Bentz Deyo on why people should read his book: “Because we all need an escape right now.”

The UnLeashed received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Bentz Deyo.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The UnLeashed. Published January 2017.

What’s the book’s first line?

A man shot a burst of energy from his palm.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Enduring a year long depression, Leam Holt’s given a second chance at obtaining Dark magic and proving himself to his father. But Leam uncovers secrets about himself, discovering that his biggest failure may actually be his greatest asset.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

The idea for the series came to me when I was working the stage lights at Drew University for a play. Like all ideas, they never leave us, and they have a habit of resurfacing at opportune times. I graduated in 2008 (Oh, hello, recession) and could only find part-time work. Time was available to me to write. Symbolically, I was in the dark, working with lights, when inspiration struck.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Because we all need an escape right now. This series will keep the reader guessing. He or she won’t be sure if the protagonist, Leam will turn out good or evil. He grapples with both sides of himself, as perhaps we all do, but it’s the decisions he makes that determine his fate and the fate of the world around him.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

The scars on Leam’s hands. They’re markings received during his failed “delightenment”, a ceremony that darkens the soul and awakens one’s dormant magical powers. The scars and hands are crucial to a multitude of plot threads in the series. Leam is partly myself. I hope it’s not a copout answer, but many of his internal struggles come from parts of my life and experiences. 

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

With slight embarrassment, I confess to daydreaming about this often. As of today, I see Leam as Ellar Coltrane and Eloa as Lily Collins.

When did you first decide to become an author?

It’s not like you finish your drink, stand up at the Thanksgiving table, stomp your foot and declare, “I have decided to become (pause for effect) …an AUTHOR!!!” You need an idea for a book. If you get one, that’s when you can decide to write it or not.

Is this the first you’ve written?

I wrote some plays in school, but I was frustrated by the confinements a play places on a story. Books freed up my imagination and I began The UnDelightened Series.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

Full-time writer. Emptying the bank account. Chasing down a dream.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

That’s a loaded question. You’re always writing because the characters and the plot you’re creating are constantly swirling around your head on a carousel that, for a devoted writer, doesn’t ever truly stop. In a more literal sense: most of the day, and often late at night when my family’s sleeping.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

Bear with me, I think it’ll be worth it.

I run a lot, to clear my head and brainstorm. This one day I ran fast and had this vision about a girl in a hospital bed, dying from cancer. The daydream started with a call from her dad: “My daughter’s dying. She loves your series but the doctors say she won’t make it before the final book comes out.” “What hospital?” I ask, he tells me, and I gather the first four books and all my notebooks and get on a plane. Outside the girl’s room, I hug her parents and tell them they can’t come in. They can look through the glass, but they can’t come in. I look at the girl and succumb to any emotion that arises, then set myself. We get started. I’m talking and she’s listening avidly. I’m taking her through the first four books that she’s already read and making notes about anything that influences what happens at the end the fifth book (There’s a dry erase board and markers in there somehow; it’s a daydream). We’ve got what we need on the board and I sit down and I ask her what she sees. I watch her eyes as her gaze flicks all over the board.

Then she looks at me and tells me an ending far better than mine. I tell her my ending, and she likes it better than hers. Without another word, I touch my forehead to hers, gather my things and leave. I hug her parents again, and leaving the hospital, it hits me: whichever ending I go with doesn’t matter. What matters is that the girl doesn’t know which ending it will be, and maybe the magic that filled that room for a few hours, filled her with the fight to survive long enough to find out.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Rotates everyday between JK Rowling, Stephen King, Frank Herbert, and, recently, BJ Novak.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

I’ll answer that one on my deathbed.