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Friday, October 20, 2017

Interview with author Will Damron



The Tercentennial Baron


1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
The idea for this book began with not being able to find the kind of story I wanted to read! Years ago, in high school, I became tired of the werewolf/vampire trope, and wondered why no recent writer had built a series around an original supernatural being. Enter the bellirolt, a creature I invented for The Tercentennial Baron: a demon that inhabits the body of a human, and forces him (or her) to kill others and consume their souls in order to survive. Then I thought: what if one of these creatures, who look just as human as the rest of us, had this life forced upon him, and didn’t want it? That man became “the Baron.” When I graduated college after earning my theater degree, I knew this was the story I wanted to write.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
The story centers on a 13-year-old boy, Percival Dunbar, who lives in modern Scotland and has a unique interest in the supernatural. When a spate of supernatural phenomena in his town lead him face-to-face with the murderous Tercentennial Baron—the most terrifying figure of paranormal legend—Percival thinks he’s met his end. But the Baron reveals he’s come to Percival’s town not to attack people, but to protect them. And if Percival is to discover why, he must unlock the secrets of the Baron’s past. Only by working together can he and the Baron protect his town from a looming supernatural war.

My target reader is anyone aged 11 or 12 (depending on reading maturity) and up who loves fantasy-adventure, magic, and history—especially Scottish history.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting  thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
It’s hard to answer this without giving away any of the twists and turns of the story! I hope readers remember the individual, character-defining moments in the journey of the Tercentennial Baron, as his story takes the reader through 300 years of history – and through locales ranging from Scotland to Ireland, England, and Italy. I hope readers are excited by the swashbuckling nature of this sort of epic, as well as touched by the poignant moments where the Baron grapples with the dark nature of his existence. Ultimately, what I want to remain with readers (and listeners) is the power of the immense decisions young Percival must make as he learns more of the Baron’s story. I want readers to ask themselves, “Wow… what would I do in that situation?”

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
Stick with it. I am very upfront with people that this is a self-published novel, and I say that with pride. I was rejected by 75 different agents, managers, and editors before I decided to bring this story to the world on my own. You have so many options for how to publish your work these days; don’t count anything out. Find the avenue that feels truest to you, and pursue it. After all, learning to be a successful businessperson is just as important as being a creative person in the arts today.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
Based on my experience as a sought-after audiobook narrator, a writer who couldn’t get published with major houses, and someone who reads the trades daily, I believe the way people want to consume written stories (and the stories they want to consume) is changing faster than most big publishers can keep up with. In the audiobook world we’re in a unique place: audio sales have been increasing remarkably over the last several years, and indeed that’s the only format I’m aware of in publishing that is seeing significant year-to-year positive sales growth. I think the main reason for that is it’s just so darn convenient. Listen to a whole book on your commute to and from work, in a couple days? Duh! I don’t see the best or most successful books being published only by major publishers, nor do I see that only happening with indie publishers. I think the future of this business belongs to those who are quick enough on their feet to adapt to changes as they come, and innovative enough to consistently offer new ways to absorb stories. That could be big publishers not weighed down by bureaucracy or uninspired leadership, and/or small publishers who hit upon some great stories with unique ways to bring them to people. But I feel like adaptability is going to be key. And especially in the age of Game of Thrones, Pottermore, and binge-watching, anything that helps readers feel more immersed in the world of the author will be incredibly valuable.

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
Making consistent time to devote to it! One of the reasons this book took me 8 years (yup, EIGHT) from inception to publication was that I was working multiple full-time jobs (all of which involved acquiring new skills) AND moving homes while I wrote it. I lived in three different states and worked as everything from a museum ticket-seller to a waiter, bartender, historical actor, and narrator while writing the book. That meant weeks or months sometimes where I didn’t even look at the script. That can be valuable once you finish the rough draft, but I won’t let time get away from me so much again.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
The Tercentennial Baron is a blend of classic adventure, spooky fantasy, and a coming-of-age story, all with a brand-new supernatural creature for readers to sink their teeth into. (No pun intended.) (OK, maybe a little.) Fans of Harry Potter, Interview with the Vampire, and even Outlander will thoroughly enjoy this book. It’s got whimsy, romance, swashbuckling adventure, and ultimately deals with what it means to be a good person who must wrestle with your inner demons. I can’t think of any better reason to pick up a book J.

Will Damron was raised in southern Virginia and is an award-winning audiobook narrator, having voiced hundreds of stories for audiences of YA, fantasy, sci-fi, history, and more. He has also worked as a stage actor and historical interpreter, and is thrilled to now share his first novel with the world. When not roving the great outdoors in Scotland, New England, or the American West, he can be found in his studio in Los Angeles. See: www.willdamron.com


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs

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