Monday 25 August 2014

Guest Author Interview - David Meredith

David Meredith joins me in today's guest author interview to tell us about his latest release 'The Reflections of Queen Snow White'. Discover more about him and his writing below:

Click on image to buy book from Amazon

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is David Meredith and presently I teach English in the Nashville area. I have lived in Tennessee most of my life, but spent just under a decade between 1999 and 2010, with a few short breaks here and there, teaching English in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I think I’ve always had a little bit of the “writing bug”. Even as far back as elementary school I would write stories on notebook paper and bind them together with marker-decorated shirt boards. In middle school and high school I wrote some truly atrocious poetry and crappy fan-fic. I would certainly never want anyone to read it now, but those were experiences that helped me to grow as a writer. I think however, that I have always had stories inside of me that I felt especially compelled to get out onto paper, perhaps not so adeptly in the beginning, but I have since refined my craft and have started putting out work that I am really and truly proud of.

Where did the idea for 'The Reflections of Queen Snow White' come from?
It was originally a short story that I wrote back in 2006, but was inspired by the death of my grandparents. In the space of about four months both of my grandfathers as well as my wife’s grandmother and grandfather died suddenly, so we were attending a lot of funerals. I think that funerals by their very nature lead to a certain amount of introspection about one’s own mortality, but what struck me most was actually not sadness at our grandparents’ passing. All of them were quite elderly and had long, fulfilling lives after all. What I was actually more impacted by was the devastating effect that their deaths seemed to have on my surviving grandmothers. Both had been married over 60 years, my grandmother on mother’s side having never even dated another person, marrying right out of high school. It led me to wonder - when your life has been so intertwined with that of another person for so long, how do you pick up the pieces and move on? That was really the initial idea for The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I think my tastes have gotten more eclectic as I’ve gotten older, but I still have a strong affinity for fantasy works. Probably out of every ten or so books I read these days six to eight of them are usually fantasy. Some favorites are of course Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time. I also really like the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy. However, titles like Shogun, The Stand, and Lonesome Dove have also eked out a permanent spot on my book shelf.

Which author do you most admire and why?
There’s not just one, but a few I’ve really admired are Tad Williams, J.R.R. Tolkien , Neil Gaiman and James Clavell among others. With Tad Williams I most enjoy his straight up story telling ability and skill at emotionally connecting his readers to his characters. With Tolkien I really appreciate his expert, even poetic use of the English language to create vivid images in his readers’ minds. With Gaiman I quite appreciate his sense of humor and irony. Finally, with James Clavell, I am really impressed by his ability to get inside his characters heads and portray them as unmistakably human with all of the motivations, hang-up, and imperfections that all the rest of us have. It really makes his work both believable and relatable.

What makes your writing stand out?
I would like to think that I employ the best elements of my favorite authors intermingled with my own appreciations and experiences to craft narratives that are evocative, emotionally engaging, and real. I always strive to make my readers feel something when they read and so far think I’ve been quite successful at it. No matter what I write I always strive to build that strong emotional connection between reader and character, because if you are successful doing that anything else that happens in the story is going to be more impactful.

All authors enjoy a good review, what has been your favourite so far?
With The Reflections of Queen Snow White it has been the ones (and there have been several) where the reviewers said I made them cry. It really made me feel like I did my job well.

What are you working on at the moment?
A couple of things actually… The first and biggest is a positively massive project I started way back in December of 2004. It is an epic fantasy series based not upon the western medieval model that is so prevalent in modern fantasy literature, but rather based upon Japanese folklore, culture, and mythology. I’m currently shopping it around to traditional publishers, but may end up self-publishing it sometime in the next year or so if I don’t get any takers. The other novel I’m working on is at least tentatively titled Aaru, and is a little more sci-fi leaning. It is really about the intersection of technology the individual and the end of life. I’m still working on the first draft of that one, but hope to release it within the next 6 months to a year as well.

Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
The Reflections of Queen Snow White is an adult novel that is essentially about dealing with grief and loss – picking up the pieces and finding purpose again when “happily ever after” ends. Here is a synopsis:
What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Princess Raven's fiancĂ©, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead. 

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

It is available for Kindle on Amazon here

So far the reviews have been really positive and I hope all of your readers will download a copy!

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