Meet Darian Smith, author of Kalanon’s Rising.
Tell me about your latest book
Kalanon’s Rising is a murder mystery in a fantasy world. Brannon Kesh is a war hero haunted by his past deeds and trying to create a new life as a physician. When the king’s cousin is murdered in what looks like ritual magic, the resulting uproar could restart the war. As bodies pile up, it seems there’s a bigger scheme at work. Brannon and a team of misfit magical experts need to solve the case or the safety of the entire world could be at stake.
Sounds good, and being Awesome Indies Approved, it will be worth a reader’s time and money.
Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write
I’ve always enjoyed making up stories. I was that kid in school who, when the teacher set the class the task of writing a story, would hand in twenty pages when everyone else did one or two. I still write because I love it and because I want to share the joy of stories with the world.
There are a lot of people writing books these days, what makes your writing different to all the rest?
There are definitely a lot of people trying their hand at writing these days and I think it’s important for writers to take the time to focus on the craft of writing before they put their work out in the public arena. You want it to be the best it can be. I write the stories I love to read and I think I’m fortunate to have the training I have in psychology and counselling because that helps me to create well developed characters to go on these adventures with.
What genres do you write in and why?
I mainly write fantasy – often mixed with a little something else, whether romance or mystery or whatever takes my fancy. I have a real love of magic and so that’s what finds its way into my work.
Where do your ideas come from, or what inspires you to write?
My ideas come from all over the place. Sometimes little things in life will spark an story concept, other times they just pop into my head at random while I’m driving, walking or taking a bath.
What kind of person would like your book(s) best?
I write for people who enjoy a good fantasy story that’s easy to read.
Why did you choose the indie route to publication? Did you ever try the traditional route?
I have pursued traditional publishing and I still have a literary agent who follows up on those options for me but, quite simply, I got tired of waiting. Despite today’s fast paced world, the road to traditional publishing is still painfully slow. After spending years of my life honing my skills, it was frustrating spending more years with completed projects gathering dust. Indie publishing gives me more flexibility and ability to get my work in front of readers – which is, after all, the point of being an author.
I totally agree. The process is just too slow and tedious.
What’s the hardest part of being an author?
I think the hardest part is making the time to actually sit down and do the work when there’s so much else going on in life. Most of us need a day job to pay the bills so it takes dedication to write at the end of the day. It’s even harder when your work gets pirated and you don’t even get the few dollars of earnings you should. That’s pretty disheartening.
So true. Sticking with it is not easy sometimes.
What do you like most about being an author?
I love the creative process. There’s such a rush to being in the zone and creating a world and people and events that didn’t exist before. The other thing I absolutely love and don’t get to do nearly enough, is actually meet the readers and hear what they like about the stories. There is nothing better than that interaction and it will put me on cloud nine for hours. Sometimes even clouds thirteen or fourteen, to be honest!
If you could have one wish granted what would it be?
It’s horribly boring but probably financial security. Or superpowers. Actually, probably the superpowers.
What is the most unusual object you possess?
My father’s wedding ring from when he was married to my mother. They split when I was quite young and he passed away around a decade ago so it’s something that has special meaning for me. It’s pretty old and battered and I don’t wear it much, but I’m glad I have it.
I see Kalanon’s Rising is the first in the Agents of Kalanon series; does it end with a cliffhanger?
No, there are no cliffhangers in this series. Each book will tell the story of Brannon and his team solving a particular magic-related crime and will finish with a resolution of that story arc. There is an overarching story throughout the series, but the books (and especially this first one in the series) do stand on their own.
I think that’s so important – to have each book complete in itself. There’s a lot of indie authors putting out partial stories and calling them books, and giving them major cliffhangers to make the readers buy the next book. It’s a cheap trick and it angers a lot of readers – me included. I can see how seductive the idea is, but the best books simply don’t need cliffhangers to make you want to read the next one. A satisfied reader is better than an angry one!
Find out more about Darian and his books at www.darian-smith.com
Buy his books at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWZOTWS/