Author David Estes: "Signing books with Bailey the cat—in this one I'm signing hundreds of bookmarks ahead of a Library book signing event. Our cat, Bailey, is 'helping,' which basically consists of her hitting all the bookmarks off the table." (Photo permission and courtesy of David Estes. Credit: Photo by Adele Estes, June 21, 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii.)
When do you get inspired?
The creative wellsprings for writers vary as widely as the number of authors and creators that have ever existed in the world. Secular, non–secular or somewhere in the middle, the sources of inspiration they have are treated with great respect. Many have even held these sources to be sacred to them. For with no vision, the writer perishes. The hope of a story dries up and withers away into darkness.
“I learned that taking a step back from writing provides another conduit for ideas. When my writing for the day is done, I spend half an hour to reflect on what was written. It helps me to recognize the flaws in my narrative, as well as giving me the chance to see if any errors were made, or areas missed, in my writing for the day, including getting ideas for what comes next.”
. . . I take a ton of influence from the great Dean Koontz, who manages to infuse humor into almost every book that he writes, no matter how dark the plot. That’s something I’ve managed to do in most of my dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels. For example, in BREW (my witch apocalypse series), I have a magical dog. In FIRE COUNTRY, one of my most popular novels, has gained a cult following because of the way I bring a cactus to life as an almost imaginary friend to the main character. The talking cactus even has his own twitter account! In STRINGS, the character of Fig, a tiny AI with a big personality, represents Jiminy Cricket. However, not only is he Pia’s conscience and friend throughout the story, he also brings a much-needed dose of comedic relief into a story that builds layers of darkness from start to finish. My goal with Fig was to ensure my readers could occasionally laugh, even as they were being swept along in the mystery of the fairy tale retelling. Plus, who doesn’t love a funny sidekick?
— Discussion in ‘Science Fiction‘ started by daigoro, Mar 28, 2016.
His writing is like a force of nature, is what I thought.
“I type about 1,250 words an hour. The lesson I learned was that I thought that setting the computer on autosave every ten minutes was enough, but it isn’t. I now set it on every two minutes, instead.”
The Country Saga Trilogy
Fire Country (January 12, 2014) 402 pages
Ice Country (March 29, 2013) 348 pages
Water and Storm Country (June 3, 2013) 386 pages
The Earth Dwellers (September 3, 2013) 470 pages
The Dwellers Saga
The Moon Dwellers (January 12, 2014) 366 pages
The Star Dwellers (September 24, 2012) 374 pages
The Sun Dwellers (November 27, 2012) 398 pages
The Slip Trilogy
Slip (December 1, 2014) 416 pages
Grip (December 1, 2014) 400 pages
Flip (March 2, 2015) 374 pages
Salem’s Revenge Trilogy
Boil (October 1, 2014) 416 pages
Brew (October 1, 2014) 486 pages
Burn (January 26, 2015) 372 page
The Evolution Trilogy
Angel Evolution (October 29, 2011) 380 pages
Demon Evolution (October 29, 2011) 345 pages
Archangel Evolution (October 29, 2011) 347 pages
Nikki Powergloves Series
A Hero is Born (September 2, 2012) 162 pages
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council (September 2, 2012) 150 pages
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Trappers (December 13, 2012) 150 pages
Nikki Powergloves and the Great Adventure (December 14, 2012) 156 pages
Nikki Powergloves vs. the Power Outlaws (August 18, 2015) 164 pages
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Giver (August 18, 2015) 176 pages
Strings (February 15, 2016) 294 pages
Please note that the total number of pages I am going to give you in a moment that he has written does not include his short stories. I have also not given every book he has written, either. However, I think you will agree that 7,532 pages is a monumental achievement for any writer over his or her lifetime, let alone for what he has done in half a decade.
“I also recently wrote a short story based on bestselling author, Hugh Howey’s, book, Half Way Home. This year there will be a book released called Half Way Home Chronicles with a bunch of short stories, including mine, based on Howey’s original work. Hugh Howey is fully behind this project, which is very cool.
Regarding his ability to write series after series, he said, “As a series writer it is difficult to keep at it [in a strict linear fashion]. I learned that switching between two trilogies, such as going from writing the book Brew in the Salem’s Revenge series, to writing Slip in the Slip Trilogy series, helped me from getting burned out.
I’ve mostly written in the SciFi (primarily dystopian and post-apocalyptic) realm, as well as some Urban Fantasy, so tackling a major epic fantasy project is completely new for me. Yet, epic fantasy is a genre that I have always been interested in, both as a reader and a writer. I grew up reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (I read the covers off the books my parents gave me) as a kid, and later fell in love with the Eragon series, as well as Game of Thrones. I am definitely inspired by epic fantasy authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Paolini, and George R.R. Martin, to create a fully fleshed out world with complex and vibrant characters who will be forced to change significantly over the course of the series.
— Discussion in ‘Science Fiction‘ started by daigoro, Mar 28, 2016.
My high fantasy series is set in a world of my own creation, the Four Kingdoms, the plot spurred by the classic story of a war amongst kingdoms to rule the land. Thrown into the mix are characters with magical markings that give them strange powers. Some greater power ties them together as they strive to understand the role they each need to play in the fate of the realm. The world I am in the process of creating is quite large, so I am planning five books for the series (at least), with an additional 4-5 volumes of origin stories for the characters.”
“Ha! Perry is the most random character I have ever created. After all, he is a talking cactus. In reality, Siena created Perry on her own. She was in prison, during a very bad time in her story, and she needed a friend. That’s when Perry entered the scene, speaking to Siena in her head, offering her light banter, unwanted advice, and friendship. It is up to the reader to decide whether Perry is just a part of Siena’s vivid imagination, or something more real.”
“Probably Benson Kelly from Slip. Benson starts out as a lost kid without much direction. Early on, he doesn’t even know his own name! That’s kind of how I felt early on in my career. It was all new to me, from writing to publishing to marketing…I wasn’t even sure whether to use my real name or a pen name (I decided on my real name.). Over the last five years, just as Benson Kelly grew into a capable, strong leader, I’ve grown into a writer with a lot of experience, both in crafting stories and finding readers for them. I always say it was a combination of luck and hard work, which is exactly the way things turned out for Benson Kelly.”
“If I hadn’t written The Moon Dwellers, there’s a very good chance that I’d still be sitting in a cubicle today. The Moon Dwellers put me on the map, helped me land my agent, and brought in thousands of readers to my backlist of books. When The Moon Dwellers was featured on Buzzfeed’s list of “Series to Read if You Enjoyed The Hunger Games,” things really took off. I haven’t looked back since, and the series has sold more than 50,000 copies and counting, and allowed me the flexibility to become a full–time writer.”
I believe that David truly has become “the storyman” . . .
Links to David Estes’ Storytelling:
Links to Hugh Howey’s Storytelling:
Links to Dean Koontz’ Storytelling:
Links to Neil Shusterman’s Storytelling:
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products or services that I have mentioned here. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”