Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on urban fantasy author David R. Slayton. When asked to tell us briefly a little about himself and his writing, this was his response:
I’m David R. Slayton. Like my main character, Adam, I grew up in a trailer in the woods outside of Guthrie, Oklahoma where and when it was very hard to find fantasy novels and finding books with diverse characters was downright impossible. I always wanted to read books about characters like me, with my background, so now I live in Denver, Colorado and write the books I always wanted to read.
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
I love indie bookstores and libraries! If they don’t have it on the shelf, you can always order them. That said, my stuff is available online everywhere from Wal-Mart.com to all the ebook and audiobook places.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
You’ll most easily find me at davidrslayton.com. Just don’t forget the r. You can sign up for my newsletter there and I’m also all over social media. The best place to find me for that is twitter, but I’m active on Instagram and Facebook too. My site has links to all my handles.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Trailer Park Trickster?
I write urban or rural fantasy and try for a deeper edge. I try to draw a lot on my background, though I don’t have any magic.
Adam Binder is a broke gay, witch from Guthrie, Oklahoma who’s estranged from most of his family. In White Trash Warlock he travels to Denver to help them out when his sister-in-law is possessed by an ancient, malevolent spirit. Things in Denver are much worse than Adam realizes and he’s forced to bargain with powers he’d rather not, including his first love, the elf who broke his heart.
Book Two, Trailer Park Trickster, takes Adam back to Guthrie to solve the biggest mystery left over from book one: who is the dark druid who is killing off Adam’s extended family and is he Adam’s missing father? Trickster is a bit of a different book but it includes one of my favorite things, a road trip through the spirit realm for two of the fan favorite characters from book one. All the secrets come to light, including quite a few Adam didn’t know people were keeping.
What kind of research went into writing this book? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?
I use a lot of my family history but also hidden history or things people might have forgotten. In White Trash Warlock I hinted at or used a lot of Denver’s more interesting history, like the two jarred heads of outlaws that went missing from our state capitol. Returning to Guthrie for Trailer Park Trickster, I wove in more of my family history, including a cold case from 1974 – my cousin’s murder. One thing I’d love to work into a book is the history of Denver’s Chinatown, which was destroyed in a race massacre in 1880. It’s an important thing few people know about.
What was the inspiration for Trailer Park Trickster? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
Trailer Park Trickster is Adam’s journey home and his journey to finally bring all his family secrets to light. I started with my own family, the murder I mentioned above, and looking at how the sins or secrets of one generation can affect the next. From there I built the mystery and the plot while telling a more fantastic tale in the second plot with Vic and Argent’s trip through the spirit realm.
What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?
The people I’ve met. It’s been incredible to meet authors I’ve admired so much, like K.D. Edwards (author of the fantastic Tarot Sequence) and find out they’re such great people. I’m still pretty starstruck when I’m on a conference panel with people like him. I’ve also been so lucky to find out that I’d missed connections with authors. For example, I met my friends Barbara Ann Wright and Helen Corcoran (both terrific authors) and after we got to know each other we realized that we should have met somewhere in our personal lives decades before. There’s something magical about it.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
Persistence. It’s so crucial to always keep writing, trying new things, and most importantly, never giving up. It’s so much more important than natural talent or really, anything else. Keep going, never give up, and especially never let anyone take your writing from you through rejection or discouragement.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, David!