Today on my blog I am welcoming Dom Watson into the Indie Spotlight!
Dom Watson exists in the deep green of Suffolk, England. When he isn’t writing about space-age detectives and hyper intelligent Neanderthals and pipe smoking babies he can be found at the nearest tavern enjoying ale. Or maybe, talking to magical tramps on the roadside. He is trying to give up caffeine but the brain won’t allow it. The brain is the boss and it needs the caffeine to bring out all the wonderful ideas that will change the world. Dom is just in it for the crack. Vents about mental health because no one else will. Will donate his body for medical research for ten minutes peace. Don’t sleep in the nude. The night is hungry.
Contact him here: Twitter: @WatsonDom
Hi Dom. Welcome to my blog!
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
It just seemed easier, publishing independently. Trying professionally always seemed so deflating. It’s like you need a secret handshake to gain access to the inner sanctum. When you have a full time job and a family, trying to fashion the perfect cover letter and entice the agent/ publisher it always seemed such a Herculean task. I’ll perhaps try again one day but I have enjoyed the self publishing community. They have really been more accommodating in wanting to know you as a person instead of this secret clique.
When I finished the novel and released it through Kindle I just sort of sat on it really. I was like ‘ Oh, what happens now. I’ll start another. And then one day I noticed SELF PUBLISHING FANTASY BLOG OFF. SPFBO. I enrolled the book and then about two months later I woke up to this sterling review from Fantasy Book Critic which galvanized me into continuing. I learned a lot from that. And gained some great contacts. Didn’t win though, but I didn’t expect to. But it was a start. A welcome one.
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
My specific genre. Now that’s an interesting one because THE BOY WHO WALKED TOO FAR is a bit of a genre blender. But, if you take fantasy and sci-fi as genres then those were the steps in which I played as a youth. My parents separated when I was at a young age so perhaps it was a form of escapism. But at the time (early eighties) Star Wars and Doctor Who were in full flow and then later, the BBC adapted John Christopher’s The Tripods. So there was all this grandeur within all this drab disappointment and I think my brain ran with it. And then later, through school I found The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and it sort of snowballed that I could create stories in my own mind and perhaps show the people my foibles (tries not to laugh).
Do you only read the genre that you write?
Oh hell no, Where’s the fun in that? Sometimes I think it is healthy to branch out and try something different. I love fantasy and sci-fi and horror but there are some great writers out there who dish out some great crime fiction and adventure. You have to explore. You won’t learn anything by reading the tortured hero x 10. It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering the same thing everytime. What’s the point in that?
Yes I have to agree with that – I like to read all sorts of genres for a bit of variety.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
I’m reading Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle. Damn it’s good. It’s about a fictional aviator who flies around the globe, and then in another linked arc, it’s about an actress in contemporary LA who gets the comeback role of a lifetime to play the said Aviator. It’s fantastic – nuanced. Her prose makes me salivate. That indivisible line of art and brilliance. TV, I’ve nearly finished Brand New Cherry Flavor – shit. This is my playground. Sometimes you wait for a show to completely blow you out of the water. This is it. Doesn’t hold back. It takes the grime of Hollywood and paints a picture of witchcraft mingled with the avarice of the dream factory. And it’s bloody terrifying. Get some. Music wise and for inspiration I always go for Tool or A Perfect Circle. I’m a big Maynard James Keenan fan. Not just Maynard though, Adam Jones etc. All the musicians he plays with through Tool, APC and Puscifer are on their A game. Tool, were always masters of the musical epic. They create the perfect soundscapes for me to create. Art feeds art. Sometimes I’ll put on a soundtrack. Mad Max Fury Road is my favourite. Just as mental as the film. Dredd too, love that soundtrack. Damn.
Wow – you’ve given me some new things to watch and listen to there, thank you!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just write. It doesn’t matter how many words you write a day. It could be a 100. It could be 5000. If so, kudos. Even if you take a little notepad into work and write down some words on your lunch break. Get them down. And be prepared to sacrifice some weekends. Because one, you’ll need the extra money to pay for an editor and a half decent cover design. But seriously, just write, don’t be too harsh on yourself because what you are doing is basically akin to godhood. You are creating worlds, and no bugger will ever take that away from you. And get lots of tea bags.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
I am, as we speak/type/ converse? putting the finishing touches to Smoker on the Porch. It is set in the same universe as the BOY and yet a long, long way away. In Suffolk in 1989 in fact, But there are clues – little Easter Eggs to that tale at the arse end of creation. It can stand alone and no one would be the wiser, but some will get it. It’s very dear to me, Smoker, so I needed to give it justice. I finished the original draft prior to Covid but getting the second draft done was like a minefield. Nothing to do with the book, just home schooling and the stress of life really. But, it’s there. Looking wonderful and horrific and more streamlined than the BOY. It moves quicker. It’s told in the first person so you get all the neurosis as well. It is essentially a dark fairytale at the end of Thatcher’s Britain with cosmic terror and soda stream. After that I start on the sequel to the BOY. It is going to be brutal. It’s Die Hard With A Vengeance meets Godzilla by way of the Apocalypse Now highway. An old enemy has come looking for Hieronymus Xindii with a bleeding bag of old magic. Feuds will be settled on the Stage of Furies. I can’t wait. After that I have a few ideas but one thing at a time.
These new projects sound very intriguing – good luck with all of your projects!
Thank you so much for visiting the Indie Spotlight today, Dom.
The Boy Who Walked Too Far (The Xindii Chronicles)
For aeons we had swam in the dream sea, our night-time thoughts observed, scrutinized. An intelligence had formed within that endless sea. It whispered to us of a fabled land of enlightenment. Beckoning. On the last outpost in creation, the remnants of the universe gather and wait out the inevitable darkness. The Construct houses the holy and the sinners’ of ages. Here at the end of everything even murder is not outdated. Dispatched by the Pope of Numbers to investigate, the Mapper Heironymous Xindii – one of a select few who can fuse reality and dream together – and his trusty confidante, Solomon Doomfinger take up the case of a man ripped to shreds by another’s dream. It is a case that will define or break them. The city of Testament stands on the abyss of an invisible war and at its centre a force like no other. Here, among skulking gods, wingless angels and krakens, Xindii will face his own history and a future only pre-determined by the power of friendship. Walk with him.
Who is next on Indie Spotlight?
A R Clinton writes epic, grimdark science fantasy (with an emphasis on the fantasy!). The first novel of her epic fantasy series, Song of Sundering, is available now, along with the prequel short story. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter, two puppies, and cat. Besides writing, she plays video games, powerlifts, enjoys the occasional Magic the Gathering game, and is currently binge watching through Netflix comedy specials.