Thursday, July 19, 2012

Interview & Kindle Giveaway with David Mayer, author of Reswyt and Nekhet

I had the pleasure of interviewing my favorite author, David Mayer, today! I have been reviewing on the blog for almost three months and Dave was my very first review request. I absolutely fell in love with the first book and couldn't wait to finish the second. It's hard for me to put in words how amazing and refreshing this series is.  We have an awesome giveaway following the interview for you all today, thanks to the awesomeness that is Dave Mayer!

Dreamline Series by David Mayer

Blurb for Reswyt: In this spellbinding new paranormal fantasy novel, Sabine Jahn has more than an average teen's share of problems. She’s been forced to leave behind everything she knew growing up in Oregon to start high school as a transfer student in California. She’s lost her father to an automobile accident, and her grandfather, preeminent Egyptologist Daniel Jahn, has mysteriously disappeared. She hasn’t slept in months, and no one can tell her why. And now, as she sits in detention for dozing off in class again, she finds herself drifting from her Cameron High detention hall to a vast, eerie forest where immense astral wolves roam past her.

Sabine has discovered a way to enter a realm where dreaming minds appear nightly as noble hawks, fierce wolves, and stalwart bears. She learns that the wild, beautiful world she has found is slowly becoming corrupted by the acts of a dead mind trapped within it. Now, the fate of that realm – and our own world – rests in the hands of Sabine, a long-dead French soldier, an Egyptian god, and a mysterious, profoundly gifted boy trapped between worlds.

Ren: How did you come up with the names Reswyt and Nekhet for the titles?

Dave: Reswyt’s an actual Egyptian word. Well, kind of. rswt is; the Egyptians didn’t write down their vowels. So it might be raswat, or riswet, or any number of variants. I liked the look of reswyt, so that’s what I ran with. For the second book, the theme centered around Sabine strengthening herself – ridding herself of the Queen’s presence, letting go of her father, taking charge of Brummbar’s forces. So I went in search of a good Egyptian word to cover that conceptual ground, and nekhet jumped right out at me. As for why Khemnet is named khemnet…you’ll have to wait.

Ren: How did you come up with the concept for Reswyt?

Dave: It came from two distinct sources: insomnia, and a YA-inquisitive daughter. After our twins were born, it completely blew apart my sleep schedule, obviously, and it took a long, long time to get back on it, and at that point, I found I’d developed this odd new quirk of waking up around 3AM every night.  So I started doing a ton of research into sleep disorders, and their effects on people, and it just so happened that one night, I learned this odd bit of trivia as I read -  that, during REM sleep, the human body’s muscles are essentially paralyzed, with the exception of the basics – breathing and such. And, serendipitously enough, when you’re sleep-deprived, your brain starts coming up with all sorts of offbeat comments during your usual internal monologue; so at some point I wondered why this was the case, that REM locked up your muscular system, and a little voice said, “because your mind can only control one set of muscles at a time, and it’s off somewhere controlling another set.” And that was the genesis of the basic idea.

But it began as a very different book, with Sabine as an adult police detective in Vancouver, and it wasn’t going anywhere; I’d done two or three test-writes and it fizzled every way I was trying it. And one night, I’m reading on the couch, and my daughter comes up to me with her Kindle – she was very into beginning to explore YA at the time - and says, “I don’t see myself in any of these books. Are there any YA books with a gifted girl protagonist?” Right there, I had the main character, and it all just flowed from there.

Ren: It's funny that you mention insomnia. When I started reading Reswyt, I developed a case of mild insomnia. Coincidence, maybe? LOL

How much research did you do for Reswyt and Nekhet?

Dave: A great deal, and I hope it shows in the work. Good research makes a book sparkle, I think; some of my favorite books really benefit from the effort that goes into research. It’s the muscle beneath the skin, so to speak. It’s particularly important in a series like this one, where you have what is essentially a magical realm that’s become sullied by organization and technology. Neither was ever supposed to exist in Reswyt, and both are slowly bringing about its ruination. So adding in that element of realism in what’s happening there makes the story more believable, I hope. And, as a sidebar, it’s really fun.

Ren: It definitely shows! I was amazed at the amount of facts that went into the book. To say I was intrigued is an understatement.  

What kind of music is on your writing playlist?

Dave: You’re actually the first person to ask me that, and it’s a really good question; music is a really vital component of getting into a particular headspace and a particular character. I write a lot of Sabine’s dialogue to Bon Iver and Radiohead and The Smiths. Many of the Reswyt scenes get written to Dead Can Dance and Vangelis and Ulrich Schnauss. Curve and Junius and Bullet For My Valentine are great for action scenes. But if I had to pick one album to write to, it would be Enjoy the Parade by Choke the Word. They’re an amazing Denver band that just drops me right into the space I need to get into to write. Check them out on Spotify. I even stuck them into Nekhet; there’s an anagram of Choke the Word in the book someplace. See if you can find it.

Ren: Score for me!! I don't listen to music while I read. When I hear some songs, they may remind me of books that I have read. Sometimes it's the tune and other times it's the lyrics.

Which character did you enjoy writing the most?

Dave: I probably have two different answers to that. The character I love most is Sabine; she gets special handling, and not just because she’s the protagonist, but because it’s important that she reads as a real person, with flaws and hopes and dreams and failings. The character I’m most intrigued by is probably the Queen, just because she’s such a unique entity. It was important to me, with the character of the Queen, that there be back story and substance to her. I didn’t want to check a cackling villain out of Central Casting – I wanted there to be more than that.

Ren: I love Sabine as well, though I would have to say Josh is my favorite. I'm definitely rooting for him! He also makes origami, so I may be a little biased.

Which scene from Nekhet was your favorite to write?

Dave: I’ve got a bunch, and I’ll try not to spoiler any of them, but I’ll just run through a few of my favorites. The scene in which Sabine encounters the Steersman was a great pleasure to write. There are some Moravin/Matthew scenes that were very enjoyable. The first encounter between Sabine and Brianna; Taryn’s escape from the house. The overall thread that has Sabine letting go of her father was more cathartic than fun, but felt good. And then there were some scenes that were just plain fun – for instance, the fact that Sabine keeps getting the same physician’s assistant in Boulder Community Hospital.

Ren: I wont go into the details, but my favorite scene is the one when Sabine finds out who Brummbar is :-) :::insert my Cheshire Cat grin:::

Everyone views characters differently. Who would you says resembles your human characters the most?

Dave: I didn’t start off doing this, but it became important as I went along to ‘cast the movie.’ I think most authors do that, if only for fun; who plays who in the film? Sabine’s got a very Danielle Panabaker feel to her. I’ll put Sam Claflin in as Josh and Aaron Johnson as Dylan. Guillaume, prior to his death: Cillian Murphy; post, Sophie Marceau. Brianna, Ellen Page. Taryn, Abigail Breslin. Am I missing anyone?

Ren: I don’t usually like spoilers, but I have to we get to see more of the Queens past in the next book?

Dave: You do. The opening of the third book, in fact, touches on what happened to Guillaume just after his death – and then there’s another scene, almost wistful, that’s in progress right now. And I’m not going to spoiler anything, but I will tell you that the Queen spends a good portion of the third book running for her life. And not just from Sabine.

Ren: Thank you so very much for joining us for this interview! It has truly been a pleasure to have read your books. I look forward to the next book! You have made a stalker out of me :-)

Dave: Thanks for inviting me to take part – love your blog and can’t wait to come back and talk about the third book, Khemnet, in 2013.

My review for Reswyt can be found HERE and for Nekhet HERE

You can find Reswyt on FacebookAmazon, & Goodreads


Drumroll please........

We have some awesome items up for grabs today

Grand Prize:

A 6-inch Amazon Kindle with an eBook copy of Nekhet by David Mayer


5 eBook copies of Nekhet by David Mayer

That's a total of 6 winners!! 

Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway