Dark historical-fantasy novelist, Dimitri Iatrou, goes into details about the development of his novel, Damastor.
Coming soon: dark fantasy book reviews for the novels, Damastor and Fae-The Wild Hunt.
After reviewing dark fantasy novelist, Graham Austin-King, my next mission was interviewing Dimitri Iatrou, author of Damastor. Both of these authors have been on my dark fantasy reading list for a little while now.
Meet dark historical-fantasy indie author, Dimitri Iatrou, who “wrote Damastor like no one else was going to read it.” By far, this was the best advice I learned in my creative writing classes. I remember talking about how it doesn’t matter if we think the sunset’s beautiful; the sun rises no matter who’s watching. By nature (pun intended), the sunset is almost always spectacular, and in theory, that’s because onlookers don’t influence the sun’s behavior. (This conversation was spurred by something Hemingway, I think).
The general sentiment has always stayed with me: Write as if no one will read it. You don’t need an audience to be spectacular.
Note: I’m currently in the midst of reading Damastor and I can attest that there are no spoilers in our interview.
JJ: “What was your biggest inspiration for the dark historical-fantasy novel, Damastor? How does the initial concept/draft vary from the final product?”
D: “For ten years my characters spoke to me, visited me, and helped me create a story about death, suffering, forgiveness, and renewal. My biggest inspiration for writing my novel was just curiousity where the ebb and flow of my journey would take me. I had never written anything before, save for diary entries; however, Damastor surprised me, in that I learned a lot about myself- my demons, my faith, my fears, and ultimately my love for this craft.
“Initially, Damastor was going to be called ‘Guardian.’ He was still an angel, but he had no M.O. He was just going to begin stalking bad guys one day, and Kameron was going to be his first victim. There was to be no back and forth from present to past, no severity of the Black Death. That idea came afterward when I realized that my story had no soul. Damastor was originally going to be a comic book, but after three pages, I decided to throw my hat in the literary world.”
JJ: “Wow, a comic book? Do you have an early drawing you’d like to share? I think it’d be interesting to see.”
D: “Unfortunately, I threw away those drawings a long time ago when I realized that a comic wasn’t the way to go. I really regret that now.”
JJ: “Darn, I know I’ve done that before, too. So, do you take after a certain character the most, or does a certain character take after you?”
D: “Each of my characters possesses an exaggerated facet of one of my emotions. At times I feel like Nestor- embarrassed, mortified and naked in front of everyone who reads my work. The Herendin in me pops out when I’m feeling especially happy and optimistic about where life is taking me. Ann is my logical, and at times pessimistic side, which doubts humanity. And Kameron is my fear of failure, of letting my loved ones down.”
JJ: “I think that’s true of a lot of my characters, too. If you were living in this story, what would you do there?”
D: “If I were in this story, I’d probably be like Nestor, alone, running for the hills, trying to keep under the radar so God doesn’t notice me and strike me where I stand.”
JJ: “There are some interesting religious themes in Damastor, to be sure.”
D: “The most interesting part of my novel was that I was not going to give God a name. I simply called Him ‘The Light.’ He was non-denominational. I didn’t want to upset anyone- that is, until I had an impromptu run-in with Jesus on Friday, December 21st, 2012 and I was changed completely. (I wrote a testimony online as well) I immediately revisited my manuscript and added Jesus’ name wherever I could. I didn’t care if I was preachy and didn’t care if people hated my work. I decided I would welcome the controversy if there was going to be any. So Kemeron’s confusion when he came to the realization that we are indeed fighting a spiritual war was completely authentic and mirrored my thoughts and emotions exactly regarding my religious experience.
“My characters in Damastor no longer talk to me. They stopped doing that as soon as I let them loose on the world. It was like losing a best friend. However, I’m sure they’ll come around again if I decide to write a sequel.”
I, for one, hope that Mr. Iatrou decides to write a sequel. It’s rare to find an author who can delve so deeply into issues of the human soul, and who can segregate his own emotions into individual characters. (What a promising start for this dark historical-fantasy indie author!)
You can find Damastor on Amazon, currently free on Kindle Unlimited.
Invite your friends to follow JJ’s blog & get extra entries to the drawing to win free books for 1 year on July 31, 2017.
For each friend that accepts your invite, you’ll receive 1 extra entry to the drawing.