+SSP Week+ Author Guest Post “On writing about Dwarves” by D.A. Adams

Posted Sunday, 26 January, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Guest Post by Parajunkee

Proposed Topic for D.A. Adams: What was the foundation of his inspiration to tackle a series strictly focused on Dwarves? And, if this was inspired by Lord of the Rings &/or another author/series, or if he had the story come to him and followed his heart with the characters?!

The Brotherhood of the Dwarves by D.A. Adams
Artwork Credit: Bonnie Wasson

I welcome author D.A. Adams today to Jorie Loves A Story, where he took the heart of my proposed question and gave back his heart in his response! I was very appreciative of his generous approach to explain the wholeness of his choice in writing about dwarves. Adams has written four installments of The Brotherhood of the Dwarves series, published through Seventh Star Press. (Prior to SSP, the series was originally released by Third Axe Media for the first two books.) I believe there is a fifth installment slated to be released in 2015. I will be reading and reviewing the first book: The Brotherhood of the Dwarves lateron this week! Let us allow his voice to soak into us as he explains the impetus of his creation.

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When asked the question, “Why dwarves?” my initial reaction is often, “Why not dwarves? Dwarves kick butt.” However, there are much more interesting and more sophisticated answers to this question.

For starters, in the fantasy cannon, dwarves tend to be the blue-collar class. They are laborers – miners, blacksmiths, and structural engineers – typically depicted as hard-working, hard-drinking, and ready to fight at the tug of a beard. Elves are the elites, the refined and sophisticated wine sippers and art connoisseurs, as elegant and graceful as they are intelligent and beautiful. I grew up and still reside in rural Appalachia. My roots are in hard, dirty work, the kind that leaves you with a ripe smell at the end of the day, so in my youth, my affinity always leaned towards the dwarves, for they reminded me of the hard-working men I grew up around.

Then, there is the Dungeons and Dragons aspect to consider. During pre-pubescence, I was shy, awkward, and highly introverted. D&D offered me an outlet for my creativity and allowed me to grow out of my shell. I often ended up as the Dungeon Master because my friends loved the elaborate adventures I would create for them. Even when playing a module, I typically deviated from the script and developed my own story within the module’s setting. My character, a young, rowdy dwarf with a sharp temper, became a regular NPC on these adventures. My friends loved and hated him, for while he usually helped them achieve their task, he was just as likely to pick a fight with one of the party. When I began pre-writing for this series, I dusted off Roskin and rethought him. Though his background and nuances are much different today as when I was thirteen, the nucleus of Roskin is deeply-rooted in that D&D character of my youth.

Finally and most importantly, dwarves are the central figures in this series as an homage to C.S. Lewis. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe changed my life, being my gateway to fantasy literature. Near the end of The Last Battle, book seven in the chronicles, there is a scene where the characters have been trapped and surrounded in a barn. Aslan arrives and reveals to them the splendor of his land, all except the dwarves. They can only see the barn and the hay, for they are mired in the physical world. When I began this series, I wanted to create a realistic world and story devoid of any supernatural and/or religious elements. It’s true the elves have a hyper-developed sense of intuition, but I don’t see that as supernatural but more of a highly refined sixth sense attached to the physical world (And I based this trait on my grandmother, who was part Cherokee and had an amazing intuitive ability. She could spook you with the things she knew and saw). Outside of the intuition, everything in the series is grounded in the physical world, so I chose dwarves as the central figures as a tribute to Lewis and that scene in The Last Battle.

Those are the primary reasons why I chose dwarves and part of the genesis for the series. I wrote this adventure because I believe the world now more than ever needs a story rich with a diverse cast bonding together, flawed heroes overcoming their own limitations to achieve great things, and ordinary people standing up to tyranny. It offers strong female characters, realistic antagonists, and likeable heroes. At its heart, this series is about the triumph of humanity over materialism because I believe that issue to be the single most important one we as a society face today. And I made dwarves the central figures because I believe in the abilities of everyday working class people to change the world for the better. That and dwarves do kick butt, so why not?

You can follow D.A. Adams adventurous dwarves and stories at: The Brotherhood of the Dwarves site.

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You wrote a very compelling piece about Dwarves and I learnt quite a heap about you as a writer and as person as well! I think my readers will enjoy reading the background of how you first came to appreciate dwarves and what led you forward to giving them such a hearty piece of reality to exist in! I truly believe in intuition as my own maternal past has had its share of inclinations like your grandmother! Sometimes the greatest distances people place in faith is the inability to understand and accept the unknown. I’ve never had a problem with taking a leap of faith and in trusting what I feel, sense, and know internally.

My own teenage years were spent in D&D scenarios except to say that I sort of wrecked part of the joy for the Dragon Master because instead of sorting out the passages of his story ‘in gameplay’, I knew within one or two ‘plays’ where we were headed and the full layers of what he had built inside the world! I find that sometimes if the world building of the writer is solid enough at the jump-start I can draw the conclusions of where the writer is attempting to take their audience. This isn’t always the case, but as D&D was a role playing game, I believe it led way to my perception of what was ahead.

I wasn’t able to follow Narnia in book form – I had to follow it through motion pictures! As despite all my attempts I found the writing a bit droll for me to process. I actually compared it to Robinson Crusoe to my parents because that was the first book I never finished and gave up on principle! Now. Narnia in film? I can soak into that world very easily and its much easier for me to follow, process, and understand the depth of everything set in the world itself.

I sometimes find there is a disconnect with how I internalise stories and the full arc of the story-teller’s vision. I’ve always been a keen visual learner and there are moments where if I find a written story to be a bit of a leap for me to grasp, I take a chance on its motion picture variation. Odds are in favour the ebbings of live-action portrayals will help ease my imagination into the world it originally felt disconnected from.

I originally thought your inspirations for dwarves was from Lord of the Rings – as although I haven’t fully read the books, I gathered all! of them, including the Histories. I rallied behind Gimli the entire time! I always felt Dwarves were deeply misunderstood! No matter how we each came around to feeling about dwarves I tend to defend them myself!

I haven’t looked into the meanings behind the stories or the underpinnings of where each writer was attempting to take their audience, but I do agree with you on the working class. I think you always want to champion the class in which you were bourne and lived, bringing real stories of honest people trying not only to carve out a living for themselves but to shine a light on the hard work and the dedication of enjoying their lives as well. I always felt dwarves in particular are the epitome of ‘live hard, play hard’!!

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This Seventh Star Press focus week was brought together with the help of Tomorrow Comes Media, of which I am a blog tour hostess and book reviewer. To keep up to speed with which authors and books I will be featuring on Jorie Loves A Story in the near future via Tomorrow Comes Media, please check out my Bookish Events! Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.

This marks my second post in contribution of:

(“Strength and Honor” by Stephan Martiniere, used with the artist’s permission)
(“Strength and Honor” by Stephan Martiniere, used with the artist’s permission)

You can follow along on the official Sci-Fi Experience site!

Cross-listed on: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays via On Starships & Dragonwings

{SOURCES: The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience was granted permission to use the artwork by Stephen Martiniere in their official badge for all participants to show their solidarity during the event! The Brotherhood of the Dwarves cover art provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and used with permission. I requested an Author Guest Post on the topic of writing about dwarves through Stephen Zimmer and received the essay direct from the author D.A. Adams. Post dividers were provided by Shabby Blogs, who give bloggers free resources to add personality to their blogs. Blog News badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 26 January, 2014 by jorielov in Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Seventh Star Press, Seventh Star Press Week, The Sci-Fi Experience, The Writers Life, Tomorrow Comes Media, YA Fantasy

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