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Interview with DB Rook

Hey, y'all! I'm here with DB for another author interview! DB Rook is a fantasy writer. His book Callus & Crow tackles tough subjects like obsession and addiction while also capturing you in an imaginative world. His work has perfect balance of reality and fantasy. DB is more than just a writer. He's a father. A job that he adores and feels has aided in the success of his career. He's also been an addiction counselor for the last fourteen years. DB also plays the drums in a metal band named Terminal Sun. I'm a big metal fan so I looked them up and can confidently say that you should do the same. While you're listening to DB rock out on the drums, you should pick up Callus & Crow. It's volume one of the Wayward World Chronicles. It's beautifully written and handles the hard subjects with grace. Check out the links below to grab yours!

How did your writing journey begin?

As a kid, I was completely averse to reading, and therefore writing! There was something about the books I was given that just turned me off. I didn’t know there was such a thing called fantasy until I picked up my first Conan book (probably because of the cover). From that moment I was entirely changed and reading/stories became a huge part of me. Over the years my obsessive traits got the better of me and the yearning to create worlds and stories got stronger and stronger. I eventually surrendered and here I am, at the foot of a very big mountain!

What was the hardest part about writing Callus & Crow?

Without doubt, the hardest part was finding time to actually write! I had outlined so much in my head and the world was constantly developing on notebooks and scraps of paper, but the focused time to actually sit and put it down was really hard to find. Especially whilst keeping my career going and raising my two girls and making sure my wife saw my face from time to time!

Does your book give a lesson or something that the reader can take from reading it?

In the same way I’m not overly descriptive with my characters, I like to make sure readers can make of my story what they will. As readers, we often tend to fit stories to our own life naturally, so I try to facilitate that where possible. Callus & Crow is mostly about obsession, calling, devotion and many positive qualities that we all flirt with but can easily become toxic or change the course of a life. It’s not a book that suggests what is right or wrong (who the hell am I to say!) It’s more of an exploration of these obsessive ideas set to a cool and mysterious background…with sea monsters!

With such a big imagination, would you ever venture out of fantasy in the future? Why or why not?

I always imagined that I would dip my toe elsewhere at some point, but realistically, I think there will always be an element of fantasy in what I write. I’ve always found that lessons in life are hard to swallow unless they’re wrapped in an inspirational yet detached theme. Some emotions are hard to pick apart if you’re too close. Stick them in a half human android aboard an insectile space dreadnought on a collision course and you get to enjoy the ride while your brain works it’s magic.

Is there an author who inspires you?

There are many who have hugely influenced and inspired me over the years. Incredible humans like Robin Hobb, Raymond E Feist and, from the more modern side of fantasy, Anthony Ryan, Joe Abercrombie, John Gwynne…the list really does go on. I feel I have to say, though, the early pioneers of fantasy, the likes of Robert E Howard and Tolkien, the ones who wrote these incredibly influential stories that are still in many ways the template for classic fantasy without anything to derive their worlds from except our reality, they did something very special and they will always be considered true legends in my eyes.

What are some hobbies you love to do?

I’m a keen gamer, probably not a surprise if you follow my writing. I also play drums in an extreme metal band, Terminal Sun. Music has always been a big part of me, as is anything that can fire up the old imagination.

How do you juggle the work/family life?

Now that can be a challenge! Particularly at this early stage in my journey, I have a lot of plates to spin and a particularly demanding day job. I try to work on the premise that any progress IS progress and try not to beat myself up if things take longer than I would like. I don’t always succeed!

Do you ever have connections with your characters? Ex. Do they speak to you and tell you what type of personality they have?

Absolutely! Especially in Callus & Crow. Because I use a lot of colloquial language to differentiate first person characters, I am quite often sternly told off by a character and told “I wouldn’t say that word in a million years!” I’d like to say I’m in charge but sadly, I would be lying!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I would like to say that the world would be finally relieved after it’s agonizing wait for the final installment of the Wayward World Chronicles. I would be working on some other new world project and also writing some content for the tabletop RPG version of The Wayward World. This may be a tall order (see previous questions) but it in my eyes it doesn’t hurt to dream!

Do you have a book or movie you would watch over and over?

I'm not someone who often reads a book again. There are few, (one that springs to mind is David gemmel’s Echoes of the great song) but not many. I do rewatch movies and I am a massive Star Wars fan, I may have put an unhealthy amount of my life in the hands of George Lucas but you’re not here to judge, right?

If given a credit card with no max and told to go anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go?

Oh god, I'm not good at instant big choices!! Ok, off the top of my head, Petra! I could probably choose somewhere more extravagant and relevant but it would take me a week to decide.

Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

I think I’m finding that there is a sweet spot between self-belief and accepting criticism/suggestions. Any artist needs to follow their own path and be themselves, but I believe it is very hard to progress when the only viewpoint you have is your own. It’s a dangerous tightrope, good luck!

Callus & Crow Blurb:

A genre hybrid of weird west meets Grimdark fantasy

Can a path of blood lead to redemption? Is redemption enough to amend a wayward world?

Morality and reality have shifted from their natural axis. Technology and ideology derive from the remnants of a world long dead and segregated by the monsters that now rule the seas. Crow, a young ranch hand, is swept into an odyssey of redemption and revenge as he strives to hold back the ravages of fate and the urges born of a curse shared with his new mentor. Callus, an exile struggling to find redemption whilst keeping his vampiric curse from tainting his new ward, pursues his prey across the sea. The new world they discover reveals a tyrannical society fixated on their council’s ascension to godhood.

DB Rook Bio:

DB Rook lives in the North of England with his wife and two beautiful children. He is a drummer, a gamer, and a dreamer who loves to spend time in other worlds, as well as this one. He has spent recent years working in the charity sector whilst occasionally visiting the Wayward World to stretch his legs and feed his soul.

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