Interview with Bryan Davis

(Second in a series of interviews with the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour authors.)


A former computer professional, Bryan Davis ( has written two best-selling fantasy series, Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire. He is also the author of Echoes from the Edge, a contemporary fantasy series. Incredibooks caught up with Mr. Davis to do an e-mail interview.

Incredibooks: Have you always liked writing, or was it an acquired taste?

Bryan  Davis: I never disliked writing, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed or looked forward to. It was definitely an acquired taste. 

IB: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

BD: I remember loving Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham when I was very young (I still do!). Later, I read the Hardy Boys, but not much else since I grew more interested in sports, math, and science. Most of my reading came when I became an adult. That’s when I discovered C. S. Lewis and his wonderful books.

IB: When you were younger, did you ever imagine that you would become an author?

BD: Not even once. Baseball professional, astronaut, king of the world, yes, but not an author.

IB: What inspired you to become a writer?

BD: I started writing almost twelve years ago when I was looking for a way to teach writing to my children. Being a homeschooling family, we were responsible for trying to inspire our kids to love writing. I decided that a good way might be to write a story myself and perform a weekly reading to help my kids see how it is done. After many weeks, my story grew into a novel, and I developed a passion for communicating truth through storytelling. 

IB: Why did you choose fantasy to work with instead of some other genre?

BD: Fantasy opens the door to an unseen world, giving readers an idea that such a world really exists. Understanding that fact is an important part of the maturing process in our walks of faith. As Paul said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” How can we do battle if we can’t imagine what’s out there? Elisha opened such a portal for his servant, saying, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 

The key is to provide readers a way to see the good side of the unseen world in order to give them reason to rely on its power. God has often provided a vision of the holy for His people, and Christian fantasy is one of the best ways to stretch minds beyond the here and now and give them a view of the heavenlies.

I believe that Jesus used fantasy elements in his stories. In fact, if I were to write a story about His miracles that didn’t include His name or where He got His power, it would be a fantasy story. Yet, Jesus made a fantasy story come to life, knowing that we learn and remember best when the story is fantastic.

I wrote an article that elaborates on this subject. You can find it online at

IB: How do you make your characters seem like real people instead of just figures who move the plot along?

BD: I give them hobbies, quirks, odd clothing choices, habits-anything to give them depth. They can be predictable at times and surprise people at times. I go deep into their heads and let them ruminate over both big and little things. They both proact and react, giving the reader an idea of what makes the character tick.

IB: Where do you get your characters’ names?

BD: Some just pop into my head, and they feel right. Some have important meanings in ancient languages like Hebrew or Greek. I have also consulted an online fantasy name generator and pulled a few from a random list, then tweaked the names until I liked them.

IB: Who is your favorite character from all of your books so far, and why?

BD: A favorite character? Will you next ask me which of my children is my favorite? That’s so hard to decide! I think, however, that Bonnie Silver from the dragons’ series has given me the most emotional satisfaction. From the letters and emails I have received, it’s clear that she has changed the lives of hundreds of people, young and old, male and female.

IB: Have you ever incorporated yourself or anyone you know into one of your books?

BD: There is a lot of me in a new book I’m finishing up, I Know Why the Angels Dance. The father figure is logical, academic, and has a hard time understanding emotionally based people, something I had to learn as a young husband. It was fun and challenging to write that character.

IB: How do you work allegory or Christian themes into your books without it being blatantly obvious or sounding preachy or clichéd?

BD: I think there is a place for both subtle and “preachy” themes, so I have done both, if by preachy you mean that the “lesson” is obvious and easy to comprehend. I don’t like, however, a clichéd story that is heavy-handed, a sermon in plastic wrap.

The way I avoid it is to let the characters live out the story. I don’t allow them to tell each other the lesson. With young protagonists, I don’t let an older character tell them what they should have learned. They might raise questions in their minds, but their actions answer them, and sometimes their thoughts and passions. But I try to avoid two puppets telling each other what they have learned.

IB: Do you ever write something that you love, only to look at it later and discover it’s not as good as you thought?

BD: Yes, almost anything I wrote more than three or four years ago. I have improved a lot, but the troubling thing is that I wonder in four years, will I dislike what I’m writing now? 

I wrote I Know Why the Angels Dance over twelve years ago. I loved it then. Storywise, I still loved it when I pulled it out of the proverbial drawer upon receiving a publishing contract for it, I rewrote it line by line and changed nearly every sentence. It just wasn’t written very well, though the story still brought me to tears several times.

IB: What is a typical writing day like for you? For example, where do you write? Do you always write at the same time of day? Do you listen to music when writing? If so, what?

BD: I have an office in my home, and during writing seasons, I write there all day long, and into the night when a deadline is approaching. I listen to music when I am writing an emotional scene or when I feel kind of dry, usually classical, especially Beethoven.

I also have promotional seasons when I will go on the road and speak at schools, homeschool groups, libraries, etc. During those weeks, I rarely write at all. 

IB: (We originally thought that this question applied only to Donita K. Paul and L. B. Graham.) You just finished a series. Are you enjoying starting afresh, or has it been difficult getting started on something completely new?

BD: I also just finished writing a series, though the last book won’t be out until May of 2009. I am also finishing another series now, so I will get to start afresh in January.

IB: What are you currently working on?

BD: I am writing The Bones of Makaidos, book four in the Oracles of Fire series due out in April of 2009, I am editing Nightmare’s Edge, book three in the Echoes from the Edge series, which will come out in May of 2009, and I am also editing I Know Why the Angels Dance, a standalone book scheduled for August of 2009.

IB: In round numbers, how many books do you think you’ll sign during the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour?

BD: That number will be completely pulled out of a hat. How about 500?

Stick around! Next time we’ll be interviewing L. B. Graham.

2 Responses to “Interview with Bryan Davis”

  1. […] More Read or listen to interviews with Bryan Davis at Blog Talk Interview, Incredibooks, Write Big, Yodeling Dwarf, 4 the Love of Books. Read reviews of The Bones of Makaidos at Newbie […]

  2. […] More Read or listen to interviews with Bryan Davis at Blog Talk Interview, Incredibooks, Write Big, Yodeling Dwarf, 4 the Love of Books. Read reviews of The Bones of Makaidos at Newbie […]

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