Interview: DL Blackburne
This week I sat down with author and illustrator DL Blackburne. Join us as we talk about how he published three graphic novels but stayed away from illustrating his current series Office Pool so he could experience writing a story without pictures.
DL: Okay, I have been a professional illustrator and painter since 1999 and found literature an interesting direction to go in. Especially since I had already been involved in drawing for other projects and people. Graphic Novels and children’s’ books have always fascinated me growing up. Who doesn’t like a vividly told or colored story?
CJ: Do you have a graphic novel out or do you just do individual pictures?
DL: I illustrated a few in my late teens and early twenties, and indie published a small number from the series I worked on back in the day. I eventually shelved it and did freelance work for other people because there was less self-scrutiny.
CJ: How many novels did you end up publishing?
DL: I completed three graphic novel books in the past, and most recently I have completed two out of the three books that were scheduled in my newest series.
CJ: Where do you get your ideas for your novels?
DL: The ideas come from an accumulation of life experiences, inspirations of other creative works I’ve grown to admire throughthe years. They enter our minds, get mixed, and come out as something similar to something else and other times entirely unique.
CJ: Do you just do the pictures or do you also write the stories?
DL: It’s interesting, this time my approach was very different. In writing my latest series Office Pool, I intentionally stayed away from the illustrative side of it. I wanted to be able to tell the story without falling back on the crutch of art/pictures like I had done so often before. I wanted to challenge myself and try to stay in the mindset of a writer and use descriptive words and phrases to paint the picture for the reader. I welcomed that challenge.
CJ: Tell us about your stories. I’ve not read them. What is the storyline for the series?
DL: Well, my latest story is about a pen who finds self-discovery in a world of diverse writing utensils. In this world, he has a diverse set of friends who have differences but their similarities bring and keep them together. I wrote it very much in line with what is happening in society today. It’s a light-hearted approach to classism and biases told humorously.
CJ: Which do you find harder to do, the drawing or the writing?
DL: The writing I would say is harder to do. I have a great appreciation for those who can write routinely at a highly imaginative level.
CJ: You’ve been drawing for a while. What advice would you give a young artist just starting out?
DL: I think the advice I would give a young artist is the same advice I received. It could be applied across nearly all professions. The level you find yourself currently is not where you’ll stay. No matter how talented or unsure of yourself you are, hard work and repetition will make you that much better at your craft. Patience is really key, tired and cliche as that may sound.
CJ: That’s great advice. Let’s wrap up with any new stories you are in the process of. Can you give us an insider’s scoop?
DL: Okay sure I am currently finishing up the final book in the Office Pool Series the newest one will be available in August and I am working on a Fantasy Epic Sons of the Severn that will include a wide range of worlds and historical references. It’s in the early stages, but the first book will be along sometime late next year.
CJ: That sounds great! Thanks for sitting with me tonight!
DL: Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you.
You can connect with DL via these avenues: