My Review – 5 of 5 Stars
This was a fantastic read! Epic battle scenes, rich mythology, and great characters that had me cheering for their victory – this book has it all.
Raya and Drain are two of the best agents in the Paranatural Defense Force, tirelessly defending Earth against all manner of vile creatures from other realms who seek the destruction of mankind. When an ancient god unleashes chaos, it’s up to Raya and Drain to venture into the Gakkuri realm in hopes of stopping a war that threatens to destroy every living being.
The worlds that Handy created are so intense, I could almost believe they were real. He takes just the right amount of time to show the complex relationships between the races of beings involved and avoids relying on his characters soapboxing the intricacies of these political landscapes to the reader. That’s a delicate balance for most authors to get right, and Handy has nailed it.
There’s also a dynamic relationship between Raya and Drain which was handled beautifully. These two characters have fought side by side long enough to have an established bond, but neither wants to fully acknowledge the depths of their feelings. This could have turned into a messy and unneeded subplot, but instead the writer weaves this relationship into the core of the story, having each of the characters confront what they are really fighting for.
In the description of the book, the author describes the story as “a manga-infused action fantasy” however, as someone who is not at all familiar with manga, I can’t testify to that. And my only criticism is that I wish there had been more physical descriptions of the otherworldly beings encountered. I had a hard time visualizing the Jokai, Tinatost and Throck peoples, but that might be from my lack of exposure to the manga genre.
WS: Your book dRain seems to be a departure from your other works which have more of a horror-action feel. Do you plan to write more novels in the fantasy genre?
EH: Absolutely! I don’t know when I’ll have the time though! I need a few clones.
WS: Was there anything that specifically inspired you to create the unique mythos behind the Gakkuri realm?
EH: No. This was a case where the setting organically built and integrated itself into the story.
WS: Any plans to write another book involving Raya and Drain?
EH: I have 2 more outlined in my head. The second will detail Drain and Raya’s flight from the Gakkuri realm, which will be complicated by . . . . well, seeds I planted in the first book! The third will see [BLOCKED BY THE SPOILER POLICE].
WS: From exchanges with you on Twitter and watching your YouTube videos, I know that you used to write screenplays. Have you ever considered going back to focusing on scripts?
EH: No. It’s difficult to break into screenwriting. I’d rather bang my head against the wall of Self-Publishing! (With that said, I’m slowly releasing the screenplays that most of my early books are based on!)
WS: Your writing is very lean, without unnecessary filler. Do you think that’s a by-product of starting your writing journey as a screenwriter? Or is it something you consciously try to avoid in storytelling?
EH: I hate filler. I’m a plot guy. Do my descriptions suffer? Absolutely, but I don’t want to influence the reader anymore than necessary.
WS: Did you always envision your writing career to be as an indie author? Or do you plan to seek a traditional publishing route in the future?
EH: I would love to be traditionally published. However, like screenwriting, it’s a tough industry to break into.
WS: What’s been your biggest obstacle as a writer so far?
EH: The lack of writing time. Between “real life” and all the tasks that self-publishing entails, there’s not much time to get all my ideas on paper. I’m going to die with more books in my head than I’ve published!
WS: I know your work is influenced more by movies than books. Which movies, directors or screenwriters have had the most impact on your writing?
EH: John Carpenter with his lean storytelling. David Lynch with his ambiguity.
WS: What do you look for in a great horror story, whether it be a film, video game or a book?
EH: In any genre, I look for a hook. The concept has to catch my short attention span.
WS: Which of your novels did you most enjoy writing?
EH: dRain was a blast. I actually had fun writing it! Writing can be fun? haha
WS: What are you working on now?
EH: I’m cleaning up my screenplays for publication. After that, I’m going to reissue and finish my Demon Hero series. After THAT, a new short story collection, a new Bad Boogeyman novel, and then maybe dRain 2 and 3!
I’d sincerely like to thank Erik Handy for taking the time to speak with me. I hope you enjoyed this interview, and if you would like to know more about the author and his works, feel free to connect with him on the following social medial platforms: