Author Spotlight With DM Lewry
Interview with DM Lewry, Author of THE EOS KEY-WYNTER BLOOD BOOK 1
M. Lewry was born in the city of Ajax, on the shores of Lake Ontario, Canada. She studied for an Honours BFA in Film Production Management at York University in Toronto and, upon completion of her course, moved to nearby Pickering. She still lives there today, with her husband, their son and two very spoiled cats.
Following her graduation, she took up a sales position at Cineplex Entertainment. She then spent the next 11 years in the promotional merchandise industry, where she currently manages the Canadian team of Sales Coordinators.
Today, she owns a small custom jewellery business, DD6ix, however it is writing that has been her true passion ever since her teen years on WattPad and Inkitt. Now, she has completed her debut novel, The Eos Key, a supernatural fantasy in which the African American heroine, who suffers from a harrowing past, battles her inner daemons and discovers that the supernatural world exists.
In her free time D.M. Lewry enjoys listening to audiobooks, learning a new language, singing, making jewellery and binging anything on TV that incorporates her love of supernatural worlds and creatures. She enjoys spending time with her two best friends; the same friends she has had for the past 20 years.
Having suffered with anxiety and depression, D.M. Lewry is keen on recognizing and supporting others who also battle mental health issues. Her book, The Eos Key, touches on these subjects, and she hopes that it and its central characters will help to make the stigma around mental health a thing of the past.
D.M. Lewry is has completed Book 1 in the Wynter Blood Series, and is currently drafting Book 2.
Hello! How are you? Thank you so much for agreeing to take part in this interview with me, I am so proud you are going to be a part of my blog! For my readers who may not have heard of your book, can you tell us about 'The Eos Key- Wynter Blood'?
Thank you for asking me to take part. I’m honoured. The Eos Key is the first novel in the Wynter Blood series. It follows the story of Alia and Eric; two star-crossed lovers doing their best to survive in a world they believe no longer holds anything worth fighting for.
The character development in this! JEEESH! I was astounded. What came first for you when writing this book? Was it the characters or the plot?
Thank you. I wanted each of the characters in the book to be distinct from one another, while also sharing the same struggles and issues. I also wanted this cast of supernatural characters to be relatable on a human level. When writing this novel, it was the plot that happened first. I knew what I wanted to happen; what secrets each character would keep from the other. I also try to organize how revealing those secrets would affect the entire cast, and in which order those secrets need to be revealed to end up where I need the next scene to be.
Was it always an ambition to make this book part of a series? I know you are currently on book two. How many books do you think you will publish?
Not originally, no. I had an ending for the book in mind, and I tried very hard to fit the entire plot into one book, but there was too much of a foundation that needed to be set for the reader, before I could take the characters to that point. I realized that doing a series would be best, since there is so much backstory for each member of the Wynter and Carter families. The Accords also have a history that could be explored as well. I would definitely like to write an Accords Origin story.
I can safely say The Wynter Blood Series will have at least 3 books, if not more. The Eos Key was my introduction to the Wynter Blood cast of characters. I have at least one more book in mind for Alia and Eric. While writing book two in their story, I’m poking at Lucien at Grace’s plot line at the same time. At this point, I’m not sure which will release first. All the characters will appear somewhere in the other books.
You have managed to delve into a mixture of different genres in this novel, vampires, supernatural horror, romance, what was your inspiration for this? Most of the genre bias in this novel comes from my love of supernatural television. I grew up on shows (and books) like The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, True Blood. I loved the romantic mystery of vampire ideation, and what they represent. I also like when vampires are portrayed as the humans they used to be, instead of the ‘monsters’ they’ve become. Shows like True Blood were unapologetic about this, and I believe it helped views fall in love with the characters of Bon Temps. I also enjoy shows like Marvel’s The Punisher. Frank Castle is an unapologetic badass, and his superpower is taking a beating like it’s nothing. I love the blood and realness of the fight scenes. When I write, I see what’s happening in my head play out like a scene on a TV show. I try to best transfer my senses on to the page, so the reader can immerse themselves in my world
Do you think you will stick to this particular genre or will you venture out into something new? While I’ve actually written a few novels, this is actually the first urban fantasy / paranormal romance I’ve written and the first novel I’ve gone as far as self-publishing. I have another romance / drama I wrote that was Bollywood inspired; and partly in Hindi. I learned the basic “hi, how are you” of the language and worked with someone in India to help with the translations. I haven’t written a horror novel, but think I could attempt it. Your themes included love, family, morals and loyalty, and I loved the fact you managed to cleverly bestow the strengths and weaknesses of EACH one of your characters, if you could pick one character who you relate to the most who would it be? While the story is fiction, I put much of myself into the character of Alia. I also struggle with anxiety and depression and tried to reflect some of life experiences and choices in her character. Her reserved personality and her approach to love and relationships was me exactly at one point. Thankfully, with therapy and many open conversations with family and friends, I’ve been able to view things, and myself, through a different lense. Was your intention to create a whole new level of book boyfriend, aka ERIC!? *LOL* Thank you. I’m happy you enjoyed Eric’s character. I wanted Eric to differ from most male vampires portrayed in urban fantasies. I wanted Eric to be the party boy, but also have a soft and insecure side, but not in a possessive or domineering way. I wanted to create a character that was learning to be human again. Someone who, after centuries of loneliness and heartache, took a chance and open his heart to the possibility of hurt all over again. You have a young son, and you seem like a wonderful mother, and wife, how do you find the time to write? One of the best pieces of advice I received when starting this publishing process was to treat your writing like a business. Self-published authors are business owners. We are writers, but we are also accountants, casting agents, digital artists, sound mixers, everything down to custodians! Just like you would get up and go to the work that provides you a paycheque, you need to put in the same dedication towards writing. Schedule time, and make it happen. For me, it’s after the baby goes to bed and on Sunday. On Sunday, daddy takes our son and I get to spend the day working on the business. I also do 1 hour writing sprints once a week with my group Ash City Press on Facebook. Any amount of work put in to get the project to the finish line makes a difference.
Out of all the promoting available to you, which has been the most beneficial, aka (twitter, insta, facebook) and who has been your biggest support? I’ve just recently starting appearing more on Twitter. The writing community there is always warm and welcoming. My main platform is Instagram. I am fortunate enough to have support from many communities on Instagram. The Bookstagram and Cosplay communities have been very open and supportive. I have found that, since the book covers so many topics, there are a variety of different people that have shown their support, which I am very grateful for.
You are an incredible mental health supporter, suffering from this myself I admire your willingness to help and change people's lives. What made you start encouraging the end of stigma for mental health sufferers? There are millions of people who suffer with mental health issues in silence, and I think, while it may not be a healthy habit, it is human. I have suffered with anxiety, depression, and suicide. I have lost friends to suicide. Suicide is taking people from our lives every day. I don’t think it is talked about enough, and especially not in fantasy or in Black literature. People, especially men, are still stuck living behind the stigma that getting help is a sign of weakness. Getting help with your mental health should be as natural as going to the gym or getting a massage. It is an act of self-care.
What else can you tell us that we don't yet know about you? I always think I’m a boring person, because I’m such an introvert. A few semi-interesting things? I make custom jewellery in my spare time with my side business DD6ix. Currently, I’m focusing on writing, but that was a passion of mine for some time. I can also play the didgeridoo. Not well, mind you, but I can play it. I am still learning Hindi to further my love of all things Bollywood. I was tired of reading subtitles that didn’t always translate well, so I took up learning the language in my spare time. It’s amazing what 10 minutes a day can do! Hindi is such a beautiful language, both written and spoken. Who is your favourite author of all time? That is a hard question. It is a toss up between Malorie Blackman of the Noughts and Crosses series, or Deborah Harkness or the All Souls Trilogy. Malorie Blackman is a master at the multiple POV, and I modelled by audiobook after hers in that every character has their own unique narrator. Malorie has the uncanny ability to hook the reader and leave them pining for her characters and fearing for their future. Deborah Harkness is a master at presenting beautifully described scenes and leaves you feeling as if you’re living in 17th century England with Kit Marlowe and a family of vampires. What's next for you in your future? We are all excited to know! I’d like to put a little more focus on my company, Ash City Press. Currently, we are a community on Facebook of BiPoC creatives in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. I want to use Ash City Press as a central hub for creatives of colour to network and help them achieve their goal of being published. Until then, I’m writing Book 2 in Alia and Eric’s story, and Lucien and Grace are having their backstory penned as well.
Thank you for sharing your time with me, I greatly appreciate it, and I can't wait for your next one! Thank you. I appreciate your time and support!