Author Interview: The Holder’s Dominion by Genese Davis

Welcome to Author Genese Davis

Genese Davis never expected to become an avid video-game enthusiast. Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she taught and competed in dressage, studied fashion, and eventually took her competitive instincts to the fast-paced world of finance. She then ventured into the world of MMO gaming as an adult and discovered a passion for in-game community, especially in raiding teams. She experienced more serious gaming while playing with a competitive guild in World of Warcraft and cracked the top 100 in the world for her class. Working with industry professionals, she gained a deep understanding of video games and their artists, lore, culture, and development. She is the owner of The Gamer in You, an online movement offering new meaning to the word ‘gamer.’
Davis is also the creator and founder of the Dark Iron Raiding Alumni, a group that gives gamers from all over the world an exciting way to stay connected, and she also writes for independent film. Genese lives in Irvine, California, with her husband, Eric, and a rescue border collie mix named Stryker. Whenever possible she advocates for her other passion: animal rescue.

Interview
What makes your novel standout from the crowd?
The Holder’s Dominion has the potential for readers to understand why people, young and old, want to play video games. The inspiration behind writing it came from wanting to create a basis for family and friends of gamers to understand them and their world. I imagine we all have relatives who wonder, “Are video games a waste of time?” “Why does my spouse play video games in to the night?” “Why does my child want to play a video game instead of go outside and play?” “What’s got into him or her?” The Holder’s Dominion reveals online gaming in an easy-to-follow and riveting setting that marries pre video game generations to current video game enthusiasts.

How did you know you should become an author?

Like Kaylie, (the protagonist in The Holder’s Dominion) I came to gaming pretty late in life. I wanted to write for gamers and non-gamers alike about the unpredictable and influential ways that video games change us. I wanted to share with others the amazing experience of collaborative video games and the communities that grow up in and around them.


What’s your biggest challenge as a writer? How did you overcome it, or how are

you working to overcome it?

The loneliness! I’ve learned how to survive the demands of writing; its a personal and extremely lonely journey. Surviving all those times when I felt helplessly isolated, chained in solitary confinement, working day after day with the determination to finish . . . phew that was tough! All artists “bleed” for their artwork. We are creating by carving and cutting the very essence of ourselves. And by doing so, each page is authentic and from the heart.

About how long does it take to write a book? 

It took one year to write the first complete draft of The Holder’s Dominion. The second and third years were fully dedicated to the editing and publishing process: I am a huge believer in the full fledge editing process with professional editors. Before I even thought about pitching to publishers I worked with two professional editors to ensure a crisp, clean novel. Getting that outside perspective is invaluable and helps authors see angles hidden in the minutia. 😉

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Find an excellent creative producer and an excellent editor. The benefits from having a highly skilled and motivated team can help the author’s inspiration significantly. Without a team, we are utterly alone. Producers and editors remind us of our goals, reveal new outlooks, and reinforce our personal convictions. Meet at least bi-weekly with your creative producer, and edit, edit, edit your work with your editor.

What do you think of book trailers?

Book trailers are a cool evolution for books. They fit right in with the previews for other media. However, part of what makes reading a book so special is that the reader gets to imagine and create everything. I think a well-made book teasertrailer is a great option, because a teaser gives just enough content to intrigue the viewer without giving away too much or inundating the viewer with too many details. Thirty seconds to a minute is a great length for a book teaser trailer. The angle that directors Brian Horn and Eric Kieron Davis took for The Holder’s Dominion teaser trailer was really incredible! 
Visit: www.YouTube.com/AuthorGeneseDavis to see their 55-seconds of epic book teasertrailer madness. 😉 To learn more about how we produced this amazing live-action teaser trailer, visit “How to Shoot a Live-Action Book Trailer” on my blog.

Favorite place you’ve been and/or would like to go?

Ireland is tied with China! They were both breathtaking places to visit. I can’t wait to see more of Asia and Europe!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Those splendid but rare days during vacation where the fam and I can watch a marathon of movies while having a coffee table picnic!

Favorite smell?
The smell of oranges as I peel them. Ahhhh, that orange fragrance gets me every time. Mmmmmm!

Favorite sport?

Eventing. I grew up working in a horse barn and fell in love with the art of equestrianism, especially Eventing. I trained in all three disciplines (dressage, cross-country, and show jumping) and competed all over the state with my Norwegian Fjord. I will forever love that sport!

Pets?
My hand goes up anytime the words “pet” “dog lover” or “cat lover” echoes across the room. I am a huge advocate for animal rescue and proper animal care. I’ve had pets all my life and I believe our pets are more than just residents in our home—pets are a part of the family!

If you had 24 hours alone how would you spend it?

Oooooo. 24 hours of vacation? I’d definitely have to divide the day between super-fun activities like running my puppy-dog, swimming, reading novels, and playing video games!

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
When I was fourteen my parents let me enroll in a student pilot program where I studied aeronautics, passed the training tests first in my class, and then soloed a glider plane thousands of feet above the earth! I’ll never forget that summer I got my student pilot’s license!

My mother still shakes her head in shock that she let me go at such a young age.

Nickname?
Neesie. I don’t know how it came about, but I snagged the nickname “Neesie” and it stuck!

What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?

The rain is one of my most favorite things, so walking in the rain, laying out in the rain, running in the rain, or just watching the rain from my bedroom window… all winners to me!

How long do you generally let a story idea ‘marinate’ in your brain before you

start the book?

The Holder’s Dominion marinated in my mind for a good five to six weeks before I gathered the courage to whisper the plot for the very first time.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?

When I started writing novels I noticed that little things kept distracting and yanking me out of the character’s world. At first, the thought of writing to music was not an option, because just like other things, music can be very distracting and hinder my creative process. But I found a loophole. As long as the music playing was a soundtrack, I could write! And my writing seemed to come easier than when I wrote in silence or in ambient noise. If it’s the right lyric-less soundtrack, writing can be an even more inspirational journey.

Which scene or characters were the most difficult for you to write and why?

Developing the online game world for Edannair challenged me in numerable ways. Some nights I’d wonder, “How am I ever going to create a video game for this book? I am not a video game developer or designer!” There are thousands upon thousands of details that go into designing games, so writing and creating an online game that doesn’t yet exist was very challenging. There were many late nights of research and development! It was interesting creating these new elements to show how the gaming experience enlightens people’s lives.

Please tell us why we should read your book.

The Holder’s Dominion reveals the secret side to online games, and offers an avenue for different generations to understand one another. This book is a message of hope and support for anyone going through grief or who have been separated from their family. It’s a story about a girl who discovers the world of gaming, and how to get through the tough times between friends and loved ones.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
An array of exciting projects have opened for me: screenplays for a webseries at www.YouTube.com/AuthorGeneseDavis, along with my second novel, and new media for www.TheGamerInYou.com are all in production as we speak!

The Holder’s Dominion 

After her father’s death on a mountain rescue mission, Kaylie Ames watched her family shatter. She fled Tacoma for college in faraway Austin, figuring that even the worst campus drama would be a relief. But when her old friend Elliott turns up on his knees in the grocery store aisle, raving about something called a morphis, Kaylie feels compelled to enter Elliott’s unfamiliar world.

Guided by Elliott and his friends, Kaylie signs on to the massively popular online game Edannair. There she discovers a world of beautiful vistas and magical creatures, where people from all over the globe step into the roles of warriors on fantastical quests. But a real-world evil threatens the players: the mysterious Holder, leader of the elite team known as Sarkmarr, is coercing his followers into traumatic offline dares known as “morphis assignments.” To save her friends, Kaylie must infiltrate Sarkmarr and survive the Holder’s tests.

Will she find the courage there to hold her real-world family together?