Wednesday, August 22, 2012

10 Questions with Fantasy Author P.B. Dillon (@PBDillonAuthor)

This Author Spotlight features Fantasy author P.B. Dillon.

P.B. Dillon has known he wanted to be a writer since he was four - but got a little sidetracked along the way. In his working life, he has been a security guard, a shoe and handbag repairman, a call center worker and a clerk in a store, as well as a professional street performer with an hour-long juggling and magic act.

At forty (or so) now, he's too old for street performing any more, but still makes balloon animals when he's in the mood. He still has a day-job; he works in the web industry, making it easier for Google to find specific websites.

1. How did you get into writing?
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I watched a documentary on the process of creating a book. That was when I was four – but it wasn’t until I was nearly thirty that I figured out how to truly get into it.

I took a six-month course with a well-known short-story writer and novelist. After the course, I talked my way into a job writing copy for a web designer – and I learned at least as much on the job as I did in the course.

Since then, I’ve made my living putting sentences together. I still contract myself out, but I’m steadily increasing the proportion of my income I make from fiction.

One day I’ll be able to leave the day-job behind.

2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?

What I like best about writing is the creative aspect. I write mostly fantasy, so for me I get to create not just people and settings, but also entire worlds, complete with whatever unusual laws (eg magic) that are needed to tell the story I want to tell.

And then I get to set my characters loose and watch what they do.

Whatever the result, I know I’m building something that has never been seen before. Sure, there might be stories that fit within the same general theme, but what I’m doing is unique – and if it weren’t for my direct efforts, that particular story wouldn’t exist.

What I like least about writing is never having enough time to indulge in it.

3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?

I outline, but it’s a rough outline that allows flexibility for my characters to express themselves. Sometimes this means I’ll get stuck and have to re-think.

When I have a story that has ripened enough, I like to just sit down and get it done. I won’t edit it or anything during this phase; I just want to tell the story straight through. That means sitting at my desk for as long as possible each day, typing. Typically, I’ll write about 2000 words, but have been able to write as many as 5000 when the story is moving well.

When it’s finished, I’ll go through and edit.

4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

One of my favorites is Stephen King. He gets it; both writing and story. Most times, he’ll have the balance about right.

Other writers I admire include David Gemmell, Stephen Donaldson, Dick Frances, and Alan Dean Foster. It’s just a shame that half of these writers are no longer alive.

5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?

Outside. The meaning in the sentence is held outside the quotes, therefore the question mark should also be outside.

6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?

Essential. The best example I’ve found of its importance is the sentence, “We invited the strippers, Oprah, and Hillary Clinton”. Without it, Oprah and Hillary Clinton become the strippers. With it, they were invited along with the strippers. Without the Oxford comma, it’s impossible to distinguish what is meant.

7. What is your book Mage-Wrought about and how did it come to fruition?

Mage-Wrought is a heroic fantasy novel I wrote as a kind of tribute to the late David Gemmell, who helped to revitalize the genre.

It’s the story of Lito, who is a construct made by Garvin, a powerful Mage (hence the title) to be little more than a fighting machine.

Lito’s purpose in life is to defend Tyrealla, Garvin’s daughter. It won’t be easy, because they’re about to be attacked by the Kelits, fierce warriors who paint themselves blue and file their teeth. Their leader is a Dark Mage who will stop at nothing to accomplish his goal.

The Dark Mage seeks immortality – which he believes he can gain through the use of a jewel that just happens to form part of Tyrealla’s favorite necklace.

Added to this are the complications that Lord Cirovan believes Lito was made to protect him, Tyrealla treats him as if he were repulsive, and, because of how he came into being, Lito doubts that he qualifies as fully human.

It’s a novel in two parts (the sequel is called Urgitwoods), and it has been receiving five star reviews on Amazon – which I’m pretty happy about!

8. What’s your current writing project?

I’m writing a comedic fantasy series that’s just fun! It’s all about Gordan, who is a born troublemaker (as well as being part dragon) and his mad-cap adventures as he seeks the answers to the mystery of his own origins.

With the help of a drunken pixie and a part-orc (who is also a Seer), he stumbles into more trouble than he can easily deal with, and ends up with armies of humans, orcs and everything else on his tail.

Really good fun to write, and the feedback I’ve got so far (even though the first one hasn’t yet been published) is that they’re great fun to read as well. Which is just what a writer like me wants to hear.

9. What book(s) are you currently reading?

Right now, I’m partway through a bunch of different books – but we’ve just moved house and are in the middle of some fairly extensive renovations, so I haven’t had time to really give any of them the attention they deserve.

10. Who or what inspires your writing?

I get my inspiration from stories, thoughts, or ideas. If I don’t have anything to write about, I’ll go watch a movie or read a book. Typically, something in it will start me thinking.

Sometimes those thoughts will turn into something compelling enough to write about.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

Thank you for the interview.

You can find out more about me and my books on my website:

My books are available on Amazon here:

And you can connect with me on Twitter here:

You're welcome, P.B. Please visit with us again soon when your new comedic fantasy novel is ready.


  1. Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for the write-up - looks good! And yes, I'll visit again when my comedic fantasy novel is ready.

    Thanks again,

    PB Dillon.

  2. You're very welcome, PB. It was fun!