AUTHOR INTERVIEW 63

Daniel Porter

Age 18

My name is Daniel Porter. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I remember doing my first little book when I was a kid. It was bad and was made up of clunky dialogue and horribly drawn images, but I still loved doing it. It was called Lazer Legends, for some bizarre reason. I think I based it off of the movie franchise, “The Matrix” but I don’t remember enough of it to confirm that.
I started writing properly when I was eight, I think? It was just this one page story about the creation of this little world. The person that created it had no idea what they were doing, but wanted to do it anyway. I didn’t really know why they did, I don’t think they did either. But that’s when the creation of The Portal
Saga technically began, with that little story. A saga I never actually knew I’d be letting the world see, but here we are.
The Portal Saga is a series I’m in the midst of creating. At the time of writing, I only have one book published and it’s sequel is almost ready to be released. I’ve planned for about nine books, split into three trilogies. But even then, The Portal Saga is much more than just these books.
I have piles upon piles of pages littered within a folder, detailing all the lore surrounding The Portal Saga’s Multiverse; the different species, the lingo used by certain factions, the rules each rendition of the Multiverse has, the main events and even minor events that happened within it’s topsy-turvy timeline. Not
only that, I have so many short stories and so many different characters that all have their time in the “spotlight” so to speak. Creating all of this has taken me around ten years, I’d say?

I suppose you may be wondering why, why on earth would I spend so much time on something that I never actually knew I’d be releasing into the public eye? Well, I suppose the answer is simple. It was to escape the boring old reality we all live in. I never had the worst time; yes I was bullied a little. Yes, I was
a bit of a brat. But I still felt that draw to escape this world and enter a new one, a fresh one filled with wonder and excitement. That’s what drew me to books in the first place actually, that need. I was obsessed with Darran Shan’s books for a while, you should give them a read. They’re pretty fun. But after a while, JUST reading wasn’t enough. I needed something more. Something that I could explore
and create at the same time. Something wonderful that gave me just as much excitement as reading did. And then I remembered the little book I wrote. Then, I remembered the little story.
Have you ever felt an epiphany uppercut you? Well, that’s how it felt for me. I got started on writing my first real book ever. Technically, it wasn’t the first as I had done short stories and compiled them together.

This first book was started when I was thirteen or fourteen while the short stories really came in full force when I was around ten. Anyway. The book was called “Gear: The New World”. It was set within a Multiverse of alternate realities, all connected through minor details or major ones. It was through this book (It was scrapped and
actually ended up being deleted due to an unfortunate miss click) that I came up with the idea of The Eternal Tree, the Multiverse that The Portal Saga is set. Following this single book, I wrote a few more short stories and decided that all previous ones I did could be included in it. Then I did my first ever character design; a character called Caleb Crowe. He was my original protagonist and was a part of my original storyline that I was going to portray. It would follow him and another called John Godfrey as he collected other “Prophets”, beings given special abilities by certain gods that choose those Prophets as their eventual successors.
Caleb, originally, was meant to be an anomaly. No one knew who the god was that chose him and it was going to be revealed at the end that the god that chose him wasn’t a god at all, but something called The Fallen. I won’t go too much into it, but this storyline was pushed back into a previous cycle, once I realized how difficult I found it to stick to a singular storyline.

Then, after a lot of thought, I started writing “The Prophet’s Tempest”, the first officially published book of the Portal Saga. It follows a man called Drew Carter, a mysterious person with a lot to hide. His first introduction is of the moment when he finds The Fallen and makes a deal with him, a deal that goes terribly wrong. The book then follows Drew as he deals with the repercussions of his choice, eventually
culminating in a large-scale battle between him and another powerful, misguided entity.
The second book takes place a year later and follows another main character, but Drew is still involved. However, he’s different. More powerful than ever and manipulative. He’s back in a bad way and it’s the start of a tough road for our favorite Prophet. The Second book itself centers around a town called Dread Falls, a place hidden from the prying eyes of society. The world is based around six months after the Strix, a multiversal faction hell-bent on taking over the eternal tree, officially colonized their world.
Jack Donovan, a werewolf with only a certain amount of time left before “The Beast” takes over forever, and Cole Morrimer, a man obsessed with finding Drew Carter, arrive within the small country town in the hopes of finding a cure and a lead in their missing person’s case. The kick is, as soon as they arrive, Jack
finds himself the suspect in a murder case he accidentally stumbles upon during his first night there. He immediately felt obligated to get to the bottom of it. Not because it was the right thing to do, but because of what the Killer left behind. A message, a warning, seemingly meant just for him:
Remember? Seven Days till the Beast Roams Free…So now, he doesn’t just have to find an incredibly well hidden Prophet, he also has to solve a murder case.
All before his number’s up…
Ramos McGrathe, our second Protagonist, is a Revenant and one of the few of their kind still left out in the open world. They’re also a detective in a slump. They were assigned a murder case that had no leads, assigned a human partner of all things and somehow was expected to work with “Nocturnals”, beings that
couldn’t face the sun due to a biological trait or a curse. Beings that the Revenant Detective despises. Yet as two more strangers arrive in town, the murders start piling up and the killer starts leaving behind warnings in their victims blood, Ramos realizes they have no choice but to step up and investigate. After
all they only have seven days Filled with Conspiracy, thriller elements, horror elements, a little romance and enough fun for anybody to
enjoy, “Red Skies” is a book that promises to keep you intrigued, even past it’s final page. Along with my books, I’m crafting a Podcast show which you can find on Anchor and Google Podcasts (as well as many other places where you can find your podcasts) based in the same Multiverse. It works almost like an anthology, accompanied by music I design and animations that I also design. I voice “The
Collector” and I have other voice actors and actresses giving life to the characters they choose to portray.
I’m incredibly proud of the stories I’ve created and I am always grateful for the support I have received from those around me. But most importantly, I haven’t lost sight on exactly why I’m still writing and crafting. It’s because I want to create for others what I had. That escape to a weird, wonderful place full of excitement and danger. I want to make people smile, at the end of the day. Even if it’s just the one person that enjoys my stories, that finds that escape, then that means it was all
worth
A MAN WITH A LUST FOR VENGEANCE,  Drew Carter has walked a dangerous road. This road has taken him to many dark places, till he found he was trapped within one himself. Now he has no choice but to hunt down a man he has met before, a man he had saved, a man who now threatens the entire Multiverse if he isn’t stopped. A Tempest is brewing within The Eternal Tree, one that threatens to destroy everything. Will Drew stand in it’s way? 

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?

Daniel Porter: Translating my own chaotic ideas into actual stories. It’s harder than it sounds.

Romelia: DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?

Daniel Porter: They don’t think it’s likely it’ll go anywhere. But they encourage me enough for me to know that they understand how much I love writing!

Romelia: IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Daniel Porter: I would make sure that I explore all avenues of creation. I’m doing that now, considering I even have my own audio show based on my books, but it’d be awesome if I had started sooner.

Romelia: HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?

Daniel Porter: Around 3 years.

Romelia: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?

Daniel Porter: Definitely. Everyone gets it for different reasons and you definitely don’t even need to be a writer in order to get writers block. There are ways to overcome it, but it’s generally unique to the person.

Romelia: AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?

Daniel Porter: When they start writing. It’s in the name, no?

Romelia: WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?

Daniel Porter: I don’t think there is a difference, personally. Although I think being called a writer sounds cooler.

Romelia: HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?

Daniel Porter: Well, if it’s constructive, then I understand and take it on board. I’ve done it that way with my designing as well. Only way to improve is through trial and error and all that.

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?

Daniel Porter: For me it’s when I have to kill off a character. To me, these characters are people in their own worlds and yes I am the puppet master. But I care about my lil’ puppets.

Romelia: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?

Daniel Porter: Since I was 8 years old. So around ten years now?

Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?

Daniel Porter: Keep going. Don’t be afraid of the white page and write what you want to. Don’t stick to any guide lines, you’ll create your own as you go along. The best thing you could do is write by your own rules. after all, the one that knows your story the best is you!

Romelia: WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?

Daniel Porter: To love your own story. It’s pretty hard to appreciate your own work, take this from someone who’s always hard themselves. But I try to be fair when I work and when I do rewrites. After all, if I was too harsh, I’d never have published a book and I’d still be just lil old me with a bunch of scrapped stories laying around.

Romelia: WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?

Daniel Porter: The characters. It’s because the characters are what propel the plot. Without characters, there can be no plot. Don’t get me wrong, it can be stuff like things happen to characters that propel the plot but most of the time, to make something engaging, the characters should propel the plot themselves.

Romelia: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?

Daniel Porter: I let them develop themselves. I found I worked best when I didn’t quite know what would happen, that I only knew bits and pieces, the main events. But the connections that move you from point A to point B is the stuff that I didn’t know. So in a way, I’m finding things out at the same pace as the reader.

Romelia: WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?

Daniel Porter: When I was 16 I think? I know it was recent. I was a little afraid to call myself one as I thought I didn’t deserve the title.

Romelia: HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?

Daniel Porter: I have my own personal page for my book series on Instagram and I use my personal social media as well. I also use YouTube where I post my audio stories.

Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?

Daniel Porter: My least favorite bit is structuring the manuscript, it’s pretty hard and time consuming. My favorite part is getting my own author copy.

Romelia: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?

Daniel Porter: I’d say go for it, considering I do the same thing. There’s no harm in trying right?

Romelia: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?

Daniel Porter: I’ve written three books in total, one scrapped, one published and one about to be published in late December/early January. My favorite book so far has got to be Red Skies, it’s such a fun book to write and it’s the first one I’ve done that’s got two main characters with opposing views.

Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?

Daniel Porter: I’d think it’d have to be the horror segment to be specific. Its completely done in the second protagonists perspective, with a werewolf hunting them and their friends down in an enclosed underground space. It was hard to do and to show exactly the terror they were all feeling but I think I pulled it off.

Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK WAS THE MOST FUN TO WRITE?

Daniel Porter: It’d have to be the chapter that reveals the first protagonists back story. It was fun to write it in when I have eluded to it for so long.

Romelia: WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST AND WHY?

Daniel Porter: I relate to a character called the collector the most. And why? Well I play as him in my audio stories. There is another reason but that’s a spoiler for future books, so that’s a secret.

Romelia: IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?

Daniel Porter: I’ll say that Red Skies is an amazing book with something for everybody. It’s got werewolves, unread, mutants, horror, cannibals, Gods and Goddesses, etc. I’m sure if people gave it a chance, I’m sure they’d love it!

Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.

Daniel Porter: Well, here’s a joke instead: How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it.

Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.

Daniel Porter: I love helping people when I can, I like to think that I’m a kind person and I always try to be as kind as possible. Something I hate about the world? Well, I suppose that people can still be so incredibly ignorant to others plights in this day and age. I don’t think it should be too hard to be considerate to a fellow living creature, you know? Yet some people still struggle with that. So I suppose I hate those people.

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