As an Indie Author I have been able to meet some fantastic authors, editors and book bloggers. I’ve had some really great people help me promote my book so I wanted to find a way to give back. Thankfully, Author Kayleigh Ann Kavanagh created a Facebook page called The Buddy System. Each week authors are pared with each other. We get to know one another and each other’s books and help promote the other’s works.
This week I was partnered with Author Dan Pike. Dan’s first book, titled The Wolf of Descarta, is set to be released November 21st. Since Dan lives in the far away land of Arizona I wasn’t able to actually sit down with him, but I was able to virtually ask him some questions! First, let’s get to know Dan a little more in his own words.
Daniel Pike has suffered the machinations of his muse since the 11th grade, when he originally embarked on his quest to write the great American novel and see his name in print before it dies. Repressed Memories (2000), which he wrote when he was 17 and high on anime, was the result of this early ambition.
“The Wolf of Descarta”, which is included in Zharmae’s RealLies Anthology (2013), is his first offering as an adult, which he describes as, “a love letter to all the noble knights of the digital age, in whatever shape they may assume.” It has recently been expanded into a three-book series entitled, The Dream Box, of which The Wolf of Descarta is also the title of the first novel.
A true believer in knowing his characters inside and out, Pike drafts the majority of his stories on a 2001 Sony Vaio desktop he christened “Victoria” after the AI from Descarta. He has also been known to don a full suit of armor when teaching Arthurian legends to his British literature classes and to refer to the 1,000+ hours he has logged on his PS3 as “research”. He is grateful his family and friends suffer his quixotic tomfoolery with smiles.
Prior to his stint in education, Pike worked as a staff writer, ghostwriter, and editor. When queried as to why he continues to write as opposed to settling into the lucrative career of a high school English teacher, his response was as follows:
“It’s not really a choice. Runners run. Politicians lie. Writers write. I suppose if I had to ‘squeeze the universe into a ball’ and provide just one sane answer, I would say that writing enables me to better understand myself as an individual. It’s cathartic. There’s also the impulse to play God and reshape the world through storytelling, and the same sense of escapism we hope our readers enjoy.”
His daring plan to one day escape the dehumanizing imposition of adhering to a schedule, which to him is akin to laboring in the salt mines of Carthage, was not directly stated. But in writing, inference is everything.
Here is a little Q&A with Dan!
AP: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
DP: I can trace it back to the sixth grade when I decided to write a Fantasy adventure story inspired by the Lloyd Alexander books. I started writing fanfiction in high school after becoming obsessed with the Final Fantasy series, and I published a novel my senior year while high on anime and too young to know any better. My more refined works came after this wonderful thing called college, where I was fortunate enough to learn from a couple of professors with industry experience.
AP: What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?
DP: I either type up my chapters in separate files in a specific font in a specific antiquated version of Microsoft Word (these are trade secrets). Sometimes, I prefer to tool around with an old Royal typewriter that belonged to my late grandmother. I have a laptop, but as I associate it with my day job, working on it doesn’t make me feel particularly creative.
AP: Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not.
DP: I’m an English teacher as well as an author, so many of my inspirations are your literary types like Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, and Shakespeare. I put Chuck Palahniuk (perhaps prematurely) in that same category. I already brought up Lloyd Alexander. I also enjoyed reading Stephen King and Michael A. Stackpole in my youth. Famous game designers Tetsuya Nomura and Hideo Kojima played their parts as well. The list goes on.
Now that you’ve gotten to know Dan a little more feel free to keep in contact with him here:
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/danielpikeknight
Jaren Reese is just another red collar trapped at the bottom of Descarta’s genetic caste system. But in the Dream Box, he has forged a new digital identity for himself: Balmus, the Wolf Knight.
Balmus has long since carried a torch for the Linker Petra, but he doesn’t know her, not really. Outside of the Dream Box she is just another one of his fantasies. But Brea Morgen is the real thing– a living, breathing person who desires Jaren for who he truly is, not merely what he pretends to be.
When the Dream Box crashes due to the evolution of a hostile A.I. life form, a secret military branch commissions a team of gamers and hackers to go back into the corrupted system to eliminate the threat. Jaren is given the chance of a lifetime in leading them, but he must decide how much he’s willing to lose because the looming war will be one on two fronts–the corporeal and the virtual–and the battlefield just might be his mind.