Indie Interview: The author of the Half-Orcs series, David Dalglish. #fantasy


Conversations with authors and writers from the self-publishing world.

Meet David Dalglish
Genre: Fantasy
Best Known for: The Half-Orcs Series

David Dalglish graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006 with a degree in Mathematics. When trying to be productive, and stave off returning to working fast food, he writes and self-publishes various fantasy novels, of which he's sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

He also has a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters, with all three being far better than he deserves. visit his blog.

Connect with David on 
Facebook  |  Goodreads

Today in the Indie Interview we have a very special guest, David Dalglish, author of the Half-Orcs Series. David, thank you very much for agreeing to participate in the Indie Author Spotlight.

How long have you been writing and how did you get started?
Well, I think I’ve been writing since about first grade, though probably nothing better than See Spot Run…but in terms of serious, trying to be published writing, I’ve been doing this for about seven years. As for how I got started, it wasn’t like I just decided one day. I’d been writing fantasy novels since high school, and at some point I decided to see if I could take one of these rambling manuscripts and turn them into something worthwhile.

Cover links to

Your Half-Orcs series is doing exceptionally well, were these your first books? If not, what was your first published book and did it do well?
The very first book I self-published was the first in the Half-Orcs, the Weight of Blood. Let’s just say I didn’t have too high expectations, and more than anything I wanted to at least take a shot at catching the Kindle explosion I knew was soon to happen.

Tell us a little bit about the series…
It’s about two brothers, Harruq and Qurrah, who grow up in squalid conditions, hated by others for their mixed race. They fall in with a prophet of a dark god, who uses their hurtful past as a means of winning them over, heart and mind. Except Harruq falls in love with an elf named Aurelia, and suddenly he finds himself with those he wishes to protect, and sees the world as beyond the hateful thing the prophet would have him believe it to be. From the fall-out of those two brothers I expand outward, until their conflict begins to destroy kingdoms and summon gods.

How does this series differ from other fantasy novels?
Well, it’s probably not as well-written…
It’s also far, far less focused on world-building than most. My strengths are characters and combat, and I stick to them to a fault. I’ve got a nice rapid pace, and I’m willing to go to some dark places to ensure that when something good happens, when a character turns their back on the evil they’ve done, it truly means something.

You have achieved what many indie fantasy authors dream of- how did your success come about?
Two things: a book cover, and Brent Weeks. My Half-Orcs series was doing just fine, but it was the Shadowdance Trilogy, A Dance of Cloaks in particular, that took things to a whole drastically new level. The cover of that book is one of my favorites, and incredibly eye-catching. Combine that with a sudden interest in assassins thanks to Brent Weeks’s Night Angel Trilogy, and I grabbed a hold of that wave and rode it for all its worth.

Do you have any special tips that you’d like to share with other authors, regarding writing, marketing or publishing?
You’re not competing with other indies. You’re competing with the giants of your genre. So go in ready to work hard, to put out a good product, to edit it best you can, with the best cover you can, and the best story you can. If you’re writing fantasy, people need to be able to choose to read you over GRR Martin, RA Salvatore, Joe Abercrombie, JRR Tolkien, and dozens of other phenomenal writers. You’ll sit on their same bookshelf. If you have the confidence, or insanity, to think you just might belong, then act like it, and put in the effort.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
Thanks guys. I’m living a dream because of you.

Why did you choose to write in the fantasy genre?
It’s always been the genre I read the most growing up, and the one I have the most fondness for. Nothing really tops a hero standing before a horde of enemies with just a single sword and maybe a spell or two up his sleeve.

Do you also read? What sort of books?
I actually don’t read as much fantasy now as I know I should. I tend to read more horror and short stories, but every few months I grab a new title by someone highly recommended to me to see what I might be missing out on (just started on The Blade Itself this month, for example).

What are your thoughts on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing?
It shouldn’t be a ‘vs’ scenario in the first place? There’s tons of benefits for self-publishing. Mainly, anyone can do it. Of course there’s problems with it too…such as that anyone can do it. If you have a mind for business, or just a nice touch of luck, you can do great with self-publishing. But it’s all on you. Every edit, every cover, every story decision.

Me? I know myself. I know I need pushed, because I’ll slack off and take shortcuts. Having a chance to republish the Shadowdance series with Orbit has so far been a dream, and I couldn’t be happier. Am I glad I got to skip all the query and agent hunting nonsense because of my indie success? Absolutely. But this publishing landscape is changing, and right now I’d like to take a step into the traditional world, see what I think of it. I’ve also got a series being published by Amazon’s 47North, so another toe dipped into the water there as well.

And if it all blows up in my face, well, self-publishing will always be there, waiting for me.

Do you have any more books being released soon?
The closest should be A Dance of Cloaks in October, the first of a three month barrage by Orbit (with A Dance of Blades and A Dance of Mirrors hitting Nov/Dec). After that, in January is the first of The Breaking World books, the first being Dawn of Swords.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or your books?
I’ll never claim to be perfect, but I like to think I respect my reader’s time, and bend over backwards to keep them entertained. Anyone up for a nice easy read full of bloodshed and sword fights, I’m probably right up your alley. Just don’t take me too seriously. I rarely do.

Haha, well if this interview is anything to go by David’s books should be a blast!