Welcome to the story-themed interview, Once Upon a Time with… where we interview a fellow author.
Today, we’d like to welcome D.A. Godwin, author of the Guardian’s Prophecy series. The first two books, Eyes of the Blind and Hunter’s Moon, are available.
So, let’s get started. Like any good fairy tale, let’s begin with Once Upon a Time. What’s your “Once Upon a Time”? Tell us about your beginning as an author. Where did you live and what sparked you to decide to write?
It really began with being an avid reader throughout my youth. I was always picking up new sci-fi and fantasy books from the library as a kid. In college I continued reading, but my first foray into creating worlds was as a DM with Dungeons & Dragons. I started a story here and there in the years that followed, but my creative interests were focused on other things. My children were the ones who rekindled my interest in writing, and the desire to create something for them was the final nudge that set pen to paper for good.
Well, we may have played our fair share of Dungeons & Dragons. And kids are always great inspiration. In fairy tales, our heroes often get to make a wish that lets their dream come true. In this case, the dream involves becoming a published author. Let us know how you got your first break.
I made my own break by leaping into self-publishing. I wanted to really understand the industry, and all the steps that go into producing and publishing a novel.
Looking at your books, it seems you’ve done fairly well. Now, no story would be complete without an adversary. In the story of your writing career, what’s your biggest nemesis? What do you struggle against… fear, doubt, a mortgage, time, ice cream? What tactics, allies or weapons do you use to win those battles?
Time. With a family to provide for, I crammed my writing into every possible nook and cranny of my calendar, be it at soccer practice, the dance studio, or at the kitchen table late at night. Almost every author faces the fear of not succeeding, but I’ve known since my first beta read that I was capable of producing good stories, and that helps.
As we all know, the hero can’t ultimately triumph without a few defeats along the way. Can you share a defeat that you suffered in your writing career and what you learned from it?
(laughs) In the early drafts of my first novel, my main character was described by beta readers as a whiny kid that needed to stop crying and get on with it. Ouch. It was a hard lesson in character development, but I listened to the criticism and learned to be more careful when describing emotions.
So, what has been your greatest victory as a writer?
When a middle school student picked my book for a book report. He could have chosen Harry Potter, or Ranger’s Apprentice, or any of the other bestsellers kids read nowadays. I asked for a copy when I found out about it, and he totally nailed the character analysis. That was pretty special.
That is cool. So, where do you see yourself today? What are your current projects?
It’s an exciting time. Finishing the Guardian’s Prophecy series is first on my list, and next year will see the release of book three. Beyond that, I’ve already been discussing the next series with agents, and branching out into short stories. There are a few more things on the horizon, but I can’t reveal everything just yet…
Every story should end with a Happily Ever After. If you could write your own “Happily Ever After”, what would it be? Tell us where you’d like to go and have fun with it.
World domination! But I would be quite content in a cabin with a porch swing, beside a cold, rocky creek halfway up the side of a mountain.
I think your second choice sounds much nicer than world domination. So, for everyone out there wishing on a star hoping to be an author, what advice would you like to give them based on your experience?
Don’t wish, start writing! Jot down your thoughts, join a writing group, go to a conference. Put words on the page, even if you think they aren’t any good. Show it to people, and listen to what they say. It doesn’t matter if it takes four weeks or four years, the barrier to entry has never been lower.
If we’d like to learn more for the About the Author section of your story, what’s the best way for everyone to keep up with you? And is there any last message that you’d like to share?
I’m a very visual person, so I’m most active on Instagram (@da_godwin). You can also find links to my newsletter and Facebook page on my website (https://dagodwin.com).
I would close with a most heartfelt “thank you” to all of my readers. The enthusiasm you continue to show for my stories is what makes writing so much fun!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and best of luck!