Hi Genese, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi Patrick. Thanks for having me. J I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico where my interest for equestrianism and flying glider planes blossomed. College whisked me away into fashion, finance, and of course, creative writing! My favorite college highlights include studying abroad in Costa Rica for university business credit, performing in plays, and studying playwriting.
Why did you start writing?
My dream is to connect families and friends together. Like Kaylie, (the protagonist in my novel The Holder’s Dominion) I was introduced to gaming pretty late in life. In fact, as a young girl all my free time was spent at a horse barn where I learned the art of dressage and show jumping. I never expected to become an author or video game columnist. I ventured into the world of MMO gaming as an adult and discovered a passion for in-game community, especially in raiding teams. Working with industry professionals, I gained a deep understanding of video games and their artists, lore, culture, and development, and that’s how the story for The Holder’s Dominion was born.
What do you think makes your genre special?
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?” Because this book was constructed as a gateway for fans lacking deep exposure to the genre, the novel begins its exploration from the perspective of an inexperienced gamer. The Holder’s Dominion reveals online gaming in an easy-to-follow and riveting setting revealing the secret side to online games, and an avenue for different generations to understand one another.
What’s also unique about The Holder’s Dominion is that the story takes place on a college campus and therefore falls into the genre called “new adult.” The foundation of this story revolves around that “shove” we all go through into adulthood. When we leave the nest, we’re forced to grow up quickly. Beyond our high school days are powerful new adult stories that begin and blossom in our late teens and early 20s. Publishers Weekly recognizes the huge amount of heartfelt stories set beyond high school, and featured a full-length article about The Holder’s Dominion and its new adult classification.
What do you think makes a great story?
You know what? I wrote an article titled, “Would Your Book be Shelved?” that discussed just that! My article was featured on News360! Those books we can’t seem to put down, I call caffeinated books. Books with affect us, submerge into our subconscious, and blanket us with their mood. How do these stories get laced with such addiction? I’ve narrowed it down to a few key angles: Bleeding characters, the neutral voice, and a gasping pace. Read the rest of the article on News360 or on my blog.
What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
The Holder’s Dominion
Following a newcomer to the world of online role-playing games, this book sidesteps stereotypes and reveals a tight-knit community facing a very real threat.
Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
The Holder’s Dominion is a speculative thriller with a fantasy twist and is a book both gamers and non-gamers alike can enjoy. The story is a message of hope and support for anyone going through grief or who have been separated from their family. In addition, this book’s overarching concept and details within the story were composed to relate to the experience of a large and well-defined gaming community. The Holder’s Dominion is an epic journey that will bring validation to gamers while intriguing them with speculative technology and a new world to adventure.
Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it the latter, how long do you think will it go on?
It is a standalone but has the potential to become a series!
What influenced or inspired you writing it?
I wanted to write for gamers and non-gamers alike about the unpredictable and influential ways that video games change us, and to share with others the amazing experience of collaborative video games and the communities that grow up in and around them. This fast-paced story aims to bridge the gap between families and friends of gamers who wonder about the allure behind their loved ones’ fascination with video games.
Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
The publisher and editors chose the title. And I love it! My book producer used a breakthrough project management method with me to write my novel, and during production we called it, “Project Whisper” for fun.
What was the hardest part for you working on your book?
I’ve been asked quite a few times which scene or characters in The Holder’s Dominion were the most difficult for me to write and why. And I’d have to say developing the online game world for Edannair was super challenging. Some nights I’d wonder, “How am I ever going to create an online world on my own for this novel? This is a job for teams of people!” 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 intimidating. There were many late nights of “blue sky sessions” plus research and development, but it was a blast creating new elements to show how the gaming experience enlightens people’s lives.
Was there a scene that you didn’t want to add or remove in your finished work?
I love the editing process, so it wasn’t difficult for me to add or delete chapters from Holder’s. My most important goal was to create a lean and well-written manuscript and I trusted my editors completely when it came to finalizing the novel.
Do you already know what to do next?
An array of exciting projects have opened for me: I joined the Pixel Legends team to host their reoccurring web series where we look deeper in to the world of video games. The first episode titled, “The Gamer In You,” discussed the importance of understanding what “Gamer” really means and why we need to redefine this term. Episode two called “Interactive Storytelling” just went live! Watch both episodes on either the Pixel Legends or Genese Davis Youtube channels. Also, my second novel is in the works and I’m now a columnist for the popular video game site, MMORPG.com.
Where can we find more about you and your books?
Definitely check out the unique approach directors, Brian Horn and Eric Kieron Davis took when filming the live-action book trailer for The Holder’s Dominion. See what they did at www.Youtube.com/AuthorGeneseDavis. And my novel is available wherever books are sold in paperback and e-book.
I’d love to connect! After all, we are only a message apart. J
Here’s my info:
Any last words?
Having a creative producer is the number one advice I would offer any writer looking for a breakthrough approach to writing. Whenever I get stuck or lost in the minutia of writing, I schedule meetings with my producer and we have production one on ones, or creative one on ones. These are meetings where the author and producer can brainstorm, also known as “blue sky sessions,” and where we plan out small tangible goals using project management tools like Scrum. Project management doesn’t have to be solely for corporate environments anymore. Use these methods to develop your artistic projects, too! In fact, I’ll be talking more in depth about how to use project management tools for writing novels at a number of upcoming conventions this year. Come join in on the fun! To find a city near you, visit the “News & Appearances” section at www.GeneseDavis.com.
Thank you again for having me, Patrick!
The Holders 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?