I’d like to welcome Dorian DeWeerd to Infinite Pathways today to chat about his new short story Extraterrestrial: A Love Story in the anthology UNBOUND I: Lost Friends, and other authorly interests. Thanks for coming!
It’s a pleasure to be here.
Can you describe for us the moment that launched you on your writing journey?
I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember. When I about six years old I wrote my first story (three pages of some superhero tale). But I suppose the point when I started taking my writing seriously was when I wrote a fiction story for a Greek mythology class I was taking in high school.
How has your ‘day job’ influenced your writing? What are the main influences to your writing?
I work long shifts at a slaughterhouse where my primary task is sanitation. During 10-14 hour days I have a lot of time alone with my thoughts. I use this time to get to know characters, mull over plot points, and work through scenes I’m having trouble with.
There are many influences to my writing. Music, role-playing games, the news, the world around me. But I’d have to say that reading a variety of works, and not staying bound within a single genre, is the most helpful influence.
What were the most challenging aspects of bringing your book to life?
Staying focused. I write a lot of stories and poems at the same time. I put a dozen oars in the water and let them stir. While this is fun, it also makes staying on top of a single project, finishing the first draft, then revising into its best form difficult.
Who is your favourite character? Can you describe for us an interesting moment in the development of this character?
Sola Pyne is my favorite. The most interesting moment for me was working out the details of who Sola is and where she comes from. She says she’s the only one of her kind, and when I wrote that sentence I had to pause from the writing and really think about what it was she was saying. She has no parents, no kin. She is truly unique. For a long time I didn’t know what to do with that.
What was the most difficult scene for you to write? Try to describe your efforts without revealing too much or ‘spoiling’ the moment for future readers.
It’s not a single scene, but really the first half of Extraterrestrial was incredibly difficult because the story is written in the first person and told by a blind man. We rely so heavily, so automatically, on our sight that to write each sentence deliberately describing the world around him without the use of visuals was a daunting task.
What insight can you give regarding the publishing industry and the route you chose for publication (traditional publishing vs. self-publishing).
I actually haven’t tried self-publishing, though I’m not against it. I think that in our modern world of e-reading and social media that all writers will, to some degree, end up being hybrid authors.
As for my choice in the matter, I wanted to work with a professional team before jumping in alone to the publishing world and Science Fiction and Fantasy Publications has done that for me.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of publicizing yourself and your work?
My biggest challenge is that I don’t use social media. I know that in this age that is some sort of mega-taboo, but I simply don’t have the time to spend updating a plethora of statuses. I work a full-time job, have two sons, and spend as much time as I can writing, and reading.
What drew you to this genre? What are your favourite scenes to write?
What I love about SF and Fantasy is that we get to color outside of the lines while making something beautiful. Writers of speculative fiction explore the same themes and ideas that other genres explore, but we’re not constrained by the “realism” of the world we live: we get to step out and live in the worlds we make.
My favorite scenes are dialogue heavy. I like to put characters into a room and let them talk things out. Often I hear one of them say something and I think, “Wow. I never thought about it quite that way.” I hope readers are impacted in the same way.
What projects are you currently working on and can you reveal or give any juicy hints?
I’m working on the first novel of a fantasy series and a new Sola Pyne story that will reveal where she got those scars on her back.
It’s been a pleasure chatting with you today. Thank you again for stopping by and sharing your experiences and stories with us.
Thank you for having me.
Dorion is currently writing the first novel of a fantasy series with the working title of “The Darkbringer Chronicles”, a number of short stories, and two literary novels. Extraterrestrial: A Love Story is the first story in the Sola System series.