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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Kickstarter Q&A with Dyrk Ashton (interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Author Website
Order Paternus: Rise Of Gods OVER HERE (US) & OVER HERE (UK)
Order Paternus: Wrath Of Gods OVER HERE (US) & OVER HERE (UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Paternus: Rise Of Gods

Dyrk Ashton has held a special place in our hearts since I first read his debut Paternus: Rise Of Gods back in the 2nd edition of SPFBO. The book won me over and since then I’ve only gotten to know him better. I consider him a special author and a good friend. His books hold a special place in my heart for a different reason altogether. His books are the only one in the entire UF genre that successfully manage to combine most world mythologies and make sense as well. His Paternus trilogy has also richly tapped into Hindu mythology and several characters have intriguing pan-mythological roots. >

Dyrk has also successfully run the kickstarter for the hardcover edition of the first Paternus book and after meeting the first two stretch goals, Dyrk was gracious enough with his time to answer a few questions of mine.

Welcome to Fantasy Book Critic Dyrk & thank you for your presence. How does it feel to have a successful funded debut Kickstarter as well as acing the first stretch goal? 
DA: Thank you for having me! I am absolutely amazed, to be honest. This is my first Kickstarter, and I had no idea what to expect. It’s been a tremendous amount of work, which made it even scarier to think it might not fund. I’ve followed and back friends who have had, great success, but also some who failed to fund. It’s a scary thing! The relief and elation of having funded so quickly is truly a wonderful feeling. It launched on Oct. 29, funded in just over 24 hours, and we’re already on the second stretch goal. It still has weeks to go, too, since it doesn’t close until end of day on November 18. The response has blown any expectations I might have had right out of the water.

Talk to us about why you decided to go the KS route for the Hardcover publication of the first Paternus book?
DA: I’ve always wanted to have hardbacks done, but could never afford printing them myself. To get a good price, you have to do a lot of them. Unless you go the Ingram Spark POD route, that is. The quality of IS is very good, but there are no choices in the materials or foil stamping. They are sturdy and quite nice, but they have the look and feel of a library binding to me. I wanted something more special, for me and for my readers, and the only way I could really afford to do that was to go with a Kickstarter. Friends have been encouraging me to do it for awhile, so I figured it was about time.

How did you prepare for it? I think the prep for a KS is almost like an iceberg. The time & energy spent promoting it is about a third or less than the same factors which go in the background and the prep work?
DA: You are absolutely right. The amount of time it took to set it up was much more than I expected, and I expected quite a bit. The budgeting is the hardest part, trying to figure out what the breakeven might be, and determining the pledge levels. Then there’s all the graphics that have to be made for the story page, and the writing that goes into that. The great thing now, though, is that the next one will be SO much easier.

What do you credit your success to? Your love for sloths? Michael J. Sullivan’s archery lessons? Or Mark Lawrence’s SPFBO?
DA: All of the above! The Mike and Robin Sullivan have been a tremendouse help in so many ways, not the least being their advice on the Kickstarter. I can’t thank them enough. It all goes back to Mark’s SPFBO, though. I honestly believe wouldn’t know most of the people I know without it (including you wonderful folks at FBC), and that no one would have heard of my book today if it hadn’t been for my being a finalist and taking third place in SPFBO 2016.

Did Michael Fletcher and any of his doppels try to foil your attempts at it?
DA: YES! Michael kept stealing my pants and putting grill-cheese sandwiches in my shoes. The doppels aren’t so much of a problem since I kidnapped them a couple years ago and have them all in my basement.

What are some of the other stretch goals which you have in mind. Care to give us a hint?
DA: I honestly don’t know. We’ve already met the first two stretch goals of having art by Ed Binkley for the hardcover, and I am simply amazed about having the  art and book printed in color, but I hadn’t really thought beyond that. Those things are everything I would have hoped for to have with the hardback, making it a truly cool collectors item. Since I work a day job and have to keep up with my writing, I’m terrified of taking anything on anything else that will take more time to coordinate or produce.

Still, one thing I’m considering is writing another short story in the world of Paternus. I wouldn’t be able to write it until next summer after Book 3 releases, and it would have to be delivered in eBook format. I could include it in that back of the hardback of Book 2, Wrath of Gods, when I do that Kickstarter.

When can we look forward to Paternus: War Of Gods’ release?
DA: May 19, 2020!

Success begets success & so can we expect more Kickstarter from you for books 2 & 3?
DA: Absolutely! Now that this one has done so well, I’ll definitely be doing one for Book 2, Wrath of Gods, and probably late next summer, once the dust has settled from the release of Book 3 in May.

Thank you for your time Dyrk. I can’t wait to get my hands on the finale knowing how much epicness you are going to combine in it. Any parting words for your fans who await its release?
DA: Thank YOU. And I really can’t thank my readers, the backers of the Kickstarter, and all the wonderful people who have shared about and supported the books enough. I have the best friends and readers ever!



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