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Interview with YA Fantasy Author Bryan Davis

Interview with Bryan Davis

If you read Christian fantasy, then Bryan Davis is a familiar name to you.

Since the first book in the Dragons in Our Midst series was released in 2004, Bryan has been a popular and prolific fantasy author in young adult fiction with more series following Dragons in Our Midst including Oracles of Fire,Children of the Bard, Dragons of Starlight and Echoes from the Edge.

Bryan's first series

Today Bryan answers questions about his latest book Beyond the Gateway(Book #2 in The Reapers Trilogy), his writing and his life.

Beyond the Gateway is a Dystopian/Supernatural novel

How did you choose the title Beyond the Gateway?

In Reapers (book #1 in the trilogy), the Reapers have always thought the Gateway was a safe passage for the souls they carry there. Yet, they learn that it is fraught with danger. Perhaps the souls are going to a place of torture that empowers the tyrant who rules the world. Therefore, the Reapers have to go Beyond the Gateway to learn the truth. The major drawback? Someone has to die to go there.

How would you describe the book to someone in a text message?

Reapers guide souls to the afterlife ... they think.

Who is your main character and what problem does he face? Phoenix is a Reaper who guides souls to the afterlife, but he learns that the Gateway—the passage to the afterlife—is not the safe avenue he thought it was. He teams up with Shanghai and Singapore (two female Reapers) to learn the truth, a journey that takes them to places more dangerous than they ever thought possible.

What might draw someone to your character?

While most Reapers just want to do their job, that is, “Go ahead and die so I can reap your soul and go home,” Phoenix cares about the people in his city district. Even though medical help for the dying is forbidden, he smuggles medicine to families at the risk of his own life.

What prompted you to write this book?

In the movie “Empire of the Sun,” Jamie is a boy who risks his life and health time and time again to help others survive in a prison camp. I wanted to write a character like that in a dystopian setting that has supernatural hooks.

What makes your book stand out from other books like it? Although dystopian is a popular genre, few have a bright light of hope in the story. What hope can be more uplifting than paradise?

What is one thing you learned from writing this book?

I learned that I enjoy writing in first person point-of-view.

About Bryan

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a professional athlete. If not that, then Batman.

Do you still want to be that?

If Batman can be 57 years old, then I’m still okay with being Batman.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

As a way to get my kids excited about writing, I wrote a story with them, that is, they gave me creative input. That process led to a full-length novel, and it ignited a passion in me to write.

Did anything unusual or funny happen on your journey to becoming an author?

Yes. Many times. Here is one story -

What books have influenced you most?

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), Joan of Arc (Mark Twain), Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)

What’s the most times you’ve read a book and why?

I have read To Kill a Mockingbird about ten times. It is rare to see such a heroic father figure (Atticus Finch), and I enjoyed the author’s ability to reveal deep truths through the eyes of a little girl.

What are three unusual things about you your readers might not know?

  • I have never tasted coffee.

  • My books were rejected by publishers and agents more than 200 times.

  • My favorite food for breakfast is broccoli.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I participated in a pro-life protest, and, even though we were all peaceful, I was arrested and spent three days in jail.

Bryan has visited 49 of the 50 states on book-promotion tours (every state but Hawaii). This year he drove all the way to Alaska. He normally drives between 20,000 and 25,000 each year so he might be coming to your state in the future.

Do you have life philosophy? Favorite verse?

  • Faith leads to confidence. Confidence plus talent plus hard work leads to success.

  • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

What advice would you give a teen who wants to be a writer? Exercise patience with story development. Don’t rush it. Let your characters lead readers through the story world without dumping information. Go to writers conferences, and read my writing blog.

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