SPFBO Entry Interview: Brian D. Anderson “The Vale”

I return! The last interview for August, but I will continue to post up the interviews as I receive them. I still have a fair few left to post, but I will always be available to you guys. If you’d like one or would like a book review, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me!

Before I go into today’s interview, a little update on my end. I’ve finally started my first edits of THE AEGIS MORA, which is the second book in my Counterbalance series. My tentative goal is to finish at least general edits on the book by the end of 2018, with a possible Q1 2019. I have lots to do of course, so this might not be a reliable date. There are several developments in place for some of my writing future, but I cannot go into much detail just yet. Once I find out more, I will likely make a blog post on this. I will also take the chance to give you a link to my SPFBO entry The Thousand Scars. Apparently it’s good according to most of my reviewers!


Anyway, onto the main event! This next interview is with Brian D. Anderson, whose entry The Vale looks awesome. Here’s his book link, go check it out! I had a lot of fun with this interview.


Check out some of my previous SPFBO interviews down below:

SPFBO Entry Interview: Richard Writhen “A Host of Ills!

SPFBO Semi Finalist Interview: Steven McKinnon

SPFBO Entry Interview: David Mullin “The Tempest Guild”

SPFBO Entry Interview: Justin. L. Anderson “Carpet Diem”

And now, it is Brian’s turn to take up the mantle.


First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?


My name is Brian D. Anderson. Sorry if that sounds like a formal introduction. I use the “D” because sadly, it’s a very common name. I share it with a comic book writer, a major league pitcher, and a writer of cook books. Primarily I write traditional fantasy. Though this year’s entry is a bit different.

How do you develop your plots and characters?


I really couldn’t say. My first series, The Godling Chronicles, was inspired by my son. Others…well just sort of came to me. Though not all ideas end up becoming books. Some are whimsies that never take root.


Tell us about your current project.


I’m currently working on several. There are the follow ups to The Vale. There is the last in a two book  sequel of The Godling Chronicles. The final of the Akiri series. These are all book still owed to Audible.com. Then there is The Sorcerer’s Song, slated for a 2020 publication by TOR. The first book, Bard’s Blade, is in the revisions and editing stage.


Who would you say is the main character of your novels? And tell me a little bit about them!


Sticking to The Vale (my SPFBO entry), the primary character is Drake Sharazi, a former royal guard, exiled and turn bounty hunter. This series was inspired by my love of RPG’s. It is NOT LitRPG, however. There are no gaming elements. But Drake and the other cast of characters fit nicely into the familiar types you would run across: the dark hero, strong princess, spritely young thief, arrogant mage, sinister prince, and many more.


What advice would you give new writers on how to delve into creative fiction?


There are so many things I could say. Rather than trying (and failing) to be a literary Yoda with some inspiring but useless quote, I’ll give them something practical: Study the elements of storytelling. A potentially good tale can be completely ruined by inadequate structure. When you read, pay attention to how the author creates tension and the way information is revealed. Some have a natural talent for this. Others who are objectively good writers, have trouble framing a plot in a manner that engages the reader. But fear not. Though it’s a talent for some, if you don’t have it, it’s also a learnable skill. You just have to possess the willingness to put in the effort.


What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?


Playing Final Fantasy and Tales Of.


What inspires you to write?


Bills. Just kidding. I draw inspiration from the fact that of all the jobs I’ve had over the years, this is the first time I have ever been truly proud of what I have done when the day ends. I realize I’m not changing the world with my little stories. But that’s okay. I take great joy knowing that someone is reading my books, escaping from the stress of their lives, and finding a reason to smile when they put it down. Yeah. I’m not curing cancer or even building a better mouse trap. But I find great value and fulfillment in what I do.


What was the hardest part of writing this book?


The writing was a breeze. The plot unfolded for me quite easily in fact – a sign I was on the right track. But The Vale is not my typical fare. It was a risk. I was reaching out to fans of a different style of fantasy, while hoping I would not disappoint those who already knew my work.


What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?


I’m not sure if I have a “favourite part”. I enjoyed adding the new elements together in ways I hadn’t before. And using a more modern way of writing dialogue was cool too.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?


I learn something from every book I write. Mostly it’s how to improve. Everything a writer puts on the page should be a learning experience. It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?


I don’t find that very challenging. For me it’s guiding their development in a way that is realistic and connects to the reader. This is particularly difficult when dealing with a large cast and multiple plot threads. It’s not that hard to assign personalities to a character. And it’s not much of a challenge to give them motivations and a history. But making them engaging as the experiences change and mold them into someone else while remaining true to who they are…that can have you banging your head against a desk.


What are your future project(s)?


Right now, I have so many books I’m obligated to write I could not handle anything more. I have to finish what’s on my plate before moving on.


If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?


I’m not sure. I can’t imagine doing anything else that gives me as much joy as writing.

What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?










Many thanks for the chance to interview you, Brian! I will try and return soon. I plan on having another interview up this weekend.


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