An Interview With S.D. McPhail – Part 3

Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key
Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key

Last October, by a stroke of good fortune and timing, I was offered a chance to review one of the most unique novels I’ve encountered in a long time. After a few months of discussions, my friend S.D. McPhail agreed to allow me to publish it. Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key is, without a doubt, one of a kind. I’m also pleased to say that it’s not just unique – it’s also actually good. The book is available for pre-order now, and will be available for purchase this Saturday. I highly recommend buying a copy and reading it. But if you can’t wait until Friday (and let’s face it, you really are that excited about this book!) I’ve got a three part interview with Ms. McPhail.

As with my typical interviews, one part will post each day through the end of the week. Wednesday’s Part 1 focused on the book itself. Yesterday’s Part 2 focused on Ms. McPhail’s experiences with writing and publishing. Finally, Today’s Part 3 focuses on Ms. McPhail herself. As always, these interviews are presented unedited.



Aside from authors and works previously listed as inspiration, can you tell us what your own favorite sff authors and works are?

One of my all-time favorite books is Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. I adore Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. I’ve been a fan of Stephen King since Carrie, although I had to take a break from him for a long time after Cujo. I’m still catching up on some of his books I haven’t read yet. J.K. Rowling is my idol. If only I could be as imaginative as she!


Favorite current sff show and/or movie?

Just saw Star Trek Beyond and it currently tops my favorite recent movie list. But that list is subject to frequent change and if next year’s Kong: Skull Island is as good as the trailer, it will have a turn at the top of the list. There are likely to be several at the number one spot in the interim between those two.
The other day I finished binge-watching the Netflix series Stranger Things. Loved it! Comparisons from fans ranged from The Goonies to E.T. to Stand by Me, but I found it strongly reminiscent of Super-8, another on my all-time favorites list. Just read that it’s confirmed for a second season, so go watch all eight episodes of the first season now so you’ll be conversant when everyone else finds out about this little gem.

I am also waiting, rather impatiently, for the return of Game of Thrones.


Favorite current non-sff show and/or movie?

Favorite TV show is Big Bang Theory. Love me some loveable nerds. As a history nerd, not to mention a fan of Matthew McConaughey, I loved Free State of Jones. Now I want to read the book it was based on.


Favorite current sff books?

I’ve been on a YA binge lately with books. Finished the phenomenal Ashes trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick not long ago. Just started reading White Space, a more recent book by Ilsa, and it’s equally amazing.


Favorite current non-sff books?

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America was fascinating. True history again, about Dr. H. H. Holmes, the serial killer whose “Murder Castle” must have been the inspiration for American Horror Story: Hotel.


What did you do before you became a writer?

I was a marketing communications specialist who wrote a lot of copy and created marketing materials, brochures, proposals, technical documents, illustrations, presentations, and website content for all kinds of clients.


Do you still have a “real” job? If so, what do you do?

Yes, I have a real job. I am a writer.


Do you have a college degree? If so, what in?

Yes, my degree is a Bachelor of Business Administration. Maybe if I had majored in English, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to discover the joys of writing fiction.

[Editor’s note: from what I can tell, majoring in English seems to have the opposite effect.]



And that’s it for this interview – but you really should take the time to check out her book!

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