Growing up with the heroic tales written by authors such as David Gemmell and James Barclay, D was inspired to write stories of his own. After joining the army, D used his free time to focus on his dream of sharing shelf-space with his idols.
D testifies to the fact that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword – but swords make for better letter-openers. He lives where the army sends him, but home is in Chelmsford with his fiancée. They say that behind every great man there is a woman pulling the strings, but she lets him dance to his own song whilst being the perfect partner in step. D claims that his books would not have been written without her.
David Emrys is not his real name. Nor is D.
BRIAN: D, welcome to the Underground. Thanks for joining us. You’re writing under a pen name, so what’s your real name? Just kidding! (Unless you can really tell us, because that would be cool.) Seriously, what convinced you to write under a different name and why “D.E.M Emrys”?
D: Thank you for having me! My real name? Haha, that’s secret. With the nature of my job, I’m restricted as to what I can put ‘out there’ in the public domain. Not in a ‘if I tell you, I have to kill you’ sense, but let’s just say it’s safer for everyone involved!
Realistically, I could’ve used my own name and published/networked under a fake ‘background’(e.g. tinker, tailor… underwater wood welder) but I thought that bringing my military experience to the table was more intriguing to the potential reader.
And D. E. M. Emrys? A good few reasons. 1) D. E. M. Emrys is special to me. My father took his own life when I was sixteen, and left very little as a legacy. To put something of him down in history, I adopted his middle (Emrys) and first (David) names into my Author Persona. And so, D. E. M.
Emrys was born. 2) Again, the nature of the job required a measure of security. And 3) the most important to the author vying for a modicum of success. I needed a name that was searchable. If you put my real name into Google it pretty much crashes the search engine. So rather than being 1 in thousands of ‘John Doe’s, I give myself a unique ID.
BRIAN: As you know, I passed up From Man to Man on my first look several
months ago. However, I think what changed my mind was how well you developed
your lead character, Draven, in such a short time. Tell our readers a little
about what inspired Draven’s character.
D: Draven is a fighter. Pure and simple. He’s got the bruises, the scars (ones you can see, and ones you can’t), the memories and the nightmares. He’s not only been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt, but he can also point out the graves of those who didn’t make it back.
With a background in the military, needless to say I’ve met my own fair share of‘Draven’s’. Soldiers by nature are fighters – not just in the bang-bang, punch-punch sense, but in the very fact that when we do our job, the odds are stacked against us in a thousand and one different ways. But even up against all that adversity, soldiers push through, they get the job done, no matter how hard it might be. Soldiers don’t make the impossible, possible - soldiers just do it.
And on a personal level, Draven is very much based on my father. Yes, he took his life, and to many that may seem like giving up, but to the ever
glass-half-full me, I believe he did the opposite. He was mentally ill for a
very long time, and after losing so many battles against what he believed was his invincible enemy, he decided to win the war. Rather than continue his decline, he took a stand during a time that he thought was a ‘happy one’, and decided to go out on his feet, rather than live on his knees. I don’t condone what he did to anyone, and if you ever experience mental health issues please seek help, but to me my Dad was a hero.