My most recent book is The Dragon Of Prali. It is a story inspired by the works of such great authors as J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis. The story takes place in a small village named Prali, Italy. The characters are different than any other fantasy characters to date. Mixing real historical facts with fantasy fiction. The hero is a young Franciscan monk named Bernard. Traveling with him on the dragon hunt is an English girl named Mary Archer, and an arrogant knight named Leonardo. The dragon who is the main baddie, is a character that has never been attempted before. It is an amazing adventure of good versus evil.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in San Jose, California. Most of my life I lived in San Jose, and continue to live there. I have been writing since the age of six. I first started writing small stories during lunch breaks in elementary school, and produced stage plays for the school. All the plays were written by me, and my friends played the roles. My friends and I were a wild bunch, even at a very young age. Life was a constant stage act, and we enjoyed it to the fullest. I have written screenplays, commercials, novels. I enjoy writing, it is my escape from reality.
What inspired you to write this book?
This is an interesting question. “The Dragon OfPrali” is my fourth book, and for a time I was writing for commericals, and screenplays. After watching “Harry Potter”, it gave me inspiration to write fantasy again. I found “Harry Potter” to be lukewarm at best, and thought young kids would find the characters to be neutral. I wanted Wizards, Dragons, and Vampires to go back to what they were in the beginning. Dark evil creatures, who terrorized mortal humans. I wanted to bring the fantasy genre back to the traditional storylines of old, with new twists. I think a vampire going to high school and dating girls is complete rubbish. That is my anti “Twilight” statement. I also wanted to tell a story of heroic feats, and dangerous adventures.
How did you choose the title?
The first title was named “Dragon Hunt”, but doing research we found that the name was taken by another author, so we decided on “The Dragon OfPrali.” In research we found that the name of the town in Italy brought interest to the book. Today people still ask where is Prali located.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
The main obstacle was with writing the story. Eleven chapters was complete, and I only had one more to write. One day I woke from bed, and plugged in the laptop. Only to find my computer crashing, and no backup. I was able to salvage the first seven chapters, but spent months doing rewrites for the missing chapters. Now I back-up all my works. The publisher themselves had many editing problems, and at times I was ripping hair out of my head. It was a real struggle to communicate my needs to the publisher as a writer.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I knew at a very young age. Like I mentioned before I have been writing since the age of six. My main inspiration was reading the “Hobbit.” J.R.R. Tolkien was like a god to me as a child.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Listening to movie soundtracks while a write keeps me going. The soundtrack I favor is “Braveheart” and Glory.” Those inspire me while I write. Let’s not forget “Atonement”, I love movie music.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Most of the time I will search names online, and fit first names and sir names. With my character Mary Archer I used her skill of archery, and used it as her last name. It was a grand idea because in the book I explain her history, and the history of archery.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learn a lot with every book or short story. The first thing is how hard it is to sell books to the public, to get your name out in the public eye. You also come to know who supports you and who doesn’t.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
The story is sound, and incredible. The only thing I would do differently is to focus on what comes after the publishing of the book, for example advertising. The publisher did great work in this department for the first few months, but then eventually they slowed up their machine, and I found myself doing most of the work.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I grew up with them. Now as an adult I would have to say Brad Thor and Ian Fleming. I also enjoyed a goody spy novel. Tolkien and Lewis brought me to amazing new worlds and adventures. Brad Thor brings me to the realization of real possible events in a fictional storyline.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
My next book should be released in the summer of 2011. It is the continued adventures of the characters in “The Dragon OfPrali.” The second book involves an evil wizard who wants world dominations. The wizard is actually a real historical figure, and should be an amazing story.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
In regards to writing I will say. “Keep writing and don’t listen to detractors. Writing is all about the story you want to tell.” In regards to publishing. “Be open minded and work to keep control of your ideas and characters.”
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The perfect readers are Y.A.’s (Young Adults). I also look for their input in all future stories. Without readers a writer is a lonely person, with only himself as an audience.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Like 99% of people I have a website. People can come to the site and look at future and past events, new projects in the works, updates, short stories, speaking events. Davidsonlhaworth.com