For this week’s installment of the Neverending Blog Tour, I interviewed Mad Poet and Fantasy Novelist Steve Drennon, whose roots in epic fantasy and poetry are similar to mine. His fantasy is rich and deep, with well-developed worlds and conflicted characters (my favorite kind!) He’s also written nearly 1,000 poems: moving, emotive glimpses into the mind of an intuitive man who’s laid his thoughts out for the world to read. Steve’s poetry is simple, candid and unpretentious, and it flows as naturally as the emotion and story he’s conveying. I found myself smiling when I read it. While I’m a diehard fan of good fantasy, I have to tell you – Steve won me over with his poetry!!
About the Author
Tell me what readers should know about Steve Drennon, the man behind the books.
I am a person of many diversified interests who enjoys reading and writing in many different genres.
What inspires you to write?
I am filled with the desire to tell stories and to share them with as many people as possible.
If you had a perfect writing outfit, what would it be?
I actually do have the perfect writing outfit: a pair of loose fitting shorts, a cotton softball t-shirt, and my house shoes!
How do you define success as a writer?
To me, success is not about selling a lot of books or making a lot of money; success is about having someone, even if it is only one person, say that something you wrote either touched them or made them smile.
Does your family read your books?
My wife, my son, and my oldest daughter really don’t read much at all, but my youngest daughter is an avid reader and intends to be a writer herself!
What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d like to give other indie authors?
Simply take your time while writing and concentrate on telling a good story, one that makes you feel something.
Which is more challenging: writing poetry or writing a novel?
I believe that writing a novel is much harder because it involves so much more time and effort, whereas poetry and rhyming tend to come pretty easily for me.
Your novels are what I’d call deep fantasy, filled with magic, multiple races of creatures, epic journeys and of course, peril. What are your influences for your fantasy novels? Were you inspired by other writers, movies, legends, other cultures?
I think my fantasy novels are a culmination of many different influences, but mostly fantasy novels I have read over the years and perhaps a touch of movies as well.
You’ve managed to track all your poetry by the year in which you wrote it, which floored me when I saw that! I tend to lose the majority of my poems, because mine is normally scribbled down in response to emotional situations then forgotten. Poetry means something different to every writer; what is poetry to you?
Wow, it looks like somebody has really done her homework! I started out doing the exact same thing, and as a result there are a lot of poems that will never be seen again. I was very fortunate to have a very good friend in high school who asked me if I would let her have a copy of any poems I wrote, because she thought I had a real talent. Many years later, she was still collecting a copy of everything I wrote. It is thanks to her that I have accumulated such a large collection of songs and poems I have written (somewhere around 1000)!
You’ve released two fantasy novels and a poetry collection expanding six volumes. Do you choose what to write or does your writer’s Muse tell you what to write?
The answer to that is different for each project. For my poetry, it has always been a result of my Muse filling me with a thought or an emotion or a simple rhyme that just has to be expanded upon. With my novels, I tend to get a basic idea for a story, which I write down as a rough outline. Over time, I choose which one seems to be the most interesting and develop that out.
What’s your next project?
I actually have a number of projects in the works. I am finishing up two poetry anthologies. The first will combine my first three volumes of poetry along with over 100 additional poems that have never been published. The second anthology will do the same with my last three volumes and another 100-150 poems that have never been published.
In addition to that, I am working on three suspense novellas that will be released individually and then also made available as a collection. From there I will move on to a new historical novel that involves combat search and rescue. (How’s that for diversity?)
What’s the story’s main message?
This story is about three people with their own personal agendas who are thrown together by fate and circumstance as they venture towards the same place. From there it becomes a classic story of good triumphing over evil.
Who is/are the main characters?
There are three major characters: 1) Bengar, a soldier of fortune looking for revenge for the murder of his brother, 2) Ariadne, a spoiled princess trying to find her way home, and maybe find herself along the way, and 3) Mahri, a reclusive sorceress who is trying to locate a powerful crystal that was secreted away by her father before he was murdered.
Which character do you admire from this book?
I definitely admire Bengar the most. He has two beautiful women vying for his attention and affection!
Which character would creep you out if you met him/her in person?
That would be Tolbhri, the evil sorcerer who is the primary protagonist. I didn’t really develop this character out as much as I did the protagonist in my other novel, but this guy won’t win many popularity contests!
What did you learn about yourself while writing this novel?
I learned that I can actually stray from an outline! All my life, my longer works have involved a very detailed outline. However, I got about three-fourths of the way through and decided I didn’t like the way the story was going. As a result, I sat down and spent about an hour envisioning how it should be in my head. Then I went on a major writing spree and knocked out the last three chapters in a single afternoon! THAT was exhilarating!
What’s the story’s main message?
This book is also a classic good versus evil novel. Notice I did not say good “triumphing” over evil! To a certain extent, the good guys win, but there is an even greater evil lurking on the horizon, and they don’t even know it yet! (Yes, there WILL be a sequel!)
Who is/are the main characters?
This book was told from three different perspectives in three different settings. The first perspective is from Dainin, a young boy who has just been accepted into a group of wizards known as the Khand. The second is from a shaman named Orluk-Sai who is trying to restore the greater magic of his ancestors. The third is from the protagonist, Dorgaiin, an evil demon who was summoned to destroy the Khand. I really went into great detail describing each of their perspectives.
Which character surprised you when you wrote him/her?
Greykin, one of the younger wizards, is called upon to go on a quest to prevent any more demons from being summoned. His character was one I really enjoyed writing, and he ended up playing a much larger role than I had originally envisioned.
If you could be stranded on a desert island with one of your characters from this novel, which one and why?
Mendlebeth, the wise old wizard who becomes the leader of the Khand. I feel that he would provide endless hours of entertainment and knowledge.
Which one would you definitely NOT want to be stranded with and why?
That would be Dorgaiin, the evil demon. This is one seriously mean guy!
Where can we find your books?
Where can we find you?