Monday, November 5, 2012

TBR welcomes Dennis Royer

TBR: I'm happy to have a fellow Susquehanna Writer at TBR. Welcome, Dennis. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Dennis: The tagline on my Facebook page sums it up: “Technologist by Day, Novelist by Night.” During my day job I’m a hard charging Computer Network Administrator with a frenetic schedule. When the sun goes down, I shed the coat and tie, slow my pace, and allow my alter ego as a mild-mannered writer to emerge.

My wife, Beth, and I live in picturesque Perry County, PA on the side of a hill with a spectacular view. The window in my office overlooks Blue Mountain, and it’s not unusual to observe wildlife at play, a relaxing and inspirational environment for writing.

Besides writing, I enjoy travelling and my Corvette Grand Sport.

TBR: Tell us about EARTHBURST and where it's available.
Dennis: My latest novel, Earthburst, was released spring 2012 and is available in all the usual places. My website provides links for online, Kindle, and physical locations:

Earthburst is a post-apocalyptic saga that explores how people interact and struggle to survive when civilization crumbles. With all of the economic and political uncertainty in the world right now, this topic resonates with almost everyone.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Dennis: The United States of America reaches the tipping point where takers outnumber producers. They elect a charismatic president without really knowing who he is. A deranged president with an insatiable hunger for power who in a fit of madness plunges all of planet Earth into darkness.

Scattered throughout the wasteland that was once America, isolated groups of women and men conspire to hold on to their humanity, rebels who must be rooted out and destroyed in order for the soulless regime to thrive.

In a lonely Pennsylvania valley, a naive young man trundles face first into a storm of evil armed only with his faith and motivated by his love for a girl enslaved.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Dennis: Post-apocalyptic / dystopian novels explore the very heart of the matter of what it is to be human. We like to think of ourselves as compassionate toward our fellow man, and it’s easy to be magnanimous in a world of plenty. If the unthinkable were to happen where all of us lose everything, then our true natures become exposed. Human nature fascinates me, and I’ve always wanted to share my interpretation of this subject in a novel.

During the past 100 years, the division of labor in most countries has become highly specialized to the point where we’ve lost all knowledge of basic survival skills. We have become too far removed from the Earth. If you woke tomorrow to a world with no electricity what would you do? No electricity means a complete breakdown of transportation and communication. With no electricity to run gas pumps, there would be no food deliveries or medicine. Would you band together with your neighbors for protection and to pool resources? Do you even know your neighbors? Would you selflessly share your last scrap of food with a stranger? Could you kill to protect your family from marauders?

It’s uncomfortable pondering these things, but it’s my desire to inspire introspection among readers as they consider how they would react under such a scenario.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Dennis: At the start of my novels, I typically write a 1 or 2 page summary of my plot as a framework to keep me on track and then dive right in. Detailed, painstaking outlines stifle my creativity and imagination. I prefer to let my characters tell their story as the novel unfolds. I guess this makes me a pantser.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Dennis: Humans are neither all good nor all bad. We are complex creatures. The same should hold true with our fictional characters. I strive to establish my major characters as being multi-dimensional. The more intricate they are, the richer the experience is for readers. For example, in “Earthburst” my protagonist is a young, Amish man on the cusp of adulthood, devout, kind-hearted, and content with living a simple life, yet he harbors deep resentment toward his overbearing father. On the other hand, one of my bad guys resorts to extortion and murder to advance a selfish agenda while exhibiting genuine concern about the well-being of his neighbors in the community.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Dennis: While conducting research about the many bad things that could happen to crash our world, I was shocked with how thin the veneer of civilization actually is. The scenario that I present in “Earthburst” is plausible and could easily happen. I provide corroborating documentation in the “Author’s Note” at the end of the book.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Dennis: Most post-apocalyptic novels plop the reader right into the middle of the dystopian world after a cataclysm happens. I spend the first half of “Earthburst” in a normal world. I want readers to develop an understanding of characters as they are during peace and prosperity, to develop feelings for them. Then when the bottom drops out, readers can live through the changes and struggles along with the characters and their reaction to those changes.

TBR: What's next for you?
Dennis: Currently I’m taking time off from writing to perform some long awaited maintenance on my house. I won’t be away from the keyboard for too long because there is a new story in my head that’s nagging to be let out. I’m not ready to reveal the details yet, so stay tuned!

TBR: Any other published works?
Dennis: I’ve written a 4 book series of mysteries set in Perry County, PA. These mysteries involve a mountain lion, buried treasure, a rustic old inn built on top of a dead body, and a class reunion gone horribly wrong. For more details, visit my website:

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Dennis: Finding time to write is my greatest challenge. My day job pays the bills, so it gets top priority. I do better in the winter when it’s always dark outside. Fewer distractions.

The reward of making lots of money never really motivated me as a writer, although I wouldn’t mind someday seeing my name on the New York Times bestseller list. Receiving praise from readers always makes me feel good, but to be honest, the simple act of writing has its own rewards: the satisfaction of writing “The End” after a yearlong project, the joy in figuring out the perfect word to express a thought, crafting an emotional scene that just nails it. That’s what keeps me writing.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Dennis: A few years ago I received an email from a soldier deployed in Iraq who thanked me for writing such an entertaining story that it took his mind off his mission for a little while, an escape from reality. I’m honored to have relieved that soldier’s burden if only for a short time.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Dennis: As you might expect, I devour post-apocalyptic novels and films. I really enjoyed reading “The Hunger Games” but was disappointed in the film which I thought lacked soul. Speaking of films, I absolutely loved everything about “The Book of Eli,” a great dystopian film with a powerful emotional punch. Some of my other favorite post-apocalyptic novels are “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen, “The Gospel of Matthias Kent” by my friend Mike Silvestri, the old classic “Earth Abides” by George R. Stewart, and probably the most popular of them all, Stephen King’s “The Stand.”

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Dennis:  Check out my website at and my Facebook page:
I also have an Amazon author page at:
and am an infrequent contributor to the Susquehanna Writers at:

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Dennis: It’s difficult for authors to spread the word. One of the ways to gain notoriety is through reviews on If you enjoy reading “Earthburst” or any of my other novels, please consider writing a review for me. Nothing elaborate is necessary, a sentence or two can make a big impact. Thank you.

TBR: Readers, Dennis will give away a Starbucks gift card to one lucky commenter. I’ll announce a winner here on Friday, November 9, 2012. Be sure to leave your email address so that he can contact you.

Thanks for visiting TBR, Dennis. All the best to you!


  1. Welcome Dennis! You know Earth Burst is on my TBR pile. :)

  2. Amazing! I would love to take this book along with my on my upcoming vacation!

    kelliescamera at gmail dot com

  3. I keep missing opportunities to get a signed copy. I think you're so right about people no longer having survival skills. We see that in some of more recent natural disasters.

  4. Wonderful really knowing an author! Thank you!

  5. For you autograph seekers, I already have the author's signature many times in my Phi Sig Pledge Book. Earthburst was the most captivating book that I have read in many years. I am now compelled to purchase the Perry County Series, as I am tired of waiting for it in the Kindle version.

  6. Love the book "Earthburst" this is the best one yet. All other books were good but this one makes you stop and think "This really could happen."

  7. Hi Dennis, I read the teaser that Amazon has on "Earthburst". I am now putting it on my Christmas wish list.

  8. Thank you everybody for your comments. I rolled the dice to determine the winner of the $20.00 Starbucks card based on your posting position. It came up snake eyes so Kellie you are the winner! I'll send you an email to get your mailing address.


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