Dr. Eric Langston, the reputable and well-respected professor of archaeology and ancient eastern studies at Boston University, has just received an unexpected and extremely rare artefact in the mail. It has the power to change his career forever, but is it worth the risk to uncover its powers? Or are some things better left unknown? However, times are tough, and university budgets for research have shrivelled up. Professor Langston’s need to stand out and make an impression on the world has never been more important than it is now. His friends and colleagues warn him that, “One should not meddle with things beyond one’s grasp.” Will he listen? Or will he take a chance and see if the rewards outweigh the risk?
Will the scales of risk versus reward be tipped to the favor of the professor, Dr. Eric Langston, or will he find himself in peril from his choices? Today I’ve been lucky enough to be joined by Dan Manson, author of ‘The Headrest of Orizard’ to observe that careful balance of risk and reward. Dan, thanks for setting a little time aside today to chat with me, about the adventure within these pages. What first sparked the initial curiosity for the idea of this book?
I received a bizarre-looking item in the mail and was challenged to write a story about it, I jumped at the chance. The item I received was certainly peculiar looking and reminded me of something I saw once used in a bizarre magic show. So I started with that idea and then began to create something very engaging and interesting.
I won’t ask what the bizarre object was because I feel that it might take away some of the mystery, but once you had this object in your hands did you start to look into its history or carry out any investigations that were from this object of inspiration to create that engagement and interest that you wanted to show the readers?
Most definitely! The places, character names, occupations, and details are the result of online research to ensure there is a thread of realism and credibility behind the story.
Did you try and pepper in experiences from your own life to compliment and add to the sense of realism in the pages?
No, but I used the same sense of creativity I use in other activities I am engaged in, such as being a magician, to get a person’s attention and give them a sense of wonder and amazement.
Wow, being a magician is almost every child’s dream! Do you get to be a magician full time?
My friends and co-workers call me a modern renaissance man. I am a Father, Engineering Manager, Author, Magician, and Actor.
That’s a lot of different balls in the air that you’re working with there. And I’m sure that by wearing some many different hats and seeing the world from so many different points of view, your writing must naturally be enhanced and must aid character development. How do you find your characters come to life?
Just through creativity.
How do you find creativity, personalities and plot mix? For instance, were the personalities of your characters informed by the plot, or instead was the plot informed by their personalities?
A bit from both the plot & their personalities.
Okay, so it sounds like there was a bit of give and take between the characters and the story. How did these elements balance out to highlight the most important message that you hope readers take from the tale? And can you tell us a little more about the content of this message?
All of my stories have a lesson to be learned. In The Headrest of Orizard, the key message is. “One should not meddle with things beyond one’s grasp.”
Was sharing this message of the dangers of meddling the most satisfying aspect of the writing journey for you, or was something else along the path of authorship more striking for you, and can you tell us about it?
Having the sense that I had created something I knew the readers would love and ask for more.
What did you learn from this journey of creation and accomplishment?
That having a good independent editor is priceless.
Indeed, good editors are worth their weight in gold. If you were starting again with an editor what do you think either yourself or the editor would pick up as something that could be improved?
I would have made the story a lot longer.
*Laughs* You know when I hear an author say something like that it usually means they’ve had such a wonderful time writing they didn’t know why they stopped. And the best cure for that is to start writing your next project! So, what’s next on the cards?
I just submitted another short story to be included in a collection of short stories. It uses the same artefact, but in a completely different context. Also I am working on a full-length novel about two young men on a journey to save the world! Currently planned to be released in January 2018.
Two new projects in progress is fantastic news, and best of luck working on that full-length novel! What keeps you coming back to writing?
I love being creative and sharing stories with others.
During your time as an author have you found that a strict planning process where you know the end before you start is a process that works for you?
No. The story takes many unexpected twists and turns as the characters get more fully fleshed out and the description of the various scenes presents new aspects of the story I did not originally envision.
What writing techniques do you use to get what you envision documented?
I write in bursts. I start with a rough outline and then write. I then set it aside and do other creative things for a short while and then return back to writing the story. I find that keeps me out of a creative writing rut.
I really like that idea of harnessing that creative spirit when it’s there, and then letting it retreat and regroup itself while you work on an unrelated pursuit. To me that feels like you’re effectively using your time. As you’ve now started writing and are planning to write more, have you turned your creative thoughts towards setting up yourself with your own ‘author brand’?
Yes. Its called “Dan Manson Creations”
Love the simplicity of the name. As you’ve been writing, have had your writing published and have setup your own author brand, do you have any self publishing or writing tips for others looking to get into the writing game.
Don’t hesitate to give it a try. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain. And enjoy it. It’s such a fun and exhilarating experience; well worth the effort.
I’m so very glad to hear that you believe writing is worth the effort; it will serve you well in your pursuits into the writing world. Before I left you go and meddle with one of your many creative pursuits today I’d like us to take a little breather from the writing world and play about in the fabulous quick fire question round where folly and felicity become fast friends. Let’s kick it off with: Are you left or right handed?
What is your favourite Jellybean flavour/ colour?
Yum! Do you keep an idea book or record of things that you would like to write about at some period in time?
I won’t ask what’s in the book, but I’m glad to hear that your plotting more writing! If they made a movie from your book who would you choose to play the main characters?
Hmm. Good question. I haven’t decided yet.
You can take that question away to think about in the off time when you’re working on your next writing project. What is your favourite word?
Faith keeps you plodding along and therefore should never be underestimated. And finally, to make sure that ‘Headrest of Orizard’ isn’t underestimated by our readers today can you please leave us with a final quote from your book that will intrigue us all to pick up a copy?
“One should not meddle with things beyond one’s grasp.”
The wisdom of not meddling within things beyond your station doesn’t extend to picking up a copy of ‘Headrest of Orizard’ so readers go out and take a look into this world of archaeology. Dan thanks for spending some of your time chatting with me today and I wish you the best of luck with each of your wonderfully creative endeavours.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘The Headrest Of Orizard ( ASIN: B06XKCBGC6 )‘.
Want to find out more about Dan Manson? Connect here!