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Author Interview: Daniel T. Jackson

Daniel T. Jackson is a fantasy enthusiast, with a love for fantastical worlds and epic adventures. After 25 years of creating stories for friends and family, Daniel finally escaped from his day job to fulfil his lifelong ambition of writing ILLBORN. With The Illborn Saga (4 book series), he hopes to create the next classic fantasy series.

Interview

Use three to five words to describe yourself.

Kind. Hard-working. Determined. Friendly.

Can you give us a little background on your debut?

My epic fantasy debut novel, ILLBORN, was published this year. ILLBORN is book one of what is expected to be a 4 book series. Book two of the series is intended to be published late in 2022.

Can you give us any insight into your planning and writing process?

I am definitely a detailed plotter when it comes to writing, although I am open to changes of course which improve the story or fit better with what a character would do.

I do multiple rounds of edits on my work to refine and improve it (I expect 5-6 rounds of edits before the final draft). I also read my work out loud to myself several times while editing, to check for flow.

Silence or music or other when writing/editing?

Silence!

You can erase one book or series from your mind entirely so that you can read it again for a first time, which do you erase?

The Wheel of Time

Who are some of your favourite authors/books?

The top three authors / series of all time for me are Robert Jordan / Wheel of Time, George RR Martin / ASOIAF, and Steven Erikson / Malazan Book of the Fallen. I love rich, intricate, epic fantasy.

Who are your favourite book characters?

Jon Snow and Arya Stark from ASOIAF, and Rand and Nynaeve from WoT, amongst many others.

Do you have any favourite magic systems?

Honestly, no. I am actually not that keen on the notion of “magic systems”. I prefer to have a sense that something is magical and otherworldly, rather than it being a mechanical outcome of a defined set of rules.

You can bring one world from a book or series to life and live there, which world do you choose

Middle Earth, probably. My suitcases are already packed for a long stay in Rivendell!

What book or series would you love to see on the big screen?

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams.

You can collaborate with one other author, who do you choose?

I would not be a good collaborator when it comes to writing, I am afraid.

Have any cultures/civilisations inspired your writing?

Yes, lots. I have always read loads of real-world history, and my writing has drawn inspiration from cultures such as Roman, Greek, Middle-eastern, Viking, medieval European, and Holy Roman Empire. There are so many incredible real-life stories in history, which can be a fertile ground to produce plot ideas from.

What is your favourite mythical creature?

Hard to beat a dragon.

What is your favourite mythical race?

Elves in The Lord of the Rings.

You can have one superpower, what is it?

Flying.

You have the ability to morph into any real—not mythical—creature. Which creature do you choose?

Eagle.

You can go back in time and live a different period of history, when do you choose?

The glory days of the Roman Republic, as a Roman citizen

You can meet any five people in the world, who would you choose?

I’m not really into celebrity, so this answer is a bit forced and artificial. Perhaps Barack Obama, Greta Thunberg (please save the world!), Tom Brady (I’m a big NFL fan), Jenna Coleman (massive crush!) and 1 of my friends from overseas who I have not seen for far too long!

Would you rather…

  • ride a dragon or fly a spaceship?
    • Fly a spaceship! No altitude sickness issues with that!.
  • have the ability to fly or be indestructible?
    • Fly.
  • be an elf or an orc?
    • Elf.
  • have the ability to travel to mythical worlds, from your favourite books, or the ability to travel faster than light and visit planets and solar systems in this world?
    • Mythical worlds
  • face one orc or three goblins in battle?
    • one orc
  • be an expert swordsman or archer?
    • Swordsman
  • be able to wield elemental magic or raise and control the dead?
    • Elemental magic
  • live in a city under the ocean or one floating in the clouds?
    • Floating in clouds
  • be able to see the past or see the future?
    • See the past, to relive some of the most cherished moments of my life. Seeing the future is a poisoned chalice!

Thank you for taking the time Daniel, we really appreciate it.