Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Writer's Interview

Hello rambling followers, and welcome to my first writer's interview. I am part of a group of enigmatic authors who, quite simply write some of the best works you will wrap your eyes around. They are a diverse group whose range covers everything from romance and erotica to mystery and sci-fi.

Too often the world of publishing and authorship is a privileged club that lets in only a select few. If your name is high-profile or you carry celebrity status, you can literally write your own ticket whether you can form a coherent thought or have the ability to string together three sentences or not.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce fellow author Brian Dockins. Brian is currently living and writing in the great state of Texas. He currently has twelve titles in print as ebooks available through with several also available as paperbacks. His primary works are fantasy-fiction with a notable series, Department of Magic (DOMA).

Without further adieu, may I present Brian Dockins; Author...

1. What was the pull for you that made you choose fantasy as your primary genre? Was it a certain book or series?

I’ve always liked fantasy. When I was nine years old, my dad gave me a copy of the Hobbit, and from that point on, I read almost nothing but fantasy. My love for that genre stems from the fact that anything goes. The characters have all the normal hang ups of a normal person, but there’s always that one other layer (the magical one) of identity and problems. I began reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series in the mid-90s and have been following that. One aspect that struck me about his series is that there are literally hundreds of characters, and weaves their stories together in this elaborate tapestry. It’s hard to keep track of them all sometimes, but that’s what wiki’s are for.

2. What book of yours are you the most proud? It doesn’t have to be your best seller, but what is your best writing?

The book I’m most proud of is of course my first book. I had written several ‘novels’ before that one, but they never made the cut. I never felt like they were ready to be published. My first book, Betrayal of Magic, was the first story that I felt passionate about. After numerous edits and rewrites, I finally published it last year.

3. What is your most current published work?

My most current published work would be Second Exodus, Book 6 of my Department of Magic series. I released that volume in August of this year, and I’m hoping to have Book 7 out by Christmas. 8 and 9 will follow in January and February.

4. What sets it apart from other books you currently see in fantasy? What about it says to the reader; pick me up and read me.

What sets my books apart is the fact that I have some very traditional, cliché character-types and creatures, but I place them in a current world setting. The clichés are intentional, but I enjoy that juxtaposing. For instance, I have a scene in the first book where there’s an ogre loose on a highway in California. Ogres are very cliché, but one attacking passing cars on Earth in 2012 is not. The Department of Magic not only has to stop that ogre, but they have to make sure to provide a good cover story to the normal humans who have no idea that this world of magic exists.

5. You have a series; Department of Magic (DOMA). What was the inspiration for that series?
The inspiration for Department of Magic didn’t come from one single place. I actually created and designed the world of Andaloria first, and even wrote two novels set in that world. For my first book I wanted to tell the story of the people and creatures of that world coming to Earth, and what happens to them here. My style of large casts is something I picked up from Robert Jordan. The depth of history that the characters have was inspired by Terry Brooks. This fact will become more prevalent when I eventually get to my other series. Movies have played a big part in shaping my vision of the world of the Department, such as Men in Black and Harry Potter, especially when it comes to the whole idea of a supernatural world that exists but humans are unaware.

6. Is there a common thread or theme that runs through the DOMA series?

I have several common threads that I have (hopefully) weaved throughout the series. One of the primary elements is the diversity of my cast. Fantasy has always been one of those genres where diversity only comes in the different races, such as elf, dwarf, goblin, etc. There never really seems to be much fantasy that deals with diversity among humans. Setting this series in our modern day allowed me to create characters from all walks of life. I have people of every color, age, gender, sexual preference, religious background, and ethnicity. Some of this was intentional, but much of it grew organically from the story I was telling. I feel that it’s important to have characters that every reader may identify with.

7. Will you be continuing the DOMA series or do you have something else in your sights?

DOMA will occupy much of 2013. Book 7 will be out in December 2012, Book 8 in January 2013, and Book 9 in February 2013. After Book 9, I’m going to take a hiatus from that series for a few months and work on an unrelated, short Science Fiction series with a release date in late Spring. I’m hoping to have Book 10, 11, and 12 of DOMA out in the summer 2013. After that, I plan on writing a traditional fantasy series set about 200 years before DOMA on the world of Andaloria. There will be a strong connection between the DOMA series and the new one. I’ve got outlines finished for all of my 2013 projects, so I’m hoping to be able to finish 9-12 projects next year. Let’s just say that 2013 will be a very busy year for me.

8. What is challenging to you as a writer; plot, characters or something else?

My biggest challenge is pacing. As I’m writing, I’m conscious of the events that are coming up and sometimes I find myself speeding up the plot to get to that big event. I have to tell myself to slow it down a little. Other times, I get so engrossed in my characters (even supporting characters) and their development that I find the plot slowing down too much. So far I think that particular problem is balanced well, but I have to keep a close eye on it in the editing and rewrite phase of the writing process.

9. What type of challenge would you like to take on as a writer? What is the ‘big one’ for you?

I think the ‘big one’ for me is going to be my science fiction series that I’m developing. I hope to begin writing that at the first of the year. The mechanics of that type of storytelling will be different for me as will the style in which I’m going to release the stories. The first one will be a larger work, but each additional release will be an ‘episode’ and be much smaller than the large fantasy works that I’ve written before.

10. It seems the world of publishing is undergoing it biggest changes in decades. How does the ‘indie’ author fit into this world? How do you fit in?

I’m sure people have said this in generations past, but I really do think now is a great time to be a writer, author, and publisher. The digital world provides so many outlets and avenues for a reader and an author to connect, and that’s really the key to all of this. I spent several months soliciting agents until I researched the publishing industry more, and then decided to stop trying to get an agent and a traditional publisher and to just do this all on my own. I’m glad I made that choice because I love being in control of my story. I think the old stigma that you have to land one of the Big Six to be considered ‘published’ is fading away, and many people are finding success through self-publishing. I like being right in the middle of this publishing revolution.

I would like to thank Brian for his time and wish him best success with his upcoming endeavors.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I'm trying to find a contact for Brian Dockins as I would be interested in translated his books in French because I noticed that they weren't available in France.
    Would you have an email address or something where I might get in touch with him?
    Thanks in advance.
    You can send answer to
    Emeric Houry