Welcome to the 16th article focusing on featuring and getting to know the deviants behind the work! This series will be posted every Wednesday. If you have a deviant you'd like to see included, please send =TwilightPoetess
a note with the subject "Call to Conversation"--make sure to include the deviant's name as well as a reason you think they'd make a good interview subject! Also, feel free to send along a question or two you'd like to have answered by them!
Cody Brown lives with one foot in Maine and one in Brigard. Some people do not approve of this, but he does not much care. When not writing, Cody is working on world-building. When not world-building, he can be found floor directing at the local television station. The Clocksmith is Cody’s debut novel.
The group you admin for--tell us a little about it?
is a group started by the lovely
as a place to share her Flozzles--a species of shape shifting animals. Anyone can adopt a Flozzle (most of which are presently designed by me), and then that Flozzle is theirs to do whatever they want with. The group is somewhat small, of course, but those of us involved enjoy the experience nonetheless.
Mountain Flozzle High among the imposing, snow-covered mountains of the north, there is a relatively young Flozzle. This Flozzle, having the legs of a mountain goat, can leap effortlessly among the ledges, where few other animals would dare go. Its shaggy fur, bearing the markings of an anteater, keeps it warm in the bitter cold. Its tail is that of an anteater and its head and antlers are a bull moose's. Being young for a Flozzle, it is not the wisest of its kind, but is full of the energy of youth.
Clockwork Flozzle The Clockwork Flozzle is a wondrous creature. It is very small, with the body and tail of a squirrel and the head of a gecko. It has fused with clockwork, giving it its name. Its mechanical legs allow it to move at great speeds, making it nearly impossible to catch. However, this fusion comes at a price. The legs, since they are steam-powered, draw great amounts of water from the Flozzle's body. Because of this, it must drink an equal amount to stay hydrated. It is rumored that the inventor who created this Flozzle also created other Clockwork Flozzles.You just recently published your book, The Clocksmith--do you have any advice for other writers beginning to look into publishing?
As some people may already know, I underwent quite the struggle against the publishing industry in an effort to get my book in print. But after two years of rejection letters, I came to the conclusion that my novel was too different from what was currently popular and decided to strike off on my own and prove the agents and publishers wrong.
While self-publishing is a viable option, it is definitely a challenge. If you go into it without a solid marketing plan, it will not end well. All hopeful authors should at the very least try to get an agent and traditional publisher. If, after about attempts, your book still hasn't been accepted, take a hard look at it and give it an extensive rewrite. Then, ship it out to ten new agents. When none of them accept the book, then it is time to consider self-publishing. If you do go for that route, I highly recommend drawing up a plan well ahead of publication. Marketing is certainly difficult, but by no means impossible. Some self-publishing companies offer assistance with such things, but I find their services too expensive when I can mostly do them myself.
Regardless of your choice of publishing style, however, it is absolutely necessary to never let go of the passion that inspired the story. If the characters and plot keep you awake at night, then there is no reason they can’t have the same effect on readers. But as the author, it is up to you to share your enthusiasm with your audience.
The Clocksmith Chapter One The sun was not yet up, though the sky had turned the colorless hue that heralds sunrise. The tops of trees still budding could be seen as stark shadows against the sky, a testament to the light that would soon return to the world. From somewhere in the predawn fog, the forlorn sound of a train echoed into the dark station. Gradually, the rhythmic chugging of the engine's wheels became more audible, and the large iron beast came into view. The train came to rest in the station, steam blowing out of its smokestack.
"Pine Harbor!" the conductor shouted drearily, half-expecting no one to get off.
The Clocksmith Chapter TwoChapter Two
The next day, Peter walked back into town, a small package bundled under his arm. "Good day, Mr. Barrow," John Frost, the postman said as Peter passed him.
"Good day, John."
"Did you hear the news?"
"No. Did something happen?"
"Someone, more like it." John glanced over his shoulder nervously. "A pair of animists moved in three days ago. Can you believe the nerve of them? I don't know how many death threats they've received already."
"Great. More uncultured barbarians. As if we didn't already have enough enginemen in this town, now we have to deal with animists?" Animists were a sect of zealots who practiced th
If you're interested in reading this book, you can find it here: The Clocksmith
As with many thing, it is paramount that you have fun. Nowadays, I do use my account as a way to spread the word about The Clocksmith, but I certainly didn't start with that in mind.
Some might say you should join a group right away, but I don’t necessary agree with that notion. More important than finding a group, I think, is finding a handful of friends who will reliably read your work and share their thoughts with you. And if those friends happen to make top-rate critics, that’s two birds with one stone and what-have-you.
How many groups are you currently an active member of? (Active meaning posting at least once a week, favoriting other pieces from the group gallery, commenting, etc.)
By those standards, I’m not an active member of any groups. I am a member of a few and I will periodically show up to favorite a piece or submit my latest poem or story, but other than that, my community involvement is woefully limited.
What sort of group do you look for, when looking for places to post your writing?
To be completely honest, I have rarely looked for a group to join. I have my work in a handful of different places, but each of those groups approached me. I am a bit of a loner, so I will often forget that groups are even a thing I can participate in. Fortunately, I have people to remind of their existence.
You write a lot of prose! Do you prefer it over poetry? If so, why?
I would say I like poetry just as much as prose. I tend to lean more toward short stories and novels because I have so many stories I need to tell, and that is the form I find works best. I have lately been trying my hand at some narrative poems, though, and I am finding those to be quite enjoyable. Also, poetry offers a great way to stay in practice between novels.
The Journal of Lucian GoldstoneNovember Sixteenth, 1883 Anno Domini
Today dawned brilliant, as Mr. Bryant assured us it would. The sky was of the most remarkable shade of orange (Mr. Bryant has also assured me that this is an omen of good fortune). I, along with the rest of the party, departed the Queen City at promptly 5 o' clock in the morning. We have chartered a northerly course, and have been assured we will not return empty-handed. It came to my attention some weeks earlier that one of the great beasts had taken to hunting in the forests surrounding Pushaw Lake. The very fact that it had come so far south of Mount Katahdin was a blessing.
The endeavor we hav
A Story For My Valentine Life, it seems, is rather fond of defying expectations.
One snowy November, a Man sat down at his computer, determined to do something he had not done for a long time. He was a writer, despite the amount of animosity that assertion seemed to give him, and he had just finished a book. The book was unlike anything he had ever written, and he felt it stood a good chance at becoming modestly successful. However, he wanted feedback on it, and so he went online to deviantart.com, a popular art website a friend had introduced him to years ago, to see what sort of responses it would get him. The Man had not touched his account since making it,
Are there any topics or images that sneak into your writing again and again? (i.e. human nature, bleeding hearts, etc.)
I have a few topics that like to sneak into my writing, especially my poetry. I often find my work featuring pastoral scenes, most prominently the changing seasons. Also, many of my pieces- both poetry and prose- revolve around humanity’s obsession with machinery and the negative impacts such reliance has on us. I have also been known to write some poems with religious overtones, but those tend to be more abstract.
What is your favorite writing tool? (metaphors/personification/characterization/etc.)
When writing poems, I love extended metaphors. I find they lend themselves to the messages I’m trying to convey without letting those messages hijack the imagery. If I am writing a novel, symbolism tends to be my go-to tool. There are a lot of symbols in The Clocksmith, and while I won’t reveal all of them, I will say that I use crows extensively. But not in a way you might expect.
What's your favorite kind of dessert?
I just recently tried a squash and walnut pie which was quite delicious. However, my favorite dessert of all would have to be an ice cream sundae. So much can be done with a sundae, what with all the toppings and ice cream flavors.
When you're looking for new art to read or admire, what sort of things do you look for?
For me, it is important that a book have interesting characters. They don’t have to be heroic or even likable But as long as they are realistically written, I am happy. Also, it helps if the book takes place in a fully-realized world. I read mostly fantasy, so the setting is especially important. And being an obsessive world-builder, I can appreciate the small details that go in.
Walk us through your writing process? Any weird or unusual habits you have? (i.e. do you have to write without socks on, or with a specific kind of pen?)
My poetry writing is fairly unexciting, so I will focus on crafting a novel. The idea can come a variety of ways, but is usually a sort of lightning-bolt-from-the-blue moment, if you know what I mean. For The Clocksmith, I was thinking about how I like clocks, when I started wondering what a book about magic clocks would be like. Then, before I knew it, the characters had already stepped forward and a plot was beginning to spin itself into shape. For another book I wrote last November, the story formed itself around the idea of a character. Still other times, I will think something as mundane as, “I like getting letters,” and that will become a book about a courier tasked with finding a soldier to deliver a package to. With the core in mind, I will gradually wrap additional layers to it, until it starts to take on some substance. This step can last anywhere from a week to half a year.
Once the story has a basic framework, I will write rather spasmodically. Some days I will write two words, and then the next morning will add another thousand before breakfast. Lately, I have been keeping two books going at once, so that when I hit a wall on one, I can switch to the other and not waste any productivity. That was a tip by an author more important than myself, though I am embarrassed to say I cannot remember which author it was.
Strangest of all is my brainstorming technique. I keep a wooden yo-yo on my desk, and when I need to come up with something new for the story, I will pace the house while… yo-ing. This could happen when the story is still in its planning stages, or it could happen mid-word. But whenever I am stuck, the simple, subconscious act helps ground my thoughts.
You also do some artwork, I see--do writing and the visual world go hand-in-hand, do you think?
Writing and visual artwork can certainly go together beautifully. However, I can’t say my visual art occupies the same world as my written work. When not writing, I primarily work on pixel art. This then finds its way into various game projects I sometimes work on. Though I sometimes think about representing my novels in such a manner, I have never actually gotten around to doing so, and therefore the two remain separate.
How do you handle those moments when, out on the town/working, a story or poem idea suddenly strikes?
This happens to me a great deal, actually. If I am out on the town, I have a handy notebook and pencil in my car for use in such emergencies. While at work, however, I do not have access to my notebook, so I have to make due with what I can find. I have written entire poems on the backs of leftover scripts before.
If you had to stare at the same three pieces of art--from other people on dA--for the rest of your life, which three would they be? (link us to them?)
Oh, goodness, this may be the hardest question of all. There are so many wonderful pictures I have discovered over the years, choosing just three is nearly impossible. But I have narrowed it down, I think.
This one is great for so many reasons. The attire, the atmosphere, the angelic connotations, the vague melancholy, the pocket watch… this picture has a bit of everything![link]
If I had a quarter of this artist’s talent, I would have to consider taking up pixel art professionally. I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing when I first found it.[link]
This one might be cheating, since the drawing is of one of my characters and was done for me. But I couldn't help but mention it here. The artist captured Peter’s countenance wonderfully.[link]
I will make up for my indirect self-promotion by including this wonderful map. Just one look tells me there are countless stories waiting to happen here. But of course, as with all good maps, one look isn't nearly enough to appreciate all the details.
Thank you, ~Captain-Random
, for taking the time to talk with us! I really appreciate it!
For our readers: Do you have any weird or unusual writing processes or habits?
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