Hello! Below is an interview with David Normoyle, the author of The Silver Portal. He so kindly gave me his eBook to read for a review, and I decided to do an interview with him as well. I hope you all get to understand more about him as you read along, and for those curious of the review you can find it here!
Are you a full time author? Or do you have another job between writing? When did you start writing professionally?
I am not making full time money (not even close); however I have some savings from a previous career and since about December of last year, I have been putting full time hours into my writing career. For several years before that I had been selfpublishing part time, so I have some backlist titles, but none have taken off, so in one sense I’m starting from scratch. However, the experience of writing and selfpublishing I’d had so far gives me a great launching pad. I think that the ebook revolution and selfpublishing has given a great opportunity for writers to find readers and build a career, but that opportunity might not last forever, hence this risk I’m taking by writing full time without the (present) income to support it. The Silver Portal is the start of my first new series since I went full time.
When did you start writing, not for money but for fun? How old were you, and not just when you started writing for school?
Back in 2004 just before I hit 30, I backpacked around South America and had some great adventures, and I found myself compelled to email accounts of these adventures to friends and family back home. As time went on, these accounts became more and more elaborate, and I found myself spending several hours in an internet cafe writing and re-writing a single story. I still wouldn’t be satisfied, so I’d email it to myself so I could work on it the next day before I could be satisfied to send it to my list. That was when I knew I had caught the bug. Toward the end of my trip, I practiced some touch-typing and started my first forays into researching writing. It wasn’t until 2008 that I completed the first novel though. Quite a journey from catching the bug to my first novel, and an equally interesting journey from there to deciding to write full time. Hopefully this new leg of the trip will be where all the hard work pays off.
Did you start out writing fantasy, or did you write in a different genre? Is fantasy you’re preferred genre, if so, why? Have you written in other genres before?
My main reading interest has always been fantasy and science fiction novels, so I can’t imagine writing anything else for more than a short story. However, those genres are broad and I find my ideas spanning from epic fantasy through urban fantasy to science fiction, though mainly with young protagonists and coming of age themes (for now). I may focus more on a single sub-genre if I find an audience.
Where do you normally write? When do you find that you are the most creative?
Since starting writing fulltime, I needed I routine where I had at least 3/4 hours day with me and the blank page and no distractions. So I go to various coffee shops around Dublin (I live in Dublin, Ireland) most mornings, don’t turn on wi-fi and write on my tablet (with an add-on keyboard). Editing, research, miscellaneous publishing stuff all require me to work on my desktop in the home office, but the few hours away make sure that I am continually producing new writing.
When did you become published? And were you self published or did someone publish for you? What was your first published work?
I was published by a small e-press back in 2010. It was a book called Crimson Dream, a medieval coming-of-age fantasy. It didn’t take off with the small press, and I later republished it, but didn’t have much more success selfpublished. Although all my novels have had good reviews, I have recently unpublished Crimson Dream and several other early novels, so I can focus my efforts on my latest works.
What gave you the idea to write The Silver Portal?
I liked the concept of of group of young people gaining magical weapons of different types, and I decided to separate these weaponbearers across the land. From those basic ideas the world of Mageles and the Weapons of Power story formed. By the time I finished a first draft three years ago, I realized how terrible of an idea it was. Five different heroes spread across the land. What kind of idiot starts their book like that?
Needless to say, the draft was a mess. But I was too stubborn to give up on it completely. About two years ago, I gave the story another attempt, and wrote another draft. Some parts improved but overall, it was still a mess. The problem is that at the start, when the reader isn’t fully invested, their attention gets sliced up five ways. My solution was to make each of the five characters uniquely compelling in a different way. This year, writing full time, I tackled it once again and the novel finally came together.
Now that I’m finished I’m delighted that I was too stubborn to give up because the problems forced me to come up with five unique main characters who I’m immensely proud of. Of course, readers will ultimately decide whether I succeeded or failed with this story, but I really hope that readers will love Twig, Lukin, Mortlebee, Suma, and Simeon as much as I do.
You mentioned that this series will be a trilogy and that the next book will be out soon. Is there any information that you could give about the second book, possibly a title or a synopsis?
The title of the next installment is The Black Bearer. I’ll share a key plot point. It’s not really a spoiler for the first book, since it doesn’t come up (though the main characters aren’t aware of this at the end of The Silver Portal), but one of the weapons of power has a flaw, whereby the Lord Protector can gain magical control that weaponbearer. The bearers will have to figure out which weapon is flawed and how to deal with the problem.
You also mentioned something about writing some prequels later, is there any information you can give readers about those as well?
Mageles is a land with a barrier to keep magic out, and I am sure that readers are interested in what’s on the other side so wrote a prequel novelette, The Desert Palace, which takes place before the barrier is formed in a world full of magic and magical creatures. Tagline: Zedane, sick of magical duels abroad, is determined to achieve high status in his father’s court when a fatal misstep threatens a devastating war.
The prequel story is available to fans who sign up to my mailing list (see my website, or end of my books for details). Those who sign up also receive prequels to my other series.