I’ve recently been in touch with Dan Levinson, who has a new book out called “Fires of Man”. He has kindly agreed to an interview, and I hope you find the following interesting.
Hi, so introduce yourself
Hey there, thanks for having me.
I’m Dan Levinson, an NY-based science fiction and fantasy writer. Over the years I’ve dabbled in acting, screenwriting, and writing for the stage, among other things. Writing novels was my childhood dream, so I’m thrilled to be sharing my work with the world.
Tell us about your current story. What’s it about and where can we get it?
I’m here today to talk about my novel Fires of Man, which is the first entry in the five book Psionic Earth series.
In brief, Fires of Man takes place in a modern-day world where certain people have begun to exhibit extraordinary psionic powers—powers that allow them to manipulate reality and energy with their minds. These powers are kept a secret from the general population, and are used by two neighboring nations to wage a covert war for dominance, which is about to reach a dangerous tipping point. The story is delivered via the POVs of characters on both sides of the conflict—an assassin, new recruits, veteran soldiers, and an archaeologist—as Calchis puts into motion a plan that will decimate Orion’s psionic forces.
My elevator pitch for the book is: “X-Men meets Full Metal Jacket.”
Have you got anything else in the pipeline?
Book 2 of Psionic Earth, titled Shadows Collide, is with my editors at Jolly Fish Press, and I’m currently writing the first draft of book 3, tentatively called Prophet Rising.
I’m also in the process of planning out a brand new dark fantasy saga. I’ll be doing the actual writing, but I’m working closely with a friend to develop the world, characters, and plot. I won’t say too much, but I’ll say that there’s plenty of action, magic, violence, and a heavy presence of necromancy (expect lots of undead!).
You done any other work?
Fires of Man is my fiction debut. My comedy screenplay Dental School scored some small accolades on the contest circuit, and my collaboration on the musical Bathory with my brother, lyricist/composer David Levinson, was a finalist for the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2009.
How did you start writing? Why do you continue?
I started writing when I was very young—under double digits. I became enamored with video game RPGs when I was a child, and the first writing I did was a sequel to the Super Nintendo game Final Fantasy II. When I continued to show interest in writing, I was then mentored by my great aunt, Herma Werner, who co-wrote numerous romance novels with her writing partner Joyce under the name Eve Gladstone.
I continue to write because it’s what I love to do above all else, but also because I feel that I must. I have too many stories inside of me that need telling, and if I don’t get them out I fear I’ll explode.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere that there are stories to be found. Movies, television, comics, video games, and, of course, great books. Stories are the fuel that fire my imagination. They inspire ideas, evoke interesting concepts and characters. We all know that bit of wisdom from Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the sun.” I often feel like I take in other stories, digest them, and then use them as the energy, the building blocks, to tell my own tales.
Is there anyone you’d like to work with?
I would say Stephen King, but at this point in my career I think I’d feel far too intimidated to do anything but gape in awe at that master of storytellers. One day, I hope!
Traditional Publishing or self publishing? Would you recommend it to someone else?
I’ve gone the traditional—albeit, indie—publishing route, which I find to be an interesting middle ground between the major publishing houses and self-publishing. On the one hand, you have the support of a real publisher, with editors, designers, publicists, everything you need. On the other, the budget and marketing isn’t quite as expansive as would be with a large house, and it’s every bit as integral for indie authors as it is for self-published authors to establish a strong social media presence to help in those efforts.
All in all, I would highly recommend indie publishing. A big advantage is that indie publishers will continue to push your book as part of their catalogue over the months and years following its release. I’ve heard many a tale of authors signed by big publishers who, after a short while of their novel not performing as well as hoped, will find their marketing pushed to the back burner as the publisher makes way for the next round of releases.
Just make sure you do your research. Check out the covers of any indie publisher’s releases to make sure they’re professional and eye-catching. Talk to their authors on social media if you can, to see how they’ve been treated.
Where can we find you on the internet?
You can find me on Twitter and Facebook:
As well as at my site/blog:
Drop me a line any time! I’d be happy to hear from you.