Meet the Members: R.S. Dabney

“I’d like to sit down with George R.R. Martin and ask him why he is taking so long to complete The Winds of Winter!”

-R.S. Dabney

A member of the Writers’ League since March, R.S. Dabney lives in Terlingua, Texas.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

R.S. Dabney: I write speculative thrillers, but my work has been described by various critics as fantasy, dystopian, and even science fiction.

I’ve written two books to date, The Soul Mender and The Peace Keeper, both part of The Soul Mender Trilogy. I’m looking to have the final installment out in early 2018. I like to think that my novels have something for everyone—a sprinkle of suspense, a dash of adventure, and a whole lot of good versus evil.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

RSD: If I had the opportunity to go back in time and have a drink with an author, I would choose Joseph Campbell. I don’t know what question I’d ask—I feel like I’d just begin with “Tell me everything that’s in your head,” and then sit back and listen. I’m fascinated with his writing and have learned so much about storytelling and characterization from his works. Just to spend an hour with the man would be any writer’s dream.

Also, I’d like to sit down with George R.R. Martin and ask him why he is taking so long to complete The Winds of Winter!

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

RSD: So many titles race through my brain for this question, but if I were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one book with me, I would want Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. The first books that came to mind were some of my favorites, but I think over time I’d need something inspirational, something that kept me believing in a hope of rescue.

Even now, as I’m beginning this crazy journey as an author, it feels at times like being stranded on an island. Writing is such a solitary journey, one that is mostly uphill and without tangible reward. Books like The Alchemist about perseverance, patience, and belief in oneself have kept me positive and have continued to push me to work toward this dream.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

RSD: I haven’t been a member for very long, but from what I can tell this is a fantastic group of writers who are very supportive of each other. We all want to help make a name for talented Texas authors, poets, and scribes of all sorts. I’m so excited to be part of such a group and look forward to a rewarding year of fellowship and writing.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

RSD: By the beginning of 2018 I will have completed my first trilogy, a journey that will have taken nine years to complete. I’ve grown a lot in that time, both personally and in my writing, and I’m looking forward to my next project when The Soul Mender Trilogy is completed. I’ve already started work on a new series and have a few stand-alones waiting in the wings as well. I absolutely love writing novels and hope to continue sharing my stories with the world for many years to come. I’m certain the completion of my third novel won’t be the last you see of me!

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

RSD: The Far Empty by J. Todd Scott. I might be biased because the book is set in my neck of the woods (or desert), but I found it to be totally enthralling. This book was exciting from page one all the way until the end, and I had a hard time putting it down in between the two.

As someone who lives in “The Far Empty,” the Big Bend Region of Texas, I felt the descriptions and characterization of the area were spot on. Even though fictitious, I found it totally believable.

The story is told through multiple POV’s, which added to the tension and grittiness of the plot. Getting into the minds of each character, including the villain, where we sort of know what is going on the whole time but are still gripping the edge of our seats needing to know more, is a fascinating way to share a story. I’m truly looking forward to Scott’s next work.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

RSD: Yay for blatant self-promotion!

Writing a book and fulfilling a dream has been such a wonderful experience, and this first year of being a published author has been good to me. Thus far, The Soul Mender has reached Amazon’s Bestsellers List, received a five-star review from the Pacific Book Review, was a quarter finalist for the Booklife Prize in Fiction, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, and was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of their Best Indie Debut Novels of 2016. The Soul Mender also recently won first place in the “Genre Fiction” category in the Los Angeles Book Festival contest. The Peace Keeper was released on New Year’s Day of 2017 and recently won first place in the “Sequel” category in the Los Angeles Book Festival contest.

If anyone is interested in more information, I can be found all over social media @rsdabneyauthor and at my website, www.rsdabney.com.

Thanks, R.S.!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

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