Thursday, July 31, 2014

An Interview with Dan Wright, author of Final Ragnarok: She Returns

1. Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took.

The Draconica series, which is my Fantasy/Manga series, came about because I always enjoyed reading about Medieval Fantasy and Greek Mythology. This helped me craft the world of Draconica as it is now. When I got into Anime/Manga, that also helped my writing style, as I tended to write with a more tongue and cheek feel.

My first book took me about five years to write, on and off. The other books took significantly less than that – one an off about two years per book or so. I try to fit in my writing around my real life commitments, where I can.

2. What did you enjoy most about creating this book?

It’s the first part of a two parter – and it’s my most epic story so far. I really went all out with this one, seeing how far I could push myself. I’m particularly proud of the big battles that are to come later in the series, but also the huge twist at the end of this one. I think my readers won’t believe how this turns out – in a good way of course! 

3. Some writers embed parts of their lives into their work(s). What aspects of who you are appear in your work? If not, why didn’t you?

Hmmm. I try not to put too much of myself in my characters. If you do that your characters risk becoming “wish fulfillment fantasies” and this tends to turn off a lot of readers in my experience. That’s not to say my characters don’t reflect my views and beliefs, but I try to keep myself out of the character personalities where I can. 

4. Why did you want to be a published author?

Simply, because I wanted to tell a story. And maybe make money doing it, but that’s not my main reason. I have a job that helps me pay the bills so anything I make from this is just a nice little bonus. 

5. In the process of writing, did you find you deviated from your original plan? If so, how severely? If not, what about your plan kept you focused?

Absolutely. Nothing I ever write is EXACTLY how I imagined it. I often finding myself changing things – whether it’s to fix something that doesn’t work in context of the story or just to try out a new idea. My first book, Trapped on Draconica, for instance went through about a million changes before that was published. My problem is that I’m always changing my mind and that often means my work gets torn apart as I try to write it. Guess that’s just the joys of editing! 

6. Some writers plot out a great deal of their work while others write “by the seat of their pants.” Would you say you’re more of a plotter or a pantser? 

Plotter most definitely. I always plan for months on end before sitting down to write it on computer. I prefer to know what I do before I sit down to write. It’s just the way I do things. 

7. What message, if any, does your book have, and what is that message so important to you? 

A common theme in my books is friendship, love and family, which are things that I hold close my heart. Redemption is also a huge part of my work as I like to think that everyone deserves a second chance in life. For this book, the main theme I would say is “Light in Darkness”, because sometimes, to appreciate the light in our lives, we have to crawl through darkness to get to it.
 
8. If you could co-author a book with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why? What kind of book would you write with this person? 

Andrez Bergen is an author that I would love to write with. He writes some of the most original sci-fi I’ve ever read. If it were a dead author, I’d pick Douglas Adams. Hands down, he’s my favourite author and I’d love to have been able to work with him on something.
 
9. A new author approaches you for advice. What three things would be at the top of your list?
  • Don’t follow trends. Write a story that you want to tell, not what’s popular.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Contrary to popular belief, writing is not always easy, and you will get knocked down a few times. But just remember what they said in Batman Begins... “Why do we fall? So that we learn to stand up again.”
  • Some authors will say that you need to read a lot to be a writer, and I don’t necessarily agree with this. Yes, you need to read to know how to write, but you don’t have to be a bookworm. All you need to do is have a basic grasp of grammar and an imagination.
Also, as an extra bonus, I’d say find someone to proofread your work. This is of utmost importance and it’s always better to have a fresh pair of eyes look over your work. 

10. When you talk with fans of your work, what types of things do they ask you about? 

Funnily enough, at the moment, the thing I mostly get from new readers is why my character Zarracka is a lot like Elsa from Frozen. People seem to think that Zarracka is a copy of Elsa as she’s a princess and has ice powers. Then I tell them that Zarracka came first! I even created my own meme over it, just to put this to an end!

The upshot of this is that it seems to have attracted a lot of people to my work. Zarracka seems to be my most popular character – which is kinda funny as she is really the villain. I guess villainous characters are always the popular ones.

Formats Available In: Digital and Print

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: TBC

When Daniar Dragonkin heard those words, she had no idea of the full horror that would follow. Now, enemies converge to bring to life a monstrous plan that has been set in motion since long before the events of Trapped on Draconica. A plot to bring Her back from darkness.


With her family threatened, her old enemies back to torment her - and a civil war in Baalaria preventing any help from her sister, Daniar faces the darkness moment of her entire life. Her sanity will be pushed to the limit as she faces evil in it's purest form. Heroes will die. Villains will rise. And She will return - bringing with it the end to all of

She Returns is the first book in the Final Ragnarok saga - and the conclusion of a trap that has been building for years. Everything you'd read about Draconica so far has been leading up to this moment. This is where it all changes - and where Draconica's ultimate fate (and of it's people) will be decided.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Work It! Workshops At RainbowCon 2015


Something we strive for at RainbowCon is education. We want to help authors and aspiring authors hone their craft and reach their audience better. One way we do this is by offering hourly workshops where experienced authors, editors, publishers, and other industry professionals help teach attendees about different aspects of writing, editing, publishing, and marketing.

These workshops will be events that attendees will have to RSVP for due to the size constraints of our workshop room. Each workshop will have an attendance cap of 24 people, so if you're an attendee interested in a particular workshop (and all workshops are FREE as part of the conference fee), when we open up RSVPs for workshops, be sure to jump in quickly on the ones you want to attend!

I want to share with you a bit about some of the workshops we currently have planned! We want you guys as excited as we are, so if you have any questions or suggestions, just leave a comment!

Peer Critiques - We have a few hours each day of the con where writers can gather together in our upstairs meeting room to review each other's work. This can be invaluable in the early stages of the writing process, and anyone can join in and help their fellow authors.

Plotting - Something that may be a problem for some authors is the actual plotting of their book. How to work with exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement during the writing of a book. The workshop will also touch on series plotting and the difference between character-driven and plot-driven books. (This one is a two hour workshop!)

Editing - Join editors to discuss grammar, dialect, punctuation, work relationships, house rules, and expectations during the editing process.

Writing Bad Guys - A one-note bad guy who is bad solely to be bad or to provide simple motivation to the protagonist leaves readers with a sour taste in their mouths. In this workshop, learn about making a three dimensional bad guy with hopes, dreams, motivations, and fears readers can believe in!

Worldbuilding - For authors who write in contemporary fiction, worldbuilding may not be as necessary a skill. But, if you write fantasy, science fiction, alternative history, or any other fiction genre, worldbuilding is a skill you can never overdevelop. This workshop—which spans two hours—will discuss all the ins and outs of worldbuilding in various genres: fantasy (including paranormal, urban, and high), science fiction (both hard, soft, and speculative), historical, horror, and action.

Queries, Synopses, & Blurbs - An essential skill for all authors, learn how to query an editor or publisher, how to correctly write a synopsis, and the best way to create an eye-catching blurb!

Integrating Kink - An adult-only workshop, this one talks about the differences between kink and fetish and how best to weave them believably into your fiction. 

Young Adult Fiction - There is an ever-increasing need in the world of fiction for LGBTQ persons to be represented. This workshop will talk about how to reach the young adult audience and what aspects set it apart from adult fiction.

There are many other workshops on the schedule, but these are just some highlights to whet your appetite! We're so excited about our workshops for 2015, and we really hope they help authors improve and expand their writing skills.



RainbowCon is a four day QUILTBAG-centric event for anyone and everyone. If you love QUILTBAG fiction and media, then this is the place for you. You don't have identify as GLBTQ to attend! You just need to love and support the GLBTQ community. In 2015, we've expanded our programming to include not only content for writers and readers, but also anyone who loves QUILTBAG television, movies, comic books, educational, and fandom topics. We're an inclusive conference, and we want everyone to enjoy themselves. Check out our website to see all the fun we have in store for you!

Registration is now OPEN! Come celebrate artistic diversity!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Latest Jim Morgan Cover Reveal!

I've been a huge fan of James Matlack Raney ever since his first book in the Jim Morgan series came out, and here's the cover of his latest novel, out this fall:


Jim Morgan and the Door at the Edge of the World is the climactic follow up to the IndieFab Book of the Year Finalist, Jim Morgan and the Pirates of the Black Skull, and the final chapter in the Jim Morgan series. Check out the first two books HERE, and look for Door at the Edge of the World in Fall 2014.

James Matlack Raney grew up all over the world, in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Now he calls Southern California home, writing adventures and occasionally living a few of his own.
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