Posted on 06/28/2017 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Recently a reader suggested we feature Daryl Banner in our author Q&A series, so our first step was to check out his website.

And then we stared for a moment in awe. Books — whole series of them! Original music to accompany it! An offer to compose more work for other projects! And information on editing/formatting services!

Given that he still found time to answer our questions about his career, we’re thinking he’d make a great life coach as well.

Here’s what the psych major-turned-author had to say about his creative endeavors!

SADYE: How do you do it all?

DARYL: Some days, I feel like I don't do enough. I'm just constantly wanting to create and produce and realize my ideas. It all comes from the same place: a love for storytelling.

Even in music, you tell a story that moves and takes you on an emotional journey. I love the look of inspiration in someone's eye when a story or song of mine touches them; that's what I'm going for.

SADYE: Some of your books are accompanied by soundtracks. What comes first, the inspiration for the music or for the story?

DARYL: Definitely the books come first. The Beautiful Dead, for me, has so much artistic ground to cover that I almost couldn't NOT write an accompanying soundtrack for it.

It reads a lot like a movie, so each song I wrote kind of tells a major scene in the book. I also wrote the soundtrack thematically, so there are character themes that recur throughout the music.

SADYE: How did you find yourself writing both romance and post-apocalyptic fantasy/dystopia — two genres that, at face value, seem quite different?

DARYL: Honestly, I just write what I'm inspired by. Romance is all around us, so it comes quite naturally to write about men and women (or men and men, or women and women) longing for one another and then throwing obstacles in their way (as all good evil authors try to do).

When I write my dystopian or fantasy series, there's a creative shift because I get to follow rules of a different world, but truthfully, it feels like it comes from the same place.

No matter the setting, no matter if there's special powers or world-ending drama or evil kings or just two people sitting in a restaurant in love, there's always a human underneath who has a story to tell.

SADYE: You had a Pulitzer Prize-winning mentor when you wrote your first novel — how did you land that?

DARYL: My first novel, Psychology of Want, was a product of many tiny poems and moments that I sewed together into a cohesive story of a very dark and twisty nature about a sex addict in college whose addiction takes on the form of a "demon" who haunts (i.e. taunts and sexually teases) him.

While I was writing it, I was also a student at the University of Houston and was enrolled in a playwriting production class, which I had auditioned for by submitting a play of mine, which miraculously got picked out of hundreds.

I got to work with (the now sadly late) Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, who gave me a lot of coaching and mentoring. I was very lucky to know him. Sometimes when I write, I swear I can still hear him scoffing at bad word choices in my head, which I'll hastily fix.

SADYE: Is it possible for you to pick a favorite creative outlet?

DARYL: I'd have to say I enjoy writing books the most. I love being in control of every aspect of the story, unlike a play where the presentation of your work relies on the whim of a director, actors, designers, etc.

In a book, I'm all of those things (essentially), and my audience is the reader. I love coming at books with a cinematographic eye, and detailing every character as accurately as if I was directing the actors myself. It's thrilling to me.

SADYE: Is there a single moment or accomplishment you’re most proud of?

DARYL: Just having my books being read at all is an accomplishment in and of itself, and for that I'm seriously grateful.

I'm a perfectionist, so I'm always seeing ways to improve, methods to employ on my next book, and dreaming up stories I can't wait to tell.

My favorite story is always the one I'm working on — which always feels like the greatest dang accomplishment when I type those two words: "the end" — so I'll leave it at that!

* * *

Learn more about Daryl Banner on his website, where his books can also be purchased; like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email sadye (at) thefussylibrarian.com with a recommendation!

Categories: Author Interview

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