Dean Rencraft is an eclectic and enthusiastic reader of all genres and a new Author of Epic fantasy/fantasy, appropriate for both teens and adults. Born in the beautiful Black Hills, Dean has traveled extensively and now, as a parent with grown children, enjoys spending time reading, researching, camping and hiking. Legally blind and a long term victim of APS, writing is now the Author’s greatest joy and main pursuit, escaping into the world of Fantasy and using the proceeds for experimental treatments and technology.
1.Why storytelling? What made you yearn to tell a good story, and how long was this story within you before it came out?
I don’t really remember a time in my life where books and stories didn’t play an important role. I also don’t remember at what age I picked up my first book. What I do know, is that no matter what else was going on in my life, I was always able to lose myself in a good book. Sometimes going to the library day after day and just curling up on the reading couch reading one after another.
When I wasn’t reading, I was daydreaming. What if this happened, how would it play out? What would my favorite character be? I also had very intense dreams as a child and started keeping a journal when I was about 9 or so. Those journals turned into stories that were then mixed together with all of the other things going on in my head and in my life. That’s how my first stories were born.
Later, I started writing for my daughter and that’s how Elera’s ‘Covenant’ and ‘Voices’ was born. They were something I wrote for her, researched and brought together with hours and hours of time we will always cherish. Those stories represent her dreams and interests. Somewhere in there she wanted me to try publishing them, so I did.
2.What is it about your genre that speaks to you?
I am very eclectic and love a variety of genres but Epic Fantasy is one of my favorites because of its very nature. There’s always an adventure. There is always something new and bright to learn, magic, new people and creatures to meet, new places to explore… in a book, anything can happen. But in epic fantasy, anything does happen. I love telling that story. Falling into a new world and finding whatever is around the next corner is just as much of a surprise to me as it is to my readers and I never know where the story will take me. I love that!
3.Without giving any spoilers, what is your favorite thing about this book?
My favorite thing about the Elera series is that the story starts near the ‘real’ beginning of that world and will continue to grow with the readers rather than dumping a whole world’s history and its politics on them in one fell swoop. In this way, the scope of the Kingdom and its individual realms can continue to be appreciated with every succeeding story as it unveils new characters, magic, creatures and struggles while still keeping track of, and interacting, with the old favorites as well.
So, Elera isn’t one story that drags on forever or leaves you on the edge of a cliff. But a series of stories that, together, will work together to make Elera the kingdom it was always meant to be.
4.When you are writing, tell me about the emotions that are running through you and what it takes to work alongside them.
I actually use a style that writers like to call Pantsing. (Yeah, I know but it has a history…lol) What that means is that I make up the story as I write. So I would guess that I am thinking pretty much the same thing as my readers do when they read my books for the first time. The rest… well it’s all right there on paper.. 😉 I suffer the same joys and downfalls, the same love and hate, the same fear… and I never really know how those situations will turn out until they just somehow do.
5.Everyone has at least one specific challenge that holds them back. What is that challenge in your work and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is that I am blind.
In fact, up until a few years ago, I was still teaching myself how to read and write in an entirely new way than most of us learned as children. After I started writing again, I had even more to learn, including how to use the visual software and speaking programs that now run my computer and pretty much my day to day life. Without them I am lost, was lost.
There are still a lot of challenges that come with my visual issues and I also suffer from several underlying health issues, but my hope is to keep expanding my skills and knowledge for as long as I can and see how it goes.
Since this is pretty much a new thing all around and there isn’t really anyone to learn from, especially on a single, disabled mothers budget. I am hoping that if things work out, maybe I can feed that back down the line and teach others everything that I have learned along the way.
(Which is a lot, even my first year into it!)
6.You’re going to go back and visit yourself when you first started writing, at whatever age it was, and you can give yourself one piece of advice. What would it be?
I would tell myself to start writing books earlier and to have patience. Writing, good writing, comes with both experience and practice. With every book I write, my skill increases exponentially. I regret not having tried turning my stories into books before now.
7.Describe your workplace.
Ha! I live in my living room. My king bed, my desk… my living room is my world…lol.
We have a two bedroom townhome but I haven’t been able to walk easily this past year so my ‘everything’ is all in one space until we can afford the deposit for a new place all on one level. Until then, my workplace is just another corner of a moderate sized space. But it works fine for what it is. My stories don’t need much room in the real world!
8.If you could live anywhere other than where you are, where would it be?
A house, in the country. Anywhere there are pine trees and not a lot of people! (Yes, on a single level! Lol)
9.Now that you have published your first book, do you have any dreams you have not reached? Goals for new books, series beyond this publication, or anything else that can tantalize the fantasy public?
I write in several genres and under several pens names so yes, very much so. I have 23 or 24 books out right now, some shorts, some for children, some activity books for different ages… the latter are tools which happened to help me in my physical therapy. I am currently working on the third book in the Elera series, ‘Dragon Song’, a three book dark fantasy series in YA, and a four book series in paranormal romance. I am halfway through the first book in each series, but the dark fantasy will probably come out first since I am having the most fun with it at the moment. After that, I have several stand-alones in horror I hope to write, one or two books on bullying and then back to whatever is most pressing.
10.Can we expect an audio book from you, and if you had the ability to choose anyone to narrate it, is there someone in particular you would hire?
I am in the process of rechecking the editing on the Elera series and when that is done I will be looking for a voice actor for the series. I don’t really have anyone in mind, just the voice, which I hope to be Gaelic or Scottish.
11.Do you have any regrets about the story you told? Would you make any changes to its telling or did you capture exactly what you were looking for?
Only one, and I think I can change it before it goes to audible, or maybe I won’t. I never really got around to flat out saying who one character was, and I am laughing as I am writing this because anyone reading the books will know who I mean. I apologize, I really, really do, but my younger brother has such tantrums over the issue that I am reluctant to spoil his fun! (besides, you will know who it is, I just don’t tell you!!)
12.What are the things you’re most proud of in this book or series?
I think what amazes me most about the Elera series is how fascinated I am with the story each and every time I pick it up. I still can’t really believe that I wrote that as my first book, or that Covenant came out even better than Voices. I hope they keep getting better and that people love them as much as I do.
13.What element of this story can we expect in your future work?
I hope to bring back most of the characters we had in Voices and the others we met in Covenant. I will try my best to keep them integral to the story, adding new characters I am sure you will grow to love but keeping the stories of Alikk, Dylan, Tyrn and Alliah… as well as her followers… continuing along with the new books.
For instance, Jake may fall for a future heroine as he brings her back to the realm, or Alikk may help Alliah with several tasks while his story plays out around them… A new Inn will also be cropping up in Geth’ana with an old and favorite carried over from the first book!! One thing you can be sure of is that you won’t lose anyone vital to the heart of the original story… I will find a place for all of them … even if that means longer and longer books to enjoy.
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