David Doersch has worked for nearly 40 years in the performing arts as an Actor, Director, Fight Director, Stunt Coordinator, Theatre Educator, Audiobook Narrator, and Touring Musician. As a Fight Director and Sword Master, he has worked at regional theatres and Shakespeare festivals from coast to coast, including the Guthrie Theatre, the Dallas Repertory Theatre, American Players’ Theatre, the American Shakespeare Center, the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Crossroads Theatre, the Virginia Repertory Theatre, and many others. From 2014 to 2020 he worked as the casting director, fight and stunt coordinator for Feld Entertainment’s two touring stunt shows, Marvel Universe Live and Jurassic World Live Tour. His unique specialization in historical bladework has enabled him to travel and teach in multiple countries on four continents. As an actor he has worked on regional theatre stages, as well as film and television, most notably as the Demon Afrit in the final moments of Steven Spielberg’s film, Lincoln. As an educator, he has worked as a visiting professor, visiting guest artist and/or adjunct professor teaching at a variety of institutions, including the University of Minnesota, University of Tennessee, University of Alabama, University of Mississippi, Florida International University, Bethel College, Macalester College, Hamline University, the College of William and Mary, University of Pretoria (SA), the American University of Cairo (Egypt) and many others. As an audiobook narrator he has recorded dozens of titles for Audible, ACX and other platforms. His work has spanned a variety of genres, including historical fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, science-fiction, children’s books, romance and more. In 1999 he created a band called Coyote Run, which began touring and presenting their unique style of Celtic Americana music. Over twelve years, he toured all over the US with this band, headlining major festivals, concert halls and music clubs. In 2020, he started a new band, Eireann’s Call, with whom he tours the Southeast US. Combined, he has released thirteen albums of mostly original music and sold tens of thousands of albums.
With the upheaval of the pandemic, he decided to finally realize a lifelong goal of becoming an author, and he began writing. In April of 2023, the first book of his series was published, and at the end of November 2023, the second book—The Fury—will follow. The third book—The Equinox Tor—is slated to come out in summer of 2024.
David lives in the Smoky Mountains with his wife Cathy and their cats.
You can buy The Gathering Storm here.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
I’ve studied swordplay and martial arts my entire adult life. As one moves deeper into the study of a martial discipline, nuances, subtlety and communicative details reveal themselves—you begin to perceive the language of the blade. I’ve always wanted to write fantasy novels, but it wasn’t until I decided to try to communicate elements of that language that the door in my mind opened, and the characters and their world came pouring out.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
As I mention in my bio, I’ve spent my entire adult life working in the performing arts as Actor, Director, Fight Director, Stunt Coordinator, Theatre Educator, Audiobook Narrator, and Touring Musician.
What’s something my readers may not know about me? I play bagpipes…and accordion. My eldest daughter laughed with me recently. Bagpipes, accordion and swords. All antique art forms.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
The title for Book I (The Gathering Storm) seemed obvious to me. Sadly, it apparently seemed obvious to several other authors, as there are many books with the same title. But nonetheless it is descriptive of the tone and action of the book, so I stuck with it. The title for Book II is The Fury. In my mind the overarching tale is like watching a storm roll in and develop fully. There’s the dread once you realize what those dark clouds on the horizon represent. There’s the wonder and awe as the breadth and strength of the storm come into view. Then, there’s the fury as you’re subsumed by the maelstrom, with so many things happening at once and so much threatened.
How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?
It is hard to put into words how life-changing realizing a lifelong goal can be. I had become so accustomed to pushing aside that dream and getting on with my life, that when the reality of the book—the physical book—hit me, it was a foundational shift in my life. A seismic event that I don’t know that I was really prepared for. I’m fortunate to work with Duncan Eagleson as my cover artist and illustrator for the books. I’ve known Duncan for decades and loved his graphic novels, his illustrations and his artwork. He’s truly a genius. Once the book was starting to properly form up, I reached out to him right away. I couldn’t imagine anyone else.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
Any song by Beats Antique.
“Mojave” by Afro-Celt Sound System
“Dance of the Druids” by Bear McCreary
“The Hammer of Thor” by Bear McCreary
In fact, pretty much most of what Bear McCreary has done. Love his work.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
More than anything, I want them to perceive the poetry and grace of weapons work. It isn’t simply bish bash bosh, but an intricate dance of intention and denial, momentum and fluid transition, opportunity and planning.
My perfect reader? Hopefully someone who has a passion for swordplay, an appreciation of the epic fantasy genre, and who appreciates both cultural and social diversity among characters.
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
Getting feedback from readers. Honestly that is still the best part. I love to cook, and for my family I have always been the chef on Thanksgiving. A huge part of the joy for me is carefully preparing the dishes, anticipating the oohs and aahs and yummy sounds that everyone will make as they dive in and enjoy what I’ve created. Writing is the same. Yes, I write to tell the story and to express and actualize the characters, but I’m also anticipating the readers’ response as they are taken on this journey. Getting feedback, especially detailed feedback is pure joy.
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
I’m currently finishing up The Equinox Tor, Book III, and starting to outline Book IV (as yet untitled). Since I’m also an audiobook narrator, I’m in the studio recording Book II. Non-writing related projects? My band is preparing for a small tour of our holiday show, and in the new year we have a number of new songs we’re developing.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.