Interview with David M. Brown

David M. Brown

Interview Date: 4/26/2012


I was born in Barnsley, a former mining town, in South Yorkshire, England.


I first came up with the world of Elenchera in 1999 and have been writing about it ever since.


I now live in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats.


When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I always enjoyed writing at school but when I went to college my spare time was spent on the Playstation. In 1998 I discovered the RPG series, Final Fantasy, which I became fascinated by. Those games led to me reading Norse mythology and the Icelandic Sagas. By 1999 I had created Elenchera and since then it has grown into a world with more than 47,000 years of history.

Kev's response:  Interesting, I have an addictive/obsessive personality, so the biggest thing I got out of RPG games throughout my life is a LOT of wasted time!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

I would love the ability to breathe underwater. I like the idea of not having to work my way round or over rivers, lakes and the ocean. The ocean in particular would be amazing. Imagine being able to walk along the bottom of the ocean without having to worry about an oxygen supply.

Kev's response:  Aye, there are a lot of place in the world where that would make for some fascinating "adventuring."  Even moreso if one could handle great pressure, cold, and see in the darkness.  But even without, it would be very cool stuff.

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

Batman is probably the one that comes to mind. I was never a massive fan of superheroes in comics growing up but I have enjoyed some of the Batman films. I pretend Batman & Robin didn’t happen but the others have been good. Batman is a good character as he is something of a vigilante so finds himself an enemy of both the police and the criminals, a bit like Charles Bronson in Death Wish.

Kev's response:  Hmm, a vigilante lover.  You might want to check out The Punisher, by Marvel Comics.  He's a little darker than Batman, however.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

Ideas come to me from many sources but my biggest influence is history. It was my favourite subject at school and even after education I continued to read history books. As I read a biography or account of a war, my mind is always analysing and trying to understand human behaviour and the interaction of societies. Sometimes an event jumps out at me, whether it’s low-key or grand scale, and I know that I must incorporate it into my own work somehow.

Kev's response:  OMG!  *holds up a holy symbol*  History?  HISTORY?!  Okay, I guess I'm with you on using interesting events as inspiration.  But History as a favorite subject?

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

The major events are pre-planned. I like to have a basic structure in place. The rest of the narrative flows on its own. Although I’d like to plan everything prior to starting a novel, my characters never make that possible. I might start a chapter and know that Boy A is going to do this, while Girl A will respond in this way. When I get to those interactions though the characters sometimes do their own thing and they tell me what to write rather than the other way round. It’s a good feeling when that happens but at the same time it can be an anxious process wondering where they’re going to take me next. 

Kev's response:  I so love it when that occurs.  I'm completely with you on that style of writing.  The characters need to have their own personality, goals, and background.  If they are "being" themselves, then sometimes they'll do strange, unexpected things.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I write everyday regardless of whether I am inspired or not. If my mind isn’t really into writing a chapter of a novel then I tend to switch to my blog. I never get writer’s block doing blog posts as most are film and book reviews. Just that process of writing a few hundred words often gets me motivated to return to my novel and continue the momentum there.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

I write in the fantasy genre because I love the challenge of pushing my imagination to its limits. Creating my own world was hard work but it’s been a privilege. I read pretty much any genre. I like to have a history book on the go and do keep up to date with sci-fi and fantasy as I’m always learning from my peers, but general fiction always attracts my attention too.


What do you enjoy the most about writing?

The adventures I can have in my mind. I can do anything, be anything and experience everything I want to just through writing words. Although it’s my characters that I put through these moments, I do feel and hurt with them. I often wish that wasn’t the case given some of the ordeals my characters have to go through. Being the god of my own world is an amazing honour but the responsibility of so many characters and their fates in the palms of my hands can get a bit tiring.

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

The editing process can get me a bit bogged down. That first draft is always easy, just getting the ideas down on paper, but the editing is when the real work begins. I enjoy reading the novel back and making the changes. What I find difficult is reaching the point where I feel the manuscript is as good as it’s going to be. I think you can edit a novel too much so I’m always wary of doing that. It’s finding the right balance and it’s never an easy thing to do.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I focus on one novel at a time. When writing a novel set in Elenchera, I become really immersed in the zeitgeist of the period of history each book is set in and don’t think I’d convey the same depth if I was juggling multiple novels.

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I believe that e-books will continue to prosper, probably dominate the market for years to come but paper books won’t become yesterday’s news. Too many readers enjoy a paper book for them to become obsolete. Personally, I enjoy having both a Kindle and my paper books all clustered on the book shelves. I would be sad if e-books were the only option available to readers. It would almost be like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 had come true.

What are your current projects?

I published my debut novel, Fezariu’s Epiphany, in May 2011. My second novel, A World Apart, is due out in May 2012. I’m also beginning work on my third novel, which has the current working title, A Cadaverine’s Lament.


Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

It’s a daunting path to take if you’re afraid of hard work but at the same time it’s a richly rewarding one. There are thousands of writers on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and many of them are only too happy to share advice, tips and feedback to help you along. My wife runs a forum for indie authors on Facebook – The Indie Exchange – where indie authors are invited to exchange ideas, share blog posts and, once a week, promote their work as well. If you decide to self-publish you never have to feel alone.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

You can find out more about me and the world of Elenchera by visiting I also have a blog, The World According to Dave.

If you want to connect me on social networks I am on Twitter (@elenchera) and Facebook (authordavidmbrown).

Kev's response:  David, thanks much for joining me.  I wish you the best of luck on the expansion of Elenchera!  May it grow, prosper, and do things you never imagined at the beginning!
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