Tuesday, July 7, 2015

DENNY UPKINS talks five things learned writing WEST OF SUNSET

“I recalled some sage I once received from two friends, Seraphim. They confirmed that the old saying was true. If you ever want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
For Brecken Everett, there's never a dull moment. When he's not dealing with a demanding course load and honing his magic as top student at Lightmage University, he’s working as a private investigator and using his skills to protect the innocent from the darkest forces. In two action-packed adventures, Breck demonstrates that outnumbered and outgunned is when he’s at his best.
In Keepers, Brecken is enlisted to aid Jacob and Joshua Phoenix; twins, the last Pyrians, the last of an ancient race. The Brothers Phoenix are on a quest to uncover clues to their past. When they find a lost relic, a pair of demons claim it. With Brecken’s aid, the twins are determined to not only stop the threat, but have some fun in the process.
West of Sunset takes place a year after Keepers. Brecken wants to do was get out of Atlanta. Heading to Los Angeles with his best friend he plan a vacation of surf, sun, partying and relaxation until the boys stumble upon a museum heist connected to a biker gang of vampires with plans to raise a most dark power. Matters get even more complicated with the involvement of a mysterious and powerful witch.
Witches, museum heists, arising malevolent forces, vampire biker gangs, even Brecken’s vacations are another day at the office.
1) Between interviews, guest posts, and essays, I’ve written more words promoting West of Sunset than I did writing the actual book. Not a complaint mind you, just fascinating.

2) Contrary to what is preached, people do in fact judge a book by its cover. Second to the prose, it is the most important element of your book.
Welmerink note: Agree 100%. If the book cover and back cover blurb don't grab'em...

3) Speculative Fiction continues to be hostile territory for minority writers and our narratives. #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We also need to do much better.

4) Always keep a print copy of your novel on you. Otherwise no one will believe that you are a legit published author. Half the time they still don’t believe it when they’re holding your book in their hands.

5) There are generally two types of artists in the world. Those who want to be known as a great artist and those who simply want to produce the best work they can possibly produce. The latter tends to become the former.
Dennis R. Upkins was born in Nashville, Tn. A voracious reader, a lifelong geek and a hopeless comic book addict, he knew at an early age that storytelling was his calling. Earning an academic scholarship, Upkins graduated from the University of TN at Chattanooga with a BA in English. After working as a reporter for a local newspaper for a few years, he moved from Tennesssee and relocated to Atlanta, GA where he procured a BFA in media arts & animation from the Art Institute of Atlanta.
His audio short, Stranger Than Fiction, was featured on Sniplits. In 2011, his debut novel, Hollowstone, was released by Parker Publishing. In addition to writing, Upkins has worked as a freelance artist and a digital photographer. Upkins regularly analyzes and critiques the representation and portrayals of minorities in comic books, television, movies, and other media and has served as a regular contributor to websites such as Ars Marginal, Prism Comics, and Nashville Geek Life. In an effort to help educate the public about the cultures of the African diaspora and promote a more accurate and positive image, Upkins launched the Black Folks Being Awesome initiative on Facebook. When he’s not out saving the world and/or taking it over in his spare time, Upkins enjoys drawing, modeling, cosplaying, acting, photography rollerblading, martial arts, and of course writing.
Also by Dennis Upkins...