceptives, a major controversial topic in Ireland's past, would work in a fantasy setting. From there I had to ask why the contraceptives were needed, so then the idea of there no longer being human births, with the channels being controlled by demons, came into play. It grew and grew, until it became an all-out war set in a dystopian world.

Q ~ What is your favourite part or scene in the novel?

I typically don't have a single favourite scene, but one of the highlights is when Jacob and company roll out in tanks (called landships in the novel) in the dead of night, and there's a really tense scene where it's pitch black, and they can't see a thing, and they know the enemy is out there.

Q ~ When you write, do you lay out a solid outline before beginning, or start writing and iron out the kinks later?
I do a bit of both. I think it's helpful to have a general framework for the story, but once you've developed the characters a bit, it's good to give them free rein, so they can start acting and reacting to situations as per their nature. Often I am as surprised as the reader will be by certain events in the story.

Q ~ What was the most difficult part of the process while writing Hopebreaker?

Rewriting the first few chapters was the biggest challenge, as I had written them years before the rest, so I had a lot of things to change and rework, while trying to salvage the good bits.

Q ~ What is your process for choosing character names?

Usually I just pick a random sound. Other times I use words from other languages, such as Greek or Hebrew, based on their meaning. Sometimes I craft a name based on one of the invented languages of my fantasy worlds. For my first novel, when I was 11, I used common words and spelled them backwards. For example, Noise became Esion. I don't do that any more, however, as I don't want readers trying to figure out what the original word is, which would distract from the story.

Q ~ Do you have anything in the works at the moment? Care to give us a hint about it?

I'm currently hard at work on the sequel to Hopebreaker, called Lifemaker, as well as working on bits and pieces for the rest of the series. Lifemaker, which takes Jacob and co. deep underwater in a steampunk submarine, will be out at the end of March, 2015.

Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?

Persevere. The successful are typically those who have stuck with it, through thick and thin. Sure, luck can be involved, but you can't rely on that. However, you can rely on perseverance.

About the author:

Dean F. Wilson was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1987. He started writing at age 11, when he began his first (unpublished) novel, entitled The Power Source. He won a TAP Educational Award from Trinity College Dublin for an early draft of The Call of Agon (then called Protos Mythos) in 2001.

His epic fantasy trilogy, The Children of Telm, was released between 2013 and 2014.

Dean also works as a journalist, primarily in the field of technology. He has written for TechEye, Thinq, V3, VR-Zone, ITProPortal, TechRadar Pro, and The Inquirer.

Title:  Hopebreaker
Series:  The Great Iron War #1
Author:  Dean F. Wilson
Published:  December 15/14 by Dioscuri Press
Length:  220pgs
Format:  paperback
Genre:  steampunk dystopian fantasy
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

In the world of Altadas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.

Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.

When Hope is an enemy, Jacob finds it harder than he thought to remain indifferent. When the Resistance opts to field its experimental landship, the Hopebreaker, the world may find that one victory does not win a war.

My Review:

The well-developed plot of this novel made it a joy to read. Wilson’s complex story was easy to get into, all aspects being presented in a progressive & full-fledged manner that allows you complete access to this world. At the same time, this story is fun and easy to read. Wilson has penned a tale that takes you far from the everyday, allowing you to escape reality for a while. Creativity, imagination, and captivating topics all combine to make this a fantastic novel.

Wilson has filled this story with well-developed characters that you will form strong opinions about, be they for or against the individual. I really enjoyed not only getting to know the individuals that we meet throughout this tale, but also the hardships that they face. The different ways in which the characters deal with the same situation make them all the more real and believable.

This novel was a fantastic starting point for Wilson’s new series. I finished this novel fully invested in the story and dying to know what happens next.

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