Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fezariu's Epiphany Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway



Fezariu’s Epiphany
by David M. Brown

Blurb: 12-year-old Fezariu thought his mother died when he was little, but when his beloved stepfather dies the boy discovers she is alive and well - and working at the most famous brothel in all of Elenchera. When she cruelly rejects him it's more than he can bear, and he runs away to join a band of ruthless soldiers for hire. The Merelax Mercenaries will fight for anyone who can pay them, no matter the justice of the cause.

Fezariu grows up among the soldiers and becomes one of them. He thinks his time with the mercenaries has hardened him. But a campaign in his old home town pushes him too far, and he discovers what really happened to his mother. Maybe there are some things money shouldn't buy... and maybe it's time Fezariu took his revenge.




An interview with David M. Brown
We're stuck on a line to purchase tickets for a show. We begin to chat and you tell me you're an author. I ask you what your latest book is about. You say:

Fezariu’s Epiphany is about a boy who cannot cope with the setbacks in his childhood – the abandonment of his mother and the murder of his stepfather. He joins the Merelax Mercenaries who are the most famous fighting force in Elenchera. His hope is that he can escape his past but he soon realises he’ll never be free of it until he faces up to his childhood.

Fezariu’s Epiphany is my most recent published novel but I’m also working on my latest book – A World Apart. It’s about three friends – Demetrius, Eleyna and Halcyon – that grow up together in the same town and find themselves in an unwanted love triangle in their teens. Only when Demetrius leaves town is the triangle seemingly resolved but years later the friends are reunited and find their perspectives are now very different.

Authors can find inspiration from so many places and things. Where did you find some of your inspirations? Are any the strangest or the coolest that you would like to share?

I’ve always loved history, ever since I was at school and it’s my passion for the past which is always my biggest inspiration. I’m always juggling fiction and non-fiction and whenever I pick up a history book my mind is tuned into the many possibilities for the world of Elenchera. I also find ideas watching films, playing games and listening to music. The RPG series Final Fantasy was responsible for the start of my writing journey in 1999 and one vivid image from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera inspired what may be my third novel – The Sparkling Dew on the Lakeside (working title).

Hmm, 47,000 years of history for Elenchera. You certainly didn't start out small. Did your Muse inhabit your body for weeks/months while you compiled this or did your fantasy world come to you in bits or pieces?

Elenchera initially began as a handful of novel ideas with no firm grounding in the world history. I wrote a few novels early on but found they had little substance without an historical background in place. I was literally making the history up as I went along. I needed some help. Step forward Cassel’s World History. This fabulous book offered a detailed timeline of our own world history and as I read it I jotted down events and figures that struck a chord with me. I understood how societies worked better and from there I started the Elencheran timeline and worked my way from year 1 to year 47,000+. It was painstakingly hard work and at one stage I did nothing but the world history for three consecutive years. Once I got going the events all fell into place quite easily. The only difficulty was cross-referencing across twenty-three individual lands. It was worth it in the end though.

Which character's voice spoke to you first? And did you listen?

When I was ready to write a new novel I could hear the cries of many characters – Aglacier, Elvore, Lorenzo, Leansja the Great, Palatine, Demetrius and Morved but it was Fezariu who shouted the loudest. Though I tried to ignore him he wouldn’t go away. He insisted that I had to begin with his story. In the end I was happy to do whatever I could to shut him up. Even when I began his story he always there, nitpicking at every paragraph but we got there. I must have done something right because Fezariu hasn’t complained since.

What characteristics make someone a hero/heroine to you and did you incorporate any of your beliefs in Fezariu's story?

They have to have flaws for a start. No one wants to read about a character that never makes mistakes and is always strong. They seem more real if they have moments of fragility. Fezariu is a very delicate character. He endures some terrible setbacks as a vulnerable child, which shapes him into a taciturn young man. He controls his emotions and is a gifted mercenary, better than the rest, but beneath that resolve is a maelstrom of fear, pain and regret about a childhood he is too afraid to face up to. I think the minor characters are naturally drawn towards the heroes/heroines. There’s something infectious about them as individuals. We care about them, rally behind them when they’re at their lowest and are jubilant when things begin to go their way. Fezariu is essentially weak even when he is thriving as a mercenary but the characters around him strengthen him in different ways and gave him the courage to finally return to his past to hopefully bury his childhood for good.

What songs would you use to score key scenes in Fezariu's journey, his story?

One of my favourite pieces of music is Trust by The Cure. The opening two minutes is pure perfection before any singing has even been heard. Something as sumptuous as that would fit in nicely. Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence is also hauntingly beautiful. If plagiarism wasn’t an issue I’d borrow many of compositions from the Final Fantasy games. Nobuo Uematsu’s music is emotional and unforgettable.

I have to compliment you on the names of your characters and places. There is something noble about the name "Fezariu." It just rolls off the tongue so naturally and sounds mysterious. How did you come up with the names for your characters and places (considering those 47,000 years of history, I figure the creation and meaning of these names would be very important, as they should).

Names vary in Elenchera. Place names are sometimes lifted from street names or towns I’ve encountered, others are words whose meanings resonate with me. I sometimes find a word I like and think could I call a city that such as Sincerity, capital of Odrica, and if I say yes then it will be used, if not it goes. I’ll be honest and say not all names are carefully chosen. Fezariu is a name I invented, simply combining letters to create names that sound pleasant when spoken aloud. Not everyone has found Fezariu the easiest to pronounce so having a question like this makes me very proud.


An excerpt from Fezariu's Epiphany:

Jessamine took hesitant steps forward as she approached Fezariu. Tears began to well in her eyes causing her make-up to run. She glanced nervously at the bar where the patrons continued their bidding before coming to a stop in front of her son.

‘Fezariu,’ Jessamine said, reaching out to him instinctively before stopping herself. She hardened her tone. ‘What are you doing here?’

‘I came to find you, mother,’ Fezariu replied. ‘Peter told me that you were dead but I found the letters you sent him.’

‘How did you know I was here?’

‘I heard two merchants talking about you in the market. I was so excited I’d found you that I followed them straight here.’

‘I don’t understand what you’re doing in Clarendon. Why has Peter brought you here, Fezariu?’

Fezariu paused. The raised tone of Jessamine and her general demeanour seemed alien to him. This was not the same woman that had raised him before disappearing from Larchfield. ‘Mother,’ Fezariu said, with his bottom lip trembling, ‘Peter...died.’

‘What?’ Jessamine replied, her stern voice giving way to wavering uncertainty. ‘When? How?’

‘It was a few months ago. He was attacked and killed while doing his deliveries. Uncle Edward came to Larchfield for Alycea and I. He brought us to Clarendon and that’s when I found the letters you had sent Peter. As soon as I heard those merchants mention your name and the White Oak I knew I had to come here. I will take you to Uncle Edward’s bakery, mother. We can leave together.’

‘I’m not going anywhere, Fezariu,’ Jessamine said, seizing her son’s arm and dragging him towards the front door. Fezariu tried to loosen her grip but could not overcome his inferior strength. ‘I want you to leave, Fezariu. I don’t want you here.’



REVIEW SOUND BYTES

There are many plot twists and turns in this masterfully written book chronicling the life of a mercenary named Fezariu. Fezariu's Epiphany is a fantasy work on a grand scale in which you enter an imaginatively drawn world filled with many lands and spanning great periods of time.
-  Jason Sullivan - Different Outcomes and author of The Dark Yergall

When a reader that normally does not like fantasy novels set in world with unknown names falls in love with a book from that genre, then you know the author did a spectacular job of bringing their story to life for all to enjoy.
-Talina Perkins - Bookin' It Reviews/Night Owl Reviews/Night Owl Reviews "Top pick 

You can almost smell the filth and corruption that permeates Clarendon, a true cesspool of a city. This is a story of how a boy grows into being a man and accepting his faults and redeeming his failures. I recommend it.
-William Bentrim - Azure Dwarf and author of The Adventures of Hardy Belch


About the author: David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Honors in History and English, David's dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.

Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu's Epiphany and the in-progress A World Apart, combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten., David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month traveling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.

Links: The Elencheran Chronicles | The World According to Dave | Twitter | Facebook| Goodreads (book page) | Amazon

Giveaway:
David will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly chosen commenter at the end of the tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here


13 comments:

  1. Very interesting questions & answers thank you. Reading the review sound bytes I found myself saying OKAY!!!

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi Mary,

      Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

      I feel very lucky with many of the reviews I have had. The feedback has been very heartwarming from readers and writers alike.

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  2. Wow! I have great respect for writers who can create a whole other different and fascinating world! :)

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    1. Hi Lei,

      Thanks for commenting. I often wondered if I was mad when I started building the world of Elenchera but I am pleased with how it has turned out.

      I wanted to set myself a big challenge with my writing and felt world building was an appropriate step.

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  3. A big thank you to Reader Girls for hosting me today.

    I really enjoyed the interview :)

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  4. i love reading pieces with many different plots and turns ...the type that keep me on the edge and this sounds like one of those thrillers! Thanks for a super giveaway!
    My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. Hi Anash,

      Thanks for commenting. There are many twists and turns for Fezariu to overcome during the book. I feel bad for what I have put him through but I'm glad I told his story first.

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  5. It must be so difficult to create believable worlds...it sounds like you did well here!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thank you. I'm indebted to our own world history for guidance.

      I think it's hard finding the balance when it comes to fantasy worlds. On the one hand you want the fantastical elements but at the same time a sense of realism needs to be there too.

      I would say Elenchera has many aspects of realism. I still wanted a fantasy world but I desired one where the stories of the characters might not necessarily be out of place in our own world.

      The characters are the focal point of the novels. The world is important but it's the background and does not intrude on the narratives.

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  6. I can't believe how hard you worked on your history. You have to have been really motivated. Perhaps your character was pushing you so he could be heard. It is fascinating how some characters take over the story.

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    1. Hi Jane,

      I sometimes shudder at the hours I have spent building Elenchera. I often had doubts about continuing but would always keep going when I considered how much work I had already put in.

      I needed to build the world to give my novels more substance. Now when I write a novel I can read the history, get a feel for the zeitgeist of a particular period and write a better story.

      Fezariu was a demanding character. I'm glad his story is over. He seems happy with how it turned out :)

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  7. You are very dedicated and imaginative. Great qualities!

    felecia@twinoaksfl.org

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