Friday, December 30, 2016

Bentwhistle - Dragon or Human?

I would like to introduce Paul Cude!
Paul was one of the first author's I connected with as I was learning how to negotiate Twitter. His concept for dragons is unique and caught my eye immediately. I was pleased when he accepted my offer to post an interview with him on my blog.

So Paul, when did you decide to become a writer/where did the passion for writing start?
I can remember having a distinct passion for writing around the age of nine or ten. I used to be glued to comic books, and let my love and imagination for the Star Wars universe, then quite new, run away with me. But it was at about that time that I found my love of hockey, and so from then onwards all I ever wanted to do was chase the stupid ball about with the stick as part of a team - much as I still do now, despite my age.

As for my current writing, the dream came to me in the form of one long story in my head. I told my wife, and she insisted I must write it. At the time I just laughed her off. But over a period of months, I would dream little updates, or amendments to the story, so much so that in the end, I had little choice but to put it all down in words. First I taught myself to type, and that took about three months. After that, it was finding the time to get the words down on the page, which is still pretty much the same challenge today. Thankfully my family are very understanding, but really the only time I get to do much writing is in the evening.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Events in my books revolve around the fictional main character called Peter Bentwhistle. In part, his personality and many of his traits are based on me, and although he spends a fair amount of his time posing as a human, he is in fact a dragon, something, I can assure you, I’m not. (Although at times, I deeply wish I was.) The name Bentwhistle comes from the fact that when in his dragon form, he has the markings of a ‘bent whistle’ splashed across his scales. He cares deeply for his friends and always tries to do the right thing in any circumstance but often fails because he’s afraid to stand up for himself. He is more than a little naive, maybe because of his dragon nature and the fact that only a few years have passed since he completed his education in the nursery ring, (fifty years in a dragon school) and was then, like most dragons, thrust out into the human world above ground to help guide the course of humanity.
His gentle nature and love for his friends are traits that I find endearing in him, but which have a tendency to endanger those around him. Recently introduced to the team sport of hockey (field hockey), by one of his best friends, he’s fascinated to the point of addiction by the intricacies of the game, the feeling of being part of a team, and the love, freedom and excitement that flow through him when he plays, provoking feelings similar to that of flying and using mantras when in his dragon form. The typical reluctant hero, with a heart of gold, willing to die for his friends, seemingly enjoying the human world more than the dragon one (something that would be more than frowned upon by the dragon hierarchy), with a love of hockey, who would like nothing better than an easy life. Unfortunately for him…….NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

What’s more important: characters or plot?
I suppose either being not very good would make for a poor story. I would regard the plot to be more important though. My books I hope contain plenty of twists and turns, and surprises aplenty. That's very much what I like to read, and that has had an effect on my writing. I hope, and I don't really think it's for me to judge, that you can't really tell where the plot in my books is going, and that it constantly twists back and forth like a raging river, taking the reader on a non-stop roller coaster journey.

If made into a film what would be your dream cast?
The three friends who are the main characters, because they are all in their late teens, would have to be played by unknowns, for me. But the aged owner of the mantra emporium would have to have the voice of Morgan Freeman. The mysterious and devious Major Manson would be played by Jason Statham, who I think would play a fabulous main villain.

What was the most exciting thing about publishing your book?
The best thing without a doubt is when someone you don't know, and have never met, gets in touch with you to tell you just how much they like your book/books. On those occasions, nothing feels better. Not only can it turn a bad day good, but it brightens your whole week, no matter what's going on.

The dragons that you have created are not the traditional winged mythical monsters but take human form and live amongst us. Do you believe that there might be other life forms out there in the universe and why?
With the dragons in my books living underground in their natural form, and above ground amongst the humans, guiding, nurturing and protecting with the aid of their magic, it will come as no surprise to you that I truly believe there are other life forms out there. What shape they'll take, who knows. But only now do we seem to be discovering just how big the universe is. With so many galaxies, stars and planets, surely the odds favour life either as we know it, or not, inhabiting one of the billions of planets out there. It has to, and I hope it will be found in my lifetime. And if it's anything like the world of Star Wars, so much the better. (A ride in the Millennium Falcon for me please!)


Links to Paul's books.

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