If you see David Wright around Arnold Air Force Base, he’s usually toting videography equipment and lights into test cells, videoing a special event or interviewing individuals for a project he’s working.
Though Wright, who has been in the role of AEDC videographer since January 2019, has mostly been working behind the lens since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film from the University of Georgia in 1993, he is a man of many talents.
When he’s not putting his video and video editing skills to use at Arnold, he likes to spend his free time writing fantasy fiction novels.
Wright published his first book “My Brother’s Keeper,” part of the series called Galahad’s Doom, in 2014. His second book in the trilogy, “Marching as to War,” came out in 2018. He is currently working on the third and final book, which will be called “The Armor of God.”
“I finished the draft for it in June 2020 and immediately got it into the hands of my core group of beta readers because I’m so excited about it,” Wright said. “I don’t have a specific target date for publication but it will definitely be sometime in 2021. There’s a lot involved in both the revisions process and the design process.
“Galahad’s Doom was a planned trilogy from the beginning so ‘Armor of God’ will complete the story. I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out and anyone who has read the first two will not be disappointed.”
Wright mentioned that he has always had a passion for storytelling, no matter what creative outlet that entails. Once he decided to start writing, he of course chose a topic that he would want to read himself.
“What inspired me was wanting to demonstrate there was room for the Christian faith in fantasy storytelling,” he said. “There is a percentage of people that find it difficult to reconcile their faith with any stories that include magic. I took direct inspiration from the armor of God passage in Ephesians 6 and the phrase “the worlds were framed by the word of God” in Hebrews 11:3 (KJV).
“I was intrigued by the use of the plural ‘worlds,’ and with a desire to sort of defend the fantasy genre, my brainstorming process began. That was around 1997. I then spent 10 years really studying story structure, developing ideas for the novel, getting my feet wet with a few published short stories and making contacts within the small press world. I finally began writing my first Galahad’s Doom draft toward the end of 2007.”
Though the background of the stories is somewhat based on religious virtues, Wright mentioned that one does not necessarily have to be a believer to enjoy it.
“Galahad’s Doom is an epic swords and sorcery fantasy,” he said. “It is action-packed adventure that happens to be informed by my personal faith. But it is not some contrite little Sunday school lesson. This is a sweeping epic that, by the end of the third book, is told on the grandest of scales. Ancient prophecies, magic swords, wizards, knights, elves and dragons. It is not kiddie fare.
“The story I wanted to read did not exist, so I wrote it. And while it’s probably PG-rated, there was no attempt to write to a certain age group. This is just a great, fun story for any fan of the genre. The themes revolve around duty, honor, forgiveness and redemption.”
With his full-time gig at Arnold and having a family, Wright advised that the biggest challenge that he faces when writing is simply just finding the time to do it.
“Time management is definitely the number one challenge for part-time writers,” he said. “I’m only able to write by staying up later at night than anyone else in my family. I wrote the first book during a time in my career when I was working for a ministry as a producer and director of documentaries. The job took me all over the world, including places like Africa and the Vatican. That’s actually when I started writing a lot, when I had so much spare time to fill at airports and hotels.
“By the time I was on the second book, I had returned to a more mundane 9 to 5 existence and my output dropped off significantly. The third book surprised me with how quickly I was able to write it. As the concluding volume, I guess the finish line was so clear in my mind I was able to just get after it, and it just started flowing.”
Wright also noted that what started out as a fascination with the craft of storytelling has now become what most would consider a successful hobby.
“I was always more interested in the choices a writer or director would make, more than with being immersed in any given story,” he said. “I’ve studied story structure and classic archetypes. And then after a few years of casually working on story and character ideas without much of an end goal in mind, I plugged into a community of indie authors and small press book publishers and received a lot of encouragement. Writing is a great hobby that does not cost anything and does not take up extra room in your house, just a fun way to spend your time, like any hobby should.”
For those who also like to dabble in writing or would like to start, Wright offers some advice based on his experiences.
“Read,” he said. “Read a lot. Study how your favorite authors write dialog or reveal character. Write. Don’t put yourself under any pressure to get published, just write for the fun of it and learn from your mistakes. Study story structure. Do you know the turning points in a three act structure? When watching a movie, try to identify when the third act starts.
“I highly recommend ‘Save the Cat’ by Blake Snyder when it comes to learning about genre and story beats. I also found short stories make for great study. It’s easier to discern the structure when all the key elements have to be compressed into a shorter word count.
“Observe life. There are too many interesting people filling up our daily existence to ever have an excuse for boring characters. Relish language. Wield the written word like a paintbrush. Or a scalpel. Or an X-35 at Mach 1. Just have fun with it.”
If interested in learning more about Wright’s novels, visit: http://www.whiterocketbooks.com/galengriffon/