It’s that time again, I have another Spotlight Interview with author D.K. Roman and his novel The Keys of the Cobolt: Hunt for the Solar Warrior. Enjoy!
Forced into the questionable world of gods and mythical creatures by a psychotic Egyptian immortal and a mysterious Norse god, detached teenager David Cobolt suddenly finds himself dealing with the trials of locating a long lost god. With a demonic god pressing a knife to David’s foster family’s throat, David must face demons, the undead and other morally ambiguous immortals in order to awaken a god many call a tyrant. Along with a demigod who harbours deep rage and a dark secret , he travels across Europe and Africa in order to handle a civil war amongst the gods that he’s becoming increasingly trapped into.
David slowly realises his trust in others is beginning to fade along with his confidence in his own morality in the face of the war he is thrown into and actions he is exposed to…
- Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m currently an ancient history student, hoping to specialize in ancient religion and cult practices. I grew up on the east coast of Australia to an average pair of working class parents and am the youngest in my family. I have a very dry attitude and perspective in life, probably reflected in my books.
- What inspired you to write ?
More or less a passion for ancient history and an interest in expressing my opinions on it, mixing what I enjoy about learning about history with what I enjoy seeing in books. So one day I just decide to write something and that evolved into a novel that I really enjoyed to write and edit.
- What is the genre?
Young adult, fantasy, adventure.
- What draws you to this genre?
I think young adult is a useful domain to write in as it can be very simple and straight forward but with a certain level of maturity and grit that you can’t really put in kids novels. You can be creative in how you construct your world without limiting yourself to excessive details or ground it in reality.
- How did you develop your plot and your characters?
Originally, it was just page by page but I grew more invested I started to rework it and plan carefully. I’d start with the overall plot and then figure out what happens when and to whom. Then I’d break that into chapters, and then I’d break them into a list of events so I know what to include in each chapter.
The characters changed over time with how I felt they needed to be written. By the time I finished editing and reworking it, the characterisations were very different. I’d start out with character and then play with their background, how that would shape their personality and how they would interact and respond to people and events. After that was planned, it was much easier to write them.
- What inspired your protagonist?
I wrote my protagonist as a counter to many books I read as a kid. Not in the sense that he’s ‘radically different’ or ‘something you’ve never seen before’, but rather a more grounded approach to children’s heroes. I wanted to explore the effects major events would have upon a teenager thrown into a world he simply couldn’t understand and how that would challenge him mentally. So after that was focused on, the other aspects of his personality just developed with the novel.
- How did you get in touch with your inner villain?
I wanted someone who you very much could emphasize with, even if it takes the entirety of the series to fully comprehend him. I much prefer the invisible villain who hides in the shadows, the manipulator. So while in this book the two main string pullers aren’t seen, I wanted their presence to be felt. So in order to get in touch with that, I just re-watch or read all my favourite villains and tried to put my take on them.
- What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Definitely introducing Charlotte towards the last third of the novel. No matter how I squeezed her in, I always felt she was merely playing “the damsel in distress” character, so I had to strengthen her character in a very short amount of time to compensate for that. Her character is probably the one that develops the most outside them protagonist in future books.
- What was your favourite part of your book to write?
The interaction between the gods and the gods and humans. I’ve always been fascinated about how a god would view a human and it was really fun being able to write that for myself.
- Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
Part time. I’m currently studying a university in an ancient history degree.
- What are you currently reading?
Mostly textbooks and ancient texts sadly haha. The last actual book I read was probably Thucydides’ Historical accounts.
- Who would you say are your favourite authors?
J.R.R. Tolkien and Orson Wells.
- How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
Lord of the Rings, 1984, the Hungry Caterpillar, Pagan Chronicles, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
- What are your future projects, if any?
Finishing off the editing for the rest of the series and uploading them. I have another project I’m thinking of starting but it depends on what time I have with university and other things.
- What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
Twitter would probably be the easiest if anyone has any questions or (most probably) complaints.
- Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Save your money (or get a job) and spend it on book editors or appraisals. These people will tell you where you’ve done good and more importantly where you’ve done crap. You need critics like that so when you submit your work to a publishing house, you have a much stronger chance. Spending money on self publishing is a very costly and hard thing to do, with little chance of it paying off sadly. My advice is to get it critiqued heavily and then focus on the publishing route.
Where to Buy:
Thank you to D.K. for allowing me the chance to interview him about his book. If you like mythology and Gods, I definitely recommend this.