About David Brown
David Brown was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and first conceived the idea of the Elencheran Chronicles at college in 1999. He spent ten years compiling the history of Elenchera, resulting in 47,000+ years of events, 500+ maps, 2000+ pages, several short stories and many much-needed acquaintances with Jack Daniels.
David also has a blog, The World According to Dave (http://blog.elenchera.com), which features reviews, stories and dramatic tales of the horrors of owning cats.
David now lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, with his wife, Donna, and their six cats.
Fezariu’s Epiphany is his first novel. David is currently working on his second.
Q: Thank you for this interview, David. Can you tell us what your latest book, Fezariu’s Epiphany, is all about?
The novel follows the character of Fezariu who suffers a disruptive childhood after being abandoned by his mother. He longs to escape from his past and turns to the Merelax Mercenaries – a prestigious force of hired hands. Fezariu becomes a success but the past refuses to let go and he has to face it once and for all.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
Fezariu is the central character, a gifted mercenary but very withdrawn following the events of his past. He maintains contact with his childhood friend, Alycea, who works in a bakery and remains his only link to the past. In the mercenaries Fezariu has friends in his teacher, General Bayard, as well as three fellow recruits – Tessera, Vintaro and Arshea. Each character has a significant part to play in Fezariu’s journey, giving him the strength and belief to overcome his fear of the past and move on with his life. Finally, there is Fezariu’s mother, Jessamine, who abandons him when he is just a boy but continues to haunt him into adulthood.
Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
They largely come from my imagination but certain traits of people I have known sometimes creep in. Vintaro’s jovial nature and love of drinking could be attributed to many people I know. General Bayard’s selective hearing is based on a former work colleague.
Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
The main aspects of the plot are generally in place before I start writing but once I have begun I may find that the characters make changes and seem to decide for themselves how they want to get from A to B! Those are the best moments for me when writing. You almost don’t have to think as the characters take charge and you become a passenger, writing what they tell you to.
Q: Your book is set in Elenchera. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?
Elenchera is the fictitious world where all my novels will be set. Fezariu’s Epiphany begins in a city called Clarendon in Odrica but moves to neighbouring Merelax Island where the mercenaries are trained before heading overseas to the colonies of Emeraldon and Himordia where dangerous fighting takes place. I wanted to give the reader a good taste of Elenchera and I feel that the novel does that.
Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
The colonies are spoken of frequently in the early stages of the novel and they are the ultimate dream for every Merelax mercenary, full of potential riches and rewards. While Fezariu is training his mind is focused on the assignments out in the colonies but back home the city of Clarendon holds the key to his turbulent past and it is there that Fezariu must return to be free of the ghosts from his childhood.
Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
Fezariu’s mother has abandoned him, leaving him with his stepfather and childhood friend, Alycea. The three people left behind are struggling to pick up the pieces following the departure of Jessamine. This is where Fezariu’s childhood begins to damage him severely.
Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?
From Chapter 20:
From the stern of the flagship, Fezariu observed the mercenaries in the ocean closing on the harbour and immediately sheathed his sword.
‘Over the side,’ he said to the nearby mercenaries.
‘What do you mean over the side?’ Vintaro asked, incredulous. ‘They’re abandoning the city. There’s nothing we can do about it.’
‘We still have an assignment here and I am not going to let the cowardice of these merchants prevent me from fulfilling my duties. These ships won’t survive the night but we will if we abandon them now.’
‘I’m with you, Fezariu,’ Tessera said, securing her bow over her shoulder.
Together, Fezariu and Tessera leapt from the stern of the flagship and began swimming towards Redemption leaving behind a gathering of indecisive mercenaries.
‘He must be mad,’ Vintaro growled, before a projectile flew narrowly past the flagship and struck another merchant vessel, causing irreparable damage and a mass exodus of mercenaries into the ocean. Vintaro grimaced and looked back at the fading forms of Fezariu and Tessera before puffing his cheeks. ‘Madness has never seemed more appealing.’ With that, Vintaro secured his axe by his side and abandoned the flagship as well.
Arshea watched Vintaro initially struggle in the cold water before finding his rhythm and swimming quickly away from the flagship. To his left another of the merchant ships was struck by the valkayans’ projectiles and immediately capsized in the face of the mortal wound inflicted upon its hull.
‘This may be foolish,’ Arshea said, looking up at the fiery skies and thinking of Melea, ‘but I love you too much to see our story ended on this night.’
Arshea leapt from the stern into the ocean, descending briefly beneath the surface of the water before re-emerging to the sound of a heavy splash in the water. Another projectile had struck the ocean, almost hitting Mattias’ ship. Arshea whispered Melea’s name, promising he would give everything in Redemption for their future but would return alive.
Now only the flagship still stood though its sails had been torn by projectiles that had narrowly missed their target. The missiles continued to hit the ocean close to the ship, drawing ever nearer with every attempt from the meticulous valkayan rebels. On the stern the bulk of the mercenaries remained in a hopeless cycle of indecision. The farther away Redemption became the less inclined they felt about committing themselves to the dark and uninviting waters below.
On the prow Mattias had been desperately trying to regain control of his ship and steer her back towards Redemption but he was now sitting on the far side of the deck with his hands bound. He beseeched his crew to at least take the vessel away from its straight course but they saw no value in listening to the pleading words of one who would have sailed them into the cesspit of their own doom.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, David. We wish you much success!
Thank you for having me. I’ve really enjoyed the questions and hope that your readers have enjoyed learning more about Fezariu’s Epiphany.