Free Cafe For Authors and Avid Readers
Dylan Madeley is a Torontonian currently working out of a headquarters in Vaughan, Ontario. He is the copy editor of and a frequent contributor to Auxiliary Magazine, an alternative fashion and music zine. His junior copy editors are two chinchillas named Basil and Liam. His first published novel, The Gift-Knight’s Quest, is slated for a May 28, 2015 release.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Toronto? Toronto has a big, enthusiastic group of screenwriters and novelists, each at a different level of professional achievement or just in it for fun. As a city, it's nice and eclectic, there's not one aesthetic imposed everywhere, so there's something for all kinds of people. And you definitely get all kinds in Toronto.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? My parents always encouraged me to read, and my father in particular talked about writing children's books. He has yet to get around to it, and it seems strange that I've managed to publish any book first, but I'm sure he'll catch up soon enough. Running a Montessori school occupied most of my parents' time and energy over the years, and dad did frequently have oral storytelling to a class full of students as a creative outlet.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I wrote the first draft of my debut novel, "The Gift-Knight's Quest", in 2008. I wanted badly to do something with it, because I had great difficulty coming up with a novel length story, and I had this fear that I wasn't going to be able to come up with another one. That fear has since been debunked.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? From preschool to grade 6, I attended a Montessori school. Creativity was encouraged, and my teacher from grades 4 through 6 introduced me to "swish"/free writing. I have always been encouraged to read and write at home. I suppose that helps, because periodically writing something just feels like a part of my life now.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I had a dreadful time coming up with this title. Eventually, I told myself that every title is a working title until it's published, so I moved on from the confusing early "The Last of the Feud" and came up with a title which more adequately describes the story. That first novel had a wild process, though, because I was learning as I went; today, I sometimes come up with titles before I write a manuscript.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My debut novel best fits in the Fantasy genre because it takes place in a created world with constructed kingdoms. I would add "historical", with quotation marks, because I shied away from developing a high-fantasy magical system this time, and went with stone and steel. Also, the constructed kingdoms do share some naming conventions with historical empires and places, some of the time.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I first struggled with two different plots, beginning as early as 2006, and couldn't find a way to make more than a chapter out of either. Then I decided that the protagonist of each idea could have their stories fit together, like a puzzle, and in that broadened scope I could have a better time world-building and finding ways to make it work. While the resulting story two years later was barely over fifty thousand words, and nearly every scene has been rewritten since, that marriage of two ideas is the closest thing to what you're asking.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? So far, it's been the tremendous sense of well-being that comes from doing something I've wanted to do since I was a child. That has been life-changing.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Find a way to just write anything down, and not get too preoccupied with quality in the first draft. If you already have that skill and don't need a reminder, then you may find outlines/planning helpful.
Who is your favorite author and why? I don't have a single favorite, but two that stand out are Ursula K. Leguin and Roger Zelazny for their writing style.
How has stuttering affected you as a writer? Writing became a refuge for me pretty early on. It presents challenges of its own, but at least refreshingly different ones, most of which I can do something about. With writing I faced the opposite problem, where words and ideas can flood out of me so easily that I lose track of whether they make sense to anyone other than me; now I have to remember that people (thankfully!) don't have direct access to my mind, so I need to provide context, look at the words themselves, and consider how they might look to someone who isn't in my often peculiar headspace.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? If you happen to be in Toronto on Sunday, September 27, then you can find me in a booth called "The Gift-Knight's Quest" down at the Harbourfront Centre. Details: http://www.thewordonthestreet.ca/wots/Toronto
“Chandra had yet to fathom why Jonnecht could not have lived and ruled for many long years, or why it was so urgent that she ascend immediately.”
Chandra never asked to rule Kensrik, but fate took a strange course. Known as a usurper and sorceress by most and traumatised by all that has transpired, she is forced to make use of the few loyal allies she has in order to hold together her restless empire. In an attempt to identify and defeat the conspirators who inadvertently landed her in power, Chandra risks putting the lives of many in mortal danger, as well as her own.
Derek is an aimless wanderer – the youngest in a lineage that has long fallen from nobility. He finds himself summoned by tradition to serve a family historically considered his bitter enemy. As he journeys down the same path a fateful ancestor once travelled, he struggles with personal demons and begins to reconsider his loyalty to the mission.
Duke Lenn found one true cause in love and it cost him everything. His legacy shaped the present in which Chandra and Derek find themselves. Now their choice will shape the future of Kensrik.
The Gift-Knight’s Quest is set in a new and vividly imagined world, written with delicate prose that will allow the reader to explore with their imagination. Inspired by authors such as Michael Moorcock, J. G. Ballard and Roger Zelazny, it will appeal to fans of fantasy and historical fiction.
First Trailer for The Gift-Knight's Quest: "Derek's Lonely Road"