Dirty Dozen Author Interview – John D. Payne #Fantasy #Dragons

John David Payne-0820.jpg

Author name: John D. Payne

  1. Please tell us about your publications.

Well, in this bundle https://bundlerabbit.com/b/here-be-dragons#cbp=/products/detail/crown-dragon, you will find my debut novel.  The Crown and the Dragon is an epic fantasy about an uncrowned princess and an outlaw with a price on his head.  Thrown together on the road by fate, they are pursued by a blood-soaked sorceror, an occupying army, a demon monster made of crows, and a dragon of mass destruction.  They have nothing in common, but somehow they end up saving the kingdom and falling in love.

Also in this bundle is Dragon Writers: An Anthology, which happens to feature one of my stories.  “Lullaby” is about a mommy dragon (and a daddy dragon) trying to get noisy little ones to pipe down and go to sleep. I wrote it in my head while rocking my own kiddos to sleep. In fact, I was rocking our second child when my phone informed me that this story had been accepted to the anthology. I said “Awesome!” which woke my little boy just enough to barf all down my shirt. Lots of other great stories in this book, but I don’t know that any of the others have received this particular mark of quality.

 

  1. What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?

Write what you love, but also try new things.  You never know when you’re going to find something new that you love doing.

 

  1. What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

I heard: “Don’t try it.  It’s impossible to make a living as a writer, and you’ll waste years of your life trying and failing.”  And for a while, I believed this.

But!  Anything worth doing takes years to learn.  And while you’re learning, you won’t be making much money.  And there’s going to be a lot of failures along the way.  This is normal in any field of study, in any trade, in any new venture.  But are any of those as much fun as playing make-believe?  If your answer is an emphatic NO, then write.

And don’t worry if you can’t spend eight hours a day at this.  Take twenty or thirty minutes every day and write one page.  In 365 days, you’ll have a 365 page novel.  Then move on to the next one, and the next.  So what if they’re not perfect?  You’re learning.  And having fun!

 

  1. Tell us about your latest piece?

Just finishing a short story for D.J. Butler’s anthology of Mormon Steampunk.  It’s about two stowaways on a giant steam-powered land ship heading out west with the pioneers.  One is a Danish house-gnome following one of his household, and the other is a labor automaton who decided the Emancipation Proclamation applied to him.  It was my first ever steampunk story, and I had a blast writing it.  Not every day I get to talk about Elizabeth Barrett Browning, salty black licorice, and the alchemist Paracelsus in the same story!

 

  1. If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why?

As a stay-at-home dad with a kindergartener, a preschooler, and a toddler (so far), the mythical person I most envy is Sleeping Beauty.  To conk out for a hundred years?  Man, that is the life.  Tell you what, if I ever see a spinning wheel I am going to be stabbing my finger with that spindle.  You never know, right?

 

  1. What is your writing space like?

When we were house-hunting for our current place, I was so excited to see that it had a room that would work as an office.  Good natural light, out of the way but close to the bathroom.  Perfect!  I lined the walls with bookshelves and set up the world’s best futon, so I could write sitting or lying down.  (I don’t like to stay in the same position too long when I write.)  I put a mini-fridge in the closet and filled it with my very favorite Brazilian soda pop (Guaraná Antarctica), and made sure to stock some snacks so I could stay in there for hours and just write.

Naturally, the kids have decided this is the funnest room in the house, and absolutely will not leave me alone when I’m in there.  So I do a lot of my daytime writing at our church, sitting on a couch in the foyer with pillows I steal from the mothers’ lounge.  It’s not nearly as comfy as my office at home, but there’s usually nobody else there so it’s nice and quiet.  Which is really all I need.

 

  1. What is the last book you’ve read?

Most of my reading is actually listening.  It’s a habit I picked up back when I had a long commute.  So the last audiobook I listened to was Food: A Cultural Culinary History by Ken Albala.  The first three-quarters of the book (everything up to about 1800 AD or so) was full of great new information.  And it made me want to try the recipes!

If we’re just talking about fiction, my most recent read was Obstacles, Volume 1 of the Acts of Androkles, by Ryan English, which I read as an ebook.  Set in a world much like our own ancient Greece, it’s the tale of a hardened warrior who sets out on a quest for vengeance and along the way finds a  family. It’s like 300 meets Payback, plus The Bad News Bears.  Or maybe Horsin’ Around.

 

  1. What are your views on authors commenting on reviews?

I think the wisest course (and the happiest) is to avoid reading reviews, much less commenting on them.  But if I was going to comment, it would probably be to thank a fan for leaving the review.  Or to let someone know I was glad they noticed something I worked hard on.

 

  1. How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?

I mostly do research as I go, when I bump into something I need to know to write the scene.  For example, the novel I’m working on now is a superhero book that takes place in a city built on the old Roanoke Colony.  So I’ve been learning a lot about the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  But lots of other stuff, too.  For scenes in the last few chapters, I’ve researched all of the following: garbage trucks, supermodels, barbecue, electromagnets, she-crab soup, secret societies, mary jane pumps, tax fraud, dark energy, good pistols for women to concealed-carry, missing planets, and the demon wife Adam had before Eve.

 

  1. If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat.

Bilbo Baggins.  That little dude knows how to lay out a spread.  And I think I’d want to drop in for Elevensies, so we could do breakfast food, brunch food, and lunch food.  All of which will feature bacon.  Yum!

 

  1. Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

People love stories, and they get them in a lot of different ways.  Leaving out movies, comic books, TV, games, etc., and just thinking about written fiction, there are so many ways to deliver it these days.  Hardcovers, mass-markets, trade paperbacks, ebooks, audiobooks, etc.  People might buy your novel online, or in their local bookstore.  They might borrow it from a friend, or from a library.  You can chop it up into chapters and serialize it in magazines (print or electronic), a newsletter, on blogs, podcasts, or Patreon.

Ebooks are great, but they’re not the only way to experience a story (or to reach an audience).  This is the age of innovation, of creativity.  I think this is the best time in the history of the world to be sharing your stories.   There are just so many options!  And it’s only going to get better.

 

  1. What’s your next writing adventure?

As soon as I finish my superhero book, I’m finishing (and revising) a novel that follows on from a story I wrote for One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology.  In the story, an awkward grad student (Lem) finally gets the courage to ask out the cute hipster girl (Pris) who’s always reading at his stop.  But what he doesn’t know (that the reader does) is that she’s really a secret watcher from another dimension.

The book is set a few months after their disastrous first date.  Pris shows up out of nowhere on Lem’s doorstep, reveals her true identity, and asks him to help her unravel a sinister conspiracy that spans the multiverse.  They have 48 hours to clear her name, save earth from extradimensional spies, and win the film competition at the local Con.  And maybe . . . have a second date?

 

Meet the author: John D. Payne grew up in the American midwest watching the lightning flash outside his window and imagining himself as everything from a leaf on the wind to the god of thunder. Today, he lives with his wife and family at the foot of the Organ Mountains in New Mexico, where he focuses his weather-god powers on rustling up enough cloud cover for a little shade.

His debut novel, The Crown and the Dragon, is a thrilling epic fantasy published by WordFire Press. His short fiction has been published in anthologies like Tales of Ruma and magazines like Leading Edge.

For monthly stories, exclusive bonus content, updates and more, please subscribe at: Patreon Or tweet-stalk him @jdp_writes.

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Rufus Redblade #Dragons #Fantasy

 

Name: Rufus Redblade

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in Ilmar, which I understand is featured in Of Blood and Scales – which itself is in Here Be Dragons Bundle and Heroika – Dragon Eaters. I suppose you could say it’s part of my chronicle – although I have never met the bard who sang the song, nor the scribe who penned it.

Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)

I am a Griffin-rider. We used to protect the Archduke and his household before he was murdered. One might say we failed, but a man may be killed in many ways which do not look like murder.

The Griffin-riders are, I suppose you would say, airborne cavalry. We have fought with monsters, men and sometimes magic, but since the new religion has swept the land we were disbanded, now we are scattered. I am now, officially, a mercenary. But I work for the Archduchess Silena if she requires me. I make my money where I can these days.

How do you see your world?

Before the Followers of Arun spread their lies it was a pleasant enough world for a warrior. Border skirmishes, battles with rival houses for the Ivory Throne. The late Archduke brought peace, hard won and hard fought. We maintained the peace, and kept the lands free of monsters, such as hydra. The old gods were more…understanding. Arun is a jealous god and his Followers zealots, one does not disparage Arun’s name in public. There have been a great many…purges.

I have a remarkable, strong and intelligent woman in the Archduchess, and one whom eclipses all other women. I have loyal companions and a fine, courageous griffin. I have money enough to live, and food in my belly. The world is not as bad as it might be for me. Even if I now have to live on the edges.

What part do you play in this tale?

The young princess – who is the last remaining heir – is dying. If she does not live there will be bloody civil war. Peace is worth the cost of my life if it maintains the throne in the correct hands. Silena is regent, and fair, but a woman has never ruled the land. Times must change, but many are loath to see it. I must find a cure for the malady, the curse on the young princess. The Archduchess rightly trusts few and prayers to the new god have brought no response. We must seek the old ways. We must kill a dragon to save a throne.

Do you consider yourself a good person/creature?

Define good. I have taken life in battle, that makes me a killer. I have turned away from the state religion and dabbled in forbidden magic, that makes me a heretic, I have brought about the downfall of a noble house – some would say that makes me a traitor. Good and bad are defined by who is asking, and where he is standing.

Do you follow any religion?

If anyone asks I pay homage to Arun, same as everyone else. In truth I hedge my bets. I have paid homage to the old ways and the old gods. When a man is a warrior and especially a Griffin-Rider one must murmur a prayer to whoever is listening and hope they look favourable on the unworthy such as myself. Religion can be dangerous.

What is your favourite colour/food/music (pick one)?

I have never really thought about my favourite colour. I like good ale and mead, soft bread, firm cheese and good meat. I have eaten far worse.

Here Be Dragons bundle

They stalk our myths and hunt our past—dragons—humankind’s greatest and oldest foe. Good, bad, legendary and deadly. Dare you enter the dragon’s lair?

Tales of dragons, their friends and their foes.

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I -books and Nook on the universal link

Universal Link https://books2read.com/HereBeDragonsBundle

Published by Kydala Publishing

 

Heroika: Dragon Eaters

Published by Perseid Press

Available on Amazon, Amazon print and audible.

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2lRDLPf

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2lHCrN4

Amazon print UK http://amzn.to/2mpBNnn

Paperback US http://amzn.to/2mwZbhY

Audio – narrated by Rob Goll

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bnbGu1

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2kXAQp2

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2mpH6mC

 

Here Be Dragons Bundle – #Fantasy

Here Be Dragons – Myth, Monsters and Mayhem

Vol III 

They stalk our myths and hunt our past—dragons—humankind’s greatest and oldest foe. Good, bad, legendary and deadly. Dare you enter the dragon’s lair?

Tales of dragons, their friends and their foes.

Available for pre-order now! Released 31st March 2018

Dragons boxset.png

Available on

Here Be Dragons on Bundle Rabbit

Kobo

Amazon. com

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

I tunes

Featuring 13 fabulous dragon-themed stories.

The Crown and the Dragon – John D. Payne

Dragon Writers – Lisa Mangum

Of Blood and Scales – A. L. Butcher

Devouring Light – J.M. Ney-Grimm

Ascension of the Whyte – Karen Wrighton

Of Dragons and Centaurs – Deb Logan

Night of the Clockwork Dragon – Louisa Swann

The Legend of G and the Dragonettes – Russ Crossley

The Dreamweaver’s Journey – Diana L. Wicker

Graybill – Rita Schulz

Star-drake – J.M, Ney-Grimm

Like at Loch Ness – Karen L. Abrahamson

Winter Glory – J.M. Ney-Grimm

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Narrator Interview – Andrew J Pond

Name: Andrew J Pond

*Tell us a bit about yourself: I’m a professional actor and drama teacher with over 20 years experience. I also have an eclectic set of skills, such as accents, Muppet voices, magic, juggling, balloon artistry, and Elvis impersonation. I also have a degree in philosophy so I can sound smart at parties.

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production? I’ve always loved reading, and the sound of my own voice, so…

Is this your day job? It’s one of several. As an actor, you cobble together multiple jobs to avoid the 9-5. I am hoping it becomes lucrative enough to take the sole position.

Do you have a preferred genre?  Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this? Authors of Science Fiction/Fantasy seem most responsive to me. This is a genre I personally enjoy reading, so that’s helpful. I think it’s because of the fact I have a facility for character voices and, as an actor, storytelling is something that’s second nature to me.

What are you working on at present/Just finished? I’ve just finished a wonderful book for young people called Jinx and the Faerie Dragons by Victoria Zigler. It’s a great adventure for young readers. Lots of fun characters. I’m presently recording The Waters of Nyra by Kelly Michelle Baker, which is also about dragons. I’m sensing a theme…

*Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.) I’ve built what is essentially a blanket fort in my office to help with acoustics, because I am a giant child. I like to read through the chapter I’m going to record to make sure I’m aware of any difficult to pronounce words or names, as well as figuring out voices for characters I’ve not recorded yet. So I do spend a good amount of time talking to myself. Then, once I’ve gotten a rough idea, I sit down to record. If I make a mistake, I don’t stop, I snap my fingers and then repeat what I messed up. This makes editing later one much quicker.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable?  The performance, honestly. Especially if I have a bunch of dialogue with multiple characters, which allows me to switch back and forth between voices quickly.

What do you find least enjoyable? Editing. Not because it isn’t interesting (I love learning new skills) but mostly because it’s tedious.

Have you ever found an author you couldn’t continue to work with? How was this resolved? Luckily, no.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this? I do consider it. It’s great if you feel confident the book will sell well, and of course, that means passive income. The only times I don’t consider it is if the book is exceedingly long or technical, because it means the amount of work is significantly higher. For that kind of job, I like to get payment at the end of the job.

Do you listen to audiobooks? I used to listen to them all the time, on cassette, which shows just how old I am. I used to have a job that required a lot of driving, and they were awesome for that. I am a bit old-fashioned and like having books in my hands, but I have started listening to audiobooks again, and it really is a lovely way to experience books.

*With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling? At this point, I wouldn’t bet against anything online or digital. I have an embarrassing history of not understanding technological trends…

Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? I think it’s a combination of ease of use, since everyone’s so on the go, and free time nowadays is limited (not to mention everyone lives on their phones), and the performance aspect. People enjoy hearing a book performed.

Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?) It’s definitely fulfilled my expectations as far as amount of work. I’m amazed by the selection.

Have you ever had a negative experience producing a book? Thankfully, no.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve had? The technology isn’t that hard. You can do this. Anything that deals with the tech side of it was always intimidating, but the entire recording/editing process turned out to be surprisingly simple.

If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why? Watership Down, by Richard Adams. It was my favorite book as a kid, and I read it multiple times. It’s an incredible adventure story, and has a plethora of opportunities for voices. That or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Love that title.

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. I watched Sesame Street daily until I graduated from college.

Where can we learn more about you? http://www.andrewjpond.weebly.com

Social Media links: www.facebook.com/andrew.j.pond

Instagram: @thadhel1

If you would like to learn more about Jinx and the Faerie Dragons look here:

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Jinx-and-the-Faerie-Dragons-Audiobook/B079NMXF6R
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/447528
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jinx-and-the-faerie-dragons-victoria-zigler/1119744836
iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/jinx-and-the-faerie-dragons/id890071985
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/jinx-and-the-faerie-dragons-unabridged/id1347211105
Amazon UK: Amazon UK
Amazon US: Amazon US
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Jinx-Faerie-Dragons-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1512360074/
The Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Jinx-Faerie-Dragons-Victoria-Zigler/9781512360073
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22460426-jinx-and-the-faerie-dragons

Jinx And The Faerie Dragons Audiobook Cover

Dirty Dozen Character Interview – Sorcha #Fantasy #Mythic

Welcome; SORCHA

Scorchas heart.jpg

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a fully-trained sorceress, though my mother sometimes forgets this. I guess I’ll always be a child in her eyes. I’m in my early 20s, trim, active, and healthy. I’m not particularly beautiful, but then my physical appearance has never been important to me. I’m not interested in fashion or the latest hair styles. I wear sturdy, serviceable dresses and my long dark hair is usually in a single braid. My eyes are my most interesting facial feature, deep blue with an exotic slant that people often compare to a cat’s eyes. I’ve never met my father, but Mother says I inherited his eyes.

  • What is your world like? How does it differ to mine?

I believe your people would refer to my world as medieval and feudal, but those are political terms which we’ll discuss later. As far as the world itself is concerned, it is much like Earth, possessing mountains and lakes and oceans, and even deserts, though I’ve never seen one of those. The mountains near my home are tall and rugged and capped by brilliantly white glaciers.

  • Is your world populated by different races? How do they get along?

The intelligent races of my world are humans and dragons. We have the usual non-sapient creatures. Domestic animals such as horses, sheep, cows, dogs and cats, and wild animals such as wolves and bears and predatory cats.

How do humans and dragons get along? Not very well at the moment. In fact, that’s the reason for my adventure.

  • Within your culture what is the political structure?

Human society is made up of feudal kingdoms. My mother and I live in Glengorm under King Leofric. Our nearest neighbor is Rossal, which is ruled by King Dougal. Each kingdom is divided into hereditary holdings ruled by lords and their ladies. The common folk who work the land live in villages and are often represented to their lords by village elders who are elected by their neighbors for their wisdom and experience.

  • What is your greatest fear?

I’m so afraid that King Leofric will declare war on the dragons of the ice aerie that I’m considering a rash action. Mother has advised me to stay out of it, to let Leofric and his counsellors deal with the situation, but if I have the power to stop a war, don’t I have a moral obligation to use it?

  • Tell us why you’re embarking on this adventure?

To prevent a war between my kingdom and the dragons of the ice aerie, thereby saving my people. I don’t think King Leofric truly understands how completely outclassed his knights are by the dragons.

  • Tell us about your family?

My family? I don’t really have one. It’s just mother and me. My father deserted Mother before she even knew she carried me. Mother is the bravest woman I know. She’s a sorceress, as I am, and women aren’t usually accepted for training in anything more challenging than the potions of a hedge witch. But Mother refused to be held back by bigotry. She fought to be accepted and finally found a wizard willing to train her, though he had his doubts. Not about her ability. He knew she was powerfully gifted, but about her commitment. He believed women were fickle. Too prone to fall in love and desire family and children. When Mother confessed her pregnancy, he sent her away and told her not to return until she’d been delivered of the child and found it a suitable home. Mother stood up to him. She would not hide her pregnancy for his convenience, neither would she give me up. She would continue her studies and raise her child. The force of her personality and her magical potential were too much for him. She remained his apprentice and I was not given away.

  • Would you die for those you love?

Without a second thought. I’d rather not, of course, but if my death would save my people, I would sacrifice myself gladly.

  • Do you believe in magic?

Of course, don’t you? Its power courses through my veins. My entire reason for being is the study and responsible use of magic.

  • What is your greatest skill/asset?

My determination. Once I decide upon a course of action, nothing can deter me.

  • What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell).

I’m very stubborn. (Another name for determination.) Once I decide upon a course of action, nothing can deter me.

  • What do you think of your author/creator?

She’s an adequate chronicler. She has told my tale fairly and well.

 

For the author

Books in which this character appears:

Also appearing in  Mythic Tales

mythic-fb-post-image

Links, short author bio…

 

Website: http://debbiemumford.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebbieMumfordWrites/

Newsletter: eepurl.com/bTXLhX

 

Bio:

A prolific copywriter by day, Debbie Mumford has been published in WMG Publishing’s Fiction River anthologies, Heart’s Kiss Magazine, Spinetingler Magazine, and other markets. She has also published several novels, novellas, and short story collections, including the popular Sorcha’s Children series. Debbie writes about faeries, dragons, and the supernatural for adults as herself and for tweens and young adults as Deb Logan. Find out more about Debbie’s work at debbiemumford.com or follow her on Facebook: @DebbieMumfordWrites. Join her newsletter list at eepurl.com/bTXLhX to receive an exclusive FREE story!

Book Spotlight – Quest for the Sundered Crown #fantasy #new release

Title: Quest for the Sundered Crown

Author: Matthew Olney

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Main character description (short).

Luxon Edioz now nineteen fights to save the Kingdom of Delfinnia from the evil that threatens to consume it. He has short sandy blonde hair, blue/grey eyes and strong jawline. Typically, he wears a simple tunic, breeches and boots with his green wizard’s cloak over the top. Strapped to his back is his staff ‘Dragasdol’ a powerful staff forged in a dragon’s flame.

Synopsis:

Danon’s army sweeps across the Kingdom of Delfinnia and Luxon, the only one capable of stopping the annihilation of the realm embarks on a desperate quest to cure himself of the deadly Void Sickness that threatens his life. To find the cure, Luxon must travel through the Magic Gates and find the Waters of Magic, but in doing so, he will be sent to new worlds and even through time. There he will uncover the shocking truth about Danon and another he calls friend and mentor.

Elsewhere, dragons ravage the eastern lands spurring Kaiden to reform the Knights of Niveren and in the south, the King’s Legion, led by the usurper Ricard makes a desperate stand against Danon’s hordes. As the world turns ever darker, one hope remains. The legendary sacred sword Asphodel remains hidden.

The Quest is on to claim the blade and perhaps push back the evil threatening creation itself.

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

The little girl cowered in the cellar of the town’s tavern. Around were other citizens who had fled blindly from their beds and who had been smart enough to seek sanctuary underground. Deafening booms, roars and screams sounded from above.

An hour before the horror now unfolding around her began the girl had been sound asleep in her mother’s house on the next street over from the inn. It had been a night like any other. She’d been carried up to her bed by her father, and as usual, he had sung her a nursery rhyme. She’d drifted off to sleep with not a care in the world feeling loved. Then the roars had started and then came the screaming. A powerful explosion had tossed her out of bed, and the smell of smoke quickly filled the bedroom. Crawling over splinters and broken glass, she reached the landing and cried out for her parents. Where their room had been was now a gaping hole that revealed the hellscape beyond.

The fire was everywhere, and people were screaming and running in all directions. The roar had sounded again, so loud that the girl covered her ears lest the noise burst her eardrums. Dazed and confused she staggered down the ravaged staircase and outside the front door which had been blown off its hinges. She cried out for her parents once more, but her voice was drowned out by the chaos happening all around her. She noticed the people running and watching the night sky. She looked up and screamed. Massive winged shapes flew over the town.

Dragons.

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

Quest for the Sundered is the third book in the epic Sundered Crown Saga. If you love dragons, magic and epic conflict then this is the book for you!

covq

 

Links etc.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07231N8YV

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07231N8YV

 

 

Swift Six – Thomas Barczak – Fantasy

Name: Thomas Barczak

What attracts you to the genre in which you write?

I am a dreamer. I have always had a great love for fantasy. My mind, it wanders constantly. I guess fantasy is just far enough away that when I get there, I can actually stay there awhile and find rest. I grew up playing D&D so I’m pretty sure that plays a lot into it as well. But mostly I think it goes back to its deep roots in mythology, to something more primitive, to a time when there were fewer distractions.

Fantasy is often criticized for being too black and white, and I think that’s a fair criticism, but I’m also not sure that’s entirely a bad thing. I think fantasy is at its best when it leaves our moral insecurities exposed yet still asks us to make a choice and actually take responsibility about which direction we want to go.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?

It’s ok to fail. That’s how you get better. You can take your time. That and you actually have a lot of choices about what success actually means to you.

I think that is probably the single most important question an aspiring author should ask themselves: What am I trying to do and where am I trying to go. Then don’t settle for the first answer and dig deep. There is a purpose for what you do. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been given the ability to do it. Not everybody gets to be a writer. Take responsibility for it.

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you chose?

J.R.R. Tolkien. He wrote myth from a place of deep personal belief. He didn’t write to preach. He wrote what he wrote because at the end of the day, that’s who and what he was. Honestly his writing at times is really not very good, certainly by contemporary standards. But it is this: It’s honest.

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?

J.R.R. Tolkien, mostly for the reason above. He shaped the genre a helped shape the fundamental core of who I am. I’m not even talking about being a geek. I’m referring to the deeper allegory he prescribed – That there is always great hope still to be found in the greatest of losses.

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?

Not at all, at least I certainly hope not. I would like to think that paper books are a little more resilient than 8-tracks. They certainly have a longer track record. And you don’t need any devices to read them, except for maybe glasses.

 Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?

The Hobbit – So that I never forget that life is an adventure, even if you’re stuck somewhere.

A spiritual text – So that I have something to remember what I believe in.

A sketchbook – So that I have something to write and draw in.

 

Author bio and book synopsis

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

I am an artist, turned architect, turned writer, who finally got around to actually writing the stories I started dreaming about as a kid.

My work includes the dark epic fantasy, Mouth of the Dragon, the illustrated epic, Veil of the Dragon, the Kindle serials, Awakening Evarun (Parts I-VI) and Wolfbane (Parts 1-2 of 3), along with numerous short stories and flash fiction, including those published in “Heroika 1 – Dragon Eaters”, “Nine Heroes”, “Terror by Gaslight”, and “What Scares the Boogeyman”, as well as two volumes of the award-winning “Heroes in Hell” series, “Dreamers in Hell”, and “Poets in Hell”.

I write because I can’t not. I write because I need to tell the stories I already started on way before, in my painting, in my poetry, and even before that, when I was sitting around a table with friends, slaying dragons.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

Mouth of the Dragon, Prophecy of the Evarun, published by Perseid Press is a dark, epic and redemptive fantasy, which I sincerely hope challenges and presents anew everything a hero’s journey can be.

 

Capture MOTD 

Links

http://www.theperseidpress.com/

Amazon

www.tombarczak.com

Social media

https://www.facebook.com/thomas.barczak

https://www.facebook.com/ProphecyOfTheEvarun/

https://twitter.com/barczaktom

https://www.instagram.com/tombarczak/

 

Book Spotlight – Mouth of the Dragon – Thomas Barczak #Fantasy #Prerelease

mouthdragon kindle cover.jpg

 

Mouth of the Dragon, Prophecy of the Evarun, is a novel by Thomas Barczak, published by Perseid Press, February 10th, 2017.

This dark, epic, and redemptive fantasy challenges everything a hero’s journey can be.

Chaelus, once Roan lord of the House of Malius, now vessel of the Giver reborn, has defeated the Dragon of legend. Now he must rescue his brother and his kingdom, both beyond the Dragon’s Veil.

When the legendary dragon resurges among drums of war, it threatens Chaelus, the human vessel of prophecy who once defeated it, and those loyalists the man holds dear.

Now Chaelus must confront the Dragon a second time, as prophecy has foretold.

With his remaining followers he pursues the Dragon. When he finds it, he finds that the blood of his past has returned to reclaim him.

And even with the power of prophecy at his summons he cannot defend against it.

Tempted to save all he’s lost, abandoned by the prophecy he’s vowed to serve, he falls under the spell of the Dragon, and learns that the dragon you hunt is the dragon within you.

Chaelus must defeat the dragon for all time, but finds he cannot, until he first surrenders himself.

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

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Available as an Amazon pre-order on Kindle and shipping February 10. 2017. Subsequent releases will include trade paper and Nook.
Thomas Barczak is an artist, architect, and a writer whose stories tell the tales he’s always dreamed about.

His work also the illustrated epic fantasy novel, Veil of the Dragon, and the Kindle serial, Awakening Evarun (Parts I-VI), both set in the Evarun universe. He’s also written a comic fantasy serial for Kindle called Wolfbane (Parts 1-2 of 3). His short fiction includes contributions to Heroika 1 – Dragon Eaters, Nine Heroes, Terror by Gaslight, and What Scares the Boogeyman, as well as stories for two volumes Janet Morris’ award winning Heroes in Hell series, Dreamers in Hell, and Poets in Hell.

Tom writes because he must. He writes because he needs to tell others the stories he has held so long inside, stories that inspire his paintings and his poetry — stories that have always been with him, even years ago when he’d sit at a table with friends, slaying dragons.

Book Spotlight and New Release- Dragon Moon – Fantasy

Dragon Moon Release!! JULIE NICHOLLS

 

Hey peeps!! I’m happy to announce that my latest Young Adult Fantasy, Dragon Moon is available for pre order at the fabulously low price of 99c! This is a huge saving, and from Thursday 13th October, the price will be $3.45 so get it while it’s on offer!

Save the dragons, unite the races, no sweat.

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I’m nineteen and wish I had a clue about my future. Instead of my own bed, this morning I woke in the strange land of Lur Neval. My name is Scarlett, but the Nevalese call me Dragon Mage. Seems it’s my job to preserve the all-important dragons and oh, while I’m here, bring peace to the warring clans. Piece of cake if I can outwit Madoc, the manipulative, evil seer who wants every dragon destroyed. Whatever it takes, I’m here to fulfill my destiny under the light of the Dragon Moon.

 

Buy Links

Amazon UK goo.gl/HolHgO

Amazon USA goo.gl/WXyIdl

Kobo goo.gl/TMrKcV

Smashwords goo.gl/jQszpx

Nook/B&N goo.gl/utlgGe

iBooks goo.gl/66Jbwu

 

Don’t forget it’s available at the ridiculous price of 99c until release day which is 13th October, 2016

Go get it!

Author Interview 117 – E. H. Howard Fantasy

Welcome to EH Howard, (Pen name of Eric Tomlinson.)  

Where are you from and where do you live now? Born and raised in Manchester in England. As possibly the oldest geek in captivity, my work has taken me to many places in Europe and the USA, but currently I split my time between Cheshire and Wales. I’d love to one day escape to a Greek Island, but at the moment life keeps me around the UK.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write about dragons, swords and magic. My heroes wander castles, caves and deserts. Therefore it would be considered ‘high fantasy’, but I hate the term. I do love to write short stories when I give myself the chance. At the end of each writing cycle, I try to enter a couple of short / flash fiction competitions to sharpen my style. My style is definitely high speed, rather than the turgid flow of most fantasy.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? In my first Amara book I created a side character, Stella. She was a ‘foil’ for the main character to play off and to add contrast. It was my editor who started to cheer every time she appeared. As the writing progressed her part in the story grew. In book two, she is still a secondary character as the mother of the hero, but still a fabulous creation. When I asked John (my editor) what was great about her, his first reaction was ‘She has great boobs and no morals.’  I’m pretty certain I’d never dwelt on her figure, but he had an unshakeable image in his head. Actually, I think she has morals, they just don’t always align to what might be expected.

I enjoyed writing her because she is a ‘force of nature’ she doesn’t have to engage in the self- examination of the main character.

Are your characters based on real people? I guess a lot of my characters are either me or my wife. Not always identifiable by the gender. I once wrote a parody of fantasy fiction where I based all of the characters on friends and acquaintances. I did wonder if anybody would identify themselves, but as it never reached first base in the publishing cycle I guess I’ll never know. The heroes were a dark haired male barbarian and a blonde, efficient female warrior. Yep, me and her again!

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? At school I hated when the teacher asked us to identify and discuss the themes in a story. Only when I started writing many years later did I see how this worked. The Amara stories scream a couple of my ‘truths’: Gender, race and orientation are no measure of a person’s worth. I have a lot of female friends and my soapbox is the increase in reverse sexism prevalent in certain circles.

My other theme is that relationships aren’t just about sex. It’s awful that most children will now view porn before they have a clue what a relationship is about.

Why is a theme important? For me, it helps in the creation and editing. Sometimes I write entire sections and then delete them because they don’t fit with the central theme of the story. I believe it helps me to stay focused on where I am taking my main characters.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? E-Book is the most normal format for my writing. They are available in paperback. I’ve considered other formats, but at the moment, I don’t want to distract from finishing the “Shudalandia Series.” Once the final book is out, I will take a little time to promote and increase the reach through alternative formats.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? My editor, John Hudspith, is my Higher Power. If he says cut, I cut, if he says more, I write more. I get a story as far as I can and then let John take it to the next level. He has been known to throw out the whole thing. The reason for a story, for me, is to entertain, not lecture. I might have a theme, but it mustn’t clog up the story telling process. People read to escape and that has to be the primary objective. I might know where I am going, but my editor will get me to rephrase, explain more, or simply cut out, to shape the final product. The reader has to immerse and stay immersed, not be jogged out of the fantasy by a jarring sequence.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Typically it takes me two years to take a book through to finished standard. I’ve seen self-published authors who bang out a book a month; typos and inconsistencies abound, but they then have the cheek to claim as a self-published author they can’t afford to pay for editing.

I mix with a group of indie authors who take more pride in their output than any trad publishing house achieves these days.

Do you read work by self-published authors? I read anything that works for me. I rarely consider how the work has been published. I do get seriously annoyed when I pay a high price for an ebook from the trad world and it is full of errors a spell checker would have fixed. I don’t think trad publishers have caught on to ebook publishing.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Although tempting, I’d never respond to a review comment. A person buys, they read and occasionally comment. There’s one comment on the Amara books that states, they consider themselves the wrong age, wrong gender and wrong nature for the book, they don’t read the genre and they don’t like sex in books. At this point, I’d consider them unqualified to comment, but they went on to give a one star review. I wanted to rant and rave, but what the heck. All five star reviews appears silly anyway.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? If I haven’t read the author before I will scan the reviews. If I dislike a book by an author I usually like, I go back and see if I am the only one, or if others are having difficulty with it.

What are your views on authors reviewing other authors? Authors are usually readers. As long as they have genuinely read the book, why shouldn’t they comment. I’m more concerned when a book is launched and immediately acquires a couple of hundred five star reviews. That smacks of collusion, or simply buying reviews.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Free on Thursday 29th September

Amara’s Legacy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amaras-Legacy-Shudalandia-Book-2-ebook/dp/B018GVPBBW/

Amara’s Daughter : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amaras-Daughter-Shudalandia-Book-1-Howard-ebook/dp/B00DBCPVKI/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ehhoward.author/?ref=bookmarks

Website: www.shudalandia.co.uk