Max Davine, author of “Terra Domina” (Interview)

What is your book about?

“Terra Domina” is about a girl born that she comes of age during the years of Australian Federation, the trials and tragedies of her life all centered around a strange man who comes and goes throughout, and her responses to them as she goes from runaway to prostitute to housewife to outlaw. She spends time with a group of ex Boer soldiers now working as bounty hunters, works the early hotels of Victoria’s north west country, becomes a copper trader, quite a life, but all the while stalked by this strange entity who has a powerful influence over the events around her.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

Years, couldn’t pinpoint and exact time or date, but it’s a matter of years.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I’m fascinated by relationships. Animals and people, survival, struggle, the need to continue living. Self preservation. I guess this story is a way to incorporate a lot of those ideas, it made sense.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

Not much I hope.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

I came to like the heroine a lot, even though she does some terrible things, but that might just be the sheer amount of time I spent with her. They’re all important in their own way. I hate arbitrary characters, it’s something I try to avoid.

Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?

I think Greenhill, our eventual antagonist, will leave an impression. Who or what he is shall not here be revealed.

Why will readers relate to your characters?

The paragraphs between dialogue are my favorite things to write because they’re not necessarily aloud expressions, unless they’re actions, but those thoughts inside their heads are their private worlds, the personality that comes out in their spoken dialogue is a different character to the one in their minds, which is something we all do. I really wanted to see the intimate workings of the characters, when they’re private, and give that a voice too. When they’re truly themselves, the side they can’t show. We all have that.

How long did it take you to write your book?

The actual writing process is quite short but the fermentation of each draft is time consuming. That’s when you really beat it up and spend time working it, then letting it simmer, then working it again. Writing is rewriting.

How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?

All. But I didn’t plan the explorations of place and character, nor how characters respond the certain things. That was left to when it come up, and how it comes out.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it?

Google does help a lot but you can’t beat real life. I figured being a bounty hunter or a Boer war veteran wouldn’t be unlike Vietnam, so I was lucky to meet with a couple of veterans and hear their stories, Aboriginal websites, archives. Everywhere, and every detail I could chase up. You never know what’s going to feed the story.

When will your book be available?

“Terra Domina” is being released later this month by ASJ Publishing, it will be available through Kindle, Amazon and others.