Thirteen years ago, a curious star fell to the island of Somerset. That night Ike Ryder met Alina, the little girl who fell from the heavens — @DawnCrusadeTweet
What inspired you to write this book?
I first came up with the premise for Dawn Crusade when I was eleven years old. At the time, everything I loved in literature, film, and video games informed the world of Dawn. Ten years had passed by the time of the novel’s completion, and much had changed about the book’s overall story. However, I tried to hold onto that initial joy of writing the kind of story I loved reading. Greek mythology, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Legend of Zelda, and Final Fantasy are all inspirations that remained true throughout a decade of writing.
Who designed your book covers?
A wonderful artist by the name of Ksenia Shepel does the artwork for the series. She lives and works in the Ukraine. I happened to come across her profile on fiverr (xenapel) and I fell in love with her style!
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
There are a few parts that come to mind, but I’ll say the climactic battle scene near the end. In college, I spent most of my time writing screenplays that I would go out and film with other students. That meant lavish spectacles and breathtaking battles were off limits.
What’s so amazing about writing novels is the thrill of living inside your own imagination. I made every battle scene as loud, bombastic, and spectacular as I could! Maybe to make up for lost time.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
Stephen King, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, J. R. R. Tolkien, George Orwell, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and C.S. Lewis… In no particular order.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
It’s wonderful that there are so many avenues to reach the marketplace. First-time authors like myself are able to keep creative control and reach consumers on a global level without big publishing houses. However, the novel industry faces the same dilemmas of the TV and film industries in the digital age. That is, there is so much content available on the internet. It can be difficult to break through all that noise.
Advice they would give new authors?
Authors always give the same advice to aspiring writers…. “Just write!” I’ve always hated hearing that. It should be obvious that authors have to write. Right?
What authors mean by this piece of advice is to start writing your story and reach the end. That very act will teach you so very much about what it takes to produce a meaningful story. However, it takes time. More specifically, it takes months, maybe years. And few of us are able to stick with a story once we realize it’s not as brilliant and groundbreaking as we first envisioned it.
My advice: learn story structure! Study Three Act Structure and or the Hero’s Journey. Really analyze each step. Then, write a short story following the structure. It can be one to ten pages long. Once you can write a short story following proven story structure, it’s easy to apply that formula to a full novel or screenplay. It’s also much easier to break all the rules of story structure once you understand how the game is played (if you want to write an experimental work of genius).
What makes a good story?
Character and conflict! That’s what my high school film teacher always said. When you get down to it, that’s all story is.
So, I try to make every scene have interesting characters and tension. Which can be hard. Especially when a character just needs to talk with a friend, deliver a message, or find a taco truck.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
A big trap is trying to write a masterpiece. Our own stories can feel so powerful, visceral, and perfect in our own minds. Once we get to page ten, we realize only a fraction of that amazing vision is reaching through. Then, we give up! We crumble up those pages, take a break, and start a totally new story which will definitely be perfect.
Writing is a skill, not a pure talent. It takes practice. You wouldn’t tell a person who wants to start jogging to sign up for the New York Marathon. You’d tell them to start small. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Writing is the same way. Pick up a pen and write a short story, poem, or reflection. Try to write one chapter instead of an entire novel. Let yourself grow at your own pace. And be patient!
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Taking a day off. I’m a person who gets into a writing flow. When I break my streak, it’s hard to start again!
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Be patient and present. Don’t look too far ahead or too far behind.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Orange County, California and spent my entire childhood there! After college, I moved back.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Read, play video games, and watch movies or TV.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
An elephant. As a kid, I was giant and a little uncoordinated. I grew to 6 foot 5 inches by the time I was fourteen!
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Dawn Crusade?
The two principal protagonists are Ike and Alina. I like to think of them as opposites. Alina is confident, anxious to prove herself, and immensely talented. Ike is insecure, content with being a nobody, and blessed with absolutely no natural skills.
The story pulls them in opposite directions as well. Ike gets the hero’s call while everything in Alina’s life attempts to suffocate her chances of becoming a legendary warrior.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
I’d be lying if I said available URL names wasn’t part of it. Other than that, the subtitle A Tale from Somerset came from a painting of Somerset beach by Howard Behrens. I often looked at that painting while writing.
A Tale From Somerset
by E. Reed
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Coming of Age
Thirteen years ago, a curious star fell to the island of Somerset. That night Ike Ryder met Alina, the little girl who fell from the heavens.
Now Ike Ryder is on the cusp of manhood and being called to join his father’s decade-long war, a fight he vehemently opposes. Before Ike is forced to take up arms, a messenger from the island of Somerset’s Great Spirit visits him. Ike is named the Great Spirit’s new champion and called to make a perilous journey to the Spirit’s sanctuary. While all of Somerset seems to doubt Ike’s abilities as a warrior, he resolves to reach the Spirit and use her power to end the bloodshed plaguing the world of Dawn.
Miles from Somerset, Alina fights alongside the Knights of Tenshi, the legendary peacekeepers of Dawn. After most of their regiment is killed in an ambush, Alina and the few survivors race to warn Somerset of a coming invasion. Although she and the other Knights fear their enemies of war, the real danger may come from someone much more sinister…a foe with supernatural powers and a growing collection of faces.
Absal strained his gaze against the harsh light of the fire. Between the rising and falling of flames, he caught a glimpse of the star. It was a small child, no older than six years, sprawled out at the bottom of the fracture in the earth. She was sun-kissed in complexion with eyes shut tight. The most remarkable feature, Absal surmised, was her thick, winding hair. It spun down to her waist in heavy cords of gold, auburn, and ginger.
Passionate about storytelling, E. Reed devotes much of his time to writing and producing. He studied Media Production at Pepperdine University graduating as valedictorian. A native of Southern California, Eric enjoys swimming in the ocean, exercising, and cooking.
Dawn Crusade is the first novel in a fantasy action and adventure series. Published at the age of 22, E. Reed is an author you will anticipate seeing a lot more of with a growing collection of great novels.
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