Renee Writes

Author Spotlight: A Drop of Nightshade: And Assorted Short Stories by Kyle J Durrant

Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Kyle J Durrant with his anthology A Drop of Nightshade: And Assorted Short Stories.

IMG_4445Kyle J Durrant was born in Suffolk, England on the 1st March 1997, and first started writing during his Key Stage 2 SATs, in which he received full marks. Since that point he has focused his attentions on his writing, even taking Creative Writing at an A-Level Standard.

He currently lives in East Anglia, and is working on his much-loved novel, “Doomprince”, set in his fantasy world of Araz.

He dedicates his free time to writing, reading, playing video games, practicing martial arts and spending time with his partner.

Connect with the Author

Amazon Author Page

About the Book

A DROP OF NIGHTSHADEAraz is a world of many stories; the continent of Norlim has a colourful history, consisting of war and intrigue. These are the stories of Norlim, ranging from the Genesis Age to the last days of the Second Age.

A Drop of Nightshade
The Human Kingdoms of South Norlim have a long history of conflict. When the Dominion War started, however, they banded together to fight against the Döhmlaxen and their allies. Tensions remained between the Kingdoms, though. A Drop of Nightshade is the story of two Kingdoms with grievances stretching back centuries.

Assorted Short Stories
This anthology of stories are all examples of early work on the world of Araz. Included are three stories written for GCSE English, all of which received great praise. Also included are two stories focused on the Drakon’Zoku, a race of humanoid Dragons created by Kyle J Durrant.

Get it today on Amazon and Createspace!


Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

It was mostly a matter of doing what I enjoyed, and a desire to share that enjoyment with other people. Friends, family and teachers had expressed a lot of interest in my writing, telling me it was good enough to be published. With that kind of support I became solidly committed to writing.

What genres do you write?

I don’t write much else besides Fantasy, but I have done some work on Sci-Fi stories and started writing a Crime novel/novella. Fantasy is my main focus, though.

What inspires you to write?

Real-life history and the works of other authors are probably my primary inspiration, but in a way I inspire myself to write. I ask myself what would happen if I didn’t, if I just left all my ideas in my head, and I don’t like the look of that reality. So I write to make sure my ideas aren’t lost.

What authors/books have most influenced you?

I find it difficult to pare it down to individual books, or even just to series, but in terms of saying which authors have influenced me I find it a little easier. Foremost among them is Raymond E. Feist; Talon of the Silver Hawk is the book that truly caught me, and since then I have endeavoured to collect the entire Riftwar Series. The world has inspired me greatly, and the complexities of his stories fascinate me. Tolkien and George RR Martin are also authors I would list as primary influences, due to the complex nature of the worlds and just how much thought went into the history of the stories.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

I think I considered myself an author as soon as I started writing with the intention of getting published, which was probably around 2008, though it was in 2015 when I published “Under the Moon” that I truly felt I could justify that belief.

What are your goals as an author? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Primarily I want to inspire other people to write and explore their imaginations. I worry that people worry too much about the other challenges of life and don’t allow their dreams to flourish. So in five years I would like to have finished my novel, hopefully have it published, and to have started inspiring more people to write.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

I have two main obstacles. Time and distractions. I’m something of a gamer, so I spend a great deal of time playing on the console or on my laptop, but this eats away at time I could use for writing. Unfortunately I also get distracted within my writing. With my Fantasy books based in Araz I get drawn into exploring the history and writing that instead of the actual book.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I would say it was one of the most simple pieces of advice someone can give: “Don’t give up”. It’s just three words but for me it means a lot. It doesn’t even apply just to writing, which helps. “Don’t give up”. Whenever I feel like my writing isn’t going the right way I remember that and look at it from a different angle instead of running away from it.

What is the worst writing advice you’ve ever received?

I was told to be happy with what I’d done and that I should send it to a publisher before I got older. What made it the worst advice I’ve received was the fact that the person in question was referring to the first draft that I had written in 2010, and they gave me the advice this year. I couldn’t believe they even said it.

How many books do you have on your “to read” list? What are some of them?

Too many, really. I own so many books but haven’t read most of them. Top of my list is to finish reading the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I’m also making my way through the entire Riftwar Series. I also really want to read Mark Lawrence’s “Broken Empire Trilogy” and Anthony Ryan’s “Raven’s Shadow” series.

What is your writing process?

I used to overthink everything, trying to perfect the sentence on the first try. I spent about a month once trying to get a single paragraph how I wanted it. Recently, though, I adjusted my approach to one of “get it all down, perfect it later”. I do some planning, but keep it to a minimum, and let my mind fill in the rest. I feel as though it’s best to have the story down before finessing the words.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It has varied greatly. “Under the Moon” took me a couple of months, as did “Drop of Nightshade” (though this was for a competition). Putting them together ready for publication took another month or so.

Doomprince, though, has taken me 8 years so far, and I can see it taking me another year or two to get it done.

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

I do, though I often don’t realise until I’ve finished writing. As I proofread I identify characteristics and see my friends or family in the people I’ve written. Generally, though, I don’t set out to base characters on people I know and try to create unique ones.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on Doomprince, which is based in the world of Araz. Although “A Drop of Nightshade” is a form of introduction to the world, Doomprince is what I hope will truly capture people’s imaginations.

Do you have anything specific you’d like to say to your readers?

Though I don’t have that many readers as of yet, I sincerely thank them all for showing an interest in my work. It all supports me and helps me to keep going, and for that I am eternally grateful.

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