On the verge of a new anthology, we are celebrating IN THE AIR with a behind the scenes view of authors and their stories. Here’s a look at Bryan Dyke and his story “The Treasure of the Wind-Walker.”
ABOUT THE STORY
Tell me a little about your story and the world you’ve created.
The Treasure of the Wind-Walker is a pulp take on the Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery/Pirate genre. The main character: Mau-Keefe, the Gilded Glaive, and his sorcerer side-kick Lucy are part of larger series of serial adventures I have been writing that revolve around Mau-Keefe, and his ship, The Crawling Chaos. I really loved pirate tales and wanted to especially take a swipe at Sinbad-esque stories. The world is called Kol…and I have been writing many adventures in that setting, some less pirate and more Howardian Barbarian tales, others revolving around wizards that have more of a Jack Vance feel. I’ve had a few published so far, and a couple others set to be published, mostly in small press stuff.
What came first, the plot or the characters?
For this one, Mau-Keefe came first. I think this was the third story I’ve written with him, and have done a couple after.
If you had to describe your protagonist in three words, what would they be?
Handsome, crafty, deadly.
What is something about your protagonist that only you know?
He’s brokered bonds with worse things than pirates and argumentative wizards.
Which scene was the most difficult to write and why?
Not really anything, but the notion the Djinn in my story is (spoilers) a product of foul, black magic, and the entity has an unpleasant twist to his creation.
What were you trying to achieve with this story?
A good old fashion pulpy adventure with a healthy dose of escapism and fun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Work my normal job, be a dad and husband. I also like beer, football, hiking, comics, movies, and reading.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your stories?
I learned just how many times you had to edit and proofread before a story starts to shape up. I never figured it was so much repetitive work, and yet so rewarding at the same time.
Do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers? If so, what are they?
First, is to deal with rejection and critique. It’s going to happen a lot. Learn and grow from it. Next is write every day… or at least try to write as much as you can. Its cliché, but nothing could be truer. Lastly, read a ton, especially within your target market. I’m still learning all this by the way, but these are helping me to improve.
What do you think makes a good story?
Fun, adventure, and an inexplicable air of coolness.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Pro baseball player or Cobra Viper…either or.
What is your favorite writing tool or technique?
My favorite technique is proof reading a story over and over until I’m blue in the face. I‘ve used a few internet tools and the web is definitely a resource.
How would you describe your general writing voice and tone?
With fantasy/Sword and sorcery I like to capture the archaic and vast, as well as myth and mystery. I am heavily inspired by Howard, Leiber, and Jack Vance.
Share something fun or interesting:
A link to a favorite song by a band called Spacelord from Buffalo, NY…very fantasy inspired:
Bryan Dyke is flying blind on a rocket cycle in the clouds above Vermont, USA. He also lives there with his wife, Corinne, two children, Mayve and Owen, and a naughty dog named Lucy. He is a U.S. Army veteran and graduate of the University of Florida. An avid fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Jack Kirby, he has several published short stories in various anthologies.
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