In one short night, Dormael Harlun’s life was changed forever.
Tired and half drunk, Dormael stumbled upon Shawna Llewan, a beautiful young woman, wounded and near death. What he didn’t realize was that his decision to come to her aid would be only the beginning of his unwitting role in a labyrinthine and perilous game.
Suddenly, Dormael and Shawna find themselves surrounded by enemies bent on their destruction. All avenues to safety are closing rapidly, and their only hope is to find the key to a dangerous secret lost to antiquity. With every ally a potential foe, they can rely only on Dormael’s brother Allen and his cousin D’Jenn to escape the will of a tyrant, the designs of a traitor, and the attention of powers beyond their imagining. Dormael has never been much for games, but destiny has rolled the dice for him and irrevocably placed him in the middle of a deadly game he must desperately play for keeps. Should he lose, he will forfeit not only his own life, but the lives of the ones he loves.
The Sentient Fire, Book One of The Seven Signs, available at the following...
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/Sentient-Fire-Book-Seven-Signs/dp/1467968285/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1327384883&sr=1-1-catcorr
Sony eReader: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/d-w-hawkins/the-sentient-fire/_/R-400000000000000556063
What inspired you to become a writer??
Actually, I started writing on a whim when I was in college. I’ve always been into creative pursuits, though. I used to draw, then I spent years concentrating on playing guitar, and even went to college for it. I had always been an avid reader, and writing was just the next thing for me to try. It became a hobby, then somewhere along the line it became the most important pursuit in my life. The Seven Signs is what came out of that pursuit.
What character(s) of your book(s) do you most relate to??
Dormael, without a doubt. I modeled some of the characters in The Seven Signs after people in my life, and Dormael inherited a lot of my own flaws and quirks. The story is told mostly from his point of view, and so his opinions and mental dialogue colors the setting, and tends to reflect what I think I would be thinking in his place.
How do you visualize your stories? By dreams? Inner monologue with your characters, dreams, etc.?
Mostly just by sitting at the computer and imagining being there with the characters. I often write them into situations and brainstorm with them, as weird as that sounds, on how to get out of them. In my head, the entire scene goes down like a cross between The Matrix and 300, or any of those hugely-expensive epic movies they’ve made in the last couple of years. I try to bring out small details while simultaneously showing the readers the larger picture.
What is your writing ritual? Music?? Silence? Meditation?
Well, I’m one of those writers that need to be left completely alone while I’m writing, or I lose my momentum. I usually write a bit here and there when I’m really feeling the urge, and then I’ll buckle down for a few months and pump out multiple chapters every week. I take every moment that my brain is free, such as in the shower or cooking, and visualize the story and what needs to happen. The longer I keep myself “in their world”, so to speak, the easier the story comes. As far as my ritual, as long as I have privacy, Diet Coke, and Avenged Sevenfold or spooky film scores to listen to, the stories almost write themselves.
What inspired you to write The Sentient Fire?
Well, mostly I love epic fantasy, and I wanted to my stamp on the genre. I’ve become a bit disillusioned by some of the stuff that’s out there, and the tendency of fantasy writers to concentrate more on their setting and magic system than characters and other elements of the story. They’ve become sort of predictable, and there seems to be a fear of putting too much sex or violence in a fantasy story. Thing is, the more primitive times in our history were incredibly violent and dangerous times. I think most people who read fantasy, myself included, tend to read only a handful of good authors, and pass over the rest because the stories are all so much alike. I wanted to write a good fantasy story that concentrated not just on setting, but also on the human element of the story, and what drives the people involved. I also wanted it to be impressively epic in its telling, and have boatloads of magic and action. Basically, I wanted my cake, and I wanted to eat it, too.
If you could be a book genre? Which one would you choose and why??
Fantasy, definitely. It’s the only genre which allows its characters superpowers, whether it’s magic or the Force. Every little boy secretly wishes he were a ninja or a wizard, and I’m just a little boy trapped in a man’s body!
What knowledge do you want to share with aspiring authors like myself??
The largest piece of advice I can give is just to keep at it. There are a multitude of great resources out there, especially for indie authors, and finding them is relatively easy. The hardest part is not getting discouraged by having your delusions of grandeur shattered, and keeping up the discipline to write to a deadline. Persistence pays off, and your book will only be as good as your work ethic. If you refuse defeat, you’ll win.
if you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring and why??
In the spirit of the game, I won’t say “an airplane” haha. A big knife, a multi-tool, a sturdy rucksack, a mirror, and a modern parachute. I think with all of those things, I could survive for a while and possibly get off the island.
What other books do you have to write or be written in the horizon??
Well, after I finish The Seven Signs, I’m going to start working on a couple of things. I have a science fiction story that’s been kicking around in my head for a little while, and that will probably be next. Other than that, I plan on writing something steampunk-ish, a couple of urban fantasies, and an alternate history love story set in a fascist America called Lainey’s War.
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead? Who would it be and why??
Dimebag Darrell, former guitarist for Pantera. He was my teenage idol, and I’d pressure him for a guitar lesson.
If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??
I think I’d go about 500-800 years into the future, just to see what it would be like. Who knows what kind of things we will discover? Just think about how far we’ve come from the 1980’s to now.
How do you write your books?? By the seat of your pants? Or is it plotted out in advance??
I keep a very rough outline that rarely survives the first chapter of the book. I basically write down key events in my storyline, and write to them. I find that when I’m writing, I tend to let my ideas flow, and I don’t have the patience to go back and update an outline, so I just keep writing and keep scattered notes. So I guess I write more by the seat of my pants.
How many books in the future do you see in the Sentient Fire?
Two to four more, but the story will ultimately decide for itself.
**Just a note, the series is called The Seven Signs, and book one is called The Sentient Fire.
Here is a twist...5 words or less, what comes to your mind first??
Stephanie (my wife lol)
Feel free to add any information that you feel I left out here. Please include your social media links.
Here are my various profiles for social media: