D.H Willison “And I suppose that brings me to a final characteristic, both in life and in my writing: hope.”
Can You Tell Me a Bit About Your Writing?
I’ve always loved creative problem solving, and Darin, the human POV character, reflects this. We’ve all faced challenges in life. Yet so often the solution requires a step back–looking at a situation from a different angle. In fantasy you can take this to the extreme: a liberating experience.
Imagine you’re faced with a mythical creature who is bigger, faster, and stronger than you. And would like to eat you. You have thirty seconds to figure a way out.
Compared with a situation like that, most of my day to day challenges are a cakewalk. If yours are not, please contact me so I can write a book about you.
Darin is small, weak, untrained, with no magic, and can’t afford decent weapons or armor. Yet he’s constantly thrown into horrendously dangerous situations. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said to myself, “Uuugh. Darin, buddy, how are you going to get out of this one?” But by stopping, taking a step back, and looking at the problem from another angle, a solution always presents itself. Which is not only immensely satisfying as a writer, but also prevents Darin from a horrific and premature death.
I’ve always loved both non-human characters and unlikely friendships–there is something magical about characters finding common grounds while staying true to what makes them unique. In the case of Harpyness, the two characters are so different that they have a hard time imagining what life must be like for the other. How would your life be different if you had wings instead of arms? Could you put yourself in the shoes of a giant harpy?
OK, that was a trick question. Harpies don’t wear shoes. And they also find it totally bizarre that humans have feet so weak as to require them, and can’t even properly grasp a branch.
Which brings me to humor. I love humor in both reading and writing, love to find the humor in the darkest of situations. Great literature may be subjective, but laughter is not. If I can put a smile on someone’s face, it makes me happy too.
Incidentally, Rinloh the harpy has her own views on the matter, outlined in her interview below.
And I suppose that brings me to a final characteristic, both in life and in my writing: hope. Because I tend to write underdogs, characters who succeed with the odds stacked against them, because I write characters who find ways of overcoming their differences, my writing takes on an optimistic, uplifting tone. I believe there are solutions to all our problems: we just need to find them.
Come now, Darin! I know you’re from another world, but you can’t think we’re that foolish here. No parent is irresponsible enough to let their child play outside the city walls without being properly armed.―
D.H Willison, Harpyness is Only Skin Deep
Harpyness is only Skin Deep
by D.H Willison
On a world where death lurks around every corner, is friendship the strongest survival tool of all?
Darin: bored with his paper pusher existence, he accepts a questionable deal for the LARP adventure of a lifetime. A jump through a dimensional portal strands him on the mythical world of Arvia, where everything is gigantic. Except the life-expectancy of newcomers.
Rinloh: a mere ten meters tall. Life in the harpy flock has never been easy for her. Determined to become full-fledged at the upcoming human-hunt, nothing is going to stand–or fly–in her way.
A chance encounter between these two–what could possibly go wrong?
Humans consider consorting with a harpy a capital offense. Harpies consider the human citizens a tasty part of a balanced diet. Yet the two must overcome a most monstrous conspiracy as the citizens of the city begin disappearing, with a list of suspects as big as the inhabitants of Arvia.
Harpyness is Only Skin Deep blends endearing characters and whimsical fantasy adventure in a uniquely witty, charming style. Contact your neighborhood dimension broker, or download Harpyness, and jump into the world of Arvia today.
Ebook and paperback on Amazon
Hardcover and paperback on Barnes and Noble
I’m currently working on an as-yet-untitled follow on to Harpyness, so for readers who can’t get enough huge humorous harpies, the future looks bright.
Bonus feature! Interview with Rinloh the Harpy
This is Pelion with Centaur Central, here today with Rinloh the harpy to discuss her views on humans.
Pelion: Greetings, Rinloh. Thanks for agreeing to an interview. Your position on this issue has been described by many predators as unconventional, but we here at the network believe in honest journalism. Before we begin, could you introduce yourself?
Rinloh: Sure thing, Pelion. My name is Rinloh, and I’m a harpy of the Tionora flock. And to get the first question that I’m always asked out of the way: yes, as the smallest flock member at barely 10 meters tall, I’ve struggled with size issues all my life, but that’s a topic for another day. Today, I’m here to discuss humans.
Pelion: You’ve created a stir within the predator community with your viewpoint.
Rinloh: I know. Let me start by saying that I know feral humans can be troublesome. I don’t advocate a complete hunting ban, but I do hope to open the eyes of predators across our land. I realize that as tasty as humans may be, this is not a popular opinion. It’s too easy for us to think with our stomachs, to just do what feels natural. But I urge your readers to think before they devour: many humans are not only intelligent creatures, but can be quite affectionate as well.
Pelion: So, you advocate for keeping humans as pets, not just livestock or working animals?
Rinloh: Every predator has to do what they feel comfortable with, but I strongly believe that they make good pets, and in some cases, can serve as excellent emotional support animals.
Pelion: This comes from personal experience with your own pet human, correct?
Rinloh: To be honest, Pelion, I consider mine to be more friend than pet, but yes, it is based on personal experience.
Pelion: Friend. Uuff. That word may be a bit too radical for our readers to accept. I don’t think I’ll be able to print that in the final publication.
Rinloh: I understand.
Pelion: How did you happen to acquire this pet of yours? Did you catch it yourself, or trade for it?
Rinloh: I caught him myself! It was my very first human hunt. But the little rascal managed to get away from us. What a wild human chase that first encounter was. But you can read more about it in my novel.
Pelion: Yes, that’s right, you have a book that was just published. Can you tell us anything about it?
Rinloh: It’s all about my experiences with my human friend and our adventures together. And as a special treat for the readers who love truly outlandish stories, there’s even a chapter about life on his home world, a bizarre place called ‘Earth.’
Pelion: So, some of the story is from his perspective as well? The perspective of a human? That’s a pretty daring idea.
Rinloh: Actually quite a lot of it is from his perspective. With all the funny little anecdotes he’s told me about what life is like as a human, I just couldn’t resist. The life of a harpy is so ordinary in comparison.
Pelion: Time will tell if the world is ready for such a bold story.
Rinloh: You know what’s really funny? He actually thinks the book is about him. But human egos are almost as fragile as their cute little bodies, so I don’t have the heart to tell him otherwise.
Pelion: [Laughs] Well, don’t worry, he certainly won’t hear about it from me. Thanks for sharing with us today, and best of luck on your book!
Interview originally published here: https://dhwillisoncreates.com/interview-with-a-harpy/
About the Author
D.H. Willison is a reader, writer, game enthusiast and developer, engineer, and history enthusiast. He’s lived around the world, absorbing history, culture, and food. Actually he’s eaten the food. It has been verified that he is a complex, multicellular life form. Fascinated by nature, technology, and history, and especially anything that can put all three of these together, he has an annoying habit of dragging his wife to the most unromantic destinations imaginable, including outdoor museums, authentic castle dungeons, the holds of tall ships, and even the tunnels of the Maginot Line.
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