Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Looking for Dei by David A. Willson @yaboundtourspr

Looking for Dei
David A. Willson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: March 23rd 2018


Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

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Interview with David A. Willson

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Looking for Dei?

The main character is Nara, who carries the plot forward and gets the most time in POV.  Nara is fifteen years old, loves outdoor activities, animals, and spending time with her best friend, Mykel.  She’s a little na├»ve, quite principled, and completely unprepared for the challenges ahead of her.  Oh, and magic.  She has some of that.

Mykel is bit of a dark, brooding type.  He is sixteen, in love with Nara (but unable/unwilling to tell her so), and holds delusions of becoming a powerful warrior.  Mykel longs for an escape from his difficult family life, but gets a little more than he bargained for.

Bylo is Nara’s father, a former monk who stumbles upon a prophecy involving Nara and gets swept up in her story.  He’s fearful, a keeper of secrets and really good guy, if a bit silly.  A scared, silly, secretive, swept-up good guy, then.

There are other characters.  Some are good, some are bad, and there is one that can’t decide.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’ve set Looking for Dei up as the first story in a world I’ve called The Great Land.  Looking for Dei ends at a great stopping point but begs for a sequel.  And probably a few more books after that.  I’ve already begun outlining the next book. I have a title, a cover, and have started writing it, but don’t have a specific timeline set out for completion.  Might be a couple years.  I have big ambitions for this one.

How long would you say it takes you to write a book?

Looking for Dei started with a series of notes I began jotting down in 2013, but I didn’t start writing in earnest until May, 2016.  Final edits were complete in February, 2018, and launch day is in March, 2018, so that is a wee bit short of two years.  I think later books could take less time now that I’m better educated about my own particular writing habits.  The process really depends on each book, I would say. 

What is your favorite childhood book?

The Princess Bride by William Goldman, hands down. I first heard the story in the sixth grade when my teacher, Ms. Miller, read it to the class.  She went too slow, however – one chapter at a time.  I was starving for more, had fallen in love with the story, and couldn’t wait to hear her finish the entire novel.  Pirates, heroes, true love, a selfish prince, an evil count, murder, revenge, swords, miracles, giants, wow.  What more could a boy want?  In a fit of impatience, I rushed out and spent my meager allowance on my own copy long before Ms. MIller completed the reading.  Loved it.  Love love.  Read it a billion times.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters from Looking for Dei, who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

Bylo, for sure.  He’s my favorite.  Bylo is both a scholar and a laborer, an unlikely combination.  He’s also a reluctant father, full of fear, and a man with so much weight on his shoulders that he escapes the stress by focusing on the few things that he can control.  He’s artistic, obtuse, and fascinating to me.

What would we do?  I suppose, if he trusted me enough, I would have him tell me about his illustrations, and his ancient manuscript.  I’d let him prattle on about runes and secret magic, and how delighted he is to have Nara in his life.  Then I’d take him bowling.  I think Bylo would be an excellent bowler.  Then tacos.  Yes, tacos.  He’s never eaten tacos, I’m sure, and everyone should have tacos for lunch.  Every day.  I may have to write some tacos into my next novel.  Can you put tacos in a fantasy novel?  Maybe they’d have to be magical tacos.  No, that’s silly.  Tacos are already magical.

What was the hardest scene from Looking for Dei to write?

The announcement ceremony in chapter nine.  I was terrified of it and refused to start.  My goals for the chapter involved character development, but also spoke to the world-building that I needed to do well if any of the later chapters were to be believed.  It is a pivotal part of the story, and I wanted to thrill the reader, surprise the reader, worry the reader, and eventually shock the reader.  I dreaded it, repeatedly failed to start typing even one word, wrote all around it—chapters before and after—until it became this big monster in my mind.

When I finally decided to start typing on it, I couldn’t stop, and ended up crafting the whole chapter in one sitting.  The fear that held me back disappeared when I finally set my mind to taking the first step.  It was a great experience.  Writing is fun.

Same thing happened with the finale.  Typed all night, feverishly, hammering out more than fifty pages in an obsessive fit.  Couldn’t stop.  I would say that it was like childbirth, but I’ve seen childbirth and I could never do something that difficult.  But it was both creative and exhausting, and at the end of it I had something I really liked, but that needed a lot of attention to make perfect.  So it was sorta like childbirth after all.

What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always wanted to become a writer, ever since I was a wee lad, reading fantasy novels and becoming enthralled with the escapism.  In high school, I used to tell my friends that I only had two goals in life 1) raise kids and 2) write books.  Having raised five kids now, I will achieve goal #2!

Just for fun

(a Favorite song: Sound of Silence by Disturbed.  Close second is Brothers in Arms by Dire Straights.

(b Favorite book: Princess Bride by Wiliam Goldman

(c Favorite movie: Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (Ricardo Montalban version)

(d Favorite tv show:  West Wing

(e Favorite Food: Tacos.  Of course.

(f Favorite drink: Coffee with whipped cream.

(g Favorite website:  Geekie tech site with everything about Apple computer products.  (yup, I’m a technophile)

About the Author
David A. Willson is fantasy novelist who lives in the great land of Alaska with his wife and five children. His passions are faith, movies, books, coffee, traveling with his beautiful lady, and hanging out with his wonderful kids.

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