Interview with author Sean DeLauder

Today’s
interview is with author Sean DeLauder. He’s talking about his new
sci-fi/fantasty/adventure/satire/philosophical novel, The Least Envied.


During his
virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Sean will be awarding $25
Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered
for a chance to win, use the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops
and enter there, too.


Bio:

This author has held several positions in recent years,
including Content Writer, Grant Writer, Obituary Clerk, and Staff Writer, and
is under the false impression that these experiences have added to his
character since they have not contributed much to his finances. He was awarded
a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism and a BA in Technical Communication by
Bowling Green State University because they are giving and eager to make
friends. He has a few scattered publications with The Circle magazine, Wild
Violet, Toasted Cheese, and Lovable Losers Literary Revue, and resides in the
drab, northeastern region of Ohio because it makes everything else seem
fascinating, exotic, and beautiful.

Welcome, Sean. Please tell us about your current release.

The Least Envied is a hero, mystery,
science fiction, adventure story set on a world reduced to a wasteland. Into
this world is cast a writer tasked to detail the events of a history gone
unrecorded, a boy who wants to be a hero, and a grizzled and cynical winged man
who must complete his mission before he can go home. All of these tasks are
complicated by the existence of tiny monsters named wogs, a disheveled beast
called the Forest Monster, and a being bent on the destruction of what little
remains of humanity.

The
book presents itself as a humorous adventure in a desolate world, but it
shifts, gradually, into something more serious as it becomes apparent that the
stakes are much higher than they seem.

I
think there are themes in this book everyone can relate to. Not the standard,
hackneyed (yet still effective) themes of the importance of friendship and
believing in yourself. Rather, there are themes of how one deals with abandonment,
by your family, those you care about, even the omnipotent being that created
you. How do you respond to that situation? What do you do with yourself? Do you
succumb to cynical paralysis? There are themes of frustration with a task that
is seemingly impossible, as though designed with failure in mind to shatter
one’s faith in oneself. What would a person be like who received such a task
and, more importantly, what would they be like if they managed to accomplish
it?

I
attempt to raise these questions subtly, throughout the book, and they become
more prominent as the story wears on, but they are not a distraction. They are
merely another lens through which to view the tale and a component of my
characters’ development.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve
always been fascinated by myths and heroes, and by association what Joseph
Campbell called “monomyth”, that overarching story arc that forms the backbone,
however subtle, of every hero myth. At the same time, I’ve always been one to put
a kink in cliché, or eschew it entirely. You’ll definitely see that play out in
my book.

Excerpt:
“That statue,” said Andrew. He gave the stonework a quick
look, then looked back to Hobert. “It’s a hero?”

Maybe the statue represented a hero who came before this era
of desperation and despair.

Hobert cast a somber gaze into the street and nodded.

“A hero. Yes,” he answered. “He’s very tall.”

Andrew found himself suddenly interested. This was the story
he wanted to write. A story about a hero, the obstacles he faced on his path to
heroism, his guides, his arch enemy, the ultimate goal of being a hero, and, of
course, whether the story continued or had an end.

“What made him a hero?”

Hobert shrugged, removed the pipe, and gestured toward the
statue with the stem before poking it back into the corner of his mouth.

“He’s very tall,” he repeated.

Andrew paused, waiting for Hobert to continue, but that was
all.

“Tall… and what else?”

Hobert’s smile faded and he faced Andrew, somewhat
irritated. Two gray trails of pipe smoke jetted from his nostrils.

“What else what?”

“Beside being tall,” Andrew clarified. “To be a hero.”

Hobert fixed Andrew with a hard, querulous stare, then shook
his head as though the question didn’t make sense.

“Being tall is being a hero,” he answered.

Andrew grimaced.

“What?”

“What what?” Hobert replied. “What don’t you understand?”

Andrew spread his arms.

“Everything.”

“Oh,” the fellow replied. He leaned back in his chair and
pulled his hat down over his eyes. “Then you’re hopeless.”

What exciting story are you working on next?

I’m
working on the sequel to this book, A
Hero
, and then I’ll write the book that comes before this one, A Villain. Highly appropriate and
illuminating titles. Where The Least
Envied
followed the path of a boy who wants to be a hero, A Hero follows the exploits of a hero in
the process of discovering the nature of himself and the world he knows, and
learning his knowledge is false.

Those
familiar with the series will note that I started with book two, am proceeding
to book three, and will finish with book one. I promise this is not simply a
deliberate effort to aggravate people with obsessive compulsive disorder. It
was more out of necessity. The second book is the essentially the trunk from
which all the other stories grow. However, I couldn’t list them in the series
in the order I was writing them because that wouldn’t make sense. And I
couldn’t write the first book that clarifies much of what appears in the second
because that wouldn’t make sense either. So I’m writing them in the order that
makes the most sense to the person who is most familiar with the material.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Despite
a long-established propensity for writing, being a writer is something to which
I will always aspire. I don’t think it’s up to me to determine whether or not I
am a writer. I am not who I think I am; I am not who you think I am; I am who I
think you think I am. Or so the saying goes. My goal is to make you believe I
am not just a competent writer, but a clever and convincing one. At which point
I’ll believe it too.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If
not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

Writing
is my job, yes. Storytelling is something I have to find time to do, however.
I’ve done technical writing, course writing, newspaper and magazine articles,
and more. Storytelling is my preference, but it’s the one aspect of my writing
career that doesn’t create much revenue. Fortunately, the practice of creating
people and worlds, and examining their struggles, both internal and external,
is rewarding in and of itself.

I
also have a wife and two boys, which are my after-work past time. So how do I
find time to write? Simple. I don’t sleep. This, as you might expect, has some
unfortunate but easily anticipated consequences.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I
very much enjoy anthropomorphism. Objects and environments are conscious, or
have a purpose suited to their nature. A rock, for example, might revel in its
heaviness and do its best to resist being picked up. The sun might hunt for
shadows and unload quivers of sunbeams in an effort to penetrate them. This
might come through in their depictions or, as in the case for one character in The Least Envied, they may speak to him
directly.

I’m
not a shaman or Shinto, but I find bringing the world to life around my characters
interesting. It’s so much more engaging to think of the inanimate as alive, and
it adds a way to explore and understand the world.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I
never had a clear idea of a specific career, only that I wanted to be great at
something—it seemed like a perfectly acceptable, absolutely nebulous goal, but
one I never surrendered. I wanted to be good at the things I did, and I was,
with varying degrees of success and recognition. I always excelled at writing,
so it made sense that I would gravitate towards a field in which I felt
comfortable and competent.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

It’s
important that you read my book. Then reread it. No, don’t reread the copy you
already own, buy a new one. They need to be… ah… fresh.

Also, I
sneeze in threes. When I sneeze more or fewer times I wonder, fleetingly, if
it’s a sign that there is something out of balance in the world.

Links:


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8 thoughts on “Interview with author Sean DeLauder

  1. Sean says:

    @Mom–You are 100% correct in your assessment. Possibly higher.
    @Rita (and Lisa Haselton)–I enjoyed answering these questions very much. Given the length of some answers, possibly too much.

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