Cayneian & The Lokian Series
Today we're welcoming author Aaron Dennis to The Happy Book Reviewer!
Your latest book, Cayneian: A Man From Blood, is just out now in paperback and e-book. Dysart is a castrated mute with blood magic power. He sets off on an adventure to kill the daemon that gave him this power, but must not succumb to his own bloodlust.
You've been writing your Sci-Fi series, The Lokians (published by Eternal Press), for several years now. For your latest book, however, you've ventured into the Action/Adventure genre. What inspired you to take this new path?
Dennis: I've always liked fantasy; Lord of the Rings, Narnia, even Crystania, an old Japanese animated mini series, and that's kind of where this whole foray is seated; foreign fantasy adventure. Americans, and even Brits are way too child friendly...at least in fantasy books. Did we not see and love Gladiator? Did we not drool over 300? Even Braveheart made our souls pine and cringe simultaneously for bloody adventure. So this adventure, Cayneian, this journey into the abyss, comes from my love of movies and video games from this genre...but why, you asked. Because it needed to be done. I want to remind everyone of their deeper, darker sides...the brutality of humanity...and yet, there is hope. Well...sort of.
Did you find writing this kind of Fantasy more difficult than your Sci-Fi series, because It was new for you, or was it refreshing?
Dennis: Fantasy might actually be easier to write than sci fi...after all, I didn't have to spend 10 plus hours researching the difference between a photon beam and a laser beam. Apart from a natural flow of storytelling, I actually practiced with a short story entitled Expedition, which is a sort of prequel to Cayneian, but not perfectly so; it's more like Cayneian was loosely based off Expedition. Anyway, I practiced, so it was pretty easy to write the story.
Correction: it was easy to tell the story. Writing it was a disaster, and so I edited and re wrote it, had it beta read, and re wrote it, and tweaked it, and, and, and then I finally got it perfect.
What was the most difficult thing about writing Cayneian?
Dennis: Admittedly, it was difficult to write for the female characters, and difficult to convey the ultimate and ceaseless sense of dread. Fortunately, the fun part was toying with my own emotions; if I was able to sway my own mood, I figure it'll affect the audience to a surprising extend. Read it without shedding a tear, I dare you.
I understand that-- writing my male characters are always harder than writing my female ones, especially in dialogue. So, the cover is kind of scary but very artistic! Did you commission this, and was it what you had envisioned, or did the designer surprise you?
Dennis: The cover is cool, isn't it? I paid 5 bucks for it. A user named goodfauzon on www.fiverr.com made it for me; I've had him make like 4 or 5. My original idea was a bloodied hand pushing forth from soil, rocks, and skulls. Then I thought, why not a whole dude crawling free from the grave. goodfauzon sent me that instead and at first, I didn't like it. I gave it a moment. I studied it. I read it, and then I thought yes...this is a man from blood. I didn't like it right away because it was not what I envisioned, but this is better. I freaking love it.
You've now published books with an established publisher, and then went on to self-publish a book. What did the experience with the publisher teach you that you will be carrying on in self-publishing (about marketing, cover design, internal design, etc.)?
Dennis: Oh my goodness...I gathered a wealth of knowledge from my indie press. I went in a caterpillar and emerged a tiger. Didn't see that one coming, did you? Anyway, I learned how to write better, technically speaking; how to avoid passive phrasing, how to choose the best adjective to portray a mood, i.e. cadaverous over emaciated, which I don't think I used in Cayneian...at any rate, my choice to go self published came more from a wanting to see what I can do on my own. Truthfully, what I want is an agency to represent me; this is really the only way to make Stephen-Kingian money. Oh? not a word? It is now!
Maybe when you make Stephen-Kingian money, you can pay off the dictionary people and get that word put in. But would the picture be yours or Stephen King's? Hmmm....
Dennis: Seriously, though, I hope to break out into my own, and not as a scifi writer, or an adventure writer, but as an action writer. I guarantee, no boasting here, you will not find any other novels or stories with the intensity of action as provided by me. Understand, I'm not saying it's a superior style, but a different style; one that I like to read, and maybe one that will entice those who do not yet like to read.
You have got a number of books now under your belt. What advice would you give to someone dreaming of writing their own sci-fi or fantasy series?
Dennis: My advice is to find the trend. For instance, and this is just perfect timing, Almost Human, a scifi show with a robot cop just came out, and a new RoboCop is about to come out, and look at StarTrek, see how different it all is? the level of action? the quick little quips given by the characters? you've got to adapt what you like with what's trending, you just have to. Here's how I describe the Lokians sci fi series; Bad Boyz II meets M.I.B. meets Star Ship Troopers.
Incorporate all of what you like then trim it down to its simplest form (something I did not understand with my first 3 attempts and only got right in Lokians 3...and then Cayneian).
Thanks for coming on today! Readers can find out more about your books at: