INTERVIEW: BRIAN DAUNT’RE

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Brian Daunt’re, the author of the Illogical Detective series.  His latest release is Illogical Detective II: Holes in Cornwall and he has completed four of a planned seven books in the series.

Brian told me that he doesn’t build worlds as much as he uses and modifies those worlds that already exist.

“The real world, Fairytale /Fairyland, as in the Illogical Detective; history and mythological worlds in various cultures,” he explained. “I explain these worlds as geometric dimensions, that may communicate and or interact with the real world.”

He describes good writing as “impressionist painting with words.”

“It gives a skeleton / points of reference that can be fleshed out by the reader’s imagination. The reader can then interact with the story and characters. This is equivalent, to audience participation,” he said. “In this way the narrative does not need to be in detail. For example the descriptive narrative of a brick wall does not need to describe individual bricks, but the character of the wall. This is reflected in its texture, its function, where and how it was built. It will reflect the attitude of the builder and the person or persons for whom the wall was built. This constitutes the individuality of a brick wall, which may be interactive or at variance with its environment. Therefore the wall has an attitude that is dependent on the time of day and weather. People who view or come with in, the influence of the wall may modulate this attitude. Like wise the wall will modulate the people’s attitude. This is impressionist writing.

“Impressionist writing also applies to action and dialogue. Speech is rarely if ever divorced from action, together they form a communication system. Therefore action and dialogue are interactive and help to create the character. For example: His decision was made. He about turned, in true military fashion of an ex-household cavalry officer. He marched the exact four paces to his own personal oak desk, an eighteenth century military campaign desk. He paused slightly as if having second thoughts; then firmly pushed the button on the intercom. His secretary immediately responded. ‘Yes Sir.’

              ‘Make an appointment for me to see the director of operations. Today!  It’s Urgent!’

The example given also tells the reader that the character has a tertiary classical education, a military-authoritarian approach and an interest in military history. Therefore you would expect his pronunciation to be word perfect. In contrast, the rules of grammar and spelling may need to be distorted when creating a character with a dialect, accent or speech impediment. For example: you, you’s and yew; yaws and yours; them and them’s. In addition a character that speaks a language other than English, the dialogue needs to reflect that language. This may be achieved by mispronunciation; the use of similar sounding words; common recognizable words of that language and the logic of the sentence to give meaning to an unfamiliar word.”

Brian also sees impressionist writing as a powerful tool in humor, where a humorous situation is set up that acts as a thread to other well-known humorous situations or jokes.

“The readers are then taken in to their own humorous world,” he said. “The difficulty here is creating a multi-thread to lead to different types of humor. My own definition of humor is simple. If some one laughs at it, it’s humorous.”

An example from his writing:

The youngest of the three brothers, AH, the proctologist, got married in 1884. The bride to be was given special dispensation by the church, and was upheld in the high court, that she did not wish to take on the family name of Holes, as her given name was Fanny. The result of this union was the birth of Albert Holes in 1885 in the parish of Aston in Birmingham. It was said that AH was now in a SH. When Albert was five years of age his father AH was charged with indecent assault / homosexuality. This came about by a patient complaining that AH had both hands on his shoulders while inserting a suppository. AH went to prison for five years and his son, Albert, and his wife, Fanny, went to live with Uncle Greatholes at Aston Manor in AstonPark that he had just purchased from the Birmingham city Council for exploratory quarrying.

Uncle Greatholes took great care to shield Fanny and Albert from the publicity surrounding the imprisonment of AH. Unfortunately a year after moving to Aston Manor Fanny died of a massive heart attack induced by the embracement of finding out her husband AH had taken up rear-end parking with one of the prison warders, at first she thought they were motor car enthusiasts. Uncle Greatholes adopted Albert and by doing so became the first legal Victorian single parent. He told Albert that his parents had gone to Africa as missionaries, in order to spare the boy further distress from losing both parents, and that he would look after him.

Brian is currently working on experimental writing–using poetry in combination with narrative and dialogue in a horror novel.  The Diary of an Insane Mind:

Daniel had decided to escape; he had done it before and would do it again. He felt the warmth surround him and the heaviness of his body; he had started the journey. He would escape in to the world he had created, not theirs. Far away, cast away within the inner mind, on an Island of dreams, forged in to shape on the anvil of reality; tempered with a murderess theme; that can hide away or be hidden until he navigated that path way far away, cast away within his inner mind. 

“Do you hear from your readers much?” I asked. “What do they say?”

“Not sure if reviewers are readers. The Illogical Detective I has been praised and criticized. The criticism was that the characters were almost cardboard cutouts moved around a theater setting. As previously discussed; impressionist writing gives a skeleton / points of reference that can be fleshed out by the reader’s imagination. Perhaps I expect too much or the reviewer has too little.”

For Brian, research takes up as much time as writing. He has a good collection of reference books on subjects of interest. He also uses the public and university libraries, as well as the Internet.

“I always check things out. Eg:  wanted to add a humorous thread relating to a rude Rugby song ‘On the Good Ship Venus.’ This is what I discovered: In April, 1806, the Colonial brigantine VENUS, owned by Robert Campbell and under the command of Captain Samuel Chase. Setting a course for Port Dalrymple, the Captain soon discovered he had made a grave mistake taking female convicts on board. During the voyage, he found several of the crew in a drunken state and the two women dancing half naked. The crew and the women mutinied when they got to port.”

“What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?” I asked.

“One time I was thinking about writing a scene requiring a disguise. I came to the conclusion that you could use behaviour to project your disguise. I was driving my car when a delivery or tradesman’s truck forced me to stop abruptly. I parked my car behind his truck. Walked over to him and said, ‘Tomorrow I will be on duty; I’ve got your number. If I see you drive like that you’re nicked.’ He was most apologetic.”

Brian’s pen name came about when he discovered his ancestor was Daunt’re who died at the Battle of Hastings, and whose name is on the Battle Role in Battle Abby.

“Based on this I have written ‘The Diary of a Battle Knyght’ whose mentor was Merlin. Merlin and Battle rally call knights and warriors because non-people, from the dark vortex, are attacking this world,” he said.    “It’s written in medieval prose, verse format. Some old English, French and Norman words have been used, but I have attempted, in their use, not to obscure or confuse modern English.  I have also attempted to use the rhyme of the verse to give a modern English meaning to an old word. For those readers who want a more precise definition for some of the old words, a glossary has been included at the back of the book. In this way I hope I have created the atmosphere of the time. It poses the question as to whether or not we have past lives, or is memory passed on in DNA, waiting to be awoken.”

Brian believes that any good story will contain fact, fiction, and fantasy–the Three Fs. The genre classification depends on a matter of emphasis.

For example, in Harry Potter, the facts are: students go to school and take exams, moving from primary to secondary to tertiary education; interaction with school politics and interpersonal relationships; a spectrum of family relationship dynamics. These facts are the foundations on which the story is built. This gives the  families and their histories a believable reality.

“The next step into fantasy becomes a smooth transition in to the realms of well known mythological magic,” he explained. “This is acceptable because it appears not to violate the natural laws of chemistry and physics. In this way a world within a world is created, rather than a total new world divorced from natural laws. It becomes believable and appeals to a broad age group. In other words it is not age group specific, such as magic flying dogs in children’s stories. Therefore adult fantasy may be described as surrealism, a believable reality.

“Examples of unbelievable fantasy are the Vampire Stories. Vampires incorporated in to our present society. This could be made believable by links to reality. For example in our present society they could be classified as an endangered species; heamogloblin (haematophagy) addicts requiring blood shoot up parlors; treatment with artificial blood to break the addiction. Then there is blood borne disease transmission and HIV. Gay and Lesbian vampires.

“If vampires are immortal, then they would be subjects of stem cell research and anticoagulants for the benefit of the non-vampire population. Would there be a black market for vampire organs develop run by poachers or poachers hired to get particular organs? Would vampires be reclassified as a sub species and bred for legal organ transplants?”Would vampires require a separate dental plan relative to non-vampires? The sociological implications are enormous.

“In terms of sociology, the Vampire Stories offer, at the best, a weak reflection of racial discrimination; at the worst successful selfishness.

“The original story of vampires was influenced by the discoveries in physiology, vascular circulation; life giving properties of blood, oxygen carrier, and experiments with blood transfusion, blood groups were unknown at the time.

“The story by Poe, a mummy brought back to life with static electricity, soon after its discovery, using Leyden Jars. The discovery that the contraction of muscle was due to the propagation of an electric impulse by nerve transmission, influenced the story of Frankenstein. This was at the time of the invention of electricity generation, and the realization that lightening was an electrical discharge.

“What I am trying to say, is that these original stories were not only linked to the age, but also to the cutting edge of medicine, science and technology; a glimpse in to the potential future. This is what makes these stories frightening and believable; they contain the three Fs.  The three Fs today may include stem cells, cloning of DNA from dead people and its use in nuclear embryo transfer, Frankenstein-incarnate. Gene transfer from the vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) to human embryos would be interesting. Would this be the beginning of a new human-vampire species? Dracula incarnate.”

About the Author: University lecturer, human reproduction and cancer; business development consultant. Based on the Gold Coast; Surfers Paradise Australia. Partner and a cat named Toffee who insists on being taken for a walk on a lead and drinks water from a wine glass; his favorite food prawns, but only if you peel them.  Publications, me, not Toffee, in science / medical journals and pharmaceutical trade journals. Medieval prose and poetry. Sketch 2009. Illogical Detective (I of VI) ebook non-exclusive rights Untreed Reads 2012.

Illogical Detective I: Britain’s greatest illogical detective, Albert Holes, uses reverse logic to solve problems.  Holes came from a well-established linage that could trace its ancestry back before the Norman invasion in 1066. As was the custom in those days, the family name was the name of the trade or profession that was practiced. The Holes family made and sold holes.

Holes is supported in his investigations by his logical friend Doctor Aston. In 1914-18 (WW1), they discover that the parallel dimension is Fairyland, and that the dimensions are interactive. The British Government’s stationary is stolen; the Foreign Secretary is a spy, with an interest in genital photography, and commits suicide. The Home Secretary, a descendant of Simple Simon, engages Holes and Aston to find out who is manipulating Europe to go to war. At the same time, Old King Cole engages Holes and Aston on a similar problem in Fairyland.

Illogical Detective II Holes in Cornwall. . Holes theories on reverse logic lead him to believe that a four right-footed cat is the clue to the murder and the treasure of the Pirates of Penzance. This leads him to stolen property being auctioned at the Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor. He reasons that the Beast of Bodmin Moor is a Were Cat controlled by the Ghost of Bodmin Moor, both involved with the stolen property being auctioned at the Jamaica Inn and the pirate’s treasure. Who is to inherit the treasure? Tom Bowcock and his four right footed cat, delegates from the Peanut Venders Conference, the inhabitants of Mouse Hole and Camelford, Russian ship wreaked sailors from a riotous beach party,

 

 

 

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