Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blog Tour- The Dark Eagles First Flight by David R. Smith- Author Interview

The Book:

The Dark Eagles:First Flight
A Tale of Adventure and Freedom

Kief loves exploring the rugged mountains on his horse, Natch, with his
best friend Tarc.  But when he receives a mysterious map on his birthday,
left behind for him by his dead grandfather, Kief is thrown into an
adventure beyond even his imagination.
Leaving home to pursue his childhood dream of attending the merchant
academy on the coast, extraordinary events unfold propelling Kief, along
with his friends and his map, toward the same perilous destiny.

The Author:

David was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and spent most of his childhood on a farm in Heber City, located in the Wasatch Mountains. He loved exploring the mountains on his horse looking for adventures to follow. Growing up, he wanted to be a movie director and used his own Super 8 camera to make
silent movies with his friends and brothers and sister. Instead he earned a Bachelors in Engineering at the University of Utah. While there, he met the love of his life, Jenelle, and they were blessed with three amazing sons: Josh, Tate, and Porter. David later earned his Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University and pursued a path in the corporate world. But his creative side continued to tug at him for years until finally through the encouragement of his wife and boys, he realized that it’s never too late to follow your dream. So David set off to write an epic adventure of a boy and his horse and created a story of freedom, adventure, love, courage and sacrifice. When he's not writing, David enjoys outdoor activities with his family, and especially loves surfing with his three boys in Southern California where he resides.

Visit the website:

The Interview:
I had the chance to interview David about his book, enjoy!

1. Tell me about the book in your own words?

The Dark Eagles – First Flight is a grand tale of adventure and freedom.  Young Kief loves exploring the mountains around his home on his horse, Natch, with his best friend Tarc.  Following a mysterious old map, left behind for him by his dead grandfather, Kief makes an amazing discovery.  Taking his newly found treasure with him, he leaves home to attend the Merchant Academy on the coast where he dreams of becoming a captain and sailing the seas.  But his future plans are dashed to pieces as he and his friends find themselves at the heart of a struggle for the liberty of their island nation. 

2. What were some of the bumpy parts on your road to publication?

The biggest challenge for me, as probably for most first-time authors, was the need to be persistent.  You learn so much about yourself and your writing abilities with your first book.  The process is long and, at times, can feel hopeless.  It has taken five years for me to develop “The Dark Eagles” series and complete the first book.  You rewrite and revise over and over as you chip away the rough edges of your story or add details that you are missing.  I would say to myself, “That’s it, I have it!” and then a reviewer would point out something and I’d have to go back and make changes.  Don’t give up.  If you love writing just keep going, keep working at it, it will come.  And when you get your first genuine, unsolicited, praise from a fan it is the most amazing thing.  There’s nothing like it!    
3. Have you always liked fantasy? What's your favorite book?

I have always liked fantasy.  I love going on adventures and fantasy books are full of them.  I’m a big fan of the classic adventure stories and one of my favorites is “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  His descriptions of the pirates and their villainous yet endearing natures are so real you feel like you are on the journey with Jim Hawkins.  “The Hobbit” is another favorite of mine.  I also like more recent novels like “The Hunger Games.”  Fantasy can provide inspiration too.  Like Frodo walking up Mount Doom, fantasy can encourage us to push forward in our personal lives regardless of what challenges we face.  It strengthens us and gives us hope through the characters and events they experience.  Nothing seems to inspire us more than a great story!

4. What are your future writing plans?

The Dark Eagles – First Flight is just the beginning of The Dark Eagles series.  There are four more novels to come.  I’m nearing completion of the second one now, “The Dark Eagles – Wells in Desolation.”  Kief’s adventures take him across the seas to hostile and desolate lands filled with death and despair.  Seeking justice and driven by the raw will to survive, he encounters new friends that help him along his journey and reveal secrets about the past and his unfathomable destiny.  But a shocking truth threatens to doom the fate of The Dark Eagles forever.  
5. Any advice to aspiring writers?

As I mentioned earlier, I love the classic adventure stories: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, H. Ryder Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer.  I love them for their adventures and I love them for the near poetic words of their dialogues and descriptions.  A part of me aspired to be like them.  But that wasn’t my gift.  We all have specific gifts and styles as writers.  We have to embrace who we are and then work to develop it, to stretch it.  With that, I say, be true to yourself as a writer.  The other night I was watching a movie about a writer who was apprenticing a young man.  At one point, the young man was sitting at his typewriter thinking.  The seasoned writer asked him what he was doing and then told him to stop thinking and start writing.  He told him there is no right or wrong in the first draft.  I have found that so very true in my own experience.  Just start typing the words.  You will be surprised where your own gift of writing will take you if you unleash it.  My wife, not a writer herself, encouraged me to do it years ago as she tried to help me let go and stop pretending to be some author I am not.  She told me to sit down and start writing about anything, especially something I hadn’t thought-to-death about.  She called it freewriting, or writing from the heart.  It was truly a liberating experience.     

6. For fun, What's your favorite ice cream topping?

I love chocolate and fudge toppings with nuts, especially pecans!

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