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Author Spotlight: Erik Scott de Bie

Who is Erik Scott de Bie?

Erik Scott de Bie is a 30-something speculative fiction author and game designer. He has published ten novels and counting, including tales in the storied Forgotten Realms, Iron Kingdoms, Hellmaw, and his World of Ruin epic fantasy setting (Mask of the Blood Queen is the third entry in that series). His short work has appeared in numerous anthologies and online, and he is the author of the multimedia superhero project, Justice/Vengeance. In his work as a game designer, he has contributed to products from such companies as Wizards of the Coast and Privateer Press, and was a lead creative consultant on Vorpal Games’s Red Aegis. He lives in Seattle with his wife, sword collection, and entirely too many animals. Check out his website: erikscottdebie.com  

What motivated you to write your first novel?

Boredom! I was fifteen, it was Honors Chemistry, and I needed something to look forward to after I finished my hours of nightly homework. Sensible kids my age went on dates or lost themselves in video games, but for some reason my solution was to tell a story. And it worked.
 
And that first book was terrible! But don’t worry–no one has to see that. Or the next several novels I wrote before I published Ghostwalker at age 22.

 

What strange things do you do when you write? Do you listen to music? Watch television? Eat Cheetos?

Each of my books/series has its own playlist or Pandora station–songs and genres I associate with that particular story. I spend time writing while listening to that music, and it builds the association in my mind so I can go right back into the story if I hear one of those songs. To this day, songs I hear on the radio make me think of specific works I’ve done.

I do often have a TV on in the background while I work, which I only pay about 20% attention to. I’ve seen a lot of movies and TV without capturing much of what happened in them.

What was your greatest challenge writing this story and how did you overcome it?

Unlike the previous two novels in the series, Mask of the Blood Queen is a very specific story, told from the point of view of two characters who spend most of their time with each other. The challenge came about in making their voices and perspectives distinct, in such a way as to reveal more about the world as the novel progresses. Isolation and long periods of travel are some of the best times to learn about ourselves, and the same principle holds up in fiction. I think it gave me an excellent opportunity to explore those two characters and reveal more about them.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters in this book, who would you choose and what would you do?

Most of the characters in Mask of the Blood Queen are erratic and extremely dangerous, but I think I could learn a lot from the Deathless Rose, centuries-old Queen of the Fae. She knows so much–history, magic, and how to interact with almost anyone–and she’d be the least likely to kill me.

What’s next for you and your writing career?

I’m writing several novels for the Ed Greenwood Group and I’m shopping around a novel to agents. I’m finally writing that Justice/Vengeance superhero novel I’ve been planning for years. I also have idea seeds planted for a few other stories, which will inevitably grow into outlines that compel me to write them.

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

A lot of my story ideas come from gaming, actually. Not that I’m recording transcript of games or anything–I derive creative energy from collaborative storytelling and hearing the stories of others. Sometimes a thing will happen in a game that seems wrong or just not ideal to me, and I go home and write my own version. This happens with books and movies as well.

What is something you are not good at doing?

I am not particularly great at communicating with people I don’t know. Phones or cold approaches out in public are hugely complicated and off-putting to me. Sometimes I can do it, and do it pretty well, but I have enough social anxiety to make it uncomfortable.

What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?

I write mostly about identity, justice, and vengeance. The dominant lessons of my books are generally that treating each other with disrespect or hatred is counter-productive. Being good to people is how we accomplish our goals.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a big gamer. Tabletop games, bideo games, board games, card games, etc. I’m also a boxer, though I recently injured my rotator cuff, so mostly I’m working on training my distance running for a few months.

 

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Persistence. The foremost quality and skill of a professional writer is an unwillingness to give up.
Bob Salvatore once told me to try to give up, and if I couldn’t, then I was a writer. A piece of advice I repeat to this day.

But it goes beyond that. It requires me to challenge myself to overcome my hesitations and insecurities and keep pushing. To know my own quality and believe in my work. Persistence.

What are your favorite characters that you have created?

All of them, in their own ways, but particularly Mask from the World of Ruin series (read the book and you’ll see why!), as well as my Forgotten Realms characters Shadowbane and the Fox-at-Twilight. I also dearly love the characters from my forthcoming Stormtalons book, WANDERER IN THE MISTS.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your teenage self?

Get over yourself, push through your hesitations, and put yourself out there. The world is a bigger and cooler place than you think.

Purchase Erik Scott de Bie’s novels

My bibliography http://erikscottdebie.com/bibliography has all of ’em. 🙂

 

 

Connect with Erik Scott de Bie

Erikscottdebie.com

Facebook.com/Erik.s.debie

Twitter.com/erikscottdebie

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