Write On! interviews author D.W.A. Mavin
Daniel was born in London with an immediate love for fantasy! (He says we have Lord Of The Rings to thank for that, being born in the 90s.) Whether tabletop games, console games, figurines, it has always been fantasy. After a while of outgrowing certain facets of fantasy collecting, Daniel decided he wanted to write his own.
WO: How would you describe your writing to someone new to it?
DWAM: I write quite old-school fantasy. Swords and sandals and sorcerers. There are no modern mannerisms in there; even foul language is left out. I believe I often write simple stories, this one being of revenge, but place them in fantasy worlds we would enjoy reading about. You will get heroes, monsters and gods, and none of them will be wholly good or bad.
WO: Can you tell us a bit about your latest book When All The Gods Are Dead?
DWAM: My story takes us to the land of Yalma, a fictionalised place set in our very real world. A place where all the gods, across multiple religions and myths, coexist. Some know of these ‘foreign’ gods, while others believe they are sole rulers of the sphere. The story focuses on the Yalman gods, a pantheon that has managed to survive their prophesised end times. They are rebuilding their land, and their people. But paranoia, fear and control lead to betrayal. And our antagonist, Kreysh, plots and schemes. Our protagonist is Thrughfur, her son. A once brash, unwieldy, genocidal god. It is his journey across Yalma we follow.
WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?
DWAM: I missed stories where gods were GODS. Fire, wrath and all that. Gods had become superheroes in modern stories (though not all of them, I’m sure), and I just wanted my own story in a land of my own creations. I continue writing simply because I love the world of Yalma, and its histories and myths.
WO: The current issue of Write On! explores the theme of ‘Literary Passions And Guilty Pleasures’. With that in mind, what would you say fuels your literary passion in terms of both reading and creating? Do you have a bookish guilty pleasure you’re happy to share?
DWAM: I wouldn’t say I have any guilty pleasures. What fuels me to write is the feeling I get after I’ve read The Lord Of The Rings. That sense of peace, completion, excitement, sadness and joy. If I can get a scrap of those emotions out of someone, that makes me happy.
WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?
DWAM: Sometimes you just need to stop. Put the paper/laptop down and return when your mind is ready. One moment you can describe vast battle scenes, and suddenly you are struggling to describe the hue of a spoon. Your mind, like your body, needs rest.
WO: Question from X (formerly Twitter) user: @lisalovesbookx Do you have any favourite authors in the genre you write? Was there a particular book that inspired you to write in this specific genre?
DWAM: As I’ve said, it’s all Tolkien. Whenever you read his stories, it’s as though you sit beside your grandfather, soothed and calm, and a soft tone takes you to another land.
WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?
DWAM: It’s all Yalma! I have the second book finished and ready for a major edit. Once completed, the third book is to be completed. More gods and travels and monsters. I cannot wait.
WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?
DWAM: I will take one from my own story and go with an Ocean Dragon. Ancient and ferocious, these Yalma protectors are akin to the turtles of our world, just much, much larger. With skin as dark as the ocean and a shell shaded a ceramic white, they are both loyal and terrifying. I can sit upon its back enjoying the heat of the sun while others look on in awe.
Issue 18 of Write On! is out now and you can read it online here. Find it in libraries and other outlets. You can find previous editions of our magazines here. Look out for issue 19, coming to you on 12 December!
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Sometimes you just need to stop. Put the paper/laptop down and return when your mind is ready. Your mind, like your body, needs rest.