The popular fantasy author shares about writing for two sets of readers, the dangers in reading
mainstream fantasy fiction, and how he’s going to take a step of faith.

It all started with a dream of a boy who could breathe
fire. Since then, Bryan Davis’s books have sold more
than one million copies, and have won awards from
the Clive Staples Award to four of FamilyFiction’s
own Reader’s Choice Awards (including “Novel of
the Year”).

“I didn’t know anything about writing,” says Bryan,
who picked up the pen originally as a way to teach his
seven homeschooled children how to create stories.
He would write a chapter, ask for their ideas and
eventually have them write down their own versions
of where the story would go. “What I didn’t expect is
that this would ignite a passion in me to write.”

After several years of study, conferences and
rejections, Bryan had the dream that led to the novel
Raising Dragons, but it garnered more than 200 rejections
during the following seven years of rewrites.

Yet there was one more step Bryan needed to take.
“I was writing a story about people taking a step of
faith and doing things they were afraid of and risking
their lives, and it dawned on me that I wasn’t doing the
same thing my characters were.” So, with no contract,
he quit his job to pursue writing full-time. His voice
softens in awe as he shares, “Within a year of making
that decision, I had contracts for six books.”

His first contract was with AMG
Publishers. They launched their
fiction line, Living Ink, with Bryan’s
Raising Dragons, the first novel in
the four-book Dragons in Our Midst
series. “Half a million copies later,”
Bryan adds, “they’re very glad
they did!”

Joining that series are two fourbook
sequel series, Oracles of Fire
and Children of the Bard. Book
two of Children of the Bard, From
the Mouth of Elijah
(Living Ink),
released July 2012. The contemporary
fantasy books share the stories
of teenagers Billy and Bonnie,
whose parents used to be dragons.

Zondervan published his Echoes
from the Edge trilogy, a murdermystery
fantasy with science
fiction elements that is set on
three parallel Earths. They also
published Dragons of Starlight, a
fantasy series set on two separate
planets,—one occupied by humans,
the other ruled by dragons. The
fourth and final book in this young
adult series, Liberator, released
July 2012 as well.

Bryan’s first adult series, Tales of Starlight, published
by Living Ink, is a companion series to Dragons
of Starlight. It takes place at the same time as the other
series, but focuses on the stories and journeys of the
twenty-something characters instead. Bryan’s other
adult novel is contemporary story I Know Why the
Angels Dance
(Living Ink), his only book without
fantasy elements.

He connects with his readers via Facebook, Twitter,
his blog, an email newsletter and a message forum,
as well as meeting some of them in person during his
annual tour. In 2012, he will be touring in September
with his daughter, author Amanda Davis (Family
Fiction’s “New Author of the Year” in 2012).

Bryan is currently working on “Project R,” which he
hopes to sell to a general market publisher. “It’s not
going to be overtly Christian,” he says, though he
hopes it will draw readers to his books that are more
spiritual. “I’m not going to leave the Christian publishing
world, but I want to learn what it’s like in the mainstream
world. It’s going to be another step of faith.”

He finds that even trying his books sometimes
requires stretching on the part of readers. “Many
fiction readers are nervous about fantasy, and rightfully
so,” he shares. “There’s some bad fantasy out
there— dark fantasy, over-sexualized, violent, gory,
even teaching evil things.”

While his novels avoid those pitfalls, they also
appeal to an audience who might prefer other genres.
“The dragons are a device to make things look cool,
especially for young people,” he explains. “The books
are about people: their struggles, their victories, their
defeats, their courage and their faith.”

This article originally appeared in the October/November 2012 issue of FamilyFiction Edge digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!

Check out more great articles

About The Author

Bryan Davis is the author several speculative-fiction series, including Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Children of the Bard, The Reapers Trilogy, The Time Echoes Trilogy, Tales of Starlight, and Dragons of Starlight. Bryan lives in western Tennessee with his wife, Susie. Bryan and Susie have homeschooled their four girls and three boys.