The Rebel Christian

Book Reviews

Author Spotlight: William G. Chandler Jr. on Dwarf Complete

Those who've been following my reviews have probably figured that I don't do Author Spotlights...yet here I am...doing an Author Spotlight. I don't typically do interviews and all that because I just don't have time. As you can see, I write a review almost everyday--that's a lot of reading and writing plus marketing my own book. But Mr. Chandler approached me very kindly and very humbly, I found it difficult to turn him away.

So I bring you the first, and probably the last, Author Spotlight on The Rebel Christian...enjoy

I had the honor of interviewing Indie Author William G. Chandler Jr. on his experience as an author of a brand new novel. I think he had some interesting answers to the questions I provided, take a look at what he had to say.

Tell us about your novel, Dwarf Complete.

This is a story about life. No matter how life unfolds, we live it to the best of our ability. Lawrence Dodge experiences something dangerous, adventurous, unexpected, and magical but in the end, it is just life. He resumes, as he should. Lawrence reacts to experiences in the best way he knows how.

What inspired you to write this book?

I read the Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I follow films too. Movies like Star Wars, Point Break, and French Connection have influenced me. Those works created a stir. I would like to create a similar stir with my written pieces. The idea was always to create works that have a great purpose but with some influence that I can implement. I can only hope one day to get such attention and create such potent work. In this case, I read the Hobbit and wanted to create a similar tale of a journey.

This journey would be of self-discovery but in a very different way. This character comes to realize what he was and what he becomes can have very different results. He does not judge but simply follows the path given to him. Is this character a better person at the end? It is possible. What is clear is that he changes. 

How long did it take you to write Dwarf Complete? Did you plan it out or just go with the flow?

Dwarf Complete started out as a group of short stories over a five-year period, at least. I wanted to see the stories connect into one cohesive tale in one world. It all follows Lawrence Dodge or some connection to him, in order to see a life unfold. I initially went with the flow but realized the stories did not spark the kind of attention I wanted. I just held them back. I had others read them. I continued, and continue, to work on them because I always believe they can be better, even now. I want to make the message come through.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

Lawrence is some aspect of me and even an aspect of my father. He changes without issue and lives within the moment. He believes in change and I follow the same path. There are parts of him in me but I also believe he shares similar aspects of many others.

Has writing always been your passion? If not, when did you realize this was your dream?

I was in middle school. I had an English teacher, Misses Burr. She always encouraged stronger writing in papers and in class work, but in the most creative ways. I didn’t get it then. I went to school at Widener University and found my English 101 teacher. He gave us only a few papers and transformed our classroom into a courtroom. It was the case of Christopher Columbus. It was the hero versus the villain. What makes him positive? How much bad did he cause? Does he deserve to be a hero? It was clear that in this scenario’s writing you could see the different directions life could take. In my creative writing, I could create various worlds and encounters that can interest me, and others. This set the stage for anything and any situation. I just started to write in college. I just had to work on it. I still work on it. The idea is to continue to create different stories, worlds, and interesting content.

Would you rather see your book become a movie or a television series? Why?

I would love if it became a film. It could be a series of short films. It can play as one film. It could be like Pulp Fiction. They could use the right lighting, the strongest costume, makeup, and the best digital camera work. I just believe it would play well, with dramatic and fun effect. I visualize books and my works in a cinematic way. Dwarf Complete could also be a television series, especially today, as long as it exists as the strongest work possible.

Do you enjoy being an Indie Author? Why or why not?

It is interesting being an indie author. I enjoy it but I never imagined trying it. It allowed me to tell the story I wanted. In that way, it is the perfect place to be. You write and distribute the best work at the time. You can always work on it and can really create the writing in the way you want and how you want.

Describe what your work space looks like right now.

I write at an art desk. I sit down and start to outline the ideas. I draw out the characters. I start to write but I know my work space cannot always be at the art desk. Sometimes it is in a different room. I have gone to the library and considered going to the bookstore. I decided there are too many people are doing that. 

Being a writer is sometimes up to chance, you may or may not make it in this world…keeping that in mind, what are your fears as an author?

I just want to be clear about the story and make sure the effect of the story hits. I hate that when I write a story the makeup of the story is not clear. That’s why I never feel like I’ve finished and why I will always work on my content. I once believed I needed to create the best-selling piece. I have a very different feeling about that today. I would love it, but I have to get to that point.

Where do you see yourself in the literary realm in the next ten years?

I want to be able to write two more pieces. I want to write one strong cohesive novel and another piece that combines a group of short stories into one whole novelette. It will not be like Dwarf Complete but will operate in the realm of fantasy and mythology. The whole novel I hope will be a space adventure.

If you liked his interview then keep reading to find my review of his book, Dwarf Complete!

This book is rather short but it took me a long time to read and an even longer time to write a review I thought would be honest but fair to the author.

Let me first begin by explaining this book’s plot.

Dwarf Complete is a futuristic novel centering on a young male who’s fallen into trouble with the law. You can call it an urban Robin Hood, where the protagonist attempts to bring justice to the citizens of his neighborhood by performing illegal acts.

It is an interesting story because the main character actually gets turned into a weapon which happens to be a dwarf. When I read that in the description my jaw dropped because…what? I was only interested in this book because I wanted to see how on earth a dwarf would fight crime.

Well, there’s more than crime in this book. There are orcs and magic, and a politically corrupt criminal justice system. Dwarf Complete strikes home as an urban novel. It strongly speaks to the injustices faced by minorities at the hands of the police force—very similar to the struggles faced in our society today. It definitely plays on the emotion we see in the book and the need for a leader who will stand against a system determined to take him and his followers down.

We have a gutsy main character named Lawrence Dodge who constantly gets into trouble. He struggles with finding the right thing to do in his situation, we watch him grow and we watch him become a leader and a man. There was some character development there that was nice to read, it’s one of the better points of the book that I think readers will enjoy.

Overall, the concept and story was very intriguing and a good twist on a classic tale. I think I wouldn’t be wrong to call this piece an urban fantasy.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy urban novels and fantasy. You might even enjoy this if you like futuristic, dystopian novels too. I’d say just give it a chance, don’t knock it until you try it.

Now, I’ve said the good but I still want to tell you the bad and a little bit of the ugly.

While I was reading this piece I noticed a fairly significant amount of errors. I’m normally one to overlook a misplaced comma, a misspelled word, even a missing word. As long as the story is intriguing, I can forgive a mistake or two, or three, or even four. I’ve found mistakes in New York Times Bestsellers, I’ve noticed missing words in the works of internationally famous authors and time honored classics. The point is, we’re all human and we all mess up—traditionally and self-published alike. But Dwarf Complete had so many errors I felt compelled to address them in my review as a fair warning to other readers.

The errors weren’t just a few misspelled words, actually I don’t think any words were misspelled or even missing. My issue was with the formatting. There were a lot of inconsistencies with paragraph breaks, indentations, poor use of quotation marks, and more. This book was nice but the editing was distracting, it could have used a basic proofread. That would have made it a lot better and probably would have earned at least another star in my 3/5 rating.

All in all, I think this book deserves a chance. It really isn’t bad, it just needs another read-through. In the author’s defense, Chandler did let me know that he was continuously editing his work. Who knows? Maybe he will re-release this book with a better polished format.

There is much hope for Chandler, I think he has a lot of bright ideas in Dwarf Complete but he also presented me with a second story I was able to read. Stay in touch for my upcoming review of Orange Torture, a short horror story fitting for this frightening season!

My review of Orange Torture is now available here.