Dyrk Ashton is a Mid-western boy who spent some time in Hollywood. He teaches film, geeks out on movies and books, and writes epic urban fantasy novels about regular folks and their troubles with gods and monsters.
His debut novel, Paternus: Rise of Gods, was a finalist in Mark Lawrence’s SPFBO 2016 and placed 3rd, behind those rotten talented bastards Phil Tucker and Jonathan French. Ashton’s second novel in The Paternus Trilogy, Paternus: Wrath of Gods, was released in July of 2018, and the final installment, Paternus: War of Gods, is coming this Fall, 2019.
Short stories in the world of Paternus appear in Art of War: Anthology for Charity, and Lost Lore: A Fantasy Anthology. Another, “Berserker,” is free for signing up for Dyrk’s newsletter on his website, paternusbooks.com. A fourth short, “The Death of Osiris,” will be coming this Fall in the anthology, Heroes Wanted.
Hi Timy! Thank you for asking me to be a part of this. Okay, here we go... If a fantasy author were to visit Budapest for a week or two, what are the places they absolutely must see. Bookstores included!
Let me start with saying: YOU HAVE TO COME TO BUDAPEST! It’s a really awesome city and probably cheaper than many Western-European cities. Just saying. You can find history, architecture, culture, food and thermal spas all over the city (and the country for that matter). The places that you MUST visit are the palace (lots of museums and a beatiful view over the city), the Citadel (even more beautiful view), Margaret Island (it has parks, a place with pools, I think there is a mini zoo too, and since we are talking about zoos, the Budapest Zoo is pretty cool. And it’s right next to the National Circus, as well as one of the most famous Hungarian spa, the Széchenyi Spa. This is all in the City Park (Városliget), where there is also a lake and a castle which gives home to a museum. Youcan absolutely spend at least 2 days discovering those places. Szentendre is about an hour away from the city, a small town with a nice walk next to the Danube, a lot of cafes and museums. If you are into history, then Aquincum is a must visit as well. Some parts of the Roman city still can be seen. Mostly ruins, but it’s quite interesting. And if you still want spas, then Gellért Thermal Spa which you can visit after you climb down from the Citadel.
I’m not sure about book stores… I know, I know. There probably are cool ones which sell English books, but probably less fantasy than I would like. So it’s been a while since I visited one. In the heart of Pest I’m pretty sure we have a few cozy stores. But we have a lot of pubs if that helps. We are famous for having pubs in old houses which are called “romkocsma” – it would translate something like ruin pub. They are really cool. Oh, and I can also show you that we have a book fountain:
What is the first thing you remember from childhood that filled you with wonder and awe?
Huh, that’s a good question. Most probably books. One of my earliest memories is my mom reading to me before nap/sleeptime. I LOVED those times. I was so impatient that I learned to read pretty quickly – I was 3 years old. I never stopped reading.
I also liked to go to the Circus, because seriously, that’s full of wonders for a kid. Also amusement parks. And, um, we have a big firework every year on August 20th, we went in the city a few times to watch it, and it was awesome. Too many people, but it was awesome. One time, I don’t know where or when this was, probably it’s a really early memory, we went to somewhere with my parents, and there were policemen with motorbike. They would have let me sit on the motorbike, but I was too shy and afraid so I didn’t do it. I still have regrets. I was in awe but I was also a little coward (not much changed since then, lol).
If you had nothing but a rolling pin and a cleaver, and had to choose between fighting a full-sized manticore, or a teleporting spider with eight tiny swords, which would you choose?
I think I would go for the manticore (did I say something about cowardice in my previous answer?). A teleporting spider (or teleporting anything, really) is much harder to fight because it keeps appearing out of nowhere and it’s harder to predict its moves. Also it would ave 8 frigging swords. Though, if he spider itself is tiny… then I would go for the spider, provided its bite is not deathly. Huh, it’s a tough choice without all the relevant info. You guys should stop trying to make me have decisions without providing ALL the info.
If you could have lunch with your three favorite authors and could only ask one question that they each had to answer, what would the question be?
Can I ask one more question? Okay, no, seriously… If you could be any of your characters and live in any of your books, who would you be and where would you live and why?
Is it true that you are part of Michael R. Fletcher and Anna Smith Spark’s international ring of pant-thieves, and if so, why would you do such a thing? If not, would you consider infiltrating their devious criminal organization for me?
I’m no part of such organization. Who told you that lie?? I’m outraged! Outraged, I tell you! And how dare you imply that I would spy for you?! How much would you pay, again? Just asking for a friend.
Do you collect Funko-Pops? If so, what is your favorite? If not, WHY NOT?!
Umm… no. I seriously had no idea they existed until I started hanging out on Twitter and followed you. I’m not much into dolls and figurines. As a kid I hated to play with dolls, I was more into toy cars. I did collect figurines though. My dad used to bring home Kinder eggs ALL the time, sometimes a full tray of them. I kept collecting different series of figurines but then after a while they were more dust collectors so we gifted them away. Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to put them.
What has been your favorite trip away from home?
My visit to California. Back in 2014 November, I went to Santa Barbara for 5 weeks. It was my first trip alone, my first plane trip, my first time in America. It was a long time dream of mine. Some things I would do differently now, and the first week wasn’t the best as I had some difficulties, but it was something I will never forget. I learned so much about myself and it was the first time I accomplished something I worked really hard for. I definitely want to go back to visit again. And my most favorite part was the Las Vegas weekend. Fremont Street was absolutely mind blowing.
Assume it’s true that Ben Galley and Rob Hayes write all my books (which of course it probably isn’t #nocabal), and they are going to collaborate on my next book, what will it be called and what will it be about?
The Pirate Tattoo. It would be a grimdark fantasy about a mysterious tattoo artist who makes skull tattoos, and whoever gets his art on them, gain magical abilities or become the incarnation of some mythological creature/god. They would roam the world and wreak havoc wherever they go. The first book – because of course it would be a series – would focus on a Pirate Captain who spends his days leading his team, hunting for hidden treasures of old legends. One day on an island he meets the tattoo artist who gives him a tattoo. Then he becomes obsessed with Atlantis, thinking he could find treasure there and long lost secrets. The closer he gets to his destiny, the more the tattoo grows/spreads, giving him magical abilities and awakening something in him. I also want mermaids and/or sirens in this story.
The tattoo artist would need a good background story too, so probably that should be the prequel. I don’t know, so far that’s all I could decipher from their unreadable handwritten notes they were passing to each other under their desks.
There is a chicken and there is an egg. Which would you eat?
The chicken. I don’t like eggs. I don’t have a problem with eating chicken as far as it’s cooked and has a decent seasoning.
WHERE ARE MY PANTS?!
Did you look for it behind the washing machine? That’s where things go in my home… It’s entirely possible that it fell out without you noticing and been there all this time. You know, you should look around before you start accusing people of stealing.
Thanks! This has been fun :)
If you’d like to get in contact with Dyrk Ashton, you can find him on social media:
Check out Dyrk’s Paternus trilogy by clicking on the covers, the third book Gods of War is coming later this year! Read my reviews of Rise of Gods, Wrath of Gods and the Lost Lore anthology until we wait for book 3 🙂