After becoming a successful author, Dylan Quarles has made the transition to publishing.
What’s your story?
I am an award winning, bestselling author with over 100,000 readers worldwide. My fans will tell you that I write fast-paced page-turners with engaging characters and action packed set-pieces. For me though, it’s all about the original inspiration; that one idea which led me to write the novel in the first place.
I received my big break in 2013 with The Ruins of Mars Trilogy, a sci-fi fantasy epic about a team of astronauts exploring alien ruins on Mars. The trilogy was so well received that it instantly gave me the recognition I needed to succeed in online publishing.
What excites you most about your industry?
The most exciting thing about publishing, for me, is the pure creativity it takes to succeed. I thrive on creative challenges; always looking for new ways to reach new readers, write attention grabbing stories, craft unforgettable characters, build fantastical worlds, and hone my brand into something uniquely ‘me’.
Right now, publishing is going through a massive shift as the traditional publishers continue to lose readers to online and self-published authors. It’s kind of the wild west in terms of allowing for you to manifest your own destiny through hard work, vision, and perseverance.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
I am driven by my hunger to be seen as a storyteller. I recently won a Best Indie Book Award for my time-travel, high-seas, action/adventure novel, There Be Monsters. The moment I received the news, something awakened in me. I had already been successfully publishing for years, racking-up thousands of sales and reviews, but something about the official recognition of the award really inspired me. Shortly after, I started my own publishing LLC and started pushing my brand in ways I never had before. A lot of doors have since opened for me.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
The most useful skill I have in my toolbox has almost nothing to do with creativity at all. For me, it is endurance which wins the day.
Creatives often function with flash-in-the-pan intensity. They get an idea, become obsessed with it for a time, then abandon it when the going gets tough. I can say this because I used to be the same way. However, over the years, I have learned to draw upon my endurance in order to complete projects. Without endurance, it is impossible to finish something as lengthy and multifaceted as a novel.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
In my former life, before publishing, I worked a manual labor job in a very stressful environment. To escape the humdrum of the daily grind, I listened to audiobooks. One such production was The Power of Myth with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers; a collection of wide-ranging conversations having to do with mythology, philosophy, and the hero’s journey. At one point, Campbell, a famous mythologist, talked about the importance of ‘following your bliss.’ He asserted that only by doing so could you to unlock your true potential and live a life of harmony and success. He was 100% right.
Who inspires you?
There are numerous authors who have inspired me throughout my journey; Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Arthur C. Clarke, Madeline Miller, Alexandre Dumas, Heinrich Sienkiewicz, H. P. Lovecraft. But, the person who truly inspires me on a day-to-day basis is my wife. Without going into too much painful detail, we faced a terrible tragedy in 2019 with the loss of our daughter, Rainier. Afterwards, the work of rebuilding ourselves was no short-order. Watching how my wife navigated unimaginable grief and trauma was a constant source of inspiration for me as I sought to do the same.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I continue to be blown away by the casual way in which the United States Military has been releasing earth-shattering reports about the UFO phenomenon. As a sci-fi writer and long-time UFO researcher, I simply cannot express how unbelievable it is to be living through what many might call ‘disclosure.’ Quite literally, the highest levels of national defense are now openly acknowledging the existence of unexplainable craft in U.S. airspace. What’s more, they have hard evidence to back up their assertions! It is truly a thrilling time for anyone who believes as I do; that we are not alone.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I believe that this kind of thinking can be more harmful than good so I don’t often engage in it. I have learned the hard way that there are no do-overs, no magic hacks to turn back time. Things happen, and we must learn to accept them and glean whatever wisdom there might be. Sometimes failure can be a motivator. Sometimes it can be a sign that you have overextended yourself beyond your skill-set, or understanding. And sometimes, failure just happens. It’s up to us to choose how we move forward.
How do you unwind?
I unwind by taking walks on the beach, going freediving, drinking and playing music with friends and family, and spending time with my wife and son, Ronan. I am fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States—the Pacific Northwest. As such, there is no shortage of natural beauty. I grew up in a sailing family, so when I really need to unplug, my dad and I will go on overnight adventures in the family sailboat.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business? :
My big ‘ah ha’ moment came when I stopped chasing readers by trying to sell the plots, characters, or premises of my novels and instead focused on the inspiration behind them. I have found that what most readers are seeking is a feeling, not a plot. And, since every book begins as a feeling—that original kernel of inspiration—I have learned to focus on promoting that to readers. Thus far, this approach has been very successful and allowed me to reach an audience of over 100,000 readers.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. As I mentioned above, the lesson about following your bliss could not be more important to entrepreneurs just starting out on their business journey. If you don’t love what you do, you’ll never do it well enough to make an impact.
Shameless plug for your business:
My complete works can be found on Amazon by searching Dylan James Quarles. I have stories in the genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, mythological thriller, action/adventure, and horror—all of it available in eBook, paperback, and audiobook.
My stories have been engineered to entertain and enthrall—to make your commute more enjoyable, to help you pass the time on a long flight, or to keep you reading late, late into the night.
If you prefer to buy signed books directly from the publisher, visit djqfiction.com/rainieraugustallc
How can people connect with you?
I can be found across various social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Or, through my website, www.djqfiction.com
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.