Today I am interviewing David Dalglish, author of the new fantasy novel, Soulkeeper, first book in The Keepers series.
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DJ: Hi David! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
David Dalglish: I’m a dad to three wonderfully nerdy girls, I’ve been playing games of Dungeons and Dragons since middle school, I started self-publishing my fantasy novels thinking maybe a small audience out there would appreciate a return to orcs and elves, and am bewildered by how well everything has gone since.
DJ: What is Soulkeeper about?
David: It’s about the world known as the Cradle, where humanity has always viewed themselves as the precious children of the three sister deities. Only the Cradle didn’t always belong to them, and marked by a surge of black water across the landscape, a previously banished world of magic, dragons, and monsters returns to throw everything into chaos.
DJ: What were some of your influences Soulkeeper and the series?
David: The world itself is an amalgamation of my various interests over the years, plus tons of playing D&D. A lot of the series takes place in a single city, Londheim, and that place in particular was heavily inspired by the gothic masterpiece that is the city of Yharnam from the game, Bloodborne.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
David: The initial POV is the titular Soulkeeper, Devin Eveson. He’s meant to be the sturdy, reliable pillar all the other characters can rely upon as they undergo their own trials. Then there’s his sister, Adria, a Mindkeeper of the church who discovers that in the newly awakened world, her prayers contain the power to manipulate the world around her. His brother-in-law, Tomas (or Tommy as he likes to be called) is a young member of the Wise – sort of like a records keeper, librarian, and local lore expert rolled into one – who discovers that previously derided scrolls and texts for magic spells can suddenly allow him to throw lightning from his fingertips. Jacaranda is one of my most complex characters I’ve created, a woman who was born soulless and kept in illegal servitude prior to meeting Devin. There’s Tesmarie, an onyx faery capable of manipulating time, and last, a living ball of flame nicknamed Puffy that’s kind of like Devin’s loyal canine companion.
DJ: Aside from the main characters in the story, who is a favorite side character or a character with a smaller role for in story? Why?
David: Everyone loves Puffy. The firekin appears when Devin is at his lowest, unsure of how much of the world even survived the initial flood of black water, and despite having almost no dialog he’s just so cheery and happy to meet others.
DJ: What is the world and setting of The Keepers series like?
David: It’s loosely set at about the 1600s, with firearms starting to trickle throughout the military, heralding the end of heavy armor. The Cradle is currently unified under a single government, though much of its power is shared with the Keeping Church. Befitting its name, the Cradle is generally peaceful, though its far past, when the dragons and goddesses were together shaping the world, was certainly not.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Soulkeeper?
David: The complete freedom to create any creature, any race, without limits. Unlike a lot of my books set in the world of Dezrel, which was a land of elves, orcs, demons, etc, I crafted the rules to the Cradle to allow a lot more variety. Now if I want a giant man-eating flower that mind-controls people with song, well, now I get to have a giant man-eating flower that mind-controls people with song.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
David: Likely one of two things. It’ll be either how much they loved/adored some of the weirder characters like Tesmarie or Puffy, or it’ll be how disturbed the villain Janus is in creating his twisted art, which he does by transmuting the bodies of the dead into other substances such as silver, gold, and jade.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began The Keepers series? Soulkeeper is only the first book, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
David: My goal for Soulkeeper was to fully embrace what I feel my strengths are. A friend of mine joked that my books though my setting was very grimdark, the characters themselves were hopeful and likable, so I guess I’m a Hopedark writer now. With Soulkeeper, that sums up my overall goals nicely. It’s a dark setting, with a lot of change and uncertainty, but the characters are willing to rise above it. And while a lot of it is frightening, the return of magic has also brought some beautiful splendors and wonderful companions for those who can meet this change without fear or prejudice.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Soulkeeper that you can share with us?
David: Just this one, which summarizes the mood of the many magical races that have awakened to find humanity living on lands that were once theirs. “Hundreds of years, we slept. Buried beneath the ground, like seeds. Locked in the sky, like water within clouds. We slept, so you might multiply like rodents. We are angry, and you ask why?”
DJ: Now that Soulkeeper is released, what is next for you?
David: Book two, Ravencaller, is currently in my editor’s hands, which means I’m starting the initial framework for book three. I’m hoping to get that finished up in the next six months so I have time to crank out another self-published Half-Orc book before the year’s end.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/David-Dalglish/e/B003AUKAI4/
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Soulkeeper and The Keepers series that we haven’t talked about yet?
David: You’ll be in good hands. You’ll spend your time with characters you’ll love, cheering them on as they face dark, twisted villains. The Keepers is the culmination of everything I’ve learned from writing the past twenty books, and I think you’ll enjoy.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
David: Most welcome 🙂
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*** Soul Keeper is published Orbit Books available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
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About the Book:
In the first book of USA Today bestseller David Dalglish’s epic fantasy trilogy, a warrior priest must answer the call and protect his world from monsters, when ancient magic suddenly returns to his land.
Devin Eveson is a Soulkeeper, travelling through remote villages as a preacher and healer. But when a dragon awakens – the size of a mountain and leaving great chasms in its wake – the veil is torn, flooding the land with ancient magic and forgotten races. Now Devin must set aside his words of peace and accept his new role: slayer of monsters and protector of the human race.
But not all the creatures that have re-awakened mean humanity harm. And as Devin slowly befriends people of these new races, his discomfort in his role grows. But Soulkeepers must slay without mercy. And even sympathisers risk their wrath.
About the Author:
David Dalglish graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006 with a degree in Mathematics. He’s self-published over fifteen novels, as well as had twelve books traditionally published through Orbit Books and 47North.
He also has a lovely wife and three beautiful daughters, with all four being far better than he deserves.