Interview with Dallas Sutherland, author of The Thinking (The Landline Chronicles)

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About the Book

The Thinking

Title: The Thinking (The Landland Chronicles #2)
Author: Dallas Sutherland
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

LANDLAND BECOMES ITS OWN SAVIOUR …

The Greying snakes across Bigriver towards Landland … all the lands are in turmoil. Meah combines her power of thinking with the magical Book of Colours, and joins the Bigriverland army to fight the horrid Firbog. Faith, Hope, and Charity, the white many-headed-winged-thing, returns. Auntie Beryl has become the evil Queen Berilbog– she must be stopped. Many-headed-winged-things soar high over battle-fields, three-humped-beasts-of-war go on the rampage, and, from out of the mists of the greying, slithering Homunculi goad them on.

Meah’s magical plans are not what Landland needs– Firbog hordes swarm across a dried up Bigriver into Landland, cutting their way through The Scented Forest, all the way up to the tip of Mount Beacon.

Chaos reigns supreme, Landland writes its own story … but the story is all wrong. Meah looks for a way to escape. Will she find her father, The Biggo, again? Can they win their way home– should they leave Landland and all their friends in the clutches of Auntie Beryl, the Grey Lady?

Author Bio

Bio Photo1 DallasSutherland

Over the last twenty-five years, the Author has exhibited a creative bent across a range of industries including graphic design, fine arts, and trompe l’oeil murals. He has lectured in fine arts and studied Art History, Literature, Adult Education, and Creative Writing. Works include play scripts and short stories. The Greying is his first published novella, with further books planned as part of the fantasy series. He draws inspiration from myth, legend, and fairy tales.

He lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia with his partner Kerri, and daughter Ruby.

 Links

Website
Goodreads
Blog
Kindle ebook
Book Two (Print) (40% Discount code: JFFFB85D)
Book One (Print) (40% Discount code: JFFFB85D)

 Giveaway

Win 10 series of 3 Landland Chronicles character/map posters, five signed books and five eBooks. Go here to participate: https://dallasws.wordpress.com/books-1-and-2/

Book Excerpt

‘What is it Captain? Why are they stopping?’ Meah asked.

‘I’m not sure, but whatever it is, it’s not going to be pleasant.

A singing, sighing sound cut through the air, and Meah stood helpless as the ground around the Elvish kicked up.

‘It’s a hornet! A javelin squad with a machine javelin.’ Captain Bobb said, ‘Really nasty.’

A second hail of javelins splintered the ground around the Elvish, and then he was down. The Firbog came on at a trot down the hill towards him.

Meah stared in horror, desperate for something to help. It was like watching an old movie; the sun-lit patch of ground became a screen, surrounded by the thick cinematic fog of the greying.

The Elvish picked himself up and continued to run with a loping gait. Closer and closer to the river he came. His last mad dash for freedom erupted on-screen in full motion to the chilling sound of a three-humped-beast-of-war. Laughing like a hyena, it emerged from out of the greying at stage right, and thundered across the screen at a gallop. The Homunculus rider goaded the beast on with a whip and a lash towards the Elvish.

‘We’ve got to do something!’ Meah screamed.

At a signal from Captain Bobb the VDF let loose their crossbows. The missiles fell short, hissing and plopping into the water. The Captain dropped the magniscope and reached for his longbow.

The great splayed hooves of the three-humped-beast-of-war hammered at the turf, making a ga-thumping sound which echoed across the water.

Captain Bobb took careful aim and let his arrow fly. It shot straight and true, hitting the homunculus in the side of the neck. The beast, now riderless, continued its mad gallop across the screen and on into the fog on the other side.

The little Elvish half fell and half dived into the river and tried to swim across.

‘He’ll never make it, the crosscurrent’s too strong,’ Captain Bobb said.

The Elvish struck out towards the middle of the river. He made it about half way across before the current caught hold.

The Firbog reached the bank and set up the hornet again. Javelin bolts peppered the water around the swimmer.

Captain Bobb took careful aim with the longbow and picked off two of the attackers. Soon the Elvish was out of range of the Firbog. The current continued to drag him down river.

Meah’s only thought was of rescue, and in an instant she was barefoot and dressed only in her fibrepillar underclothes. Without a backwards glance she leapt into the river and stuck out towards the Elvish. He was still in the middle of the river but drifting downstream away from her.

INTERVIEW

Dallas, What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I’d like to be able to say that I leap out of bed to write, but that’s maybe for the future. I leap out of bed to help other people. I facilitate support for people with severe and persistent mental illness. That means, I link them in to whatever they need within the community, and walk with them as they move forward with their lives. Then, I step back and make sure everything keeps on working for them. In that sense, it makes for a very rewarding journey each day, and of course everyone is different, we all need to work on different areas of our lives.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Massacio: he was a famous Early Renaissance painter, and probably the first one to accurately utilise the new found theory and principles of perspective. I’ve always been an artist, so I would liked to have been there and watch him paint using this. It was an exciting time for artists, with knowledge of perspective having been reinvented after it was lost way back in Ancient Roman times.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
The Thinking follows on from book one: The Greying. It’s a dual-world chronotope, fantasy quest. Actually, it’s a pastiche of the fantasy genre and uses elements of parody and metafiction to heighten the interplay between characters and readers. That was my original intention, but I also wanted the story to be a true fantasy quest, and here I was influenced by Celtic myth and legend, and also faerie tales. Here’s another thing you might want to look at: antonomasia.

Essentially, Meah, our 13 year old protagonist, uses some strange artistic powers to help save Landland from the ravages of the greying, which is a blanketing mist seeking to sap the colour out of everything. Meah takes flight on Faith, Hope, and Charity, the many-headed-winged-thing, to battle against her Aunty Beryl who has also been transported to Landland. Auntie Beryl is now Queen Berilbog, and she commands legions of Firbog soldiers. They are a hairy dog-like race. Queen Berilbog wants to use the greying to take over all the lands. Meah and her father, The Biggo, try all manner of things to stop the Firbog moving forward, but Landland itself, begins to write its own story, and chaos reigns supreme. Meah must decide whether to leave or stay and fight.

The story will continue in the third book of the series. This will probably be called The Telling.

Tell us your writing process
Initially, I just begin with a basic idea, a scene, a character or two. Then I get to a point where I might need to do some research, read more for inspiration and to find the right underpinning elements, and work out a basic plot, which I don’t religiously stick to. I do let the characters take the lead when they need to, or rather in this case, the meta-fiction begins to take its own course. When I come back to write again, I go over and redraft and edit what I have already written. It helps to get back into the right mindset before I write more of the story. So, in the end I’m left with a book that is already fairly well edited and has also been through a lot of redrafting.

What has and has not worked for you that you can share with aspiring & upcoming authors?
I think that too much social networking tends not to reach my target readers, who are middle-grade readers, but I do this anyway, because you never know. Approaching mainstream publishers takes too long and there are not many who will take unsolicited manuscripts. Don’t keep sending that ms off again and again. If you have faith in your writing abilities, then go straight for the jugular. So, I can say that small independent publishers are out there, and easy to work with. They will still market your books and promote the author, just like mainstream publishers do. Studying the craft of writing is an important thing to do. I’ve studied literature, children’s literature, and creative writing. This will help authors comprehend literary concepts and theories which can provide good underpinning for writing.

Creating an author platform online is also something to do. It can be fairly cost free if you do this right. This includes blogging, website, Twitter, GooglePlus etc. It all helps to get your message out.

I’m not saying I’ve got it right, yet.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
It began when I was studying literature and writing essays about literary works. I also had the chance to produce some creative work which was well received, so I thought I might just be able to do something with it. As a child, I always loved to write stories at school, so I guess it comes from there as well.

Tell us about your main character
Meah is a 13 year old girl who is not only on a quest to save Landland, but futhermore, she is searching for ‘Self’. She is strong-willed, resourceful, and finds the determination to succeed. Naturally, she is equipped with some magical gifts and helpers along the way.

What are you working on next?
I’ll be working on the third book in the series next. I’ve also had another book recently published: You’ve Got Bunyip in Ya! This novella draws on Australian Aboriginal myth and legend.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Well, I can say that I’ve worked as an artist: painter, sculptor, arts lecturer, muralist, and graphic designer. I use these skills to create the book covers and the interior illustrations. I’ve designed some posters which will be prizes in The Thinking promotional giveaway.

Who are your favourite authors?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Juliet Marillier, Tim Winton, Jo Nesbo, Roald Dahl, Paul Jennings. These spring to mind, but there are a lot more. I usually have favourite books rather than authors.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Free time? What’s that? Just kidding. House renovations, gardening, family things.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
When The Landland Chronicles series is all done, I’d like to focus on a contemporary literary piece of writing. I’m not sure what this will be about, but I suppose it will be set in Australia as that is where I live.

Any final thoughts?
I’m looking forward to getting back into writing, now I’ve done the promotional thing.

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Posted on May 16, 2015, in Guest Authors and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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