Thank you for being willing to be interviewed on my blog!
1. What made you first interested in writing a book?
I’ve loved reading since the first grade, and I still read each day. Every time I read fiction, I either wish I could change the story in some way, or get inspired by something in the story to come up with my own. This went on for decades, until last year I thought, “why wait any longer?” and started my first fantasy novel. Another impetus was that I admitted to myself that I was never going to be able to afford to retire from software development. Maybe I could “retire” to a life of writing fiction. I thought it was worth a shot.
2. What made you decide to write a YA fantasy novel?
My fiction interests are fantasy, science fiction, and political thrillers. I’ve started one of each (though the sci-fi one is a short story), and the fantasy novel grabbed my interest more than the other two, so I decided to finish it first. As for YA, I’m not interested in presenting bad language, explicit sex, or extreme gore in my writing, so a YA audience seemed natural. Also, I believe that teens should not be talked down to. Many (including MS Word’s automated reading level tool) would say that my writing is too hard for teens. I have more respect than that for teen readers, and I like the idea of challenging them, within reason. I write the same way for teens that I would for adults. Incidentally, my main character is a teen that many reviewers have claimed is unnaturally smart. I’ve known many smart teens, was one myself along with many of my peers. I like to think that “average” teens can admire someone like that without feeling demeaned.
3. Which authors would you say have influenced your writing the most?
In the fantasy genre, L. E. Modesitt Jr.’s Imager Portfolio is an example of the style that I like. Also Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera and David Eddings’s Belgariad. In general, the coming-of-age wizard stories intrigue me the most. I’m also a sucker for any stories where someone has to build up an infrastructure from a primitive state, like Robinson Crusoe or David Weber’s Safehold series. There are elements of that in my book too.
4. When writing The Summoned King, how much of you or your life experiences do you feel became a part of the narrative?
My being bullied as a child and teen became a small part of the main character’s background. That provided the motivation for the main character, Jim, learning Krav Maga, the Israeli Defense Force self-defense system. I wish I had done that myself. Jim’s fear of public speaking is my own, and I used it when looking for weaknesses to give him. His shyness with young women came from the same source. His obsessions with learning many different things and developing many different skills came some from myself, but mostly from my oldest son, Christopher.
5. What are you working on now?
The Summoned King did not end with a cliff-hanger, but is obviously the first of a series, The Kalymbrian Chronicles (planned as a trilogy). That story needs to be completed, since a lot of people have read the first book, and they deserve closure. That’s my first priority. I’m also adding to the sci-fi short story, Jake’s Ladder, and the thriller, tentatively named Blood of Patriots, as I get inspired. And frankly, I’m spending a lot of time trying to get people to review The Summoned King, to attract more sales, which I need in order to retire someday.
I also have a pile of notes (on actual paper) of novel ideas that I’ve collected over the years. When I finish the current batch of writing, I’ll sort through those and pick some more to work on. If any of your readers have ideas they’d like to see become novels, I’d love to add them to the list.
If you want to learn more, check out:
His author web site: www.neusysinc.com
His Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/Dave-Neuendorf-1672785119629902/?sk=app_2415071772
His Goodreads author profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14959423.Dave_Neuendorf
A link to the book’s preview: