Character Questionnaire – A Way to Help Develop your Story’s Cast!

“No author can create a character out of nothing. He must have a model to give him a starting point; but then his imagination goes to work. He builds him up, adding a trait here, a trait there, which his model did not posess.”

– W. Somerset Maugham

Writers and character-creators, you know the drill. Creating characters is not a matter of throwing together some physical attributes and a selection of your favourite personality traits and expecting a memorable and masterful creation that others will love and admire and create fandoms over.

Nope. Not how it works.

Fictional characters should be just as layered and complex as real people; interesting, irritating, curious, droll, troubled, perplexing, vulnerable. Even if they aren’t human, they should still possess a myriad of behaviours, beliefs and emotions that we (humans) can fully relate to. And in saying that, they also shouldn’t be convoluted; having so many quirks and traits from across personality divides that, in real life, they’d be diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Unless that’s your intention.

Incidentally, a fantastic way to help you work through developing unique and cohesive qualities for your different characters is by doing Character Development Questions. There are literally hundreds of sites and blogs that showcase different CDQs. These kinds of queries are usually compiled like a kind of written interview or quiz and are an effective (and might I add fun!) way to guide you in breathing life and depth into your fictional creations.

And this kind of character-delving is not just for creatives working on a novel or short story. I recently put together a Character Questionnaire for some of my friends and I to fill out on behalf of the characters we crafted and (currently) play in our DnD (Dungeons & Dragons) campaign.

Here are our intrepid adventurers, the Radiant Vanguards!

Now, we’ve been playing our characters in the current campaign for several months now, so there have been plenty of times that traits, personality flavours and backstories have been revealed and experienced. But doing a (modestly) broad questionnaire has not only translated the already-established dimensions of our characters into interesting written responses, but it’s helped us to recognise and delve deeper into traits and temperaments for our characters that we had previously not considered (or properly fleshed-out).

Plus, it was super fun (and funny!). It really made their different points of view and humour shine!

If you have never done a Character Questionnaire for your characters before, I highly encourage you to do so. I have the questions I compiled for my DnD group below, but you don’t have to use just my list; there are dozens of different lists freely available across the internet; each with compiled questions of varying (as well as shared) styles and themes. My own list was inspired by the created questionnaires from other creatives/ bloggers. Search out different lists to find your ideal question sets. Or you can even compile your own list–grafted from the lists and ideas made by others.

And have fun slipping into your character’s shoes and learning about them on more deeper and interesting levels!

Artwork and illustrations are another GREAT way to express and show the different characters’ personalities!

So, there you go, a tidbit on really getting into your character’s skin and adding more depth and layers to them.

And here you are: the Character Questions I used on our DnD group. It’s by no means a fully comprehensive questionnaire, but hopefully there’s enough questions to assist in constructing more complexity and (personality) colouring to your character. 🙂

CHARACTER QUESTIONNAIRE

Because getting to know your character better will be valuable (and fun)!

Note: This Questionnaire is presented like an interview directly to the character, so answer the questions as your character would. You’re basically getting into their shoes and writing on their behalf.

That being the case, some questions your character may not want to answer, or might be a bit cheeky or cryptic in their response. All of that is totally fine!

INTRODUCTION/ VISUAL BREAKDOWN

Name:

Gender:

Race:

Age:

Hair Colour/ style:

Skin Colour:

Eye Colour:

Build:

Height:

Weight:

Birthday:

Bloodtype:

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

What would consider your most prominent facial feature?

What about most prominent body feature?

Do you have any body markings (scars, tattoos, birthmarks)?

What part of your body do you like the most?

What about the least?

Do you have any disabilities?

What types of clothes do you normally wear?

Do you have any physical tics? (e.g. tap your feet when annoyed, laugh when nervous, twirl your hair when in deep-thought, rub your nose when confident etc)

PERSONALITY

Do you have a catchphrase?

Do you tend to overuse certain words?

Do you consider yourself more of an optimist or pessimist?

Are you an Introvert or Extravert?

Are you an early bird or night owl?

What makes you laugh out loud?

What gets you riled/ annoyed?

What bad habits do you have that you’re aware of?

What good habits are you known for?

How do you think you’re seen by others?

How do you want to be seen by others?

How do you see yourself?

How do you display affection?

Are you indoorsy or outdoorsy?

What sense do you think you rely on most?

How competitive are you?

How do you react to praise?

What about criticism?

What/ Who will you stand up for?

Do you have any sinful little habits/ fetishes?

What is your greatest fear?

What is your greatest hope?

What is your strongest character trait?

What is your weakest?

What quality do you most value in a friend?

What do you consider an overrated virtue? (look at list of virtues here)

Do you have any obsessions?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Is your family big or small? Who does it consist of?

Do you get along with your family? How do you view them?

Do you have any siblings? How many?

Do you have a best friend? Describe them.

Do you have other friends?

Who are you in your friend-group dynamic (e.g. the party one, the quiet one, the organising one, the one who never listens, the one who is always prying etc)?

Do you have a nickname? Who calls you this?

Do you have any pets?

Do you have any allies?

PAST AND FUTURE

What were you like as a baby? As a child?

Did you grow up rich or poor?

Were you—for the most part—neglected or nurtured?

What’s the most offensive thing you’ve ever said?

What is your greatest achievement?

What is the worst thing you’ve done to someone you love?

What are your ambitions?

What was your childhood ambition?

What’s your best childhood memory?

What’s the worst?

What past act are you most ashamed of?

What past act are you most proud of?

LOVE

Have you ever been in love?

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Are you in a romantic relationship?

How do you behave in a relationship?

Have you ever had your heart broken?

Have you ever broken someone else’s heart?

CONFLICT

How do you respond to a threat?

Are you most likely to fight with your fists or your tongue?

How do you perceive strangers?

Do you have any phobias?

What do you love to hate?

What is your weapon of choice?

What living person do you most despise?

Have you ever been bullied or teased?

What do you do/ how do you react when you’re angry?

What about upset?

Who are your enemies?

FAVOURITES

What is your favourite animal?

What about least favourite?

What place would you like most to visit?

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?

What is your favourite song?

What about favourite colour?

Favourite foods?

Favourite hobbies?

VALUES

What do you think is the worst thing that can be done to a person?

What is your view of ‘freedom’?

How do you (generally) view authority?

When did you last lie?

What’s your view of lying?

Can you lie easily?

When did you last make a promise?

Did you keep or break your last promise?

Is there someone you haven’t been able to forgive? What did they do? Do you want to forgive them?

Do you handle rejection well?

What is your view on ‘violence’? Would you use it to help others? To help yourself?

Have you ever done something illegal?

Are you more likely to ask for permission or forgiveness?

There it is! I gleaned a bunch of these questions from other questionnaire sources. And there were heaps more questions I left out or didn’t feel pertinent to put together for my DnD group. Like I said earlier, hunt around, check out other sources. There’s so many cool and interesting questions and scenarios to present to your character to help in their development.

Good luck, and have fun!

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The Joy of Fan Art

“Art is not so much expressing oneself as it is discovering oneself.”

— Anawanitia

I believe it’s safe to say that nearly everyone is aware of fan art; you’ve either seen it, heard of it, or you yourself are a contributor to a ‘fandoms’ vast vaults of collected artistic expression.

The wikipedia definition of fan art (or fanart) is artwork created by fans (aka genuine admirers) of a work of fiction and derived from a series character or other aspect of that work. It is artworks that are neither created nor (normally) commissioned or endorsed by the creators of the work from which the fanart derives.

To be a fan of something is to find happiness in another person’s creative expression, and fan art is a way for individuals to outwork their love and admiration of the piece of fiction that stirs in them positivity and enthusiasm.

I am such a big FAN!!!

It’s one of the most comprehensive and personal forms of conveying one’s delight in something. Creating art takes time, effort, and a tiny piece of the artist’s soul-expression; that there is enough to tell you the value to be found in fan art.

Also, if you think about it, fan art is just as much a reflection of self-expression as original art is. When you create a fan art piece, you are saying something; you are revealing a part of your personality, your inclinations, sense of humour, preferences and tastes.

A series or story inspires and excites you, so you hone in on your favourite characters and re-create them through your own unique artistic style as a way of saying, well, any number of things:

  • I love this character’s arc.
  • This character is aesthetically beautiful.
  • This character is compelling and magnetic.
  • I can personally relate to this character.
  • This character is all the things I want to be.
  • This/ these characters are an ideal representation of my favourite culture/ animal/ race/ time period etc.
  • This character’s divisiveness/ villainy/ greyness appeals to my more chaotic side.
  • This/ these characters are so entertaining to watch.
  • This character stirs real emotions in me.
  • This character is an inspiration!
  • This story/ these characters helped get me through an emotionally traumatic time.

I think you get it; this list could go on and on. There are a myriad of reasons one has for being drawn in by fictional creations, and establishing enough of a connection to be compelled to create fan art.

Additionally, fan art is something that is not only enjoyed by the creators, but also other fans. It is an excellent beacon to help find fellow fans, like-minded people, and an ideal platform to launch into social engagements and fun, compatible conversations.

Through fan art, people can collectively participate in their shared admiration of something, and feel a sense of kinship and belonging. When you find someone who has created fan art of one of your favourite characters, you instantly feel a connection (however small) with them; you know you can approach/ contact that person and be able to share a moment of mutual admiration over the character/ story you both enjoy.

And let’s not forget that fan art is also the perfect avenue for non-artistic fans to commission/ collect art pieces of their favourite fictional creations, and in a variety of unique styles and mediums, from different artists.

Example:

The pokemon, Charizard, in an original pokemon animated episode (from the Pokemon franchise, owned by Nintendo).
A fan art depiction of Charizard – perfect for a fan’s collection! Artwork by the incredibly talented, Elgrimlock.

It’s great to be able to collect the original content, but sometimes that content (like books or live action musicals/ movies) doesn’t have visual stills or merch to collect and display. Or, the original content is too simple, or not quite to the fan’s artistic taste to want to put up on display.

Fan art to the rescue!

I, myself, am a fan of many things. And I have created fan art of some of them. I’ve also done cross-overs (characters from different franchises in the same picture). These are a part of my self-expression; an outward reflection of some of my inner delights and inclinations. There are more (and will be more), but here’s just a sample:

Feel free to ask me about the whats and whys of some of my favourite fictional characters and worlds!

Additionally, feel free to tell me about yours! I’d love to hear from you!

p.s. The examples of my fan art that I’ve shown are available for sale, in A5 and A3 prints (just contact me, if interested!)

p.s.s. You’re welcome to re-post and share my artwork, but you must credit me (the artist). Also, the artwork is NOT for sellable or commercial use.

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Dragon Calling and the TV Tropes!

The TV Trope site is a rabbit hole!!!

Tropes. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a trope? A figure of speech? A metaphor? A cliché?

Some people tend to think of a trope as a negative thing; a way to describe or categorize something overused or poorly presented. But that’s coming at it from a very narrow perspective. The quality and effect of tropes, like any tool, is dependent on the wielder. In a creative/ literary sense, you can use a trope poorly, or you can use a trope well. In any case, tropes are common and used practically everywhere there is human behaviour and expression.

Perhaps, even after saying that, you’re not familiar enough with the word to glean the full scope of its meaning.

The dictionary definition of a trope is this: a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression. ALSO a significant or recurrent theme; a motif.

The definition of a trope in literature/ creative media is this: the use of figurative language, via word, phrase or an image, for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.

Essentially, a trope is a multi-faceted tool, able to be utilized in a variety of interesting and explanatory ways: a symbol, a theme, or a device such as a metaphor, hyperbole, or irony. It also encompasses character traits, settings, motives etc. A trope is something that is easily recognizable, due to its reoccurrence and intended purpose (as a plot element, figure of speech, or symbolic imagery) throughout creative works.

Some examples:

Counting Sheep–A character is having trouble sleeping, and attempts to improve his/ her chances by closing their eyes and counting sheep jumping over a fence (or something similar).

Knight in Shining Armour–A knight (or equivalent in the form of a brave and selfless hero) who fights evil, rescues maidens, behaves honourably, and saves the day with his sword/ heroric prowess.

Big Bad–The primary source of all the bad things that happen in a story. Could be an Evil Overlord, or a virus, or a natural disaster; so, not necessarily a ‘villain’.

The famous ‘Big Bad’ Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars Universe.

Achilles’ Heel–When a nigh-invulnerable character, place or object inevitably has some key weakness, which the heroes (or villains) can (and likely will) exploit (e.g. Superman’s achilles’ heel is kryptonite).

Love at First Sight–A staple trope often found in fairytales. Speaks for itself. Two characters fall in love with each other right off the bat (sometimes only one character falls in love straight away, and spends a large part of their arc trying to win the other’s affection).

‘Love at first sight’ an be played for laughs, of course.

Now you have a pretty solid idea of what a trope is, let’s hone in on a site that hoards tropes, like a dragon hoards treasure! 😉

TVTropes. This is a wiki that compiles and documents descriptions and examples of plot conventions and devices, (aka tropes), within many creative works. It’s a smorgasbord of fun and fascinating information, where you can look up numerous story articles, old and new, and read into how the plots, story arcs and characters are broken down and fleshed out through the tropes found within them. And TVTropes doesn’t just cover TV series and films; it also delves into other mediums including comics, anime, manga, video games, music, and literature!

And since it covers literature, you can search for numerous books and series (hopefully your favourites have been added to the site) and enjoy their diversely dissected Trope Forms.

And now, that includes the Dragon Calling series!

You can now explore the Dragon Calling series in it’s analyzed and fleshed-out trope form!

After extensive exploration and research into TVTropes and its immense array of tropes and indexes, I slowly accumulated tropes for my five-part fantasy series. I compiled literally hundreds of tropes, and began the extensive work of creating the pages and profiles that made up the characters and story.

Along with a centralised accumulation of Dragon Calling tropes (placed in folders, in alphabetical order on the main page) I also went ahead and added individual character folders and assigned tropes tied directly to each individual!

There is also a Nightmare Fuel page (dedicated to the tropes assigned to the scary elements of the series) as well as a Heartwarming Page (where trope-searchers can find a list of tropes highlighting various scenes and character interactions that are inclined to make a reader go ‘awww’ and smile.

There are other pages I’ve yet to add, including the Tear Jerker page (designed to categorize all the sad and painful scenes in the series); the Awesome page (for all the tropes that encapsulate scenes and moments considered ‘wow’ or ‘cool!’); the Funny page where all the funny, humorous moments can be troped and alphabetized; plus others …

But there’s currently enough content on the TVTropes site to keep any avid Dragon Calling fan entertained for while a while!

TVTropes is like a fun and shiny DISTRACTION!

It’s a work in progress, and one I will continue to add to whenever I have the time and mental capacity (it takes a surprising amount of effort to find and write up tropes!).

So, if you’re curious and want to explore the world of tropes in a more interesting and in-depth way, TVTropes will happily host your curiosity. Beware though that it’s a rabbit hole and can easily suck away your hours. But at least you’ll be having fun! 😉

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Launch Team for Kin Seeker Audiobook!

Greetings Inter-Webbers and Dragon-Seekers! So, in case you don’t follow the Dragon Calling Facebook page, or you’re not a Patreon patron, you may not have heard the news …

Kin Seeker has been made into an AUDIOBOOK!

Not for everyone; but definitely for some people!

Yes, you read right. After years of wanting to take the series into the amazing avenue of audiobooks, it’s finally happening! Book One of the Dragon Calling series is soon to be launched into the audio realm!

So, what’s all the fuss about (you might ask)? WELL, for those who listen to audiobooks, and for those who love the Dragon Calling series, and are curious about what it sounds like with professional narrators and music … there’s a lot to get excited about!

You read that right, too. NarratorS. Plural. And music. Awesome ambient music!

Offical Audiobook Cover!

The story is read by the super talented Henry Kramer (of the juggernaut Kramer family voice talent) and Jenna Dulong (opera singer, vocalist and actor), and is what you’d technically call a duet narration.

The most common types of audiobooks are single narration (one narrator reads the entire story and voices all the characters) and dual narration (where two narrators read an entire chapter each, consecutively taking turns. Whoever is reading the chapter also does all the dialogue for any characters in that chapter).

Then, there’s duet: where two (or more) narrators interact throughout a story, each narrator always voicing the lines and thoughts of their assigned characters. While this is more commonly seen in stories with alternate, first person, protagonist POVs (e.g. the Hero and the Heroine), it can also be melded with the dual-style chapter alternations; which is the case with Kin Seeker.

Here’s the summary: Henry and Jenna take turns narrating the chapters of the book. BUT, they are strictly assigned to individual characters, and will voice their dialogue, no matter who the narrator for the chapter is. And let me tell you, it sounds AWESOME!

AWWWESOME!!!

And then there’s the music. Fairly licensed and acquired through Audiohub. Most pieces are ‘movie theme’ instrumentals, and all of them are exclusive to Audiohub–meaning you won’t find those music pieces anywhere else!

Seeing as I’ve a rather grand and cinematic vision for my series (the audiobook editions) I knew I wanted to have music added. Not throughout the entire book, mind you; just at the start of each chapter, while the chapter number, title, and epigraphs/ quotes/ excerpts are narrated. The samples I’ve listened to so far sound so good. The music helps to create mood and atmosphere for each chapter. And since music is not a common addition in audiobooks, it helps to make Kin Seeker all the more unique!

Currently, the book is in the final stages of post-editing production. The small audio and omission errors have been highlighted and sent to the narrators to fix, and once that’s done, a launch date will be locked in and the book prepped for release!

What I am hoping to do, to help make Dragon Calling’s debut into the audiobook realm successful, it to gather together a Launch Team.

What’s a Launch Team:

Also known as a street team, my launch team will be a group of people who will help to set Kin Seeker up for success when it launches. A team member can be a current fan of Dragon Calling, a curious reader/ listener who loves MG and YA epic fantasies, readers of this here blog of mine, any followers of my social media, my friends and acquaintances etc. Basically, anyone who’d be happy and excited to commit to being an advocate for Kin Seeker and it’s launch.

So, does that sound like you? Possibly? And you’d like to know more?

First off, I’ll give you a list of the awesome rewards you’ll receive if you commit to becoming a Kin Seeker Launch Team member!

  1. A FREE copy of the audiobook (via a promotional code).
  2. A set of A6 postcards featuring the main cast of the series.
  3. A set of premium matte vinyl stickers!
  4. Exclusive access to a private Facebook Group. Here, we’ll be able to post videos, share posts and memes, and collaborate together in regards to Kin Seeker’s launch!
OOOOOOH! I’m liking those rewards!

Here’s a brief run-down of what would be required of you as a Kin Seeker Launch Team member:

  1. Write up an honest review and post it during launch week (aka the first week of the audiobook’s release). The following retailers will allow you to leave a review without having the purchase the audiobook there: Google, Apple, Amazon (but not Audible), Kobo, Scribd (with free trial) and Downpour, in addition to standard review sites like Goodreads. If you have a subscription with Audible, it’d be awesome if you could leave a review there!
  2. Share word of the launch through your social media platforms. This could be mentioning the book in a weekly blog post, starting a discussion about the book in a chat forum, or even as simple as making and sharing tweets, Facebook posts, or posting the cover to visual sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
  3. Share promotional ideas within the Launch Team, likely via the exclusive Facebook Group I’ll set up. We can post ideas and share strategies, and confirm who can do what (e.g. which members have a subscription to an audiobook service, which members are happy to buy the audiobook as well as/ or instead of the freebie; which members have a blog and are happy to post about the book etc.)
  4. Take a photo of you listening to the audiobook. You can make this fun! Like, pretend your cat/ dog is listening to the book. Or you can do a selfie with your child/ sibling, with both of you sharing earphones/ buds, and listening together. 🙂
This is MEOWtastic!

If you’re interested in becoming a Kin Seeker Launch Team member, please fill out the form below. This will help me to gauge the level of interest, and to allow me to add you to the exclusive Facebook Group, once it has been created.

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Prowling the Prose – Description: Scents

“Smells are surer than sounds and sights to make the heartstrings crack.”

– Rudyard Kipling

Welcome wonderful, wandering web will-o-the-wisps (and humans), to another of my (the Whimsical Werecat) perfectly practiced and proficient presentation of literature insights.

In short, another amusing Prose Poster for you to glean glorious knowledge from.

It’s me again! The Whimsical Werecat, your Pedagogue of Prose.

And you are, of course, welcome.

Oh, and in addition, here are some interesting facts about your sense of smell.

  • You can actually smell emotions–primarily fear and disgust (as it changes the scent of sweat).
  • Your sense of smell is the most sensitive of your physical senses; it is the sense most linked to emotional recollection and memory.
  • Females have a stronger sense of smell than males.
  • You humans have around six million odour-detecting cells. Puny, compared to a werecat’s 450 million! That’s right, my nose is better than a bloodhound’s!
  • You can smell things better in the Spring and Summer due to the additional moisture in the air.
  • Like fingerprints, each of you humans have your own unique odour.
  • Your sense of smell accounts for 75-95% of the impact a flavour has (when you eat/ taste something).

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LAUNCH DAY for The Last Calling!

“Every journey has a destination point, and every story an end. But through every point the road winds on, and after every ending something begins again.”

— N. R. Eccles-Smith

This is it, the LAUNCH DAY of The Last Calling, the final book in the Dragon Calling series!

IT’S FINALLY HERE!

The series has come to its epic conclusion; the first seeds of the story having been sown seventeen years ago. It still hasn’t sunk in that this is it. The final book is here. It’s here for the world’s dragon-seekers to finally hold the key to the chest of secrets, conclusions, revelations, and closures that I’ve kept locked up for so many years.

It’s time to get excited!

OOOOH YEAH! CELEBRATE!

I now have the series available in three different formats: eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover. In my honest option, the hardcovers are my favourite. Maybe that’s because they’re the most recent format to be introduced; still new and shiny! … Or more likely it’s because of those sweet sweet covers.

Cooooooool Covers!

Anyway, Book 5 is here! Now! Ready for readers to devour! You can grab your copy from the website’s ‘shop’ or from any online bookstore retailer! Amazon is the only platform where the eBooks can be purchased, though.

Time to get swept up in the final, thrilling instalment!

Here are some links for easy navigation to where you can buy the book!

CLICK HERE FOR DRAGON CALLING SHOP

CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON

CLICK HERE FOR BARNES AND NOBLE

CLICK HERE FOR DIESEL BOOKSTORE

CLICK HERE FOR ANGUS AND ROBERTSON

There are many more bookstores that will have Book 5 available (e.g. Booktopia, Koorong, Fishpond) once their sites are updated with the metadata of the launch day. Keep an eye out, or make a direct request.

And remember, if you’re not a book collector, you can also request your local library to stock any of the Dragon Calling books! This way, you’d be supporting libraries AND independent authors (aka, moi).

So, what are you waiting for?

Time to FLY into the next (and final) Dragon Calling adventure!

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Get Ready for the Epic Conclusion to the Dragon Calling Series!

After once again abandoning my blog posting for far too long (albeit for a very good reason, of which I am about to share) I have some exciting news for all you Dragon-Seekers out there …

THE LAST CALLING has an official release date: NOVERMBER 13TH, 2020.

JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!!

This is actually older news which those of you who follow the facebook page would be aware of by now. However, I’ve been so busy getting the books (eBook, paperback & hardcover versions) ready for publication, I haven’t had time to actually write a proper blog post about it.

Until now, as you can see. 😉

For those who have read the series up until now, I hope you are in as much anticipation for the conclusion to the story, as I am in finally being able to share it with you all.

I’m SO excited to finally share this with you all!

This has been an incredible, wonderful, tearful and painful journey, for Laeka’Draeon and friends, and for me as well.

I’ve been working on the Dragon Calling series for seventeen years. Seventeen! I’ve lived with, loved, and known these fictional characters longer than some of my real-life relationships. I still can’t quite believe it’s time to finally bid farewell. A fond one, most certainly, but also a farewell that will probably leave a quiet and wistful sadness in its wake, after all is said and done and officially finalised.

I turn at last to paths that lead home … I will say this last goodbye …

Well, let’s delve into some details about the book, shall we?

Book 5 of the Dragon Calling series is the final chapter of the story. All big revelations will be unveiled, and all important character arcs given a (hopefully satisfying) conclusion.

It’s the largest book in the series, coming in at a rather hefty 166, 500 words (closest approximation that excludes the glossary, copyright page, author page and acknowledgments).

I did not deliberately aim for the book to be bigger than all the others; only as big as I needed it to be in order to bring the story around to its full and satisfying closure. BUT, since the book is the largest that officially makes the series consecutive in their sizes, from smallest to largest, in order. Nice.

Now, I’ve finished the covers for both the paperback and hardcover (I literally finished the hardcover one today), deciding in the end to go with the light aqua tone for the title, instead of the original purple. While I really like both, and chose the purple initially because it appeared to stand out better onscreen, I realised that the aqua would actually print better and clearer than the purple (even though it doesn’t look quite as clear onscreen). The hardcover has a similar hue, but more subtle, as the font is completely different (an eye-catching SVG font, which unfortunately has only a limited number of colour options). But still, I am happy with the colours.

Now, for the book’s blurb:

“At last I can show you. At last you will see the truth that has brought us all to this desperate brink. The truth of the dragons and their calling.”

Three Beacon Thrones are restored. One remains.
With a new revelation on the dragons, Laeka’Draeon is at last closing in on uncovering the mystery of their disappearance.
Sadukravon’s hordes have struck the first blow against Valadae, forcing the allied kingdoms to launch a Second Gathering. But without the might of the dragons or the magic of Klonnoth Aire, the first counter-attack could be Valadae’s last.
Laeka’Draeon and his companions undertake their final trials under a terrible weight of urgency, coming face-to-face with astonishing discoveries and devastating truths.
All mysteries will unravel under the looming shadow of a battle that will shape the future of Valadae and all its creature-kinds.

The suspense is REAL!

The books are available for PRE-ORDER! If you’re interested in helping to generate online buzz for the book, be sure to pre-order the eBook version, as that will really help boost visibility of the series, once the book launches.

If you pre-order a paperback or hardcover version of the book, via my website store, you’ll receive a FREE postcard print, personally signed.

Featuring Fargo and Opal Eyes!

OR, you can also pre-order the COMPLETE SET of Dragon Calling books! This option is perfect for new Dragon-Seekers, collectors, or for readers who like to read series only when they’re completed. There’s an option to buy either the Paperback Set, or the Hardcover Set. If you PRE-ORDER any of the sets, you’ll also get a FREE set of The Last Calling character posters (both the allies and enemies versions, in A3 size, personally signed!)

Of course, you always have the option to wait until the book releases, before you buy it. In that case, you’ll be able to purchase the book at any of your fav online book stores (Book depository, Booktopia, Amazon etc). Unfortunately, those orders won’t be able to be signed copies; and any books purchased on or after the release date via the website store, will also not be signed. SO, if you like signed copies, pre-ordering is your best option! 🙂

This is it … only a few weeks to go before you can find out how the Dragon Calling Series ends!

If you have any questions, just shoot through a query via this contact form!

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Happy Launch Day, Lonely!

It’s not easy stepping out of your comfort zone, but in the pursuit of a good thing, courage is always rewarded.

As Lonely the wolf finds out in her debut book!

Launch Day Lonely 2

My first illustrated children’s book under the publishing banner, Starsea Press, has LAUNCHED! Lonely the Wolf follows a dreamy, playful wolf named Lonely, who prefers to keep to herself due to her un-wolfish behaviours. But she comes to the realisation that avoiding others for fear of being ridiculed is not the way to a happy life.

The book is aimed at ages 5-8, and touches on themes like:

  • Being okay with being different
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone
  • Breaking free of self-doubt
  • Finding ‘your pack’ in new friends

All that from a children’s book, you may ask? But of course! Children’s books are often rich in messages that encourage and inspire and help children to think and learn. As all books should! 🙂

Lonely the Wolf Front Cover Thorpe Bowker Bigger

Lonely the Wolf is available through all major online retailers in both casebound and eBook formats. You can also order the book directly from this website. If you are wanting a signed copy, the only way (at this time) is to order a Complete Goodies Pack. The bundle comes with a copy of the book (which I can sign), along with a double-sided cotton tote bag, x2 badges, x2 sheets of matte vinyl stickers (premium quality), a postcard and an A4 print.

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Here are some other links to where you can make a purchase (retailers are Book Depository and Smashwords, respectively).

Lonely Buy Now Casebound tab

Lonely Buy Now Ebook tab

 

If you have any questions about the book (or me, the author), feel free to send a message via the contact form! I am very excited to finally share Lonely’s story with you all. I hope you enjoy meeting her!

Lonely the Wolf Head

HELLO WORLD!

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Lonely the Wolf is Finally Coming!

LONELY IS A WOLF WHO BEHAVES IN VERY UN-WOLFISH WAYS …

Some exciting news, Dragon-Seekers and Web-Wanderers! My illustrated children’s book, Lonely the Wolf, is finally making its debut into the world; official release date now set!

COMING JULY 8TH 2020

BOOK BLURB:

Lonely is a wolf who behaves in very un-wolfish ways.

The other animals of Fabelwood celebrate the New Moon Festival together. But Lonely does not join in, convinced by the Shadow Wolf that her strangeness will make everyone laugh at her.

But all she wants is to not be alone anymore.

Can Lonely overcome self-doubt and find her place amongst the rest of Fablewood’s animals?

The book is a 42-page casebound with gloss finish. The story is complete at approx 700 words, and 15 full-page, brightly coloured illustrations; aimed at ages 5-8, and introduces some wonderful, expressive words (like celebrating, glistened, discouraged, excited, and twinkled). The story would make a great book for parents to read to younger children as well.

As some of you may know (and likely some don’t) back in 2018, I was inspired to write and illustrate a particular story that had bounded its way into my head (and heart). I spent 6 months working on the project (in-between all my usual Dragon Calling stuff) including getting the cover designed, the book professionally edited, and the content formatted for an 8.5×11 casebound sized book.

Then … I set it aside, not really sure what I wanted to do with it, or when.

And so, I continued with my Dragon Calling projects for the rest of the year, and on through 2019, and the beginning of 2020 … when, at last, I finished the draft of the final book in the series.

As I set the draft aside to rest (from doing self-edits) and also getting it A4-printed for some Alpha Readers (readers who proof a book before it goes to the editor), I looked back on the Lonely project and felt the warm spark of inspiration stir again.

I considered the current stages of my writing and illustration projects …

Book 5 of the Dragon Calling series likely wouldn’t be ready for publication until near the end of the year. But Lonely the Wolf was pretty much complete! All it needed was some promo material put together, online shop set up for pre-orders, the book information logged into the necessary databases, and the book itself uploaded and prepped for POD (Print on Demand).

And so, off I went, digging my way through my assigned tasks in order to get Lonely the Wolf ready for publication by mid-year.

And now … it’s just about ready! After going over the physical proof copy, only a few minor things needed to be fixed, so I re-submitted. Once I receive the second proof copy and confirm the changes are to my satisfaction, the book will get the green light through its POD source and will be ready for pre-orders via international distribution outlets.

But right now, the book is officially available for PRE-ORDER directly through me, via the Lonely the Wolf Shop, right here on this website!

You can purchase a book on its owned (which I will sign) OR …

There are also special Lonely the Wolf Goodie Packs. The packs will include:

  • x1 Lonely the Wolf, signed casebound book
  • x1 Lonely the Wolf tote bag
  • x1 A4 poster
  • x1 A5 postcard
  • x2 badges (32mm)
  • x2 sticker sheets

The Goodie Packs will be a limited stock purchase (I plan to compile only 50 packs). So, it’s important that if you want the extra goodies along with the book, you need to pre-order!

You can order the books and the goodie packs HERE or just click the image below:

 

I hope you’re looking forward to meeting Lonely, as much as I am to finally introducing her to the world! 🙂

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In the Dark, but Not Alone

“The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.”    – Galadriel (The Lord of the Rings)

 

The world is changed. In a way that none of us has ever experienced before.

Darkness has reached across the globe in a great spreading, swallowing normality, stability, freedoms, and certainties.

We withdraw into the imposed lockdowns and self-quarantines, flabbergasted and aggrieved. We reel, wondering what changes, losses, and troubles the next day will unveil.

Those of us fortunate enough to not be working the front lines of this pandemic, and to not be directly impacted by its horrors, are left only to imagine the additional stresses and sorrows heaped upon the shoulders of those who are, on top of everything else.

own photo quote 4

But, while it is easy to get swept up in the volatile emotions engulfing both the real and digital, world, this is not the time to leave yourself unanchored and fear-fed.

We are, universally, walking a troubled path, but let it be (and stir with greater resounding) that we walk not alone. We may not be able to walk hand-in-hand (literally!), but, spirit-to-spirit, heart-to-heart, we most certainly can. And that unification is by far the more powerful of the joinings.

We are in the dark of this pandemic, but we are not alone.

You are not alone.

And this darkness will not last.

movie quote lord of the rings 2

This darkness is indeed a vast and hungry thing, but it has not devoured what truly matters. The light, the hope, the courage that each of us has burning in our hearts (however small or large the flame, it is there).

My words may be sappy, but I hope you find yourself encouraged by them nonetheless. And I also hope that, in spite of these troubled times, you are inspired to feed the light inside of you, enough to keep yourself aglow in the dark, as well as brighten others whose lights may be in need of a greater strength.

Just as rapidly as this pandemic (and the awful proliferation of fear) has spread, we have the power to spread hope and help.

Own quote 13 (2)

Please, feel free to share the image-quotes with anyone you feel may be encouraged by them. I put together the quotes for my patrons on Patreon, but felt to share them here, in the hopes they remind you of the importance of keeping your eyes on the light, no matter how deep the darkness surrounding you.

Take courage, stay safe, and keep your hope alight!

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