Tell me a little about yourself, personally.
My name is Jeremy Dwyer. I am 45 years old, married and my wife and I have a son. My professional training and experience are in computer science. I enjoy mathematics, some video games (Super Mario Maker, Gauntlet) and tabletop games (Ticket to Ride, Forbidden Island, Dominion, Castle Panic, Smash Up).
What is the name of the book or books you have published?
I have published the Potion Voyages series of books.
Where can they be found?
There are currently 9 books in the series, and they can be found on Amazon.
1: Castle & Conceit (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BS0852U)
2: Inferno & Intrigue (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FOR4A2W)
3: Dagger & Deception (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ICMYPK8)
4: Blood & Besiegement (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXKL5I1)
5: Tiara & Tempest (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N33M89I)
6: Luminaries & Lies (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0713YJKYN)
7: Haunt & Havoc (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077LYGHGQ)
8: Architecture & Adversity (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JJ4RZVC)
9: Ruin & Reliance (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082HHC426)
There is also a series bundle page (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074C4N2YD).
Each of the books contains my original song lyrics. Writing these lyrics just came to me naturally as part of writing the story.
(Note: melody, instrumental & vocals were done by professional musicians.)
Music is energized by the waters of one magic ocean in particular, giving it transformative effects. Some songs find mystical knowledge, allow hidden things to be found or dispel illusions. Music can also destroy, deceive or enchant. A few songs even heal. Nature can be controlled — summoning or calming storms — by other music.
The songs are arranged in playlists on soundcloud, numbered according to the book their lyrics are included in:
Book 2 Playlist
Book 3 Playlist
Book 4 Playlist
Book 5 Playlist
Book 6 Playlist
Book 7 Playlist
Book 8 Playlist
Book 9 Playlist
Do you have any current WIPs?
Now that book 9 has been published, I am going to rest for a while. The narrative is actually at a good pause point, which allow me to think carefully about how to proceed. The overall story is fantastically large and could easily go to book 12. I have hundreds of ideas for what comes next. I just need some time to recharge. I lost a lot of sleep staying up late to write these books, as well as writing 1 day every weekend, over the past 4 years.
What got you into writing?
I looked at a globe and an atlas and decided that it would be fun to make my own planet, with oceans that were all different, and their waters could each have a different form of magic. This idea popped in my head when I was 17. I knew I had to write the books...eventually. School and work and family came first, so I kept setting other goals and priorities.
What keeps you focused?
Writing is fun. Having finished books is fun. Procrastinating is not fun. Those are the key attitudes that keep my going.
What gives you inspiration?
Novels including Treasure Island and The Hobbit, along with the stories of Edgar Allen Poe and Greek Mythology, all gave me a taste for adventure. A few others — including Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — also factored in to my thinking about good, evil and supernatural elements.
How do you battle writer’s block?
Before I started writing, I struggled to develop the plot and style, so I just kept thinking about the story and different ways to approach it. Outlining and making notes helped a lot. This went on starting at around age 17. I didn’t start writing book 1 until I was 41 (nearly 42.)
The key is to just keep thinking about your story: how do the characters get motivated, evaluate and confront obstacles, and either fail or succeed? What are their life stories? Do they intersect? What secrets do they have?
Think about the setting: it is usually a crucial point. In fact, my setting — the world of magic oceans —
is where all my writing started. Everything depends on those oceans.
Did you decide on traditional or self publishing?
Self-publishing from the very start.
What made you make that choice?
I wanted control and ownership of the entire story. Every single word in every single book — including all the song lyrics — was written by me. The musicians who compose the melodies and instrumentals and perform the vocals are chosen by me, and get my approval on the music before it is finished.
I designed and drew the world map, according to my ideas and story needs.
I decide on each’s book title, length, pacing, plotting, theme and content. The book covers are planned by me and drawn by a professional artist (hired by me) according to my plan. The timing of publication is my choice.
I simply would never have it any other way. I would rather lose money and never make a penny of profit than surrender one iota of control or ownership.
I am doing this for fun — to live a hundred other lives while traveling and discovering secrets in a faraway place.
How does it feel to be considered an author?
It feels great to have written these books. For many years — decades, really — the need to tell the story kept interrupting my other thoughts. Finally, at age 41, I decided to commit to planning out the details and figuring out how to actually write a series of novels and divide the overall narrative among them.
I am truly proud to call this my story. It is very much a part of who I am. I have lived this adventure by writing it. As the characters travel across the continents, islands and magic oceans in my books, my own life experiences are broadened by being in the mindset of writing this adventure.
What’s your social media platforms for people to find you?
Twitter is my primary social platform (@jeremy_pv). I am exploring others, with limited success. Marketing is not my strong point.
I have a web site at http://www.potionvoyages.com. This site has links to all the books and music. It also shows the world map.