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Black Friday 2018

February 2018 Interview: Bruce Davis (Part 2 of 2)

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In February 2018, Brick Cave sat down with Bruce Davis on the release of his first Fantasy novel, Platinum Magic. You can find the first part of the interview here. 

Bruce Davis just released Platinum Magic, his latest novel, first fantasy novel, and first novel with Brick Cave Media. Bruce takes aome time to answer some questions in this two-part interview with Brick Cave Media publisher Bob Nelson.

Q. Brick Cave turned to artist Thitipon Dicruen for the cover, a veteran of a few of Brick Cave Books. Talk about the importance of the art style to the story within.

A: I was thrilled that Brick Cave was able to get Thitipon for the cover art. I loved the covers he did for Sharon Skinner’s Healer’s Legacy and Matriarch’s Devise. I think cover art is important for marketing the book to readers. It’s the cover that catches the eye first. Personal salesmanship, such as at book fairs or conventions can overcome weak cover art, but otherwise we depend on the art to give the reader a clue as to the content. In the case of Platinum Magic, I think the art is eye-catching and relevant to the story. It evokes an air of magic and mystery that entices a reader to look at the book. I wanted Thitipon’s dreamy style to evoke those feelings rather than the more hard edged art that I used on my science fiction titles.

Q. As the beginning of a series did you have to balance how much world reveal you do in Platinum Magic? Are there surprises that await us in the next books?

A: I hate novels that spend pages detailing the world in which they are set, unless the details are relevant to the story. I had a hard time limiting the ‘infodump’ type explanations of the world of Platinum Magic, especially the political background of the Commonwealth in which the action is set. I limited myself to one paragraph each time I had to fill the reader in on the power structure of the world, the Commonwealth or the Peacekeeper force. Most of the world building takes place through action and dialog, the same way a modern crime novel would introduce the city, police force and crime lab technology in a more conventional setting. The technology is introduced simply by the characters using it, with little or no complex explanation of how it works. A lot about the society of the world of the novel is implied and there will definitely be surprises, or at least revelations in the next book.

Davis Platinum 150Q. You’ll be out and about supporting this book in 2018, what are your favorite shows that you like to be at?

A: I really love small conventions or book events. I like doing panels where the setting encourages free give and take between writers and readers. I like dedicated book events like the recent Mesa Book Festival where I can interact directly with readers and spend some time talking about books and writing in general. The big events are more difficult for me. I don’t consider myself a good salesman and have a hard time trying to induce people in a large crowd to come over and take a look at my work. I can work the big shows as well as anyone, I guess, but it’s not comfortable for me.

Q. Who influences your writing style?

A: Oh, that’s a hard question. I read a lot, in a lot of different genres. Big influences on me tend to be modern crime writers and character based science fiction writers. Specifically writers like Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, James Elroy, Anne Perry and Lois McMaster Bujold.
Writer who influence plot and action, but not necessarily style, include Eric Flint, David Weber, D.B Jackson, and Lee Child.
Overall, though, I’d say any writer who can turn out a superficially simple sentence that speaks volumes about a character or situation will always grab my attention and admiration (and maybe imitation).

Q. Who’s the ideal reader for Platinum Magic?

A: Any fan of modern fantasy, crime fiction or alternate universe science fiction will really like this book. The ideal reader? Someone who looks for crossover type speculative fiction with a lot of action. The book is suitable for young adult readers although not specifically targeted at that audience. I guess anyone who likes fiction that plays with genre stereotypes without mocking them.

That's part 2 of the interview- Part 1 Is available here.

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