D.E. King author Photo

Meet epic fantasy author D.E. King, the mastermind behind the captivating ‘In All Jest’ series. In a world where a secret society of Jesters hold the true power and centuries-old secrets begin to unravel, the first book in the series begins as Lani, a young woman finds herself thrust into a life or death quest.

King’s journey to becoming a writer took shape over the years, influenced by a love for epic fantasy, spy novels, and thrillers and a passion for storytelling rooted in childhood. With a knack for immersive world-building and rich character development, King’s ‘In All Jest’ series has captured the imaginations of readers far and wide.

In this exclusive interview, we peel back the layers of inspiration, writing process, and ambition that have fueled King’s works. 

Can you tell us about your background and how it influenced you wanting to be a writer? 

I was brought up with weekly library visits and an expectation of getting books. I loved to read and was a voracious reader.

As a child I fell in love with the worlds writers created and decided I wanted to be a writer. When I first went to university I began studying journalism as I saw this as the pathway at the time to gaining experience and skills to help in that area. I didn’t finish that and went off travelling and working all around the world.

My desire to write never fully went away but I always made excuses before sitting down and committing to living my dream.

Do you have any early literary influences that inspired you to become a writer?

I loved a wide range of books: spy, crime, mystery and fantasy. John Le Carre, Alasitair Mclean, Fredrick Forsthye, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, JRR Tolkien, Raymond Feist, David Eddings and many more that

I read and loved, all contributed one way or another.

Can you describe your typical writing process?

I commit to writing 5 days of the week. These typically include the weekends, which allows me 2 days during the week as my writing days off. I now outline my books before commence writing, only enough to make the plot clear and character arcs thought through. The rest I let come out during the creative process. 

Do you have any specific rituals or habits that help you in your writing routine?

I write at a different location to my day-time workspace and on a different device. Usually with a headset on and some background music to block out world distractions. When I sit in front of my writing device it’s all I do on it so my mind immediately drops into writing mode.  

How do you approach character development in your stories?

I have a wiki of my characters and once they’ve developed I use that to refer back to. I like to use some key characteristics about them, their nature, and then let them evolve and show me who they are. I make sure to record those notes so when I’m writing them later in the stories I can remember their key nature.

Are your characters inspired by real people or entirely fictional?

Entirely fictional but of course people you meet show you their nature and elements of that fit into the characters.  

How has your writing style evolved over the course of your career?

It’s still evolving based on other books, tv shows and movies I watch or read, courses I take and of course from the feedback and assistance of my editing team. 

Have you consciously experimented with different styles or genres?

I am only now branching out into new genres, since my first three books in my Fantasy series are published. There are other books outside of Fantasy I want to write but they will have to fit into my current series schedule. 

How would you describe your current series ‘In All Jest’?

It’s an Epic Fantasy but not a heavy read. It’s more in line with some of my favourite authors Feist and Eddings, where the world is fictional but it’s more about the people and story than completely mythical. It is epic in size but the world is familiar to earth, and the magic influence is subtle. It’s a coming of age story for two of the primary characters wrapped around a unique society of Jesters.

What was the inspiration for your series ‘In All Jest’?

I always love the Jester as an archetype and most stories focus on one often as a secondary player in the main story. The idea of how much the Jester can influence one ruler evolved into what it would be like if there was a whole group of them working together to influence more than just one ruler. 

What have been some of the challenges you faced writing this series? 

As it was my first fiction series I had to learn all about constructing a well crafted story, characterisation, editing etc. 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this series for you? 

Readers finding the books and sending me their positive feedback, even more than that the number of people who had it recommended to them that don’t read fantasy as a rule and were swept away in it and now want to read more. 

What can we expect from you after your ‘In All Jest’ series? Do you have any plans for more books?

Yes this series has a lot more legs to it yet. There’s at least another four books in the main series and the next book to come out is in a side series, In All Jest World. With a lot of backstory and interesting characters I’ll be looking to build out from the main branch and add to it. 

Are there new genres or themes you’re eager to explore in the future?

Dark Thrillers is an interesting genre I like, which means Supernatural as part of it. 

Is there anything you would do differently for future books? 

Just continue to expand on my outlining process and character development. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers trying to get published?

Investigate the right options for you, if you are happy to run your author business then learn about Indie Publishing, if not then you probably want to follow a more traditional route. 

Are there specific writing habits or techniques that you believe contribute to success?

Consistency is probably the main thing. If you can sit and write consistently irrespective of how good it is, you develop those muscles and over time it gets easier, even when you’re struggling the habit of doing it to a pattern helps to work through it. 

What do you hope readers take away from your books?

An escape into a world where the day-to-day is quite different. I loved fantasy because it plays on your imagination and helps create new ideas in your head. For others to get caught up in the characters and the world is the biggest win for me. Of course there’s some themes in the books and if they see them even better. 

Any final thoughts or messages you’d like to share with your readers?

Just thanks for all the support. And for those who haven’t yet read them you can always request them in your library. 

Final thoughts Thank you to D.E. King for your time in answering our questions and your valuable feedback to your readers. To dive into the world of the In All Jest series, you can explore interactive maps, check out his latest blogs, and see his current books at his website at www.kingdarryl.com. Don’t forget to take a look at his latest release in the series, Spire of Fools, or if you’re a new reader, you can dive into book 1 with A Fool’s Errand.