When Patrick asked me if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing this book and helping generate some interest, he described it to me as fantasy fiction – right up my alley. Then while reading Dreamer, I was pleased to discover that it was basically about a dragon.
How, I thought to myself, can you go wrong with dragons?
Publisher’s description: We all have a little Dragon inside of us, something that struggles to find solace… Dreamer is the first book in a series that portrays life as a mixture of fantasy and reality. The main character, Magic, flows between the worlds, often preferring one more than the other. Both of his lives are fraught with their own dangers. He must struggle with illness and alternatively with the life of a Great Red Dragon.
A warning: this is an adult book with a higher level of sexual content. More than I like to read, but the rest of the book was great. You can see my review for Dreamer on Goodreads here.
Please help me welcome the author of Dreamer, Patrick O’Scheen!
*hoards of adoring fans screaming as he comes out*
ME: Hey Patrick! Thanks for stopping by my blog! First off, I want to say how I was swept away by Dreamer and the storyline, its characters and the beautiful descriptions you use. For the duration of this interview, I consider myself a student – here for the sole purpose of learning what I can from you about the craft of writing!
To start out, can you tell a little bit about yourself?PATRIC O’SCHEEN: It’s hard for me to answer personal questions. I tend to be an introvert, but my friends consider me soulful. Introspection is a window to behavior that I have found useful as an author. I am one of the lilies of the field. Through strong convictions, I survive.
ME: Ah! The mysterious type! Well, would you mind sharing at least some basics, like where you’re from, your favorite color, food, etc.?
PATRICK: I live in the southeast United States with seven cats and one dog as constant companions. My favorite color is green, but I don’t wear it that often. My eyes are blue, and my hair is a sandy blond. Mmmmmm, my favorite food is spaghetti. I’m very fond of cartoons and my favorite cartoon character is Patrick Star.
Me: What’s the story behind you becoming an author?
PATRICK: I haven’t always been a writer, although I have been a reader and a story teller all of my life.
I’ve lived and traveled many places including the south pacific. When I was young, I thought I would always be at sea. Yet, by the time I was 25 things had changed. I started a career in culinary arts. Food, like a good book, can bring happiness. Shortly after I began cooking, I became ill…and things changed again. I don’t like to talk about my problems, but my escape into books and writing began when I could no longer hold a normal job. I don’t think of it as a bad time in my life really, just a time of change. Illness and pain aren’t aspects of life that I want to claim. I’d much rather be remembered as the man with the dancing blue eyes!
ME: Much like one of your main characters in Dreamer, no doubt! I’m beginning to see the connection between the character Magic and yourself. This is my favorite part about author interviews, connecting the bits and pieces to find out how our favorite characters are created!
PATRICK: Yes, Magic offered extreme challenges and rewards. His illness gave me an opportunity to talk first-hand about being hospitalized. He maintained a sort of innocence throughout the entire adventure.
ME: What interests do you have outside of writing and if you weren’t a writer, what would you do?
PATRICK: I have a strong love of cats, nature, gardening, sailing and the ocean. If I wasn’t a writer… I’d be on a boat somewhere making breakfast for a cat and watching animation while planting bulbs… and eating spaghetti.
PATRICK: I’m a ridiculously private person, but really because I’m ordinary. I’m just another Joe. You wouldn’t notice me in a crowded room and in a way that makes me special. I am easily pleased with everyone except maybe myself.
ME: So tell me, why fiction? Of all the genres out there, why this one?
PATRICK: Fiction – as I see it – is just an artist’s manipulation of reality. The issues and motives remain the same. It allows the author more liberties to condense time and circumstance.
ME: How long have you been writing? Is it a hobby or a profession for you?
PATRICK: I began writing about five years ago. Now I write full time. At first, I simply had a sudden urge to tell a story. My normal avenues for expression cut off by illness, I sought a way to cope. I picked up a pen – so to speak – and never put it down again. Writing isn’t a hobby, it’s a calling. I couldn’t stop now, even if I wanted to.
ME: What does your creative process look like? Do you wait for inspiration to strike or do you have to add crushing force until the lump of coal turns into a diamond?
PATRICK: Maybe I’m lucky or unusual, I don’t know. I find that I am always inspired. My work, however, isn’t always gem quality. I’m guessing it’s more like raw grapes. I have to trample it to make wine… Grapes are still good as they are.
ME: And what a delicious wine you created with Dreamer! Is this your first published novel?
PATRICK: Yes, Dreamer is my first effort offered to public view. I am currently writing a serial on my personal blog and have completed six novels that are as yet private works.
ME: What was the timeline of writing Dreamer, from first draft to published novel?
PATRICK: My first draft was completed five years ago. It sat as a personal monument, basically gathering dust. I’m not completely certain when I decided to share. Dreamer had a powerful effect on my positivity, and is far more than a simple story. A good story – simple or otherwise – is meaningless if it doesn’t touch people’s lives. At some point I decided to be less selfish and give the words away…
ME: I think you succeeded in touching lives with this story. I, for one, am thankful you decided to release your words to the public. Can you share the story of how you were published by Tate Publishing?
PATRICK: It was a whim that took me to Tate – or perhaps an inspiration. I don’t know. Everything happens for a reason. They publish music and I happened to notice that they also publish books. I sent an inquiry; they returned a contract.
ME: What did the publishing process look like for you? Was it what you expected? Why or why not?
PATRICK: It has been long, involving patience – I’m sure on both sides. I didn’t really know what to expect and I’m still working through the process. They have been always polite and considerate of my ramblings and emotions.
When I made the decision to share Dreamer, it was an all or nothing proposition. The people at Tate have helped me realize that potential.
I had expected perhaps more rigorous complaints about storyline, but their editing stayed to function. When I read the book now, I think that I would write this or that differently – and of course, I see all of the errors that somehow escaped edit. Yet, everything considered, it has been a positive experience.
ME: Now, the dual storyline in Dreamer was very interesting and I liked how you incorporated the plot twists and turns. Where did you get the idea for this book? What was your inspiration?
PATRICK: Dreamer contains a great deal of personal experience, tied into a fantasy. For me, it offered catharsis. I have always loved games and books and at times I have found them a way of escaping – if only for a short time – from very difficult realities. Fantasy offered me a way to present small pieces of my own experience and a mixture of my own philosophies.
ME: One of the biggest questions I’ve wanted to ask you is about the character Scheen. Why did you give that character the same moniker as yourself?
PATRICK: Scheen is a man in change. He lets go of everything he believes and finds hope. At times we as readers don’t like this man very much, but he is a character that endures. I am in a way, both Magic and Scheen… so are we all.
ME: As long as we’re on characters, who was your favorite to write and why?
PATRICK: My favorite character? That’s the easiest question so far – Thornton. He is a powerfully emotional character and a hero to a small child. Is there any better reason?
ME: Yes! Thornton seems the model character, how he goes against personal and outward challenges. How about a least favorite character?
PATRICK: There are obvious answers to this. Evil is…evil. I didn’t try to let the reader understand Vinia. She is out there and she wants to take what we have. There is a hint to her history here and there, but she is never really a complete character.
Prince Ardin, however, allows himself to be manipulated by evil. In a way he, too, is a victim but he gives in and consents to becoming a pawn.
ME: Now, I noticed the book is titled, ‘Book One’ implying that there will be more…? What have you got for us next, in the world of Marithe and beyond?
PATRICK: The Chronicles of Marithe span four books and several lifetimes in the imaginary world. Book two, Seer, is essentially a prequel, involving the previous generation and I hope to be offering it to public view soon. All of the books are stand-alone reads, but together they make up an irresistible flight of fantasy. I have not planned more books for this series, but anything is possible.
I am working on a set of mysteries that began as a Halloween story. I am currently finishing the second book in that series, anticipating several more. There is the beginning of a cute sci-fi/fantasy on my personal blog which will slowly turn into a longer tale called “To Reach You” – presented as a serial. And as a tribute to a friend, I have recently begun a romance, my first true attempt at the genre. It is an amusing experience, so far and I will complete it within the year.
ME: To close, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
PATRICK: I can only advise you from my own limited experience: Love what you do. Love every word, every expression, every thought. Look through the eyes of your characters… And most importantly don’t be afraid of change. Don’t be afraid to grow.
Awesome advice. Thank you again, Patrick, for taking the time to visit about Dreamer!
PATRICK: My humble thanks to you, Amanda, for this opportunity to speak to your readers. God Bless.
Be sure to check out Patrick’s blog here, friend him on Facebook, and check out his Tate author page here. Don’t forget that Dreamer will be available on Amazon on May 7th in paperback and e-book. Both are available from the publisher now.
If you have any questions for Patrick, be sure to leave them in the comment section!