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Author Spotlight with Dylan Altoft

Dylan Altoft is an author from England, debuting his career with his first self-pub 'Beast Born'.

Working as both, a freelance comedian and a full time worker in hospitality, Dylan has spent the last three years developing and perfecting his first publication as an intended series known as the 'Werewolf Saga' available exclusively on Amazon with his best review citing 'Better than Underworld'.

Dylan gained his flare for the dramatic in his writing via his BA Hons Degree in Performing Arts, which he intently applies to his professional writing, along with his personal hobbies of martial arts, axe throwing and even LARP.

Dylan currently resides in the South-West of England where he hones all his crafts and intends to keep writing as long as he has even one single reader.

Dylan's favourite phrase to remember when writing his books is: 'Is this the most exciting part of your character's life, and if not, why aren't we reading about that?'

Beast Born (The first book of the 'Werewolf Saga'

Dylan! Welcome to the blog, how have you been? Excited to finally have you here, other than your introduction you sent me at the top of the page, let's start off with a fun fact about yourself?

Hi, thankyou for having me. I have been doing very well, thank you. For a fun fact, when i am not writing Werewolf books, I actually do freelance shows as a comedian, weird eh? 

Let's talk the Werewolf Saga, I was lucky enough to read your first of the series 'Beast Born' and those who haven't read my review yet, jeeps that was a good book! For those who have no idea about it, please give us an overview.

The overview of Beast Born is a young boys world changing forever the night he is nearly killed by a Vampire, narrowly saved by a Werewolf soldier. After deciding to join the cause to free humanity from secret Vampire rule, Arthur will fight tigers, Vampire ambushes, and worst of all, himself in order to become stronger in his new life of war and death. 

The main character Arthur, I'm not going to lie those scenes hit hard from personal experiences, what influenced you to write about Arthur's life?

One of the largest themes I have for this series is the power. Arthur is a victim as a human boy, with no control over all those who torment him, family and bullies alike, but when he gains the power to finally fight back, it isn't exactly as he imagined, hence when he was chastised for abusing his power by his mentor. I was bullied myself as a young boy for being ginger, hence why Arthur is ginger, and as an adult I made sure i was capable of defending myself, and knowing what i know, i also have to be careful never to accidentally hurt someone, similar to Arthur with his Werewolf powers. So i would say the influence was the goal of portraying the struggle with power verses responsibility.

So Werewolves and vampires! I've never read a book like this before, what made you come up with this theme?

The entire story came from a single image. I saw a picture of a Werewolf stood upright, holding a sword looking off into the distance. I looked at the picture and thought to myself, "Where is he going?" "Who is he fighting?" and the idea came from there. Werewolves fighting Vampires, hence the opening scene of a Vampire and Werewolf fighting to the death, i wrote that in response to that image i saw. The story came from there afterwards. 

Who would you say are your favourite authors?

I have many influences i have read over the years, but my main two who i always come back to re-reading all the time would be Stephen King and Darren Shan. Both authors have young people battling against supernatural evil, and that has always stuck with me the most. 

Did you design your book cover yourself or did you get someone to do it? I love it.

It really stood out to me when I was buying the book.

All my book covers come from the website Fivrr. I have an immense amount of respect for graphic designers so i would never presume to do it myself when i haven't had such training, so i get a professional. 

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am an absolute Panters. I have ideas of where i want my story to go, but i have no idea which book some ideas will be in, or how my characters will come to them. Half the time, i surprise myself with what i end up writing. 

Do your characters resemble anyone in particular?

A few of my characters have influences, but they are in later books outside of Beast Born. I am heavily influenced by Anime, so a lot of my character possess the physical appearance of anime protagonists. For example, in my second book, Blood Brothers, the crimson commander, Blane Heim, i based his look from the character, Escanor, from the anime seven deadly sins. 

How long did it take from starting this book to finishing it and publishing?

Because Beast Born was my first book, it took two years to have it ready for full publication. It went through about five different drafts. Since then, i have managed to get out the following book in my series within a year. 

Your marketing for the book makes me laugh on every tweet that you do, what makes you promote your books like this? Let's just say, it's very unique!

My marketing strategy is certainly eccentric. I draw my reasoning for it from my comedic roots. I have a wicked sense of humour, and clearly very little sense of shame, so i like to experiment with the different ways to catch peoples eyes. I have received many direct messages disparaging me for marketing like i have but i know some people enjoy them, and some people have checked out my work simply because i made them laugh, so its a pyric victory. I would have to say my favourite promotion is my video of myself dancing behind my book, a perfect mix of hilarity and absolute cringe. 

Which bit of your first book would you say was your favourite scene to write? I think mine would be the tests and tribulations that Cratos put's Arthur through.

All my scene of Cratos training Arthur was incredibly fun to write. I am a massive 80s action movie addict, so the mentor training the student scenes are always my favourite. In Beast Born, my favourite scene to write was the final climax battle at the end. I wont give out any spoilers, but it allowed me to make use of my knowledge of martial arts in a really creative way given how the protagonists were fighting against a uniquely skilled opponent. 

There was very brutal scenes in this book, I do love a good horror but some bits made me wince, where did you get your ideas for such gory scenes?

When it comes to Werewolves, you usually cannot avoid violence, unless it is perhaps a romance book. I have watched an egregious amount of body horror scary movies of the years, and my imagination is rather potent in this regard so i am never lacking for how to make a scene especially violent. I suppose the SAW movie franchise would be a close comparison and i do love those movies. But, in books past Beast Born, the violence is more fighting focused than gory in Blood Brothers, but War Wolf is even more bloody than Beast Born was. 

Have you got any other advice for any writer's out there who are reading this?

A lot of writers tend to backtrack themselves when writing, or worry about how their writing looks, causing writers block and delays in the first draft. The first draft is meant to be terrible, it's pretty much a giant white board of ideas that the book has yet to be born from. Don't worry about quality when writing, because that's what editing is for. Just make sure you get everything you want to on the page. A bad page can be edited, a blank page cannot. 

Let's plug your next books without potentially giving out any spoilers....

For those interested in the rest of the Werewolf series, the second book, Blood Brother's follows Arthur Thorn as he makes it to the legendary kingdom of the Werewolves for his studies, the only obstacle? surviving it. War Wolf then takes Arthur's life as a Werewolf and kicks it higher and more dangerous than Arthur thought was possible. Between death tournaments and suicidal missions, Arthur will come up against the worst threats to his life he has ever faced.

Thank you again for this interview. It was so amazing answering these awesome questions. I wish all your readers the best day, and if they check out the Werewolf series, i hope they like it. 


After a little stalking of the author, I've decided to also plug his comedy, and facebook author reels, although he does not know until this goes live... Sorry Dylan!

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