1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
In 2008, I had to take a creative writing class as a requirement of my Graphic Design degree. My professor liked my work and encouraged me to write something on a larger scale. Between semesters I had a lot of time on my hands, so I began writing Everflame. I was merely looking for something to do, never thinking it would turn into anything. Over 80,000 words later, I had the first book in the Everflame series and a new love for writing.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
As a child I loved watching Jim Henson's Labyrinth and Dark Crystal and I think it certainly inspired the storyteller within me. As I got older, reading Tolkien, Rowling, Paolini, and others, became a favorite pastime. However, I think my real inspiration comes from authors like Orwell, Bradbury, and Ayn Rand. I love the idea of trying to say something meaningful about the world we live in through the vehicle of an alternate reality.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Everflame?
The initial concept came from a dream I had. I’ve always been a very lucid dreamer, and I can usually remember most of my dreams when I wake in the morning. In the dream that inspired the beginnings of Everflame, I was Evercloud, tied to the tree, unable to move. I began to write when I woke that morning and the rest of the story followed just as if it had been there all along, waiting to be written. Many of my dreams find their way into my books. It’s just a matter of changing names, locations, and circumstances so that they fit the overall story. I suppose I should count myself lucky that I have such an overactive imagination.
4. Will we ever see more books exploring your fictional world?
I would like to say that I will write another book that takes place in the land of Ephanlarea, but I’ve never been a big fan of absolutes. I want to. I’ll say that much. I think the Brothers Floyd still have some stories that need telling.
5. Why did you make bears, of all creatures, raise the child?
I can’t really say why bears were the animals of choice. The story came from a dream, so I suppose bears inhabit some part of my subconscious. Maybe it relates some deeper meaning about who I am as a person, or maybe I just happened to see something about bears the day before the dream?
6. Were any of the characters' situations taken from real life?
No. Unfortunately I’ve never battled a bear for a seat on a throne, or torn a man’s still-beating heart out. I guess I’m just boring. Joking aside though, I think a lot of what happens in my writing is inspired in some way by my life, but nothing directly. I can’t point to any specific situations or events. I think characters I write can take on the personalities of people I know. Sometimes when writing dialogue, you just slip into imagining someone close to you speaking the lines.
7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?
I think that sticking to fantasy and science fiction is a good idea for me. I don’t know if I would ever want to write a novel if I had to limit where my mind could go. It just wouldn’t feel right.
9. Was there any intended symbolism behind the Tyrant and the Ancients? I saw a bit of a Biblical reference.
If there was a Biblical reference it wasn’t intended. I didn’t want the Tyrant or the Ancients to represent any specific religions, and I didn’t want to insult any specific belief system. I merely wanted to use the Tyrant as a vehicle to make people think about the dangers of blind faith. I do not believe in dogma, and I think it is one of the most dangerous things we have in our world. I think people should find their own beliefs, and find their own truth. Following anything blindly is dangerous.
10. Would you like to see Everflame as a film? If yes, who do you want to see play your characters?
I definitely would like to see Everflame become a movie. Not so coincidentally, I wrote a blog post on my website detailing a few of my choices. http://www.dylanleepeters.com/blog/december-16th-2014
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
The goal is to write full-time, without having to keep a “day job.” So ten from years from now I hope that’s what I’m doing. I don’t ever want to stop writing. I have a lot of ideas left in my head, and I just need more time to pour them out.
12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
That’s a scary thought. Writing is cathartic for me. If I didn’t have some sort of release for everything in my head I’m sure it would manifest itself in some bad way. However, even before I had writing, I had other creative outlets. I’ve always been creative since my youth. Whether fine art, music, graphic design or writing, I can’t stop the need to create.
13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?
The project I am currently working on is called The Dean Machine, and I hope to release it before the end of the year. This will be the first book I’ve written that will not be part of a series, so I’m interested to see how that goes. My inspiration for the novel came from a rescue dog I adopted who was named Dean. Here's the book blurb:
Dan Delacor was a normal citizen of Yellow City. He put on his yellow shoes, and yellow tie, and took the Tunnel Runner from the suburbs into downtown, every day. He had a job, lived with his loving, yellow-haired girlfriend, and never wondered what waited beyond the great glass wall that surrounded Yellow City.
Sure, he wondered why people at his work annoyed him so much, he wondered why everything in Yellow City had to be yellow, he wondered why he suffered constant anxiety attacks, and he wondered why he couldn’t help himself from strolling through dangerous neighborhoods, or running wildly through the wheat fields that separated downtown from the suburbs. Mostly though, Dan Delacor wondered how he had lost most of his right arm, and he wondered why he couldn’t remember anything before five years ago.
So, when Dan’s mysterious yellow world is interrupted with the seemingly impossible presence of a little red dog, the man can’t help but wonder why. Unfortunately for Dan, what he finds leaves him running for his life, doubting everything he knows, and wondering what side of the glass wall he is really on.
14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
Truthfully, none. I don’t like collaborative work. I believe that collaboration begets compromise, and compromise in many ways is the antithesis of artistic expression. I realize that this is a very pretentious answer, but I would never want to pretend I could add something to someone else’s work, and I would never want to stunt my own ambition, or succeed upon someone else’s merits.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
1. As a child I swam to the bottom of a local pond and found box full of teeth. I sold these teeth to the tooth fairy for a small fortune, which was later stolen from me by a three-legged dog named Cornelius.
2. I once arm wrestled Cat Stevens for a bottle of cheap whiskey. I won, but I cheated.
3. I like to make up fictional stories. (That’s probably not surprising though).
My website: www.dylanleepeters.com
My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Dylan-Lee-Peters/109222362447009
My twitter: @dylanleepeters