- the author of the Filthy Henry series, dabbler in sci-fi noir, and a lover of coffee
Readers, thanks for checking out another Author Spotlight Interview. Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Derek comes from Dublin, Ireland, where he was born and bred. He started writing the first Filthy Henry novel in 2013, publishing it in 2014 and has since then added four more novels to the series. Not to mention his stand-alone sci-fi noir novel ‘Duplex Tempus’ and his inclusion in no less than three anthologies.
While he mostly writes comedy-fantasy he has dabbled in other genres just to see how hard they all really are. They’re hard.
Derek, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most author spotlight interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Dragon. Dragons are cool, and there are no two ways about it. I don’t mean those wyverns they call dragons in Game of Thrones (yes, I am that nerdy). I mean a full, four-legged, blue-scaled, large winged fire-breathing dragon. Every book I’ve read with proper dragons has stuck with me over the years. Pern, The Hobbit, most of Robin Hobbs’ stories.
Dragons are these mystical, magical, magnificent creatures and I think one as a pet would definitely be a conversation for parties.
There’s a reason dragons are a classic choice amongst fantasy fans!
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I most write comedy-fantasy stories and primarily focus on Filthy Henry novels in this genre. Filthy Henry is a half-human, half-fairy who works as a detective that solves magical crimes which involve the fairy and human worlds mixing in ways they shouldn’t. Being a huge fan of the Discworld series I always wanted to write novels that had a bit of comedy in them, and so far so good.
I originally wrote short stories but never did anything with them. Then in university, there was a short story contest that I entered and won. It caused the bug to take full hold in my brain. A few years later I plotted out the first Filthy Henry novel and wrote it. In 2014 Filthy Henry appeared in the world for everyone to read and he has been popping up with new cases ever since.
What great fun! So glad you won the contest and got that external validation that set you on this path.
What do you like to read?
Everything. I read everything. I do enjoy sci-fi and fantasy the most, but I am not averse to reading some crime or historical books either. The Kindle was the best thing I ever purchased because I was running out of floor space to stack the books.
Same here! What a great selection. Besides, we can always reassure ourselves we’re doing it for our writing — after all, don’t they say that writers should read widely?
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
Write what you know.
I never really bought into this one. Sometimes people take it too seriously and in this day and age of information being available using the sci-fi communicator in your pocket, people can find out things they don’t know easily. You don’t have to become a nuclear scientist to write about a reactor about to blow. Do the research and you’ll have enough information to get a story going. Check out any ‘realistic’ sci-fi story on Wikipedia and you will see scientists tear the science to bits…but the story was entertaining.
I love to stick to fantasy so people won’t tell me I got the details wrong. While you still need to be internally consistent, you’ve got a lot more wiggle room.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice they can pry out of your cold, dead hands
Seriously. Just write. A short novel is about 70k words, that sounds like an insane amount to write. You just don’t have to do it in one day. If you write 1000 words a day, or 500, or 100, that 70k gets smaller and smaller until you hit it. The secret to writing isn’t hard, you just have to commit to it.
Indeed! The only way to become a writer is to write. To let yourself work at it and get better and get those words on paper.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Filthy Henry: The Fairy Detective (1-4)
Filthy Henry is Dublin’s first and foremost fairy detective.
Something of a niche job since most people do not know that fairies are even real, let alone need a detective. But when The King of the Leprechauns has his crock of gold stolen by some humans he requires the services of a detective. Lucky for him Filthy Henry is just the man he needs.
The only problem is nobody in the world can stand him. This does not really bother Filthy Henry as he is not too fond of the world either…
In the late 2070s, the Douti Device practically eliminated murder. So, when a double homicide crosses the desk of Detective Olivia Temple, it immediately grabs her attention. Not only is it a chance to work the first real murder in years, but it is also because of the victims’ identities.
Two bodies of the exact same person.
Check out Derek Power across the web!
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