David Niall Wilson – Guest Blog & Giveaway
Today, we have author David Niall Wilson here with us guest blogging to celebrate the release of his debut urban fantasy, Vintage Soul! Here’s a bit of background on David, or an author bio, if you will. 🙂
“David Niall Wilson has been writing dark fiction, fantasy, and science-fiction since the mid-eighties. He has six published novels, one collection and over 120 short stories published in various markets including Year’s Best Horror XIX, Robert Bloch’s Psychos, Love in Vein II, Werewolves, Deathport, and many more. His poetry has appeared in various venues in the small press, as well as in a limited edition package from Kelp Queen Productions, and a selection of haiku to appear in his upcoming Lone Wolf Collection, The Subtle Ties that Bind.
David writes from a great big house in North Carolina, where he lives and loves with Patricia Lee Macomber, their children Billy, Stephanie and occasionally his own boys Zach and Zane, and a plethora of cats and fish. David is currently president of the Horror Writer’s Association.”
So let’s give him a warm welcome to SVR as he takes over for a while to guest blog! There’s also a giveaway with 4 winners following David’s post!
David: You just can’t make the world ignore your story. Not this world, mind you, but the world where you happened to place the story. You can’t have a believable character if that character overlooks things that would be inconvenient to you, as creator and God of the novel universe, just to simplify your plot.
I say this because, as a reader, I’ve become more and more annoyed with this practice over the years. Characters should not be less intelligent or perceptive than believable, and if they are portrayed as intelligent and clever, you can’t just turn that off and make them stupid for a few pages so the plot flows smoothly.
I’d cite examples, but that would be mean, and since this is not my blog, I applied the snark filter. It’s entirely possible that I will out the author behind my current irritation (Jim Butcher) and his character (Harry Dresden) in my own blog, but I won’t do that here. I do have professional standards. Seriously.
The point, in any case, is this. If you are writing along, following the path lain out by your outline and it suddenly occurs to you that one of the characters, knowing what they know, would never go along with things as you’ve planned them…change the plan. Don’t change the character – particularly in a series novel – to match a plot twist, because your readers, and fans of that particular character, will notice. They will trip over it. They will hate you for it. Seriously, fans can do that.
When you are writing, you have to be able to focus directly on the prose ahead, and at the same time you have to keep a watch on that prose through the eyes of all the characters involved. If they would see through your plot, they SHOULD see through your plot. If you know they’d react a certain way, you can bet your readers know it too. Don’t cop out on fixing plot holes just to keep the words flowing.
I write a lot of supernatural thrillers and urban dark fantasy. It’s easy to get caught up in your story and forget the “mundane” world that surrounds it. In fact, you have to make a conscious choice early on about how you will handle interaction between your story and that other, plainer world. Either you ignore it completely, or you have to interact with it in a realistic and consistent manner.
In my new urban fantasy series, The DeChance Chronicles, I’ve chosen to ignore it – at least at first. Now and then there are sirens in the distance, but for the most part I keep the story in the dark side of the city and I’m careful not to cross that line. I’ve written the first two books now, and though there are brushes with the mundane, daytime city, I’ve been careful to keep them so vague that they don’t intrude. If, in a future volume, the two worlds cross (as I suspect they may in book III), then I will have to expand my vision to encompass reactions by an entirely new subset of characters.
**NOTE** This is the point where I diverge from just writing about writing and move on to personal promotion. I’m like that. I segue to myself when the opportunity presents because, despite the talismans, late-night candle-burnings, and ritual chants, I have yet to reach a wide commercial readership with my own work. Sure, lots of people read my Star Trek Voyager novel (Chrysalis) – and a bunch will read the new Stargate Atlantis novel (Brimstone) when it comes out – and I even sold tens of thousands of White Wolf World of Darkness novels worldwide. For all of that, not many people know who I am, or what I do. I’m always hopeful that this will change.
The first book in the DeChance Chronicles, Vintage Soul, just came out in December. Donovan DeChance is a collector of old manuscripts, books, spells, parchments, and anything arcane. He is also a practicing mage. In this capacity he is often employed by other elements of the darker half of the city when things start to get out of balance, or too much to be handled through normal channels.
I love the thought of blending vampires and mages, werewolves and ghouls, all into the underground, hidden society of a city. San Valencez, California, has been the setting for several of my novels – DeChance is the most recent. I believe that in the future he’ll cross paths with the musicians of Deep Blue and Tommy Doyle, the “Psychos ‘R’ Us” cop, but for now he has his own problems to deal with.
A beautiful 300 year old vampiress has been abducted from the Penthouse home of her lover, despite serious magical security. When Donovan is called in and begins his investigation, he finds that there is a lot more at stake than the mortal, or immortal life of a single vampire. A ritual is about to be performed that has been forbidden since ancient times, and if it reaches its completion the entire city will be in danger. He’s also pissed off because part of that ritual is possible due to an object stolen from his home, also by magical means.
Donovan doesn’t fight alone. He has an Egyptian Mau (his familiar) – a host of informants and suppliers – and his lover Amethyst, a geomancer and expert on the magic of crystals. I had a blast writing the first book, and have just completed book II – Heart of a Dragon – which I’m currently revising. Both books were written (or at least started) during the annual Nanowrimo challenge.
I call this series the “fun” side of my career. When I started out as a writer in the eighties and early nineties, I wrote a lot of novels for White Wolf – designers of Vampire the Masquerade, the role-playing game. All of my novels in their World of Darkness were constrained by the references and game books, and it always felt as if I was holding something back. The DeChance Chronicles is me writing as I wanted to write during that period, but wasn’t allowed. I hate nothing more than I do restrictions.
You can find an excerpt from Vintage Soul on my website – http://www.davidniallwilson.com/the-novels/vintage-soul/vintage-soul-excerpt
That is Chapter One. This book is available through Amazon.com – Barnes & Noble.com – or you can order it from me at http://www.macabreink.com/store – it might take a little longer to get it through me, but I’ll autograph all copies. It will also be released soon by Bad Moon Books as a signed, limited edition with an absolutely gorgeous (yes, I’m prejudiced) wrap-around cover by artist Don Paresi. You can find me anytime at http://www.davidniallwilson.com – or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/david_n_wilson or on Facebook at : http://www.facebook.com/davidniallwilson
I hope you’ll read my books. I hope you love them. Hell, I hope you get freaking addicted to them and beg for more. We always have hope…
A big thank you to Judi for the opportunity to post here…I believe before too long you’ll be able to read her review of Vintage Soul here. How cool is that?
Thank you David! I do have a review copy of Vintage Soul jetting it’s way to me, well ok, maybe not jetting, more like being driven over bumpy roads in the back of a truck via snail mail, lol. I am really looking forward to reading it though, it sounds awesome! And you, my readers, have a chance to win a copy for yourselves or one of three of David’s other novels.
Here are the Giveaway Details:
Up for grabs: One book is a limited edition novella, signed by David. It’s titled “The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature,” and is an urban “redneck” fantasy story. There are two copies of the trade
paperback of DEEP BLUE – a rock and roll dark fantasy novel, and last but not least, an ARC copy of Vintage Soul. 😀 Sweet, right? I’m going to have to just match up the 4 winners with the 4 books as I draw the numbers, though you can feel free to say which you would prefer and I’ll try to match you up with the book you want.
So answer me this dear readers, Have you ever been reading along and you find yourself stumped by a character doing or reacting to something in a way that is completely off the wall? By that, I mean in a way that is contradictory to their usual behavior.
For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question, or a comment or question for David. He’ll be here off and on in the first couple of days to reply to comments. (+1 entry)
For extra entries:
- Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)
- If you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive two extra entries, but be sure to let me know in the comments. (+2 entries)
- Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to. (+? entries, insert however many links you’ve done)
- Contest is open Internationally and will run through February 15th until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on Feb 16th. Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone!
(I should also mention that if you’re leaving me a bunch of links in your comment, do not panic if it doesn’t show up right away. It just automatically gets held for me to moderate, which I will as soon as I’m online. )