Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hello, Fiona. First, I want to thank you for choosing to have me on your blog. My name is Durell Arrington and I’m 30 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in New York City. Such luck doesn’t come by often.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
There isn’t much to me so this part’ll be easy lol. I’ve spent some time in college but most of what I know comes from everywhere but. And I’ve learned early in life that family is a word that is used to allow human beings to mistreat you. That being said, I have a lovely family, or so I’m told.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I wouldn’t qualify this as news, but I currently finished working an entire school year and have my entire summer free. Needless to say, I will be spending the entirety of it writing.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It’s quite difficult to narrow down a ‘when’; I’ve written several things over several time periods over several years. What I can do is tell you when I started writing my first novel – Tactile Therapy. Thefirst line of this book was written inside of Newark Airport in New Jersey during a layover, on my Iphone 6 (which I still have), next to my girlfriend at the time while we waited for her flight. I believe this was sometime in June of 2016.
Why did I begin writing? Well, again, I can only speak on why I chose to write the novel I did, and it was because I wanted to see if it was possible to transcribe an action-packed anime into a novel. I knew after the first paragraph that it was. This is the short answer. The long answer is much more boring lol.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
This question always bothers me. The truth is I still don’t know for sure if I am. I guess I’ll continue to rely on others to say that I am, and simply take their word for it. After all, people’s opinions can be trusted right?
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
More so than inspiration, what kept pushing me was those small ‘this isn’t bad’ moments I kept intermittently receiving throughout the creation of the book. I knew absolutely nothing of the writing process or even what it meant to be a novelist. But it felt right every time I completed a page. I can’t say for certain if anything inspired me. But there are a million cool things that makes me say ‘oh man, I wanna make my own version of that, or a better version.’
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Originally, Tactile Therapy was supposed to be called Exo Arsenal. Exo, as many may know, is a term scientists use as an abbreviation of Extra Solar, which is usually used when describing planets outside of our own solar system – a theme that is sure to be explored in the novels. Because Tactile Therapy is a series, every book in the Exo Arsenal series was going to have a sub-title to it, the first being Exo Arsenal: Tactile Therapy.
I settled on Tactile Therapy when I discovered that every single thing that I wanted to convey in this series has some relation to a kind of tactile, or touch, therapy including: Loving, Hating, Fighting and Nurturing. Even the act of writing the book is a tactile therapy, at least, for me.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Because I’m somewhat brand-new, in every sense of the word, to the novel world, I can’t say for sure if I’ve developed a style of writing. My only objective, at least at this moment, is to write an engaging series, and remain true and consistent to the material while trying to envision what it is I would want to read if I was reading the book.
I do believe there are many challenges that I constantly comes across, not just in this genre, but in writing a novel period – many of which I’ve yet to get over. If I had to choose one from the science fiction genre, I would say that my biggest challenge right now is figuring out what it means to write a science fiction novel. The truth is, I don’t want to be marginalized by what constitutes as a genre. A part of the reason I started writing this book is to blur those lines.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The story takes place in 2029, so if you want to be technical, none of it is realistic considering it’s only 2018 lol. However, a lot of the material derive from what I perceive to be realistic themes and tones from today’s world. That being said, you would be hard-pressed to find anything in this book related to anything I personally went through in life. It’s almost funny thinking about it considering everyone’s life is frothing with experiences that should rightfully be read about, and yet there are so few books out there about them.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
For a while, I used to think I did had to travel. A lot of Tactile Therapy was written on flights to and from Germany. The 9-hour commute destroyed any other activity that I thought would’ve made the time fly (no pun intended). My music playlists didn’t stand a chance, and the middle seats I was often subjected to, did very little in creating a comfortable drawing environment. It wasn’t long before my phone’s Notepad became my most used app.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I conceptualized and drew the original cover art and had a friend of mine, an artist, digitize and render it. It was then turned into a book cover by the talented people at ebooklaunch.com
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there is, it may be more of an overtone than a concrete message that I would want the reader to experience while enjoying the book. Though there are plenty of messages throughout the book, many of which I hope will continue to be a staple in the series as it continues to develop, there wasn’t at any point any attempt to contrive a message for the sake of making one.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I am sad to say there aren’t any. This, I am hoping to change as I continue to develop my craft and continue to learn what it means to be a master storyteller. Almost everything I’ve come to learn about writing a book, oddly enough, comes from watching anime and reading manga (Japanese comics). However, in the past, I was a big fan of anything Dean Koontz has written. From what I remember, of the little I did read back then, his work captured me the most. Suffice it to say, I haven’t picked up anything by him in over ten years. My most recent readings include J.D. Salinder’s Catcher in the Rye, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Death by Black Hole, and I’m still working on Walter Issacson’s Einstein’s biography. Though I don’t read many story books, I pretty much read everything else that’s in print around me – including hundreds of children’s books inside of elementary schools lol. I also think I’m halfway done with Wikipedia.org
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
No one really supported my commitment per se. At the same time, there isn’t anyone who’s adamantly advised against it, either. What people have supported to a degree, is my book, which I am very, very thankful for. They’ve also remained positive about my continued progression as a writer. However, I have people like Rebekah Dodson of rebekahdodson.com, another talented writer, to thank for personally entertaining all of my whimsical and ignorant questions about this entire process of becoming a novelist.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Perhaps, the only career. The more I write, the more I realize I should’ve started taking writing seriously a long time ago.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would’ve made the main character fat. Also, I would’ve changed the Mobile Statue, a character in my book, to another name. Stay tuned, as I plan on revealing what that name is perhaps in Volume 2.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
The truth is, I’ve learned EVERYTHING during the writing of my recent book. Everything I now know about writing a novel came from writing Tactile Therapy.And I still have so much more to learn. It truly is an exciting time.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I never thought about this lol. I always imagined my book as an anime. Well, there are two main characters in my book. I’m not sure who can play Joelle Grace, but the black guy who plays Sean Jeffries in House of Cards I think is cool to play Olpha Chambers.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Know the story you want to tell and don’t pander. Get a good editor and know that it’s okay to write for yourself, also. It’s your book.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
The next book in the Tactile Therapy series will not be a sequel. It will in fact be a story that runs parallel to the one in Tactile Therapy: Volume One. And it’s going to be called Tactile Therapy: Adjunct. It is much more character-driven and comedic.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Mindset by Carol Dweck.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not at all. Is that bad? Maybe it was that book on thunderstorms I had as a child. It’s the earliest book I remember having.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Odem from Tactile Therapy makes me laugh. Both of my brothers make me laugh really hard for entirely different reasons. Grand Theft Auto 5, The Angry Video Game Nerd, and Bill Burr also makes me laugh. But nothing makes me laugh harder than when someone gets mad on an internet forum board and starts posting a bunch porn before they get banned.
I haven’t cried in a while. I think the last time was when I broke up with an ex of mine sometime in 2010. I get teary-eyed sometimes though, it’s usually when I come across a video online of someone young getting murdered. OH, WAIT I remember when I last cried. I was watching the Man In The Mirror video by Michael Jackson. This was a few years ago. Never ever watch that video right after watching Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?video.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Probably Neil deGrasse Tyson. I based an entire character off of his likeness, y’know. I can probably write an entire essay on why I would want to meet him, the truth is, it’s just refreshing to know that someone that grew up exactly where I grew up – The Bronx – never abandoned his love for science. So, either him or Peter Griffin.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Tactile Therapy started off as a graphic novel. For a long time, writing and drawing the story was my only hobby. Since it’s become a novel, I’ve started picking up Playstation controllers again.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Ask me this 10 years ago and it would’ve been Curb Your Enthusiasm. But since 2013, it’s been House of Cards. Everything else I watch passively. Punisher on Netflix was really good and I’m waiting on Daredevil season 3. I go to the movies to see most Marvel movies but at this point it’s more of a ritual than a pastime. But I enjoy House of Cards more than any other show, perhaps in ever. Except Family Guy. It’s probably a tie. Oh, and I watched Naruto and DBZ at the height of their respective popularities. When I’m not watching House of Cards, most of my time spent on the internet is cycling between clips of Family Guy, DBZ, or Naruto. Typical I know, but they’re popular for a reason I guess.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I think collard greens are really good. If we were forced to eat only one food for the rest of our lives, that would be mine. Overall, consuming food is annoying. It’s time consuming yet necessary yet you always have to worry about what you’re eating. I envy crocodiles who only really have to eat like once a month.
My favorite color is black and the best song of all time is a 5-way tie between:
L.T.D. – Love’s Ballad
The intro to The Lion King
Bayonetta – Chapter Clear
Kanye West – Impossible
The Spinners – How Could I Let You Get Away
note: this list is incontrovertible.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Act, draw or direct.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’ll probably spend that time trying to do everything to prevent myself from dying in that time lol. If it’s truly inevitable however…I’m not sure…I’m really conflicted over this one.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Any and all updates are posted on Tactile Therapy’s Facebook page, facebook.com/tactiletherapy and Instargram page @tactiletherapy
You can also visit my author page at https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B0794C2MV8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1530176923&sr=8-1&redirectedFromKindleDb And if you’re in the mood for a quiet-storm, reading atmosphere, search Tactile Therapy Volume One on youtube.com
Tactile Therapy: Volume One is available on amazon.com in both ebook and papaerback versions.