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#IndieApril Interview with Dylan Madeley

Every day for the rest of April (and maybe even into May) I’ll be posting an interview from an indie author. The first one is Dylan Madeley, author of The Masked Queen’s Lament. Thank you so much, Dylan!


LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 
DM: I’m a copy editor for a zine who also interviews musicians and other folks from time to time. As of May 1, I will have four fantasy novels published through KDP. The first three are a neat trilogy called the Gift-Knight trilogy, and these are already available on Kindle Unlimited as well as through normal purchase/download.

I regularly attend the Ad Astra conference of SFF, which was postponed this year, and with it my book launch, but I’m proceeding with a May 1 release date for my fourth title even in these times. Why not? I have one critter in my home, an eight-year-old chinchilla named Liam.



LQ: You’ve had a lot of day jobs, including martial arts instructor, painter, and making products for LUSH. Which was your favorite day job? Have any of them influenced your writing?

DM: Each of these jobs had its benefits. The martial arts instructing kept me fit, but I couldn’t keep up with it due to a worsening joint pain in my right knee as well as working around the IBS/C condition that really flared up for me as a young adult.


The legacy of that is, whenever I’m faced with writing a physical altercation, I can choreograph what happens in a visual way based on things I have done myself and a taught understanding of what some moves do when taken to their extreme. All I need to do, then, is find better descriptive for what I’m seeing and experiencing in my mind.


The LUSH job is at least rote enough that I can get time to think about something else while working, which helped me come up with story ideas and revisions to make during the last revamp of the manuscript I’m publishing soon.


LQ: What does your writing process look like?

DM: Each of the four times a published work has resulted, it started with a first draft banged out during National Novel Writing Month. Then I needed time to wait because I didn’t immediately know what these first drafts needed.


Sometimes, writing the first drafts of the sequels let me know of something that a prior title could use or would need for the series to work coherently. Years later (between 2 to 8 years), I have emotional distance and a lot of casual thought at my disposal, written notes, ideas; time for a full manuscript overhaul.


Some of these stories don’t even have an ending before this pass, just a word count. I go through cycles until I feel it’s done. I tend to keep earlier drafts for my records in case I have to go back and get something.


LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?
DM: Probably The Masked Queen’s Lament, because that was all about finishing thoughts and tying up loose ends. It was a culmination, allowing me to show you where the series is going, the result of every plot thread that kept my focus. It gave all those idle thoughts and ideas somewhere to go so that they no longer had to bounce around in my mind. It was a relief.


LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 
DM: Ensemble casts are what I do most. Any playing-favorites I do would reveal itself in the different amounts of time spent on each character. I couldn’t pick one.

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?
DM: Most of what I read today comes from indie authors, but there isn’t one of them I specifically follow. I had a huge Michael Moorcock phase where I tried to round up and read every paperback I could find, every published collection, then branched out to affiliated writers like Angela Carter, J. G. Ballard and Roger Zelazny.


Along the way, I went back and read a title and a collection by Ray Bradbury, whose stylistic influence can be read in Ballard’s “Vermilion Sands”. Like I said, now things are wide open and there’s no one I obsessively follow having passed through this phase.


LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 
DM: I have the benefit of living in a low-density area and not having to live alone. I don’t have to worry about most of the rent, and I’m not responsible for rounding up most supplies while we wait this out.


Unfortunately, the two adults I live with–my parents–are also technically higher risk than I am, and I can convince them not to go out without cause but I can’t really make them stay in more or reduce the number of supply runs. That’s something they’ll have to work out for themselves, and I know they’re trying.


I have been able to fill my time doing indoor exercises and grinding out preorder sales on Twitter, which is my primary marketing channel on a low budget.



LQ: What are you currently working on?
DM: I’m currently in final/formatting revisions of Alathea: Goddess & Empress, and once that’s released, there’s a big question of what could be next. The downside of my current full-time work (prior to having been temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 considerations) is that while it did let me tinker with ideas about established stories and an established world, I don’t come up with much new there.


I haven’t built another world and I’m not presently excited by the remaining stories I could tell within it, at least not yet. So my creative focus went all into revamping “Alathea” and doing my best with it, and spare worrying about what happens next until after.


LQ: Anything else you would like to share? 

Thank you for the interview! The already released Gift-Knight trilogy is available for Kindle and on Kindle Unlimited.


The one way you can best support my creative efforts during this time, and in light of my canceled book launch, is to consider preordering my next title, or bookmark it until the release date of May 1 and purchase it then, suggest it to anyone you know who doesn’t mind their fantasy dark, any help appreciated. It would be a wonderful gift to have this fourth book do well out of the gate and get some positive attention before I need to focus on what’s next. Alathea: Goddess & Empress can be found here.


Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/04/10/indieapril-interview-dylan-madeley