Hello Daniel, thank you for taking the time to take part in this interview. How are things with you?
This is my first overseas interview for Doors, so I’m excited about that, and I appreciate the opportunity. As it happens, it’s another beautiful day in Australia (we’ve just had the warmest winter on record) so things are good.
So who is Daniel Brako?
I’m a thirty-seven-year-old author and screenwriter, living in Sydney. My ethnic background is mixed, comprising African and German heritage. My career background is also somewhat mixed because I used to work in the mental health field. Although it was a rewarding job, I left it to pursue writing fulltime. The shift has been beneficial, because it allows me to put psychological elements into some of my books.
And why do you write?
By getting us to think outside of the proverbial square, stories can expand our consciousness. I love books and movies that get people contemplating life’s deeper issues, and I guess that’s my motivation - the fusion of engrossing plotlines with thought-provoking philosophy. The Matrix, The da Vinci Code, and Inception are examples of books and films that have thought-provoking content. Stories like that inspire me to write.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
I’m a big fan of intuitive writing, which means I leave the plotting, planning and structuring of each project to my subconscious mind. Although this process works well, it can be difficult to tap into the subconscious during the early stages of a project (the characters and the world/s they inhabit are initially sketchy). Fortunately, once I’m “anchored” into a storyline, momentum builds, and the writing becomes easier.
What do your friends and family think about your writing?
My family and friends are very supportive, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. Creative people need to be surrounded by positive influences, which is why I joined a local writers’ group. It’s great to share stories, and have that supportive network in place. I tend to avoid people who try to undermine my longterm vision.
Urban fantasy seems to be your genre of choice, what is it about urban fantasy that appeals to you?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve always loved magic. Urban fantasy places magical elements squarely into our world. Of course, we already live in a world of mini-miracles. For example, there are patients who can undergo major operations without anesthetic, savants who possess amazing skills, and people with photographic memories. As fascinating as these gifts are, urban fantasy takes everything to a new level. By asking “what if”, it blurs the boundaries of reality, and reminds us that some magic is real.
Is there a common theme or a message that runs through your body of work?
Themes and messages aren’t things I consciously focus on. Having said that, every writer is subconsciously guided by his or her belief system. If I had to identify a theme, it might be: a higher power, such as magic or God, exists and can be found in unlikely places.
Your previous publications deal with such topics as meditation, Past Lives and Cubeology, where does your interest in spirituality stem from?
In my early twenties, I developed an appetite for (New Age) spirituality and personal development. Although I still find those areas interesting, especially with quantum physics adding scientific support, I’m not as preoccupied with it as I once was. Those books and seminars become a bit repetitive after a while.
Do you think the world would be a better place if the world was more spiritual?
Religion tends to focus on a God who is separate, whereas spirituality tends to focus on a God who resides within all things. I suspect this spiritual belief of Oneness would lead to a better, more inclusive world. But I also recognize and respect the importance of free will in determining one’s beliefs and actions.
So let’s talk about your new book Doors. Can you tell the readers what the book is about?
After counseling a client who sees imaginary doors, psychologist David Druas experiences the same hallucination, noticing otherworldly doors scattered throughout the city. When the client is murdered, David's nightmare deepens because the evidence identifies him as the killer. As the police close in, it becomes apparent that the doors are concealing a dark and tangled truth.
Do you reveal what the true nature of the Doors is?
Yes, but I can’t give too much away. I can say that the doors leads to beautiful, terrifying and dangerous new worlds. Each world has its own challenges, offering unexpected places, inhabitants, and experiences. The obvious question is: are these worlds real? This is one of the enigmas that David has to unravel.
So where would you like a door to lead you, and where wouldn’t you like a door to lead you?
The doors in my book typically lead to dangerous encounters. I’m happy for David Druas to experience these thrills & chills, but that’s not something I’d personally want for myself. I guess I’d like to find a door that could take me to a peaceful, paradise-like environment. Anywhere new and exciting, so long as I wasn’t in mortal danger.
Who would you say the book is aimed at?
Doors is aimed at adults who like fantasy, urban fantasy and horror. Hopefully readers will find it fast paced and darkly intriguing.
Can you tell us of any future projects you have lined up?
I’ve started writing an urban fantasy, tentatively called Imagine. As mentioned, I hate the early phases of each project - Imagine is partly formed in my head, but I’m finding it hard to get it onto the page. It could take anywhere from three to twelve months to complete.
And do you have any final words for the readers of this website?
I’ve appreciated the opportunity to do this interview. (Thank you, Jim!) Writing a book is half the struggle, and then promotion becomes the new challenge, so it’s great that people such as yourself are helping to draw attention to new books. I hope visitors to your site will keep an eye out for my work. Cheers.
DANIEL BRAKO is a graduate of Newcastle University where he studied psychology and philosophy. After working in the mental health field, he decided to pursue a career in writing. Since then he has written novels, screenplays, and short fiction. His work tends to blend metaphysics with "thrills & chills", making esoteric wisdom more accessible to readers.
Daniel lives in Sydney, Australia.
David Druas is a successful psychologist, with a thriving practice. When he encounters Hans Werner, a client who sees imaginary doors, life takes a dark and unexpected turn.
After trying to unravel the delusion, David also notices mysterious doors. Scattered throughout the city, they lead to beautiful, terrifying and dangerous new worlds. But are they real?
When Hans Werner is murdered, the evidence identifies David as the killer. Forced to become a fugitive, he struggles to escape the deepening nightmare that threatens to overwhelm him.
As the police close in, it becomes apparent that the doors are concealing a dark and tangled truth. The question is: can David unlock their secrets before his time and sanity run out?