Author Interview: Lee Davis
I would like to introduce Author Lee Davis, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for his book, “Gross.”
Read the entire interview at:
Lee, thank you for the opportunity to interview you, please, tell me about your book, Gross.
No-no-no, thank you! First I’ll point out to readers that this particular book is subtitled Doctor Deathworm Rises, which may help avoid confusion as there is currently another entry in the series (in comic form), with another on the way. This book picks up shortly after Donald, a very lost and confused child, has come to understand the nature of his origins, which were covered in the previous comic entry, Through Demon Skin. Donald was sent to Earth by his father from his chaotic home world in hopes that Donald receive a human upbringing, knowing that Donald is destined for great things in the bridging of worlds. The same dimensional fissure through which Donald was sent is also responsible for an alien corruption that has seeped into the land, infecting it. Sensing Donald’s presence and the light of righteousness that the boy defiantly seeks, along with the threat to the chaotic infection that he poses, the corruption is constantly using its various forms in attempts to find him and snuff him out. In this particular book, an alien parasite of a deceptive and demonic scale, able to animate the long-dead and mutate the living, has taken hold of an academic snob who has attained a doctorate, but has never held a job and lives in his parents’ mansion—a catastrophic combination. Donald is strong-willed, but only with the help of his friends, fellow orphans themselves, with their ragtag unity does he stand a chance to push back this new menace.
How did you come up with the idea for this story?
It was a combination of cool circumstances that fated the book to be written. The Gross series originally ran in Strange Aeons magazine in comic form. The story and characters developed so that my mind was buzzing with new expansions that could be explored, into origins as well as new developments on the mythology. Without a series contract or a colorist and letterer as a basic staff, I simply don’t have the time to embody all of the adventures that came to life in my head in the comic format. It just happened as the comic chapters were coming to close, I’d been very eager to finally sit down and make a book for young adults. Originally I wanted to make a book that would stand alone, but it only made sense to capture the formerly undocumented adventures in book form. Having a demon-parasite from another dimension just seemed so right, and I wanted to have zombies in it. I was also happy to explore this new chapter where those that had previously bullied and tormented Donald are now his close friends, having been more or less saved by the unlikely hero.
Did you design the book cover?
Yes. As Gross began in comic form and as I took on both ends of writing and illustrating, and furthermore because both facets of the creativity are very representative of each other in my work, it only made sense to use my own art as the cover.
Is there a message in your story you want your readers to grasp?
Probably more than anything else, I want the readers, no matter how young or old, to look into their hearts, and look above for the guiding light. I know personally how difficult it can be when the only voices you hear are those that are ridiculing and bullying you for not being what they think you should be, and I hope that the tribulations faced in Donald’s adventures can stand as a reminder to rise above any negativity that’s being dumped on you, whether it’s coming from teachers or peers or family members or whatever. Donald constantly faces tragic situations and the sort of foes that mean to destroy his will and take his life, but in doing what is right and in helping others that mean to overcome obstacles, he succeeds and grows stronger. If readers can take anything at all beyond being entertained by my stories, I want them to remember that the gifts that they came equipped with when they entered this life are special and can be used to help others and the world at large, in any way, no matter how big or small, regardless of any false, negative voices of defeat. Follow your heart, make the right decisions, and you will rise above the negativity and gloom. I also hope readers remember that if they ever come across a tree that somehow resembles what he or she thinks a demon-worm from another dimension might look like, don’t eat its fruits!
How many children’s books have you written?
If we’re including Gross: Doctor Deathworm Rises, just one! I want to write more children’s books along with the continuation of the Gross series, but illustrating others’ writing really dominates my work space for children’s books. I’ve illustrated four, with another in the works and three more queued on my work table. I’m looking forward to being able to illustrate my own children’s books when I can work more projects in.