Good magical day everyone, we haven’t had an author spotlight in a minute, which means we’re well overdue for one. Today I’ve got a treat for you!
If you’ve followed Lost Boys Press or any human being in the Twitter writing community, you’ll know this household name well. He is the cinnamon-rolling, bee-fleeing, accent-challenging Dewi Hargreaves.
Dewi, an administrator at Lost Boys Press, was previously published in the monster anthology Chimera and has his debut collection The Shield Road available here. In March, Lost Boys Press will be releasing their third anthology, HEROES, which features Dewi’s story Gwenhifar and the Vat-Knight. This anthology is all about taking a legendary figure but changing the setting, ex. Mulan in Outer Space. Let’s see what Dewi has to say about his story, and more!
You’re both a self-published and indie author, with your own title available on amazon, as well as short stories with Lost Boys Press anthologies, most recently the HEROES anthology, releasing in March. Both processes are daunting in their own right, but which was more challenging for you? Submitting and waiting for a response, or self-publishing?
DH: Both are such different processes that I find it hard to compare. Self publishing is obviously more work, but it means that everything is done under your own steam – you’re the boss, you make the judgments. Submitting to others is more difficult for me because there’s a lot of waiting, and your fate hinges on someone else’s decision. You don’t have control, and I like being in control. But it’s nice to know that, once it’s accepted, you don’t have to do anything else.
As a history buff, what is the most random piece of historical knowledge you love dropping on people?
DH: Ha, hmm. So many! The fact that Edward II might have survived his murder and lived out the rest of his life under a false name in Italy? That’s a big area of debate in historical circles at the moment.
Social media has become a staple in marketing oneself as well as one’s work, like your map-making business. What’s been the best and worst part of utilizing social media to expand your business/brand?
DH: Well, I love being on social media, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. I’ve met so many extraordinary people whom I otherwise would never have known, and they give me a great deal of support on low days. But the constant exposure gets a bit much sometimes, which is when I take a break – I naturally enjoy my own company, and occasionally I just want to be in my own head for a while. Of course, since my livelihood depends on maintaining a social media presence, I can never do that for very long.
Working for yourself means creating your own schedule, being your own boss and disciplining yourself. Have you found there to be any challenges in juggling writing, map-making, and your work with Lost Boys Press?
DH: Not really, actually. As I said before, I love being in control, so setting my own schedule works great for me. I’m pretty responsible, so I can juggle things without letting anything drop – I use a daily planner, To Do lists, and a pin board to make sure nothing falls through the cracks and I keep myself on a deadline. Having the flexibility to work on what I want, when I want, is crucial to me.
Without giving away spoilers, can you tell us about your story in the Heroes anthology?
DH: I was reading through some Arthurian myths and I realised that the Lady of the Lake gave Arthur his sword, but also raised Lancelot. I thought about the turmoil she must have felt when they fell out over Guinevere, these two men she’d helped raise, and I realised I hadn’t seen her perspective explored before. Then I moved it into a sci-fi setting where the knights have mechsuits, and that’s how it happened.
Can you give readers any teasers into your future projects? Any more interconnected collections?
DH: I call myself a fantasy author first and foremost, so you can definitely expect to see that in the future (I’m working on something right now, but it’s too early to talk about it), but my last project was a post-apocalyptic collection that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I kept coming back to think about it, so I caved and wrote it, and that’s pretty much fully drafted now, so it should be coming later this year! Be ready to explore a fractured post-collapse USA.
What’s your most controversial but harmless opinion?
DH: Pizzas only need a couple of toppings to be good – stop overloading them with four different kids of meat and a sticky BBQ sauce. And pineapple is a perfectly valid ingredient 😉
What is one singular line you’ve written that you’re most proud of?
DH: Man, I’m not sure I could pick out a single line. But I loved this little passage:HEROES anthology by Lost Boys Press
Three knights lay in wait amongst the trees, armour discarded. They had flaxen ropes in their hands that coiled like serpents.
A woman made her way to the rippling bank of a clear lake. Her onyx combat suit hugged her perfect curves. She glanced around before shrugging it down to her ankles, delicately kicking it away. She unclipped her hair and a cascade of molten glass tumbled down her back, so bright the Lady had to glance away.
Gwenhifar lowered herself into the water, humming under her breath with that honeyed voice she was renowned for.
Three knights crept towards the lake, serpents in hand. Quiet predators full of hate.
Where was Lanslod?
The Lady strained with every muscle in her body, convulsing and twitching beneath the wires, her head snapping as she hunted for him, but she felt no trace of her son.
Where was he?
Three knights surrounded the clearing and pounced, their fangs finding porcelain flesh.
It’s a section from my story in HEROES, where Arthur’s knights capture Guinevere while the Lady of the Lake watches, helpless to stop them.
If you had any piece of advice for those seeking to be independently published, what would it be?
DH: Finish. Doesn’t matter what it is, finish the writing you start. You can’t do anything until you have some complete pieces of writing, so get them done. Once you have something finished, either start submitting it everywhere or learn how self-publishing works, but move onto the next piece as soon as you can. It’s the most important thing – the more writing you have, the better.
If you’re as excited as I am for this new LBP anthology and to read more of Dewi’s phenomenal work, click the pre-order link here. You can find his previously published work here and his work with Lost Boys Press in their digital bookshop. While you’re clicking all of these links, check out Dewi’s twitter for historical rants, accent challenge videos, and his work with maps!
Thank you again for a stellar interview, and I look forward to completing my on-going LBP collection!