Friday, July 8, 2011

Interview with Douglas Brown

This week, on Novelwatch . . .

Author of The Light of Epertaste, a new fantasy trilogy that absolutely bowled me over with its brilliant writing, intriguing twists, and astonishing story, Douglas R. Brown has certainly won me over with his awe-inducing talent—at both writing fantasy and taking interviews. Enjoy these masterful responses from the man beyond Legends Reborn, an epic of, well, fantastic proportions.

Nicole: When did you start writing? Has writing always been a big part of your life? Will it continue to be? What inspired you to begin writing?

Douglas: I enjoyed writing as a teenager. When I decided to become a firefighter, writing mostly went by the wayside. It wasn't until I responded to an emergency call that broke my heart 4 years ago that I dove back into telling stories. At first, writing was a cathartic way to deal with how I felt. After writing the story of my fire department life, I rediscovered my enjoyment in the craft. I plan to continue writing as there are too many stories stuck in my head for me to stop now.

N: The illustration on your book is gorgeous. Who did them? How?

D: The artist's name is Steve Murphy. He is a phenomenal artist and I'm excited to announce that Rhemalda will be using him for Book two of Epertase. A funny side note is that my next door neighbor is actually the model for Rasi. I'm not an artist by any means but this is how I understand it. Steve used both digital painting and a bit of photo manipulation to create the cover. I had an idea of what I wanted to portray and gave Steve the freedom to create the cover with his vision. I couldn't be happier.

N: Name your favorite book-to-movie adaptation. What is it about it you like?

D: Unfortunately, I have to give the usual fantasy answer. I'd say "The Lord of the Rings." I know, I know, a completely unoriginal answer, but when it's true, it's true. When watching the trilogy, you can't help but feel like Peter Jackson got it right. If I had to pick a single trilogy to explain the word epic, that would be it.
I'd also add a few graphic novels. "Sin City," "The Watchmen," and "The Crow" because I loved those graphic novels and was impressed with how the directors recreated the feel and style of those books.

N: Tell us about your favorite (of your characters). What are his/her motives? Why is s/he your favorite?

D: My favorite character has to be my main character, Rasi. I created him with every trait I have always wanted to see in a fictional character. He will fight for what is right regardless of what happens to him as a result. He wants nothing more than a family, yet the world seems to work against him at every turn. He believes in love and honor and, yes, killing if he believes that is what is needed. In fact, I created the entire world of Epertase for him as a way to share him with others.

N: Tell us about your least favorite (of your characters). What are his/her motives? Why is s/he your least favorite?

D:  I didn't like Rasi's best friend, Terik, for most of my early edits, and I couldn't figure out why. I made him a good friend to Rasi, tried to make him personable, and even changed his name, thinking his earlier name was too blah. Since he was such an important character, I couldn't just get rid of him so I had to work out the problem. I think I did in the end and I like him now, but something about him gave me fits. I'd be curious to hear how other readers feel about him once they finish. (You, too, Nicole.)

N: Okay . . . random question time. Pirate or ninja? Which one would you rather be, and about which one would you rather write? Why?

D: Great questions with two different answers. I'd rather be a ninja but I'd rather write about pirates. Ninjas are the ultimate bad-asses. Their legend makes them nearly invincible. As a child, I pretended to be a ninja a lot, more often than being a pirate. The idea of an unbeatable assassin was way cooler for a kid than pirates when I was growing up. But that was before "Pirates of the Caribbean," so maybe pirates are cooler now. On the other hand, if I were to start a new book right now about either of them, I would write about pirates. I think I would enjoy creating the story, motives, and style of a pirate story more than the tired one-dimensional idea of ninjas. Now, ninjas versus zombies on the other hand

N: If you could become one of your characters, who would it be and why? What would you do differently in your story?

D: Well I'd like to be Rasi because of the things I talked about earlier. He's honorable, tough as nails, and only seeking to do what is right. Though, I wouldn't want to go through what he went through. But saying that, I think Rasi could have handled things a little differently that might have made his life a bit easier. If I was Rasi, I may have accepted help when it was offered. I may not have been so stubborn when I had a chance to better the quality of my life even if it came with a blow to my ego.

N: How do you write? Do you have a special place, do you listen to music, how much do you write a day, etc.?

D: I write in my living room at a desk. I like the open curtains and the outside world. It can be distracting sometimes, but no more distracting than having the Internet at my fingertips. When I get focused, I get into what I'm writing. People walking by my front window, music playing in the background, or the Internet calling to me-- none of that matters. When I'm not at work and my wife and son are at work and school, I will spend 4-6 hours doing something with writing. I say something because I count editing, promoting, or anything else that needs done in my writing world.

N: What has been your great success in writing? How did you feel?

D: I love this question but I wish the question was "...five great successes in writing" because I have a hard time narrowing it down to just one. I've been fortunate in my writing career so far. I'm not going to use the typical signing-of-my-first-contract answer, though that moment does set near the top of my rankings. Instead, I'd like to share a moment that was very special for me in another way. Though Epertase wasn't the first book I had written, it was the book I had always wanted to write. I had created the lead character, Rasi, when I was a teenager (at the time, he was intended to be a comic book character). Writing his story now on such an epic scale took quite a bit of work. As I reached the final pages, I was in that writer's euphoria where everything was coming together and I couldn't stop writing even if I wanted to. Then I wrote the last couple of lines. Typing the word "END" at the bottom of the last page was magical. I felt overwhelmed with pride and accomplishment. I stared at the last few paragraphs, reading them over and over again, until I could pull myself away. I actually called a few people as if I was about to give them cigars and say, "It's a boy."
That's how I measure success. Not fame or fortune, but in accomplishing something I never thought would be finished. I was and still am highly proud of how it turned out and I remember that moment fondly.

N: If you could go back five (or ten or twenty) years in time, what writing advice would you give yourself?

D: To keep writing. I'm not going to say whether it would be 5, 10, or 20 years ago, but I would go back to when I was a teenager. OK, 20, but that's all I'm saying. I enjoyed writing back then but after I decided to be a firefighter, I lost a little of the desire and, pretty soon, stopped writing altogether. As I think back, I imagine how much further in my writing career (not to mention how much better at it) I would be.
You can find out more about The Light of Epertase: Legends Reborn at or learn about Douglas R. Brown at Check out for more information on how to buy Legends Reborn.


  1. Thanks for having me over to your site, Nicole. I am glad you enjoyed the book and appreciate the nice comments.

  2. Great interview, Doug, I really enjoyed reading about the background to your writing, and the intriguing little insights into 'Epertase'. I am so looking forward to reading the novel!