Devin lives outside Buffalo, NY with his wife, two dogs and two cats. By day he work as a Contracts Manager but he’s a writer by night. After enjoying several Fantasy and LitRPG books, he decided it was time to create his own cast of characters and world to put them in. After many late nights and cups of coffee, he is ready to share his creation with the world.
When did you first start writing fiction?
I have always been writing fiction in my free time. It started with fan-fiction when I was younger but quickly evolved into writing Dungeons & Dragons adventures. Endless Fantasy Online – The Phoenix Kingdom is my first full title however. I started writing that this year in my thirties.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Paper or eBook?
I own a lot of books and love to read but I have a small house, and now I’m moving toward eBooks. I’ve never had anything against them in the past or anything, but I love paper between my fingers.
I also own a lot of audio books. I have a long commute to work each day, about an hour, and audio books allow me to read when I normally couldn’t. I have well over 100 audio books currently.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I really enjoyed the Dark Materials saga. I know a lot people have read it but I don’t think it gets the love it deserves. I was ecstatic to see that HBO is doing a new show based on the books. Hopefully it follows the books more and doesn’t end like Game of Thrones. Haha.
Of your books, which is your personal favorite? Why?
I only have one book at the moment, so it would be my favorite. Even though its my first book, I really did enjoy writing and reading it. It does a good job of laying the ground work for my series while having a complete story of its own. Its the perfect season one for a TV show. It makes you happy and wanting more.
You can make one LitRPG book (not your own) a movie. Which is it and why?
Hmm…. That’s a really good question. I would either go with the Eden’s Gate series or The Completionist Saga. Both books were great and I would love to see either as a movie or TV series.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes and no. I believe someone can be stuck writing a specific scene or idea but I don’t believe someone can not write anything. If you feel writers block, write something random. Switch books, genres or scenes. You can always write something, maybe not the thing you’r trying to write.
That being said, I have sat staring at a blank screen before, but I used my tactic to get past it.
Are you an outliner or pantser?
I fit heavy into both categories. I outlined my book like crazy and outlined my game mechanics even more. But when I went to write, I barely looked at my outline. I think the process of outlining got the ideas in my head of where I wanted to go but when it came down to putting the words on the page, I just went for it. That being said, I took a lot of notes while writing and referenced my extensive game mechanics several times a chapter.
I think if either way works for you, go for it! Just keep writing!
What is your writing process like?
After I outline my story I fill in the blanks. For example, I know I want my characters to be in a specific predicament in chapter three, so I work backwards in order to think of how they got there. I write leading up to that event and then write the event in question. After that specific event I think of the next major event in my book and work backwards in my head, writing until I get there.
How many hours a day do you write?
I try not to limit myself and I get distracted easily. I’ll sit down to write with the intention of spending three or four hours in front of my screen but will easily get distracted when my dog comes into the room or a friend link’s me a funny video. I found it important to give myself deadlines to meet and when nuts came to bolts I got it done.
I enjoy writing and, through that chaos, try to get at least an hour of good writing in each day. Some days its a little less but a lot of the time I end up writing for three or four hours straight. The issue isn’t finding the time to start, its finding the right place to stop.
Share a photo of your workspace and tell us about it?
My wife and I are both avid readers, and this is part of her collection. I find it a cozy place to sit and write. There is good lighting and a comfortable seat. I also write a lot in bed. I’m the most relaxed there and no one bothers me. Even my two dogs and cats tend to leave me alone when I’m laying in bed.
Who are some of your favorite authors of all time?
I’m going to sound like a fanboy here but I love Dakota Krout’s humor. His style of writing is very personal and who doesn’t love a good pun? He would be my favorite LitRPG author but I also really enjoy Philip Pullman and a lot of classic Stephen King.
If you could be trapped inside any video game, which one would it be?
Hmm… I would probably choose Final Fantasy XIV. You can be anything in that game and there is always more to do. I haven’t played in a few years but really enjoyed the world they build.
Where do you get your ideas?
Honestly, I don’t know.
When I write I try to come up with ideas of things I would enjoy reading. I write books for people to enjoy, but I want to write books that I enjoy. If it doesn’t sound fun or interesting to me, I get rid of it and start over.
What are your thoughts on how VR will affect the future of humanity?
I want the holodeck in my lifetime!
I recently got into the VR space and I really think its breathtaking. I do think its a long ways off before we have anything close to what’s in my book or others, but I hope to be around when we do get there. How cool would that be?
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I didn’t do a lot of research into my store or my world. I spent the last 20 years doing that when I spent countless hours inventing worlds in Dungeons & Dragons and playing video games. What I did spend a lot of time doing is researching writing techniques. How to outline, how to write a good chapter one, how to make an ending that’s meaningful, those types of things. I spent probably a month just researching how to make my book read better and how to write better.
First video game memory?
Playing the original NES with my father and thinking the future was in the palm of my hands. The original Zelda still ranks as one of my favorite games of all time.
What can fans expect from you next?
Endless Fantasy Online book two! I’m also hard at work creating a sci-fi LitRPG. I’m still flushing out the world and game mechanics but I’m doing that when I want a break from writing book two in my series. I will focus on my sci-fi series once book two of Endless Fantasy Online is out.
Anything else you would like to add?
This is my first published book and I would love some feedback on how I can make this better for you. I encourage you to check out my book on Amazon. It’s releasing on August 30th on both paperback and Kinde eBook. The audible version of my book will be available in mid-September, so keep an eye out for that as well.