Soaring to New Adventures Through Reading and Writing

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Interview with author Bryan Davis

I think you are a great writer and Dragons in Our Midst is my favorite book I ever read. Do you have any new books coming out?

Yes, for September we have scheduled the release of Eye of the Oracle, the first book in a new, four-book series called Oracles of Fire. The second will follow in June of 2007, and the other two will be announced later.

Will you write another book in the Dragons in our Midst Series?

Not with that name, but the new series is closely tied to Dragons in our Midst (DIOM). Eye of the Oracle will be a prequel to DIOM, and books two, three, and four will be sequels, picking up where Tears of a Dragon (book #4 of DIOM) left off. We ended DIOM, because the story for the two principal characters, Billy and Bonnie, was over. We will have new main characters in Oracles of Fire, but readers of DIOM will be very familiar with them.

How did you come up with the idea for Dragons in Our Midst?

I had a dream about a boy who could breathe fire. I told my eldest son about it, and he suggested that I write a fantasy novel based on the dream. He said that if I wanted to speak to children in our culture, fantasy was the way to go. After brainstorming with him for a couple of hours, we came up with the fantasy concept of how a boy could breathe fire. I’m glad the weird dream wasn’t just from indigestion.

Did you like dragons when you were a kid?

I didn’t think much about dragons when I was a kid. I mostly played sports and watched television. I wasn’t much of a reader, so fantasy wasn’t on my radar screen. I had a pretty vivid imagination, but I was usually thinking about being a sports star rather than a knight who challenged dragons to battle.

Do you have kids old enough to read your books? If so, do they ever help you with your books?

My wife, Susie, and I have seven children, three of whom are adults and have moved out of our house. They have all read every book, and they help with the stories a great deal. My teenagers help me with language. “Dad, no real teenaged guy would say that!” When I hear that, I hit my delete button and try again.

Is there any other series you’ve written for kids?

Nothing that’s in any bookstore. When I first started writing, I created a series of family adventures that never got published. Only one is really good enough to be published, and even that one could use another going over to polish it with techniques I have learned over the years. Its current title is I Know Why the Angels Dance. I hope that one sees the light of day.

What’s your favorite series for kids that someone else has written?

Without a doubt, The Chronicles of Narnia. That series enchanted me and helped inspire me to write my own series. I especially enjoyed Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Mr. Lewis’s ability to create images of spiritual truth amazed me. When Aslan clawed at Eustace’s dragon scales to transform him, I was mesmerized. I’ll never forget it.

When and why did you decide to write books?

I started writing almost twelve years ago when I was looking for a way to teach writing to my children. Being a homeschooling family, we were responsible for trying to inspire our kids to love writing. I decided that a good way might be to write a story myself and perform a weekly reading to help my kids see how it is done. After many weeks, my story grew into a novel, and I developed a passion for communicating truth through storytelling.

Do you write any shorter little kids books?

I have four picture books in the Arch Books series that are geared for ages around five to seven years old. They are Bible stories set to poetry, and the titles are The Story of Jesus’ Baptism and Temptation, The Day Jesus Died, The Story of the Empty Tomb, and Jacob’s Dream.

What are your favorite things to do?

Creating new stories is pretty obvious. Spending time and playing games with my wife and children. Studying God’s word has been a passion for a long time. I run regularly to stay in shape, but I wouldn’t call that a favorite thing to do. I like to spend time corresponding with my readers, especially through my message forum on http://www.dragonsinourmidst.com. We have developed some great relationships with fans.

What advice could you give a kid who wants to write or maybe has another dream they want to pursue?

For writing, the first priority is to work on the craft. There is a lot more to it than most beginning writers know. For any dream, if you believe God has implanted a vision in your mind and ignited a passion in your heart, never give up on that dream. Over the years, I received about two hundred rejections from publishers and agents. I had to really believe in what I was doing to keep going. But now, I look back at those rejections and thank God for them, because every rejection forced me to work harder at writing, and the first dragon book got better and better over the seven years of trying to get it published. It simply wasn’t ready at those earlier rejection times.

Was there ever a time in your life you wanted to quit writing? What happened and why didn’t you quit?

I don’t think the idea of quitting seriously crossed my mind. I was frequently disappointed, even to the point of discouragement, but I never thought, “Oh, well, maybe this writing business isn’t for me.” I just sat down and kept on trying. The burning passion to create stories for young people just wouldn’t let me put down my “pen.”

Do you have a scripture or quote that has encouraged you lately?

It’s hard to pick just one, but we’ve been reading through Revelation in family devotions, and I took note of Revelation 19:11, “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.” After all my writing about faithful heroes, it’s good to know that the ultimate hero is ready to go to war for us. Without Him, we wouldn’t have a chance against the spiritual forces of evil

Do you have other plans or dreams for your writing? If so, what are they?

I would like to see my books made into movies and/or other media, like audio. I think the stories would then reach people who might not pick up my books. I also have a new series in mind called Time Prints, and several readers who have seen early chapters have said that it’s the best idea I’ve had yet. It’s not really a traditional fantasy—more like a contemporary adventure/thriller with a splash of fantasy elements.

What do you like best about being a writer?

There are several great benefits to being a writer. I love to create new stories. It’s a thrill to imagine how readers will react to new characters and their exciting adventures. I also love working at home. I get to see my family all day long. And it’s really a treat to correspond with fans whose lives are being changed for the better because of my books. That helps me know that God is really using what I’m doing for His kingdom.

What’s your least favorite part about writing?

I don’t enjoy the tedious editing. I go over my work dozens of times. The first few drafts are fun and exciting, but the twentieth edit can get pretty dull. After that many times, nothing looks good any more. I just want to turn off the computer and let it go, and at that point I often let it sit for a while and come back to it later.

Anything else you would like your readers to know…

I believe that you can be heroes (or heroines) for God. God has given every believer the ability to obey Him in all things, and He calls us to follow Him, to give everything we have for His kingdom. That’s why I created characters who, although they have fears and doubts, bravely step out and conquer through faith, hope, and love. I hope my readers take these truths to heart and become heroes in this world and for His kingdom.

If you enjoyed this interview and would like to know more about Bryan Davis' project just click here.

2 Comments:

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