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

 

Monsters and Myth – Dragons

This post  previously appeared as part of https://jenniferloiske.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/author-interview-meet-a-l-butcher/ which featured last year to promote Heroika: Dragon Eaters 

http://www.amazon.com/HEROIKA-DRAGON-S-E-Lindberg-ebook/dp/B00VFVCQRS/

Dragons – why do they captivate us?

Dragons have been part of mythology for centuries. The Welsh, for example, have Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon as the national emblem – a dragon passant (standing with one foot raised) on a green and white background. Although the currently flag is relatively new the mythology of the Welsh Dragon is at least fifteen hundred years old, possible even Roman. The kings of Aberffraw used it to symbolise their power and authority after the Romans left. The first recorded use of it to Symbolise Wales is from the 9th Century (Nennius – Historica Brittonum).  Geoffrey of Monmouth linked the dragon to the Arthurian legends – after all King Arthur’s father was Uther PENDRAGON, and so again the dragon is intrinsically interwoven with British myth.

Henry VII (Henry Tudor) had a dragon on his coat of arms – the Welsh heritage again coming to the fore and during the reign of his son, the might Henry VIII the red dragon standard was often flown on Royal Navy ships.

In the Mabinogion the Red Dragon fights the invading White Dragon and his pained shrieks cause women to miscarry, animals to perish and crops to fail. The king of Britain (King Lludd) visits his French brother Llefelys and, on his advice, digs a huge pit, filled with mead and covered with a cloth. The Dragons cease their battle, drink the mead and fall asleep, still covered in the cloth. They are then trapped beneath Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia. Centuries later King Vortigern attempts to build a fort there, and every night the castle foundations are demolished. Wise men tell him to find a boy with no father and sacrifice him – to appease whatever is causing the problem. That boy is Merlin, who will become the Great Wizard, and he dismisses this advice and tells the king about the dragons. The two dragons are freed and continue their fight – the Red Dragon symbolising the people of Vortigern and the White Dragon the Saxons. The latter is defeated – thus these are the Saxons who failed to subdue the people of Vertigorn who would become the Welsh.

Sources: http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/The-Red-Dragon-of-Wales/

Dragons symbolise great power and strength. They are, perhaps the most legendary of beasts and to defeat one (or field one) was only the territory of the greatest of heroes.  Chinese, Indian, Malayan, Japanese, Khymer, Phillipino, Korea, Catalan, French, Greek, British, Germanic, Scandanavian, Slavic, Romanian, Albanian, Pre-Islamic, Tartar, Judeo-Christian and Turkish mythology all speak of dragons, wyverns, wyrms or basilisks.  The ancient Egyptians worshipped a crocodile named the Messah – which later became a dragon, and the sign of Kingship. Think about it – the Nile Crocodile is a supreme predator, a feared monster and little can best it. What better ideal for kingship – powerful, terrifying and unbeatable.

Then of course we have the symbolism of dragons as the ultimate evil – the devil or other wicked beast destroying the good Christians and being vanquished by a Christian Hero. On the other hand Chinese Dragons are seen as lucky.

Dragon literature is diverse – Christian mythology (as mentioned), Norse, Celtic, Beowulf, St George, to name but a few. And more modern writers such as Tolkien, Cindy Lyle, George RR Martin, Cressida Cowell, JD Hallowell, David Gaider and many, many more feature a dragon of one sort or another. Here’s a challenge – type Dragon in the search engine of Good Reads – I tried and there were over 100 pages of books with ‘Dragon’ in the title and that’s just the beginning.  Movies, video games, table-top games and toys feature the most legendary of monsters. Dragons are all around us – some kind and benevolent and some much less so.  We are culturally bound with Draco and his kind.

St George and the Dragon 

This part originally posted here:

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/fantasy-its-everywhere-part-2-st-george-and-the-dragon/

I am British, and Britain has a very rich heritage of myth and folklore; we have dragons, we have knights who slay them, we have mythical kings and magic swords, we have monsters inhabiting Scottish Lochs, we have fairies, pixies and ghosts aplenty, we have heroes and antiheroes.  Yet many people scoff at fantasy, thinking it is simply elves, dwarves or similar; a genre read by geeks and nerds. Well yes, in part it is, but fantasy and folklore have been with us from the dawn of time in one form or another.

Let’s look at one of the best known English myths – that of St George and the Dragon.

Most accounts claim St George was born in Cappadocia, in what is now Turkey, of Darian origin. He enlisted in the Roman army, and quickly achieved a reputation for his physical strength bravery, loyalty and courage and he achieved a rank of Tribunus Militum, in charge of over 1000 men. He was martyred during the reign Emperor Diocletian in 303 AD in Lydda, Palestine, for refusing to persecute Christians, when Diocletion brought in edicts against what was then a reasonably small but vociferous sect. Including the burning of churches, the destruction of holy scriptures and the execution of Christians. George defended the Christians and their faith and was imprisoned, tortured and executed. There are various accounts of is martyrdom, some claiming it took seven years as God restored him to life three times. His fame was carried as far as Russia, with his head was carried to Rome.   His emblem of the red cross on a white background was carried on the tabards and shields of crusader knights. It is also the flag of England and forms the red cross part of the Union Flag of Great Britain. St George is the patron saint of England, taking the role from St Edward the Confessor who is now often forgotten. His tomb attracted pilgrims, and his fame spread when Richard the Lionheart introduced his military cult to England during the crusades and the Battle of Acre, before this his cult appeared in Byzantium.  John Cabot carried his emblem to Newfoundland and both Sir Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake flew his standard. It was also carried by the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower.

Jacobus de Voragine in his Golden Legends (13th Century) speaks of him in Silene in Libya. Another 10th Century account places St George in the fictional area of Lasia, ruled by a tyrannical emperor called Silinus. The area had a lake, inhabited by a venomous dragon, local inhabitants would feed it sheep to keep it passive, and then when these failed to satisfy it, children were chosen at random. One day the lottery fell on the king’s daughter, the king offers half his kingdom if his daughter was spared. This is an idea which appears in other mythology – the king – unable to defeat a monster offers his daughter and riches to a hero. St George, the knight, happened to be passing and wounding the dragon with his lance (and with God’s blessing)  then capturing the dragon with the princess’s girdle allowed it to be led by the noble lady to the city gates, where St George converted them to Christianity and duly slew the dragon.

In some accounts he was the son of an English Lord, Lord Albert of Coventry and his mother died in childbirth. The babe was stolen by a ‘wild-woman’ of the woods (possibly a witch or gypsy) but he eventually outwits her and becomes a knight. Of course after the slaying of the dragon and rescue of the princess he married the maiden, returned to England and lived happily ever after… Although as with many legends another version states he faces a second dragon, in Warwickshire, kills it but subsequently dies of its poison.

Of course this is a religious myth, and many would say not fantasy as such – the dragon represents evil, and those who slay them champions of Christianity. He is also believed to have protected horses from witchcraft – one should hang a flint with a hole over the stable door with verse depicting him vanquishing a hag. But there is more than religious allegory, he epitomised courtly and chivalrous values; he was a warrior, saviour of damsels in distress and vanquisher of monsters.  And some would say religion uses elements we class as fantasy, and ideas which appear in religion appear in myth and folklore. The two are intertwined. The more magical elements of the myth probably appeared after the Reformation, with the overtly Christian inferences stripped out by the Protestants and the more romantic elements of the story take the fore.

His heart (allegedly) lies in Windsor and was a favoured relic of King Henry V, who invoked him at the siege of Agincourt (1415), where the English were victorious against the French, but later kings have claimed his protection and as the patron saint of England his influence is firmly entrenched.   There are other local English myths – including one in an Essex village where a dragon (probably a crocodile escaped from the king’s menagerie) was killed by a local nobleman – one Sir George Marney.    The Uffington White Horse, in Berkshire, England (an ancient white chalk horse cut into the landscape) has a dragon myth.  There is a hill named Dragon Hill, is claimed by Thomas Hughes in his book The Scouring of the White Horse (1859) to have been the site of the slaying of the dragon by ‘King George’. The bare patch is supposed to be where the blood of the dragon spilled, nothing will grow. Hughes cites another region, Aller in Somerset, where a shepherd tells of a hill which saw the death of the dragon and the burial of its slayer. The horse at Uffington is itself curious being linked with Alfred the Great, (878 AD) Hengist the Anglo Saxon leader, Celtic (100BC) but in fact has been in existence since the Bronze Age – around 1000BCE. Brinsop in Herefordshire also claims ownership of St George – its parish church has a medieval carving of the deed being done. The dragon apparently residing in the local ‘Dragon’s Well’ and the next village being known as Wormsley – ‘worm’ or ‘wyrm’ being an alternate word for dragon.

Heroika: Dragon Eaters 

This brings me to Heroika: Dragon Eaters. This anthology turns the tables. Our dragons are not the nice sort. They are the alpha predator, the scourge of land, water and sky, they are true monsters. Only the bravest, most desperate or foolhardy take them on and fewer life to tell the tale. Dragon Eaters came from an idea from fantasy author Janet Morris – who wanted a ‘snake eaters’ type of anthology. The best of the best fighting the worst of the worst you might say. What was born was seventeen diverse tales from ancient mythic to futuristic and steampunk. They share a theme, albeit a loose one, and all types of dragons are slayed, vanquished and devoured. I suppose you could say the winners eat the losers. As you’d expect it is filled with blood, scales, fire and magic, swords, airships, flying beasts and so very much more.

Do you have a favourite dragon story? If so feel free to comment on it.

http://www.royalsocietyofstgeorge.com/history_of_st_george.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dragons_in_mythology_and_folklore

http://www.sacred-texts.com/lcr/fsca/fsca16.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George_and_the_Dragon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Legend

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dragons_in_literature

 

 

 

2015 – A Writer’s Diary

Welcome back to the Library of Erana and the last day of 2015. So another year has dashed past and I’m sitting at the end of 2015 and wondering where it went. I have a theory – someone is siphoning time out of the weekend and holidays and sneaking it into the working day. That’s why days at work seem to go on longer than the same day on leave.

What has 2015 brought me? A house! We bought our first house in April and it’s great. Whilst the place isn’t perfect it’s a good deal better than renting a damp flat and my overall health is better. Also we now have a delightful doggy – she’s grown from a tiny puppy to almost adult and we adore her. Every day she makes us smile and she’s such a happy and joyful creature.

Work… still there. Still stressful and busy but at least I am working and thankful for that.

Writing wise I’ve not been as productive as I planned – mostly due to the factors above but I’ve not been idle.

Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book III was published in March 2015. https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/new-release-the-stolen-tower-the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles-iii/

thestolentower500x800 (1)

The third edition of Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book I was published with quite a few revisions and a new cover for the paperback. http://www.amazon.com/Light-Beyond-Storm-Chronicles–ebook/dp/B0088DQO9C

Outside the Walls was revised and expanded and the audio book produced with narrator Melanie Fraser. It sounds great. There is something magical in hearing one’s book read aloud.

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/outside-the-walls-fantasy-short-story-new-release/

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/outside-the-walls-now-in-print/

Audio

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Outside-the-Walls/dp/B0189QHB12/

http://www.amazon.com/Outside-the-Walls/dp/B0189Q944E/

http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Fiction/Outside-the-Walls-Audiobook/B0189QCHI4/

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Outside-the-Walls-Audiobook/B0189Q95XO
Warrior’s Curse was produced in audio by narrator Rob Goll – who has also done Heroika: Dragon Eaters for Perseid Press and will be narrating Light Beyond the Storm and Shining Citadel in 2016.

http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Tales-of-Erana-The-Warriors-Curse-Audiobook/B00UG8AWU4/http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Tales-of-Erana-The-Warriors-Curse-Audiobook/B00UG8I5SK
Heroika: Dragon Eaters was published – along with the accompanying audio book. Please check out the A Week with the Dragon Eaters posts for author and character interviews.

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/heroika-dragon-eaters-audio/

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/heroika-dragon-eaters-heroic-fictionfantasymyth-new-release/

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I’ve done 17 guest interviews elsewhere including the latest with Melanie Fox here. https://mercedesfoxbooks.com/meet-author-a-l-butcher/ and four character interviews including Mirandra, Ephany, Dii’Athella and the Thiefmaster.

Oh and a course on Roman and Greek Mythology – which was really interesting. https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/greek-and-roman-mythology-course-review/
There have been over 160 blog posts – including another Week in Hell, a Week with the Dragon Eaters, character, editor and author interviews, and several fantasy based posts and reblogs.

10 tips and lessons

1) I’m rubbish at using Twitter! Does it help marketing? Not a bloody clue. Many people say it is a vital tool; personally I’m not convinced as I have never bought a book or product from a twitter link and it looks like many people shouting to me. That said I do follow a few authors and it is useful for sharing blog posts. I follow the history, nature an astronomy posts too.

2) There is never enough time or energy to write. This is, of course, mostly my fault. I work full time and often I don’t have enough energy or brain power to do much but poke about on Facebook.

3) Networking is vital. I knew this already but it’s good to have one’s knowledge reinforced. Indie authors are, generally, a supportive lot and I’ve traded interviews, found great books to read and got to know a wide variety of people through social media and networking. It’s a good way of getting support for new releases, blogging, Thunderclap and more.

4) There are some total asshats about and many more idiots. This too has been obvious for a while. Recent events have NOT made the world a safer place. Whilst I agree that terrorism is bad, and religion pernicious bombing the crap out of an area that is already a wasteland is not going to make things better. Humans have an amazing capacity to be total asshats to one another – I can’t think of any other animal which is so unpleasant to its own kind – of course not everyone is like that and certain groups have been labelled as terrorists when it is the actions of a minority. History tends to repeat itself – and in many ways humans have a short memory – or at least a selective one. Often people are quick to judge, especially when they don’t know all the facts. Ignorance leads to fear and fear to hatred, then the killing begins anew, or the ghetto, or the pogrom, or the genocide….

Facebook especially fuels both idiocy and vitriol. There are lots of calls from freedom of speech but – of course that depends on who is doing the speaking and what they are saying. There is either freedom to say what the hell you like – and that goes for everyone or there’s not – some limitations are put in place. But then where and when does that stop. Perhaps if people thought before they spoke (or typed) such limitations wouldn’t be needed. Just because you CAN say something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
Anyway enough of the political talk…don’t get me started I spent 7 years studying politics, sociology, ethics and philosophy and it taught me not to get involved in debates with people who won’t listen and assume they are always right…

5) Marketing is a lottery. I’ve tried some new tactics this year – including Twitter and Thunderclap – results have been mixed. Both are free – at least at the basic level so although not particularly successful no outlay was lost. I’ve found a mix of things helps. Don’t rely on one strategy – vary your approach and keep things interesting.

tps://www.thunderclap.it

6) Write every day, even if it’s not working on a book or story. A blog post, a facebook post, a letter or email to someone – it all keeps the brain cells ticking. Write stories when you can and don’t force it. The world is NOT going to end if that story isn’t finished this week. That’s one of the many reasons I love indie publishing. With a few exceptions the person setting the deadlines is me and so if the book isn’t finished or life intervenes (which it does frequently) then it doesn’t matter as much.

7) Be nice to people. If you can’t be nice be quiet.

8) Vary what you write – if you’re struggling with a project then step away from it and work on something else. I’ve found that focusing on other things means my brain can be ticking away in the background sorting out the problems with the other project.

9) Some things can’t be fixed. It’s easy to spend a lot of time on a project or idea only to find it doesn’t work, or its crap. Yes I know this contradicts point 8 a bit but sometimes an idea simply won’t work – or at least not in the way you want. That’s fine. Sometimes shit happens (or doesn’t) don’t force it to be something it isn’t. Readers can spot a forced plot. If it doesn’t work then change it – look at your options. Can it be used for something else? What is causing the issue? Can it actually be fixed? Sometimes it can’t. Sometimes it becomes something else. That’s fine too.

10) Read more. Reading is great relaxation, great research and great enjoyment. The more you read the better writer you’ll become.

So what’s planned for 2016?

I have lots of plans for 2016 – most of which may never materialise but it’s still good to plan.

These are not in any order….
Hopefully a second Heroika volume will happen (for Perseid Press). Not going to mention too much of my WIP but the volume should be great, having seen a few snippets of draft stories. Hopefully my story will be up to scratch and I’m sure the book will feature on the blog when it’s published.

There will be at least one short Tales of Erana, possibly two. I’m planning to release Just One Mistake with a few revisions as a standalone. It’s already featured in Nine Heroes plus my own Tales of Erana Volume One but I have idea how it can be expanded. I think it would make a great audio short story.

Book II is currently being revised so there will be a new edition of that sometime early to mid 2016.

Book I in audio. Rob Goll is narrating that and we are hoping for spring 2016 release on that. I can’t wait to hear what he’s done.

Tales from the Golden Mask – this has been a WIP for a while. Hopefully the first part of the series will be released by the summer. It’s a co-authored erotic adventure set in an Erana of the past. We think it’s a lot of fun, with feisty women, sexy heroes and of course a goodly helping of nookie. This one doesn’t take itself or the world too seriously and is aimed at a slightly different audience.

The Kitchen Imps – a short book of fantasy tales for kids and the young at heart. I really need to work on these, as this is another project which has been around for a while.
I’m contemplating changing the blog – currently this is the free wordpress type but the upgraded version has a lot more features. I’m hoping to attach a website dedicated to just the books as well. I’ll let you know how that goes…

Also looking to participate in a blog tour – I’ve hosted people before but I’ve never done it myself. Will be an interesting experience and I’ll review it after.

Want to try and read more, and review more. I often stick to re-reads but I’m going to try and branch out for new authors. I’ll try and be better at posting reviews as well.
Looking for plenty more interviews – both giving and receiving – guest posts and articles.

Signed up for a course on medieval magic, one on Ancient Greece and also looking at ancient Egypt. Plus whatever else takes my fancy and I can manage with the other commitments.
I’ll look back in twelve months and see how many of these I’ve done.
Feel free to comment on ideas, suggestions for the blog and contacts about interviews.
Hoping 2016 is good for you, my followers, and you’ll keep viewing the blog.

Red and gold rose 2chronicles banner  Warriors Curse Final 1 - ebook

Random Friday – Interview with Rufus Redblade – Heroika

Here’s a great interview with Rufus Redblade, hero and dragonslayer.

Barbara G.Tarn - writer

heroika revised 1Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

Hello handsome. Tell me a little about yourself.

I am Rufus Redblade. I was once Captain of the Royal Guard, but times have changed. Now I am a blade for hire. I’m a Griffin Rider. We used to be the elite, for it takes a certain sort to tame and ride a Griffin. Many try, few succeed, and fewer still survive it long.

Age? No idea. I don’t keep track of such things.

That’s fine, I don’t do either. Describe your appearance in…

View original post 700 more words

A Week with the Dragon Eaters – Chris Morris

Today I welcome author, singer and songwriter Chris Morris and his character.

Character questions:

*I am Tarhunt the Storm God of the Hittites and the Hurri lands.

Why are you embarking on this quest? The dragon Illuyankas brought me battle and vanquished me, eating my heart and my eyes.  From that day on, I planned revenge, and now I will take it, using my own children, now grown,  to triumph over this dragon who eats the children of our country.

Where are you from? I live in the heavens, but my main temples are in Nerik and Hattusas

*Tell us about dragons in your world. This dragon Illuyankas demands human children for sacrifice.  He is a dragon of the sea, and sometimes he mates with human women.

Do you have a family? I begot upon the daughter of a poor man and a goddess  a  son named Sarruma, through whom I will avenge myself upon the dragon Illuyankas. And also I begat a daughter, to help me lay low this dragon and stop him and his family from eating Hattian children.

What is the best way to kill a dragon? To kill such a dragon, even a god must go carefully.  I will smite him with my lightnings, and overcome him with my lightnings. I will strike the sea, and it will arise to my purpose.  I will summon the storms, and they will come to aid me. When he is weak I will pierce his eyes with my trident. I will make the sea boil with my wrath, and the dragon will die of my rage.

Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero?

To be a god, one must be a hero.  One must heed the peoples of the lands, and bring good things upon them.  I bring the thunder, the lightnings, the rain to nourish beasts and crops. I fight beside my people when they war, striking down their enemies and even their gods.  I summon the rain and the wind and all weather.  In the Hatti lands, where we have 1,000 gods, I rule them all. For the sake of my peoples, I call the other gods to aid me and together we fight great battles.

Author questions: I am Christopher Crosby Morris, writer, narrator, and musician. I have been a defense policy analyst and futurist.

How do you define a hero? A hero is one who serves a cause greater than the self.

Why did you choose this era to write in? This anthology needed to start with a dragon from earliest days of myth. I chose the Hittite and Hurrian Illuyankas myth because it may well be the earliest battle of god and dragon ever told.

Give us a couple of lines about your characters.The narrator of my story is Kella, the actual narrator of one of tablets that record a variant of the Illuyankas myth. In my story Kella, high priest of Nerik, in the north of Hatti, tells a first-hand account of the second battle between the dragon and the storm god.  The hero of this tale is the storm god himself, Tarhunt, who begets two children specifically to help him defeat the dragon who previously had eaten his heart and his eyes. There is another variant of this story, in which Tarhunt’s daughter and her human lover get the dragon drunk and tie him up so that the gods can come down and slay him, but that is not the variant we tell. In our story, although the storm god’s daughter has a role, he himself fights this rich and predatory dragon…  and if I tell you more, I’ll give away the story’s ending.

Heroika: The Dragon Eaters is a dark heroic fantasy – how do you define that genre? Dark heroic fantasy was once called simply heroic fiction or mythology – which is always dark, always allegorical, and usually carries a moral whose value is shown in the story. For me, heroic fiction is any tale in which a character strives to put aside his personal well-being in search of a solution to problems greater than his own.

How much research did you need for your story? My wife, Janet Morris, and I have spent many years reading and researching Ancient Near Eastern myth and legend, some of mankind’s earliest stories. But researching in detail the myth of Illuyankas required not only a deep familiarity with the various versions of the story, but enough command of the early texts to be able to create a single version out of several.

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? I have written for a number of shared universes, including Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell universe, Bob Asprin and Lynn Abbey’s Thieves’ world universe, C.J. Cherryh’s Merovingen Universe, and more.  I actually enjoy the challenges of working in a shared cosmos. I’ve also written stand-alone short stories, another different form. A novel allows you time to work with more layers of story than does a short story, in which space is very limited.  In a short story, you must know everything about the “past” of the characters, but not tell all, only the climax. So compression of the most radical sort is needed for a short piece of fiction which must have a beginning, middle, and end in a confined space.

What other novels/short stories have you written? With Janet Morris, I have written a number of novels:  The Sacred Band is my favorite, with its grand canvas and heroic ethos. I have also co-written The Fish, the Fighters and the Song-girl, Outpassage, The 40-Minute War, Threshold, Trust Territory, The Stalk, The Little Helliad, M.E.D.U.S.A, and other novels, including several by pseudonyms.

Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. Recently, I came to the craft of narration, and found that it allows me to mix my musical, technical, and prose skills in a new and most satisfying way.  I have just finished narrating The Sacred Band for Perseid Press, available on Audible.com, and am just in the final stages of producing I, the Sun for Perseid Press, which will be released on Audible.com for Perseid Press.

Tidbit: My favorite recipe for dragon meat is simply to brush it with olive oil and vinegar and cook it over an open fire for about two hours, or until the skin is black and the scales fall off.

Author website/blog:  sacredbander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.c.morris.7?fref=ts

Amazon page:  http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Morris/e/B008L41JNO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_2

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A Week with the Dragon Eaters – M Harold Page

Character questions (choose from):

*Who are you? M Harold Page – Martin Harold Page, but I share that name with an English folk singer and a French YA writer, hence the M.

Where are you from? (Tell us about it) Edinburgh, Scotland. The place is like a year-round SF Con, with writers underfoot in the bars, and oddly dressed people coming and going carrying poorly concealed medieval weapons – I once spotted a part-time Viking on my street; he had a daneaxe wrapped in brown paper and parcel tape.

*Tell us about dragons in your world. Big, scary, [spoiler redacted].

What is the political system of your world? 17th-18th century mixed. The city where the action happens is probably a republic run by guilds. However, one character is a duchess and actually rules a duchy, and the protagonist comes from the Godless Delta where they practice radical democracy.

Do you have a family? Yes. Wife, son, daughter, all geeks. 11-year-old son fights my friends at Warhammer. 7-year-old daughter is a dab hand at Halo.

What is the best way to kill a dragon? Technology and guile. Beowulf used an iron shield and – ultimately- relied on a henchman to injure the thing. Siegfried used a Vietcong-style network of trenches to attack from beneath. Tristram attacked from horseback and out of ambush. Some Vikings I read about killed a Russian dragon by feeding it the salted leg of a giant, then – after it had drunk so much water it couldn’t move – whacking it with axes. Very few legendary heroes go up against a dragon man-to-dragon, because that would be stupid.

Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero? No. I’m just a mild mannered urban swordsman and dad. A hero is somebody who takes responsibility for doing what needs to be done when the doing is nasty and dangerous.

What is the technology level of your world? 1700s style Steampunk. I am particularly proud that my dirigible runs on a gunpowder engine – these were real things. Go check Wikipedia.

Where do dragons come from? [Spoiler Redacted]

Are there other such monsters in your world? Not sure. I’ll have to write another one and find out.

Author questions (choose from):

*Who are you? SEE ABOVE ANSWER

Why did you choose this world/era to write in? It was my first published fantasy story, so I wanted to try out all the tropes. That meant a world where both dirigibles and sword fights existed.

How much research did you need for your story? A little! I had to find a viable engine for my  dirigible.

A lot! in the sense that I’ve spent years reading about history, industrialisation etc etc. I guess any story reflects all the research the author has ever done on anything.

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? This was my second time – I have a story in Crusader Kings II: Tales of Treachery. It’s much harder than writing a novel because there’s less space. I think of it as trying to choreograph a cavalry battle in a sheep pen.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Plotter. I even wrote a book on how to do it. However, plotting is just a more efficient way of pantsing and involves a lot of visualisation.

What other novels/short stories have you written? You can buy several of my books on Amazon, including three Historical Adventures tying to Paradox Interactive video games plus one Foreworld SideQuest. My two most recent books are:

Shieldwall: Barbarians! in which a young Jutish prince must lead his unreliable warband into the teeth of Attila the Hun’s invasion of Roman Gaul.

Storyteller Tools: Outline from vision to finished novel without losing the magic which pretty much does what it says on the tin. I wrote four novels to order in just over a year; this is how I did it.

What book(s) are you currently reading? I’ve been reading a lot of Edmond Hamilton, largely forgotten but hugely influential Space Opera writer of the mid C20th.

Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I have a sword scar.

Author website/blog

Author website: www.mharoldpage.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/M-Harold-Page/e/B00FLZP9VY

Foreworld Author Page: http://foreworld.com/the-authors/m-harold-page/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MHaroldPage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mharoldpage

I blog at heroic fiction magazine site: www.blackgate.com11143231_897184103657050_5318210832294606375_o

A Week with the Dragon Eaters – Walter Rhein

Today for Dragon Eaters Week I’d like to Welcome Walter Rhein and his character Aquila.

Character Questions

*Who are you? I am Aquila of Oyos, the all-king, the scourge of man. This world is mine and the creatures that scuttle and crawl across the charred surface do so at my indulgence. I will bear no slight, not from a dragon, and certainly not from a man. The immortal law is that the ancient wyrms must not slaughter one another, but I know well that the laws, even the most ancient laws, were only ever meant as binding to the lesser creatures.

Where are you from? This is a young world, still hot from creation. Rivers of liquid stone pool into glorious and glowing molten ponds. When I stretch my wings and fly, the night air is hot beneath my wings. The heavier elements bubble to the surface, and can be taken in claw and set upon the topmost peaks where they cool into a bed almost worthy of my repose.

*Tell us about dragons in your world. We are the dominant creatures. It is a dragon world and I am the king. All other life is there only for my sustenance or entertainment.

What is the best way to kill a dragon? Ahhh, that’s the secret isn’t it? Do you think I am so foolish that I would reveal such a thing here? That, the most revered knowledge of our species. My official answer is that there is no way to kill a dragon. We are immortal, we are all-powerful, we are gods. That having been said, I do know a few tricks which have proven useful when my brothers and sisters have overstepped their position.

Where do dragons come from? Dragons pre-date the universe. We are the fragments of the first creator that took nothing and forged it by force of will into creation. In the resulting explosion of that first magnificent, defiant act of creation, the dragon form was instilled into the very fabric of reality. We are the mirror image of immortality, dominance and perfection. The darkness of the night is our eternal shadow, the glimmer of the stars is the reflection of our collective, beating hearts.

Author questions

*Who are you? I am Walter Rhein, the author of the fantasy novels “The Reader of Acheron,” and “The Bone Sword.” I’m also the author of a humorous travel memoir about cross-country ski racing titled “Beyond Birkie Fever.” I am published with Perseid and Harren Press and maintain a blog at HeroicFantasyWriters.com as well as operate the accompanying Facebook Group. I have a book coming out in a few months about 10 years spent living in Peru, and can be reached at: walterrhein@gmail.com.

How do you define a hero? A hero is a criminal with a good public relations team.

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? Heroika is a little different because it’s not quite a shared world anthology, although there were a set of very general ground rules to follow. I was in the middle of writing the sequel to “The Reader of Acheron” when this anthology opportunity came up. At first I wasn’t going to participate because I was so busy with “Reader 2,” but I found myself daydreaming about the project and stumbled upon an idea. It was really relaxing to take a break from the larger thematic arcs of the novel I was working on and just crank out a self-contained story. I’m glad that Janet liked it and included it in Heroika.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I used to be a pantser but I’m moving more and more towards being a plotter. It’s good to have a general idea where you want to go in a story, but your chapters have to also have that spontaneous feel. There always have to be room for movement in case your characters decide to take you places you hadn’t anticipated. That should happen because it means you’re being true to how you’ve defined your characters (when that starts happening, the books write themselves). Sometimes it can be a bit unruly to end a novel the way you anticipated, but if you can’t find a solution it might mean that the ending you hoped for isn’t within the make up of your protagonists.

How important is the fantasy genre to our society? I think it’s very important because you can get away with so much. Fantasy also allows you to make social comments that would be dangerous if you tried to say them in other genres. I’m actually a strong believer that fantasy is the dominant genre of literature. People don’t realize how many of the greatest works of literature can actually be labelled as fantasy (I could apply the label to just about anything).

Tidbit: Aquila of Oyos contains some characters with names that might be familiar from Greek and Roman mythology. That’s not an accident.

Author website/blog

HeroicFantasyWriters.com

Twitter

@swordreaver

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/wrhein

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4221284.Walter_Rhein

Amazon page:  http://www.amazon.com/Walter-Rhein/e/B008Z6RIOC

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A Week with the Dragon Eaters – Cas Peace

Welcome to Cas Peace and her character, another of the Dragon Eaters.

*Who are you? My name is Jorj and I am a veteran of the Crusades. I am a simple knight who followed his lord to the Holy Land to help liberate the City of God. We were told that this was our holy duty, that we would be venerated in heaven should we die in God’s service. But the evil I saw done there in God’s name repulsed me, tarnishing my faith and staining my soul. In shame I returned across the sea, my “holy duty” left undone. Now I am but a simple knight again, albeit with unquiet soul.

Why are you embarking on this quest? I was approached by a representative of the southern peoples of Britain, a people oppressed by the druids who once protected them. I heard disquieting facts that led me to believe the druids had harnessed a fell beast — a wyrm — and were using the demon’s power to increase their hold over the southern countryside. The king refused to help his people, who were growing desperate. I prayed, and my god sent me a sign. I hope to redeem my worth, and  my soul, by banishing the wyrm back to the netherworld.

*Tell us about dragons in your world. There have been many dragons and wyrms that have oppressed the British peoples. We have had so-called “true” dragons; that is, four-legged, two-winged monsters that could breathe fire. These are the toughest challenges for any dragon-slayer or knight and have been the bane of many a stout heart. Such creatures are much sought-out as their tendency is to hoard gold, ever the tempter of men. Many a reluctant dragon-slayer has been persuaded to the hunt by the lure of dragon gold. Some have even obtained that prize.

Fiercer even than the true dragon is the wyrm — serpentlike and tricksy, they hide in holes and their poisoned breath kills all around them. The blood of these demons can render anything bathed in it impervious to fire; even a man, so the legend goes. Brave — or foolhardy! — and damned, is the soul who captures a wyrm and drinks its blood.

And those in the land of the western Celt tell tales of a beast called a gwiber, a lesser sort of wyrm that drinks milk and can be placated by an offering of milk. A common snake that drinks the milk of a nursing woman may transform into a gwiber.

Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero? I do not see myself as a hero, although the peoples of southern Britain would doubtless say I am. To them, who had not the knowledge, nor skill, nor courage to fight the demon, I am a hero who saved them from oppression and death when no one else could. Their vision of a hero would doubtless be the knight on fiery steed who charges into battle with sword aloft, fierce of mien and doughty of hand, careless for the safety of self. To me, a hero is an ordinary person who performs extraordinary deeds for altruistic reasons — either for protection, or maybe to uphold some higher, noble cause. But does that, then, not refute my own assertion that I am not a hero? Yes, I answered the call to aid the defenseless peoples of southern Britain, and yes, I employed my skills as a knight and the might of my arm, and put myself in harm’s way. But I failed my God in the Holy Land, I allowed myself to be tainted by the evil I saw around me, and so forfeited the right to be a servant of my faith. I will begin again, and work my way up toward the Light, toward a state where I might, some time in the future if God is good, be worthy of the title of Hero.

Are there other such monsters in your world? Definitely. Medieval Britain is full of monsters.  There are reports of all kinds of dragons and wyrms, including the Afanc and the Nwyvre, both water dragons. There are beasties such as the kelpie, which inhabits the waters and lochs of Scotland and appears as either a horse or a hoofed human; there is the Demon of Dartmoor, a legendary black beast reported to be either a huge cat or some kind of monstrous dog; Cernunnos, sometimes called Herne the Hunter or the god of the Wild Hunt, a manlike creature with the antlers of a great stag; there is the rather disgusting alp-luachra, a newtlike creature which crawls down sleepers’ throats to eat some of their last meal; Gwyllgi, the terrifying Welsh dog of darkness; Dearg-Due, an Irish vampiress; there are also Hell Hounds, boggarts, ghouls, and fiends of many shapes and sizes. Britain has a history rich in such monsters.

Author questions :

*Who are you? I am Cas Peace, a Brit who loves to write fantasy novels. I live in Hampshire, in southern Britain, with my husband and two rescue dogs, Milly and Milo. I trained as a horse-riding instructor back in the 1970s and ’80s, and owned my own Welsh cob, which I used for carriage driving as well as riding. I used to compete in cross-country carriage trials and carriage-dressage. Now I’m a full-time author, editor and proofreader. I’m also a folk singer/songwriter, and have written unique folk-style songs to accompany each of the nine novels in my triple-trilogy fantasy series, Artesans of Albia. My other hobbies include country walking, growing cacti, working in stained glass, singing in my local church choir, and playing the bodhran.

Why did you choose this world/era to write in? I’ve always been fascinated by dragons, and of course, England’s patron saint, George, was one of the most famous dragon-slayers ever. I grew up seeing pub signs with George and the dragon on them, and became more fascinated since I learned that George wasn’t actually English! He was born in Lydda, Syria Palaestina, and served in the Roman army. He died a Christian martyr, hence his being adopted as England’s saint. Although there is a school of thought that believes it was another George entirely who was the basis for England’s saint. Whatever the truth behind the historical figure, I decided to base my Dragon Eater story on George, and make him a veteran of the Crusades, as it’s said that the legend of him slaying a dragon was brought back by Crusaders. Also, I’m interested in how the druids shaped their world and thought it’d be neat to combine the two into one story.

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? I’ve written short stories before and had a few published, but I’ve never been part of an anthology or tried to write to someone else’s direction. I found it quite liberating in a way, because I didn’t have to come up with the actual premise; I merely had to decide how to interpret it, and that was the fun part. Also, I was well within my comfort zone with the genre of HEROIKA. I really enjoyed it and would definitely do it again.

Writing for an anthology differs from writing a novel in that you (obviously!) have constraints on your final word count. This means that although your story must still have a clear plot and structure, you must condense the action and be sharp and concise. I think that writing a successful short story is a separate art form from writing a novel, and both art forms must be learned and practiced in order to get them right. Often, writers are better at one form than the other — it’s rare to find someone equally skilled at both. They do exist, of course, and I would love to think I could eventually be thought of as a writer who can produce shorts as enjoyable as my novels. Time will tell!

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m definitely a panster, which is why I’m not sure if I’ll ever make a really good short story writer. I believe that careful planning is much more important in a short story, whereas I really like to get my teeth into an idea and simply let my pen and imagination hold hands and run away with each other. I dislike putting constraints on my characters, my emotions, or my dialogue as I write, and prefer to just scribble down what comes into my head. Then, once I feel comfortable that I have something worth working on, I will edit and hone and cut and edit some more to make my ramblings into some kind of sense. When I first began writing my Artesans of Albia series, I had no idea what I was doing. I’d never written a novel before (much less an entire series!) and had no intention of showing it to anyone or trying to get it published. That idea came much later, after I’d summoned the courage to let someone read it and been told I ought to offer it to a publisher. The ideas for the series came thick and fast while I was writing, too fast, sometimes, for me to get them down. Nothing was planned, nothing thought out, and if I got stuck I only had to go dog walking or let my mind wander for the solution to pop into my head. I found it kind of scary —that feeling of being taken over by something I had no control over. Scary and wonderful and exciting all at once. I doubt I’d get those feelings were I to try to plan a novel, so I guess I’ll just have to wait an see if it ever happens again!

Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I don’t like rainbows. Actually, I’m not too happy about anything odd in the sky. Weird clouds and colors freak me out, especially when we lived in Italy and wind-blown Saharan sand turned the sky and air blood-red for a day. I hardly went outdoors, it was so spooky!

Tidbit:

Recipe: Dragú with wyrmicelli pasta.

Ingredients:

A good quality cooking oil

1lb extremely lean, minced dragon meat

1 red onion

1 garlic clove (the softneck variety ‘silverdragonskin’ is best)

1 carrot (‘drakeheart’ has good color and flavor)

1 celery stick

Handful of mushrooms (black dragonback are best, if you can get them)

Half a pint of meat stock

Tomatoes

One large glass of warm, spiced dragon blood

Large pinch of Artemisia dracunculus

Pinch of salt.

Fresh wyrmicelli pasta

Method:

Heat the oil, add the dragon meat and cook until brown. Add the onion and garlic, fry for 3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery. Add the mushrooms and Artemisia dracunculus, then add the stock. Once mixed, stir in the glass of spiced dragon blood. Bring to boil and simmer on low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Cook the wyrmicelli until nicely al dente. Turn onto a plate and top with the dragú mix. Sprinkle with gorgon zola cheese and enjoy!

Author website/blog: http://www.caspeace.com   http://www.peacewrites.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @CasPeace1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cas.peace   https://www.facebook.com/artesansofalbia?ref=hl

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4180597.Cas_Peace

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Cas-Peace/e/B0098KMASI

A Week with The Dragon Eaters – Joe Bonnadona

Welcome to the first post in Dragon Eaters Week. Please welcome fantasy and science fiction author Joe Bonnadona.

The Dragon’s Horde, appears in Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters, the brand-new, shared-theme anthology of Heroic Fiction created and edited by Janet Morris (c), and published by Perseid Press.

*Who are you? My name is Vadreo. I am a Gluriahan warrior, a Warhand of Thoon Wolf. My blood is the blood of the Dragon Eaters of old.

Why are you embarking on this quest? Our foes, the Draakonim, must be destroyed before they destroy my people.

Where are you from? (Tell us about it) I was born in the Bloodland of K’Thoon Morai. This is the land to which my people, the Gluriah, fled hundreds of years ago when the Vuladraakoi, the Mountain Dragons destroyed our homeland, our ancestral of K’Shar Wovay. The realm of my people is rich in forests and farmland, fresh water, hills, mountains, and to the south-east, a vast and barren desert. The Gluriah are farmers and fishermen, craftsmen and artisans, hunters and warriors.  

*Tell us about dragons in your world. The last dragon was slain nearly five centuries ago. According to legend, they demanded tribute from my people — not in gold, silver or jewels, but in human flesh, the taste of which they craved. They spat fire and ruled the skies for thousands of years before the Dragon Eaters tracked their queen to her lair and destroyed her almost five-hundred years ago. But the dragonmen the great dragons bred to serve them, the Draakonim, have survived, have bred and multiplied over the centuries.

What is the political system of your world? Very simple. While each thoon has a council of elders, we are governed by our chiefs. Warhands like me serve our chiefs, but at Klibberhelm Keep, one Warlord is in total command.

What is the best way to kill a dragon? As I have already told you, the last dragon was slain almost five centuries ago. But it is said that a dragon’s head must be cut off, or only certain weapons can slay a dragon, or the queen must be destroyed in her own fire. Much of what once was known has now been lost to us.

Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero? I am no hero. I am but a simple warrior who has volunteered to defend the frontier against the continuous raids by the Draakonim. The dragonmen come down from the north to raid into our lands, murdering our men and women, and stealing our children for whatever unholy rituals they observe. Warriors from Thoon Wolf — what you would call my clan and my tribe — have joined with other thoons to man Klibberhelm Keep, the fortress that guards Klibber Pass through the Bluecloak Mountains, to protect our lands and our people. We wage an ongoing war against the Draakonim, and in keeping with the tradition of the Dragon Eaters, we eat the flesh of the Draaks in order to gain their strength and ferocity in battle. “To know one’s enemy, one must eat one’s enemy.” Thus, we are now the Draak Eaters.

What is the technology level of your world? In my youth, twenty years ago, I journeyed my homeland to see the world, to fight with the Wandering Swords and the Rogue Blades, both fabled bands of mercenaries.I have seen such weapons as the catapult used in battle, and have even personally used a crossbow. But my people do not use such weapons yet. The sword, the spear, the axe, and the longbow are our preferred weapons. The Draakonim use weapons made of bone and flint, wood and crystal and stone, although some will use weapons ripped from the hands of our dead.

Where do dragons come from? There is no lore or knowledge that tells us the true origins of the Vuladraakoi. All we now know is that they came from out of the north, from the Warheart Mountains far beyond the lands of K’Shar Wovay, the Gluriahan ancestral homeland that is now called the Ashlands.

Are there other such monsters in your world? Besides the Draakonim, there are the spiderworms of the Semoory Desert. In my travels I have discovered that my world is filled with monsters of all shapes, sizes and breeds. But the worst monster of all is Man.

 Author questions (choose from):

*Who are you? Joe Bonadonna — writer and former musician.

How do you define a hero? A hero, to me, works and fights for a cause greater than him or her. Heroes do all they can to protect and nurture, to provide and care for their family and friends; without regard for their own lives, they serve their country. Heroes fight for those who cannot defend themselves; they stand as the shield that protects us, preserving our freedoms and our lives. The cemeteries are filled with heroes.

Why did you choose this world/era to write in? Tanyime is the world of my legacy character, Dorgo the Dowser. It is a world I began to explore over 40 years ago, and it is more familiar to me than the real world. My story, The Dragon’s Horde, is set in another part of Dorgo’s world, east of where he operates.

Give us a couple of lines about your characters. Vadreo is a no-nonsense warrior, loyal to his calling as a Draak Eater. Marriage and a family are things he gave up so he could dedicate his life in service at Klibberhelm Keep, defending the Twelve Thoons of the Gluriah. He has sacrificed love and wealth, and a lot of the happiness that the world can offer a man, in order to serve his people.

Shadumé is a Shuranho priestess of the neighbouring Vangi nation. She invades this man’s world of Draak Eaters, and is a highly-skilled and well–trained warrior in her own right. Although she is a grim woman, she is not without a macabre sense of humour. She is quite educated and very intelligent. But more than that . . . she possesses knowledge the Draak Eaters do not have, knowledge that has long been lost to them — and she is the one who has the answers to the riddle of men, dragons and Draakonim.

Heroika: The Dragon Eaters is a dark heroic fantasy – how do you define that genre? For me, dark fantasy is more serious in nature, more adult. The worlds of dark fantasy are hard and cruel, and often without much hope. It’s more cynical than other genres, and has more in common with film noir motion pictures than sword and sorcery, or epic/heroic fantasy. To me, the heroes in dark fantasy stories are often a bit tattered and worn; their motives are often suspect, as you’re not sure which side they are on — and usually it’s their own. And you’re never sure if they will survive. I don’t usually write dark fantasy, although my stories of Dorgo the Dowser are rooted in film noir

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? Yes, I’ve written for several anthologies: Griots: Sisters of the Spear; Sinbad: The New Voyages; Azieran Presents: Artifacts and Relics — Extreme Sword and Sorcery; and the shared-universe of the Heroes in Hell series.  The difference between writing a novel and writing short stories or novellas for anthologies are many: length, theme, style, etc. When writing a novel, you are writing according to the rules of your own universe. But when you write for anthologies, especially those with a shared-theme or shared-universe, you must abide by whatever rules have been laid out beforehand. It can be a difficult challenge, and at the same time a lot of fun. It’s also very rewarding when you succeed. For instance, I don’t find the rules of the Heroes in Hell series to be restrictive: quite the contrary . . . I find them quite liberating and have had no problem letting my imagination run free. I also find that shared-theme anthologies, such as Heroika: The Dragon Eaters are less “labour-intensive” than a shared-universe, although still requiring research and the hard work of sitting down and writing. For Heroes in Hell, for instance, I first choose my historical characters and then research their lives. For shared-theme or basic anthologies, I first work on my idea, doing what research is needed and then build on my fictional characters. While I prefer writing character-oriented, as opposed to plot-oriented stories, each story is different and has its own needs and requirements. 

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I can be both. It depends on the story. If the characters are really “talking to me” then I just hold on and write by the “skin of my fingers.” Sometimes, as in the case of many Dorgo the Dowser stories, which are often little puzzles or mysteries, I have to do a lot of outlining and plotting in advance.

What other novels/short stories have you written? I have written three novels — Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser (heroic fantasy), and Three Against The Stars (space opera); and a sword and sorcery pirate novel, Waters of Darkness (with David C. Smith.)  I have written Blood of the Lion for Griots: Sisters of the Spear; The Book of Echoes, for Azieran: Artifacts and Relics; Sinbad and the Golden Fleece, for Sinbad: The New Voyages, Vol 4; and We the Furious, and Undertaker’s Holiday (with Shebat Legion) for Poets in Hell. I have some other short stories to be published soon, but can’t speak of those right now.

What book(s) are you currently reading? I’m rereading a number of Raymond Chandler’s short stories, and will probably reread a few westerns and a vampire novel or two as I try to figure out what to write next.

Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I’m going slightly mad….

Author website/blog:  http://tinyurl.com/p6n7005

Twitter

Facebook:  (Bonadonna’s Bookshelf) http://tinyurl.com/nfo4xd3

(My personal Facebook page) http://tinyurl.com/onqj4wz

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/olwj589

Amazon page: http://tinyurl.com/ptng7nb

Trailer and art by Roy Mauritsen

A Week with the Dragon Eaters

I am delighted to announce the forthcoming release of Heroika: The Dragon Eaters (c) Perseid Press. This heroic fiction anthology features seventeen authors whose work ranges from fantasy romance, dark fantasy, historical, science-fiction, dystopian and the acclaimed Sacred Band books, and much more. This is not a cuddly book, this is not a book for the faint of heart. This is a book filled with heroes from past, present and future, from alternate worlds and possible-Earth. Blood, courage, death, life, love, sacrifice and, of course, dragons fill the pages in this roaring collection.

To celebrate the release on 25th May some of the writers and their characters are due to visit my blog….

Welcome to a week with the Dragon Eaters, heroes all.

Trailer and art by Roy Mauritsen

https://animoto.com/play/tqPbkRgzwuxATnM76KRqHQ

Trailer by Catalina Egan