The month is almost at an end, which means that it’s time for another Author Q&A! This month we are joined by the fabulous Douglas S. Pierce who I met through Instagram a few years ago. He is a huge supporter of the indie community and has some pretty insightful blog and Instagram posts for you to have a look at.
Douglas S. Pierce is a son, husband, and father who lives in the Metro Detroit area with his wife Patricia (of more than 28 years), his two Shiba Inus (Akira and Yuna), and a black cat named Harley.
He is a proud veteran of the United States military and a practicing pagan.
Raised on weekly trips to libraries and bookstores, Doug has had a lifelong love affair with the kind of stories that inspire hope, kindness, and love.
Getting to Know You
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I grew up marveling at the greats of fantasy and science fiction (JRR Tolkien, Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and so many others!) and just knew that I wanted to write stories that would inspire and entertain people long after I was gone. When I started seriously writing in my early forties, I quickly discovered that the kinds of books and characters that interested me weren’t of any interest to the traditional publishing industry. So, I started blogging, and eventually decided to self-publish my books.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I have two Shiba Inu dogs. So much of my non-working time is spent keeping those two pooches out of trouble. They can be a handful, and very demanding. Otherwise, I enjoy going to the movie theater for blockbuster movies, tinkering around with a bit of photography for my Patreon page: The Fae Project, and spending time with my wife.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, the greatest joy of writing is telling stories that otherwise would not be told. Of discovering the stories that need to be told as I am writing them. I don’t tend to have fully fleshed stories that just roll out, I am someone who gets an idea of a character or a place, and then has to peel back the layers of the story one layer at a time. It is a slow and sometimes painful process, but it is soooo worth it!
The Writing Process
What is your writing process?
There is a pre-pandemic, a during the pandemic, and hopefully a post-pandemic aspect to my writing process. Before the world closed down, I used to get out of the house to do most of my writing. The pets all see me sitting down to write as an opportunity to beg or to get into trouble in some way. So to avoid distractions, I would go to the local library, a coffee shop, or even a local diner to do some writing. I would usually start out by editing the last bit I had written, and then dig into a new scene. But, once I complete a scene in one location, I would usually have to get up and go somewhere else to start a new scene. It was not unusual for me to hit two or three different writing locations in the same day. Something about the act of getting up and going somewhere else helped to get my creative juices flowing. During the pandemic, I have struggled mightily to come up with any kind of consistent process. I am still struggling with that.
How do you get inspired to write?
Walks in the woods are a great way for me to get my creative energies flowing. Sometimes doing some sort of manual chore, like doing dishes allows my mind to germinate on what to write next.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
First of all, write the stories you want to read. Starting out, don’t worry about genres, audience, or any of the normal storytelling conventions. Play around with the story you want to tell. And then, once it is written, read it and identify those things you want to do differently. Get critical feedback from people you trust to tell you the truth, and use that feedback to make the story better. It is hard to have others criticize what you have written, but listening to what they have to say will make your work better.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Dune by Frank Herbert — because it is a brilliant and complex tale that weaves climate change, psychology, and spirituality into a galaxy-spanning adventure.
The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien — I love the mythological structure of this massive book. It showed me how to create my own world better than any other book.
The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks — The story is a cheap rip-off of The Lord of the Rings — but it was more fun and entertaining than the LoTR, and more accessible.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss — A brilliant, lyrical novella set in the same world as The Kingkiller Chronicles about a side character who sees and experiences the world differently than anyone else. This book, more than any other, inspired The Seeds of Hope — my epic fantasy series.
Urshurak by Hildebrandt Brothers — A fun fantasy novel that is filled with illustrations by a pair of my favorite fantasy artists. The story itself isn’t that great, but the art drew me in and enthralled a young me.
How do you discover the books you read?
I used to find them by trolling through libraries and book stores, looking for covers that intrigued me and then reading the blurbs. Sometimes, I would read the books behind movies before they came out. Now, I mostly read other indie authors and I find them on social media.
What books are on your reading list this year?
Well, I’ve been reading the Shadow Enforcer series by N.M. Thorn as she writes them. I’ve beta read Xander Cross’s third book in his series about Hayate, the White Fox. I’m also reading Wesley Parker’s Headphones and Heartaches. I have your book (Sorceress of Truth) on my TBR, as well as Curse and Whisper by AJ Gala.
The Hunted Maiden and The Seedling’s Song – The Seeds of Hope
“Return this kindness by giving the gift of music to someone else in their time of need.”
Mouse—a fugitive and former stowaway—dreams of becoming a musician. By following the melody of his heart, he hopes to escape the grueling work and harsh punishments doled out aboard the Hunter’s Ghost. Gifted a flute by an enigmatic man, he finds himself closer than ever to achieving his goal. Yet to his surprise, it’s not freedom the music leads him to but a strange Fae prisoner. She alone is the sole being he’s ever encountered without a personal song.
“The Enemy comes for you, child. A foe like no other.”
Those dark words spoken by an ancient seer haunt aerialist and animal trainer Seldy’s every waking thought. When dangerous strangers kidnap her in the midst of a deadly Fae storm, she fears this malicious threat is coming to pass. Now, her survival depends on escaping from the ship she’s being held on, and finding a way back home before the shadowy being—known only as the Enemy—comes for her.
Forced together by their intertwining fates, Mouse and Seldy embark on a quest to uncover the secrets of Seldy’s past. Can they arm themselves with her precious truth in time to fight the dark forces eager to claim and corrupt her?
Fans of epic fantasy will love the journey of sacrifice and hope found in The Hunted Maiden!The Hunted MAiden – Douglas S. Pierce
What inspired you to write The Hunted Maiden and The Seedling’s Song?
I wanted to write an epic fantasy story that didn’t glorify violence, and where the hero and the heroine were unconventional, that was set in a broken world. The broken world was inspired by seeing Avatar the movie, and seeing mountains floating in the air. The main characters are Mouse and Seldy. Mouse is an aspiring musician who can hear the hidden theme songs that everyone has, and they give him insight into the people around him. Seldy is an orphaned elf girl who grew up in a circus, she can speak to and understand the animals around her, and doesn’t know why or how she can do it. The idea of these two young people who need each other to discover who they truly are, and to help them become who they need to be.
Is there going to be a follow up to The Hunted Maiden and The Seedling’s Song?
Yes, I am working on The Guardian’s Quest, Book Three of the Seeds of Hope.