Spotlight Interview · Spotlight Interview Thursdays

Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar by Joseph Miccolis

glow in the dark

Hi Readers,
I’ve another spotlight interview for you with the author Joseph Miccolis and his dystopian novel Escape from Palmar (Dagmarth #1). Enjoy!

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was raised in a military family. I relocated seven times, seen families heartbroken by the sacrifices and costs of war, and even experienced my own heartache leaving friendships behind as I moved on to my next home. I did not have the opportunity of living a normal life with a set of friends and developing romantic interests. At the same time, my experiences enabled me to explore outside the isolation of being born and raised in one place. I saw different states, met people of other backgrounds, and encountered cultures that initially seemed strange. I currently reside in Florida. 

2. What inspired you to write?

I believed I would follow in my father’s steps as a Marine, and admired the qualities of those who served. I considered joining after high school. However, I realized my admiration was merely an appreciation excited by cinema and video games. I did not truly appreciate the intense training, demanding sacrifices, and costs of war. This led me to alternatively pursue a college education, where I was fascinated by writing. College writing was my way of sharing personal experiences. I did play with the idea of writing a novel about my past during college. It was not until summer of 2014 that I decided to try.

3. What inspired your novel?

Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is a riveting novel set in the far future. It captures many elements of a dystopian future fiction work such as post-apocalyptic life, reminiscing the past, and the ongoing battle between power and freedom. It focuses on a young boy forced to live a simple life in hiding. However, uncontrollable events happen and his parents realize the long-known prophecy is inevitable. His father must accept that the boy is the key to winning the war and ensuring freedom for all. This story is unique for three important reasons. First, it is based on a rare past that few people my age lived, but new threats of war lead many young people today on the same path, and more people share my admiration, especially through social media. Second, it offers a look into the struggle of finding oneself on the path of life, and the decision to leave home which any teenager and adult can appreciate. Lastly, Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is the entrance to the first series that examines war in the eyes of a family and their friends and enemies with magical powers and a touch of comedy, mystery, and romance.

Dagmar
4. What inspired your novel?

Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is a riveting novel set in the far future. It captures many elements of a dystopian future fiction work such as post-apocalyptic life, reminiscing the past, and the ongoing battle between power and freedom. It focuses on a young boy forced to live a simple life in hiding. However, uncontrollable events happen and his parents realize the long-known prophecy is inevitable. His father must accept that the boy is the key to winning the war and ensuring freedom for all. This story is unique for three important reasons. First, it is based on a rare past that few people my age lived, but new threats of war lead many young people today on the same path, and more people share my admiration, especially through social media. Second, it offers a look into the struggle of finding oneself on the path of life, and the decision to leave home which any teenager and adult can appreciate. Lastly, Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is the entrance to the first series that examines war in the eyes of a family and their friends and enemies with magical powers and a touch of comedy, mystery, and romance.

5. What is the genre?

Fantasy/Magic/Dystopian

6. What draws you to this genre?

 The ability to use imagination to create new realms, worlds, and societies.

7. How did you develop your plot and your characters?

I started with considering the general storyline, and how I imagined the series flowing from book to book. My impression of this plot was capturing the sudden loss of the ongoing peace, and enhancing that loss with a dramatic change of environment for the characters. This seemed to complement the outlook on the protagonist experiencing a different way of life than others of Dagmarth. I designed the plot to be a story in which there is a call for an escape from Palmar, and the main family will have to deal with the costs of war while protecting their child from the dangerous truth. It seemed to be a clever lead into teenage rebellion when the truth unfolds and he faces the choice of freedom or destiny.

The best approach seemed to be introducing characters with little identity. I wanted to focus more on the events and character reactions than the characters. This way certain characters build identities based on flashbacks and eventually as the story moves forward in present time. It is a prequel story and I did not want to give too much about all characters immediately.

8. What inspired your protagonist?

Kodus. He is a special character for being the main protagonist in my shoes with his own journey and future ready for him. He will encounter similar situations that reflect past experiences, and will handle them his own way.

Kodus stands out because he is engaged in the storyline as me, but he develops his own personality and embraces experiences he chooses. Kodus will distinguish himself from me as his character growth follows his attitude, outlook, and maturity. The experiences facing him in the story are not experiences directly in my past, so it is exciting to see what happens with Kodus as they affect him, change him, and influence him. I join my readers with interest in seeing how Kodus lives his life in this series.

9. What inspired your antagonist?

I am reminded of The Matrix with Neo versus Agent Smith. I appreciate the idea of two sides fighting to defeat the other, and when one thinks about the story there is a realization that both characters are likeable despite their means of winning.

10. What was the hardest part to write in the book?

The beginning!

11. What was your favourite part of your book to write?

The hook!

12. Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

Part time; Paralegal

JM13. What are you currently reading?

My ongoing draft of “Deadly Embers”

14. Who would you say are your favourite authors?

I appreciate few authors equally.

15. How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

Not sure.

16. What are your future projects, if any?

I wrote the sequel to Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar which is actually the first main story with Escape from Palmar included. I am going to start writing my debut crime romance thriller independent novel.

17. What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Goodreads

18. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Draw from personal experiences, fantasies, interests. Research the idea to ensure originality. Be persistent with writing and don’t give up on marketing it.

Thank you to Joseph for allowing me the chance to interview him. If you’re into dystopian tales, please be sure to check out his work!

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