S.D. Reeves - Action-Packed Dark Fantasy With Beautiful Imagery
Stephen Reeves was born in 1980 in Huntsville, Alabama. He currently resides in Switzerland with an undetermined number of cats greater than zero and a propensity for nonsense. On those cold nights where the wind steams off snowbanks, he is known to write award-winning fantasy novels. And curse his wife's cold feet. As our Author of the Day, Reeves tells us all about his book, The Melody of Three.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Melody of Three is about.
It’s 1815. Napoleon has just returned from exile, fairy-bloods are being murdered in Britain, Elves have escaped from their ancient prison, and mysterious agents have overrun the Forum Magicae in Liverpool. Artisan (Sorceror) and Dutchman Christaan De Rein must find a way to end this challenge to the magical order and discover the secret behind the string of murders.
And in another world entirely, a young girl named Niena tries to survive. She holds the key to saving both of their worlds. Or destroying them.
What inspired you to write about mysterious agents that have overrun the Forum Magicae in Liverpool?
Probably because unmysterious agents overrunning the Forum Magicae seemed kind of anticlimactic. Hey, why there’s Bob from the local esoteric club. Is he perpetuating dark acts for a long-forgotten evil again? That rascal!
Why did you pick 1815 as the backdrop for your story?
The reason would largely be due to my wife, specifically her professional enthusiasm in the French Empire period, and living history. She spends a lot of time in museums studying original garments, and putting things together for events – what I’ve tagged along in. I suppose it just sort of seeped in. Kind of like butter on a warm piece of bread. Possibly with a lot of jam and honey. Great, now I am hungry.
Tell us more about Sorcerer Christiaan De Rein. What makes him so special?
Christaan De Rein is eccentric, fussy, but also brave and witty. He is known as The Inspector, representing his role among other Artisans (Sorcerers) in the Curatorium. But there is a lot more to him from his title. He has a long history of love, loss, and well, plain living that he carries with him. In short, I tried to make him human and grounded – as grounded as an old fop that doesn’t age can be.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I enjoy taking blocks of wood and torturing myself with carving them until the abomination comes out to resemble something close to the boat. I don’t know why I continue to do this, but it was born out of reading Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series. Afterwards I just had to have a model boat, so I made one.
Why do you write fantasy? What drew you to the genre?
Daydreaming I suppose. In my reading, as much as my writing, I love stories that make you want to daydream about the characters, the places. This is a much more natural inclination in fantasy.
You were born in Alabama but now live in Switzerland, how have these life experiences influenced your writing?
That would be a book by itself. A deep, boring, and weird book with a lot of references to cheese…But a book, nonetheless. Perhaps in the simplest of ways it helped instill within me a “I am going to do this no matter what,” mentality that helps me complete goals. In a more complex, deeper assessment I think moving from a place with a lot of wide-open spaces, to a crammed country like Switzerland has created within me a desire to roam. And there are a lot of beautiful, inspiring places to visit in Europe.
Your work contains a lot of humor - why do you take this approach?
I believe in balanced writing. For instance, having parts of beautiful prose peek out over quick, terse text. In this case the humor is to balance the darkness. And the Melody of Three can get dark, and very scary at times.
Why did you write The Melody of Three in the first person?
Technically it is third person present, which is a bit of an outlier. A key component of my writing style is to put you in the moment, rushing along with the action as it is unfolding, while hiding clever descriptions within.
How do you force yourself to finish what you're doing before starting the next project when the new idea is nagging at you?
I usually embark on some unobtainable quest where the difficulties therein will lead to inevitably growing as a person. You know, like trying to find bread and milk with the threat of snow looming, in Alabama. No, really, I just usually get so caught up in a world that I find it hard to get distracted by anything else.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Well a typical writing day involves dithering until my cat decides he wants attention. Then I watch YouTube videos, play video games and what not until inspiration strikes me and I make a mad dash to write a thousand words in an hour. Usually this is right before bed or dinner.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I am working on the second book in the trilogy.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Primarily at my website, but you also reach me on Goodreads and BookBub. Here are a few links:
Amazon Author page- https://www.amazon.com/S-D-Reeves/
My website- sdreeves.com