Today I am very happy to introduce to you an L.E Fitzpatrick, whose book “Dark Waters” was recently reviewed here on DarkissReads. L.E was kind enough to grant us an author interview.
1) What has been the reaction like towards “Dark Waters”? Was it anything like you expected?
Dark Waters is the first book I have published and I only passed it to two people before inflicting it on the masses, so I really had no idea what to expect from readers. As an indie author it sometimes feels like you’ve gatecrashed the party, so I suppose I am always expecting readers to turn around and say “Hey you shouldn’t be here!” The fact that they continue to be both welcoming and encouraging will always astound my expectations.
2) Which came first, the character of Egan Wey or the Fimorri?
Wey was like the big bang for Dark Waters. Once I had him created the backdrop to the plot fell into place. Wey is the hero of the book, but he’s a tormented soul who has done a lot of terrible things in his life and continues to dance around morality throughout the story. Piracy already has massive romanticism surrounding it and I wanted to create a character that was a tragic parody of the great sea adventure. I didn’t want to glorify piracy in Dark Waters, but at the same time I didn’t want to condemn it, so to counteract the diabolical Wey, I gave him the Fimorri, a clan forced into piracy, as his starting point. Thereafter the Fimorri became everything that is noble and good about piracy; Wey became everything that is bad.
3) With the character Egan Wey, did you lead the character in the direction you wanted or did he lead you?
If I had been able to make Wey do anything he wouldn’t be the character he is. When I write stories I have a preconceived idea what is going to happen, Wey turned that all on its head and what I finished was nothing like what I had planned.
4) There are some very dark characters in your novel, for instance Captain Mercy, where did you find your inspiration to bring him to life?
I love dark fantasy and I wanted to create a character that was unequivocally evil. Having so many dubious heroes in the book Mercy had to be really bad for him to have any impact on the story. In the end he just became a shark, cold, calculating and inhuman. Mercy is driven by primal hunger, a territorial creature with no humanity. The other villains in the story have history, possibly excuses for their actions, as far as Mercy is concerned he is a simple, fearsome predator.
5) If you could pick on character in this book that you are most like, who would that be?
This is probably the hardest question of the lot. Most of my characters are broken in one way or another, but if I was to pick one that was the easiest to create it would be Rhoma. Her stubborn determination to try and save her people is something I like to think I have, although my determination only goes so far as getting dinner cooked, or getting the car up the hill. Perhaps I’d throw in a bit of Benton as well, the Fimorri pirate is the backbone of the battle, but isn’t as scene stealing as the other characters. They were both probably the easiest to write.
6) In your book, you have a drug called “The Red” that is such an integral part of the story, where did this idea come from?
Okay promise not to laugh. I have an inherent fear of zombies. I can’t look at zombie pictures, or watch them on TV without suffering sleepless nights. I knew when I started Dark Waters that I was going to struggle and basically the Red was as much as I could tolerate. It is still a drug that effectively turns the user into a zombie, but there’s no biting, or eating of brains. Instead the user loses his wits, becomes aggressive and pretty difficult to kill. So in other words I was too scared to do a full zombie novel so I created the Red. You can stop laughing now.
7) Since the book has so much to do with sailing the high seas, I have to ask, have you ever sailed a ship?
I have never sailed a ship and I can barely swim. I think this might be where you start laughing again. When writing I find it easier to write things that I feel strongly towards and the sea, like zombies, is something that unnerves me. Of course I did bob up and down every week in the swimming pool to add some authenticity to my work, but mostly I was interested in the ships and camaraderie of sailors so I did a lot of research into that area instead.
8) Who is your biggest literary influence and why?
There have been a lot of people who have inspired and taught me along the way. The author I identify with most is probably John Connolly, just because there is a beautifully human quality to what he writes and he has worked very hard to get where he is. In so far as Dark Waters is concerned, I had been reading the Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, his work inspired me to just roll with an idea and forget about the rest of the world.
9) Can you tell us about any new projects you are working on?
After Dark Waters I tried to knock out a sequel, it hasn’t been as forthcoming as I would have liked so I’m taking a little break and I’m in the middle of a futuristic thriller, which I hope will turn into a series.
10) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do when you are not writing?
Well when I am not writing, I’m a juggling, acrobatic, jet-pilot… Alas I’m not that exciting. I work in an accountancy office during the day and when I am not tapping away at my keyboard I’m usually enjoying clichéd time with my partner and son. Although I am originally from Yorkshire, I live in West Wales and so most of my days are filled with walking in green fields and going nowhere very fast, which suits me just fine.
Thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourself L.E. Everyone at DarkissReads wishes you all the best of luck with all your future endeavors!