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Meet Daryl Chestney Author of Dominion
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on June 2, 2011
 


Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews Daryl Chestney Author of Dominion


             


Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Daryl Chestney author of Dominion. In addition to being an author, Daryl is a 'traveling physician' who goes to various hospitals to fill in voids/gaps when they are understaffed or in some crisis. He has a medical license in both California and Missouri and presently resides in downtown Los Angeles.  Daryl also has a masters degree in chemistry (his first love) but unfortunately, as he states, he doesn't do much with it in his career. Daryl has also informed me that he is not interested in writing about medical topics and feels that his 'voice' is in literary fiction.

Good day Daryl and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

How did you get started in writing? What keeps you going?

Daryl:

The story dates back to the late 1990s, when the media trumpeted all sorts of Doomsday scenarios in light of the approaching millennium. Several blockbuster movies also explored this theme. I realized that all the stories had the same basic structure. I wanted to develop an end-of -the -world story with an entirely new twist/format. I believe I have achieved that, and throughout medical school and residency I had time to fine-tune the story. Unfortunately, the story is much too long for a single book, so I divided it into digestible parts, of which Dominion is the first. The sequels keep me going, because they are not completely finished works at present.

Norm:

You mentioned to me in one of your emails that you are fascinated by folklore, mythology and the Bible, and try to mesh elements of these in your story. Could you elaborate why you are drawn to this genre of writing?

Daryl:

I am attracted to such elements because they draw on our common collective history. Often writers of fantasy describe novel worlds with intricate geographic, political and historical details unique to that world. I purposely avoided this, as I didn’t want the reader to feel as if he/she was in a strange, alien world. By dipping into our earth’s own folklore and mythology I want the reader to feel that this world isn’t so remote from our own. Indeed, it could almost be a ‘counter-earth’ that traced out a slightly different history.

Norm:

What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?

Daryl:

I wrote out the whole story timeline and then devoted a notebook to jotting down details of each segment of that line before I ever sat in front of a computer. A section was devoted to each ‘district’ in the city and their highlights. So the entire story was in blueprint form at the get-go. I never had to guess where the story was going.

Norm:

What do you believe is required for characters to be believable? How do you create yours?

Daryl:

To be believable the characters must be three dimensional, with faults as well as strengths, like we all have. We’ve all read book where the characters are basically archetypes, and can be summed up with a few choice words. This is a particular pitfall with fantasy where the ‘nimble elf’, ‘heroic warrior’, ‘crusty sage’ are almost character templates. The characters of Dominion are both physically and mentally multifaceted. There also needs to be a slight mystery about them that keeps the reader guessing.

Norm:

Do you believe you have already found “your voice” or is that something one is always searching for?

Daryl:

I have a distinctive writing style that I favor, one that is formal but visual. I describe Dominion as ‘literary fiction’ in that the plot is relatively straightforward. Much of the action takes place in the main character’s mind, where she struggles with social issues and the uncertainty of her own destiny. The sequel to Dominion has an accelerated pace and the main character becomes much more active, thus it strays closer to what we call ‘popular fiction’. So I suppose my voice changes somewhat between the two books.

Norm:

What discipline do you imposed on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc? As a follow up, how does conflict with your time as a traveling doctor?

Daryl:

As noted, it was a chore bringing Dominion to the market while developing my medical career. Currently I have more free time to write. My stints in hospitals usually range from 1 to three weeks a month. The balance of the time I have a wide window to write before the next stint begins.

Norm:

Do you share drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust and does reader feed-back help you?

Daryl:

I shared the manuscript with two fellow writers in a writing forum I attend. They read it and gave me feedback, and I tried to average out their comments in the final version. But this is very difficult. For example, one favored the main character being more ‘hardened and mercenary’ based on her background, while the other wanted her to be more ‘sympathetic and likeable’. Clearly these are divergent attitudes toward the main character. Also, I adopt some anachronistic elements to my city, so that it isn’t an entirely low technological place. One embraced this twist, the other disagreed. So ultimately all such advice must be taken with a grain of salt and you go with your gut feelings.

Norm:

Do you use the Internet to help you in your reading and if so, how?

Daryl:

Not really. I have source material on mythology and such that I reference from time to time, and the Bible is always at hand!

Norm:

What is your most favorite part of Dominion and why?

Daryl:

Probably the chapter called ‘The Baker’. It was one of the last additions to the story and I feel it added a lot to the backdrop of what the main characters were getting themselves into.

Norm:

In Dominion, where did the language and dialogue come from and what kind of research did you do?

Daryl:

The language and the dialogue are crucial elements of the story. Often stories in alien/distant/ancient environments rely on conversation that is twenty -first century American English. I feel that the character’s language should accentuate the setting as much as their physical environment. I favored a Middle English slant. One of the characters uses verbs as would Shakespeare. (ie: Asketh!) I also sometimes use on older words where we today would use another (ie: paddock for toad). Of course I had to research many older works to get a feel for the style. I have a worn out collection of Shakespeare’s plays in my office!

Norm:

Have you read any special books on how to write fantasy novels? If so, what did you learn from them?

Daryl:

I haven’t read books on fantasy writing specifically, because Dominion isn’t pure fantasy as I see it but a hybrid. (High) fantasy writing tends to stress the character’s actions and what we learn of them comes from these actions or what they say. Not much time is spent in their head. As I wanted to explore the main character’s makeup I knew I would have to diverge from dogma. Also, I consider Dominion as much a mystery story as fantasy. Sometimes the reader has to piece together what is happening without the author explicitly spelling it out. This is another feature that separates Dominion from usual fantasy writing. In short, I’ve learned from other styles but put my own stamp on it.

Norm:

Who are you favorite fantasy novel writers and why?

Daryl:

Growing up I read Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, David Eddings all who wrote ‘high-fantasy’. I graduated into the Anne Rice-style of fantasy fiction, which I feel is more akin to Dominion.

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and Dominion?

Daryl:

Visit my website at www.darylchestney.com to glean more of the book and get a brief bio of me.

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Daryl:

Stay tuned for the sequel which should be out in early Sept 2011!

Thanks once again and good luck with Dominion

Click Here To Read Norm's Review of Dominion

 Click Here To Purchase Dominion (Fantasy)