Goldnova 2018

Well, that’s a wrap! Another Gold Coast Supanova Convention come and gone.

N and Chii at Booth

But boy, was it a blast!

This year the floor layout was excellent, and the crowds were immense (so, thank goodness for the efficient layout).

I do believe we can thank the amazing Guest line-up for how incredibly buzzing the weekend was.

This year, we had the likes of Peter Capaldi, John Barrowman, Tom Welling, Pearl Mackie, Alan Tudyk, and Elizabeth Henstridge; and that was just some of the amazing actors and actresses (in amongst a great compilation of talented voice actors, comic artists, TV series stars, authors, and cosplay champions).

And that’s not even including all the incredible talent found in the artist alleys!

And this year, timing with the Supanova event, I officially launched the 4th book in my Dragon Calling series.

N Laeka and Book 4

The Sword of Stars is released!!!

And it made me so very happy when fans came scrambling to my tables and launching themselves at the SoS display, their faces bright and bursting with excitement.

I hope you all enjoy this next installment of the series, as much as I enjoyed writing it! 😀

I didn’t get any photos or signatures from anyone this time around (I’m saving that for some of the guests that will be attending the Sydney Supanova Convention in June), but I got a few photos with some amazing cosplayers (and there were a lot of amazing cosplayers this year!).

 

And there you have it. Don’t forget to grab yourself a copy of The Sword of Stars! Paperback and eBook versions are available at all major online retailers (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble etc), but you can also grab yourself a personally signed copy via my Dragon Calling Store over on Etsy! Australian residents can also order the book through any bookstore. Just request it over the counter.

Until next time Dragon-Seekers!

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Sword of Stars Pre-ordering Available!

Hey Dragon-Seekers!

Just a quick post to let you all know that you can now officially pre-order the eBook version of The Sword of Stars!

SQUEE! Who’s excited? I know I am! 😀

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I worked really hard this week to get the eBook formats ready. I hope if you’re the pre-ordering type, that you’ll jump on board and help support the eBook sales by clicking that wonderful little ‘pre-order’ button! 😉

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You can pre-order through Smashwords or Amazon, but just so you’re aware I can confirm that Smashwords gives you a sneak peek of the book (the first %15 if I’m not mistaken). Now that’s a real teaser I’m sure Dragon-Seeker eBook readers won’t be able to resist!

Here are some links for you to click to make your pre-orders:

     SMASHWORDS                      AMAZON.COM                    AMAZON.COM.AU

2018 Book 4 Cover Art             2018 Book 4 Cover Art             2018 Book 4 Cover Art
Please let me know if you have any trouble with the links, and I’ll get to fixing them pronto!

 

OH, and I’ve also added the book to Goodreads, for all you Goodreaders out there who enjoy adding books to your digital shelves. You can add The Sword of Stars to your ‘Want to Read’ pile from HERE.

SO … what are you waiting for? If we can get a decent amount of pre-orders stacked together, it will really boost the book’s visibility come the official launch day (especially on Amazon!). And all for the cost of a cup of coffee! How can you say no to a full-length novel (over 100,000 words!) for less than $6.00?

pleeease

Pre-orders are a great boon to launching books. I’d really appreciate your support in seeing Book 4 off to a great start!

As for the paperback version … well, I’m still working on the formatting and type-setting, and am still not sure which avenue to set up pre-orders through. If I get a lot of interest in the eBooks, and feel confident I’ll have paperbacks printed and ready for April 28th, then I’ll make pre-orders for the paperback a priority.

Guess we’ll see!

In advance, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support you, my awesome Dragon-Seekers, have given me (whether through following my social media, liking my posts, purchasing my books and merch, or giving my works starred reviews).

Truly. I think my fans are amazing!

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Updates on The Sword of Stars

Hey there, Dragon-Seekers! Just wanted to give you all a quick update on where everything is at regarding Book 4 in the Dragon Calling series.

Starry Night Poster 8

Sword of Stars Silhouette

I received my manuscript back from the editor a little over a week ago, and have been chipping away at further polishes while working on other things (namely my side project and the Promo-style Character Posters for Book 4).

wow-much-editing

I love getting my work back from my editors. “GASP!” Some of you might say. Aren’t editors scary red-blade wielding grammar Nazis who delight in tearing apart story babies and telling writers how awful their first drafts are?

Pfffttt, nonsense! Well, some editors out there may be a bit nasty, but I have yet to meet such a fearsome entity.

All of my editors have been amazing, and I have learned so much from them! Thank you Michelle, Kathleen, Elizabeth and Lynne! You guys ROCK! 🙂

Sure, the first time I got a manuscript back from an editor, is was a little intimidating, and there was a lot of red to work through. But well before I sent anything off to any editors, I decided that I would be the type of writer to take corrections in my stride, and with a positive attitude. And that has really helped me keep a professional and sanguine view-point when it comes to receiving feedback and correction from editors.

And with each publication, I’ve gotten better at self-editing, which means when I send my manuscripts off to the editors, they are able to refine my work without having to chug through mounds of bad writing/ poor dialogue/ or choppy scenes. They can more easily focus on smaller errs I have done, like trim down my dialogue tags, cut excessive adjectives, and help balance sentence structuring; and if there are any bigger issues, they can be spotted more easily without having to sift through layers of content that requires extra time to decipher.

So, I am currently half-way through my ‘Editor’ edits of Book 4. Afterwards, I will pass the book on to Beta readers for proof-reading while I work on formatting the book into eBook format.

I can’t believe I decided to set the release date as April 28th. It’s closing in so quickly! EEP!

I want to try and get the eBook pre-orders available as soon as possible, so stay tuned to my blog updates or any updates I put on the Dragon Calling Facebook Page! I was hoping to get some ARC copies of the paperback available by the end of March, too. That could still happen, so keep your eyes open for any info I share!

Oh, and for those who missed the Cover Reveal, here is the cover for The Sword of Stars (Book 4 of Dragon Calling):

2018 Book 4 Cover Art

You may notice it is slightly different than the one I posted for the Cover Reveal. That’s because I decided to change the “of” and not make it capitalized (although I’ve seen such a thing done on other covers). I just think the smaller caps looks better. What do you guys think? Should the “of” be capitalized or … no? Please let me know your thoughts!

Oh, and before I go, here are the Promo Character Posters for the book (which I kinda already posted to Facebook a while ago 😉 ) I’m super happy with how they turned out (thankfully, since they took 3 weeks to complete).

Poster Good Guys SS (3300x4686)

Poster Bad Guys SS (3307x4696)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, let me know what you think!

 

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Cover Reveal for THE SWORD OF STARS

Here we go Dragon-Seekers, a moment I am sure you are all excited for … *drum roll* the next COVER REVEAL in the Dragon Callings series!

2018 is here, and you know what that means? (yeah, silly question, I know) The up-coming release of Book 4 of the series! And not only do you get to see the official book cover, but the official book title, too!

I’m so excited for you to see this!

Book Four Cover ebook size2

The official Cover! eBook dimensions

Continuing with the cover theme of the transitioning sky (night for KIN SEEKER, dawn for THE BEACON THRONES, and midday for DUAL DESTINY), THE SWORD OF STARS descends into afternoon. Also in the DC cover tradition is the spotlighting of a character featured in the book. This character is someone we’ve all met before, and I am pretty sure many of you will be excited to see him again. 😀

Out of all the covers so far, KIN SEEKER was probably the most challenging (being the first of many things: the first official cover I’ve done, the first time utilising certain digital art methods and layers, the first time creating a full layout of dragon scales, and the first time really thinking hard from a design point-of-view how to effectively harmonize all the elements into an appealing visual).

But THE SWORD OF STARS rates higher in level of difficulty and complexity, for numerous reasons. The original sketch, for instance, was a slightly different pose, but that ended up not fitting correctly into the dimensions of the book cover. Blagh! Tweak, tweak, and more tweaking. Then, the tattoo … a tricky beast considering the angle as well as having to take into account the undulations of the arm muscles. The background was fun, but again, a fair few layers and opacities to get everything looking good.

The most difficult element? … the sword. By far! I’ve never attempting a semi-transparent crystalline object before, and to top it off, it had to be a symmetrical object … at an angle!

Hahaha, oh the pain we put ourselves through for the sake of good art.

But in the end, it was worth the dozens upon dozens of hours of brainstorming, research, and artistic endeavouring. I so happy with the final result. And I hope you are, too.

Oh, and let’s not forget the official Book Blurb (Paperback version):

“This is an awakening. It is time for me to stop watching the future unfold, and start shaping it.”

The first two Beacon Throne guardians have been awakened. The third lies far away to the east, beckoning Laeka’Draeon and his companions onward in their race to stop a second Manna Eruption from destroying Valadae.

But with every achieved triumph the danger grows, not only from the enemies of the old wars, but from within Laeka’Draeon’s own company.

And from across the spans of Valadae, the centaur prophet Belzor Ven’Ho rises to the call of destiny and, along with his closest companions, takes up arms in a bid to aid in Laeka’Draeon’s quest by breaking the enemy’s hold over the northern kingdoms.

The forces that have shaped the young dragon’s journey so far are set to converge, and the effects will be felt across all of Valadae.

 

I have locked in April 28th as the official release date for THE SWORD OF STARS. That weekend I will have a booth at the Gold Coast Supanova Convention, so I decided it would be an awesome opportunity to have the launch of Book 4 coincide with the event (since I know a lot of Dragon-Seekers attend the cons and have purchased my books from there). No date yet for pre-orders, but I will let everyone know as soon as I’ve set it up!

So, what do I need to work on between now and then?

  • Send book 4 to the editor
  • Go through polishes and scrubs suggested by editor
  • Give book 4 to proofreaders for final rounds
  • Work on Promo-styled posters for Book 4 (the Enemies & Allies styled posters)
  • Format Book 4 into paperback and eBook editions
  • Continue adding to the Dragon Calling Wiki
  • Add Book 4 into Goodreads, and also assign both the paperback and eBook editions ISBNs on the Thorpe Bowker website
  • Organize to have pre-ordering available
  • Work on paperback layouts and send book through to printers
  • Give copies of book to Distributor + QLD Library & Australian National library
  • Continue promoting and adding to the Dragon Plushie Project

So yes, my draft of Book 4 is done. My cover for book 4 is done. But there’s still a lot of work to do before the book is launched; I’m sure I’ve missed a couple of key things on that list … but I’ll remember them sooner of later.

And yes, I have finally gotten around to updating the Dragon Calling wiki. It’s still quite small, but at least it has more content now (before it only had 10 pages; now it has 24), and I will continue to add to it as time goes on. Feel free to check it out if you want!

Dragon Calling Wiki Logo large

 

And for a final thought:

 

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The Storm, the Switch, & the New Year

Time to join in with the myriad of cheery expressions and hope-filled exclamations of this celebrated time shift; tipping from 2017 into 2018 …

So, a happy New Year to you all!

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I hope everyone enjoyed their time over Christmas; I hope you spent your moments surrounded by the ones you love, and gave of your energy and emotions to those you admire, and enjoy; I hope you indulged in the little things, as well as the big, but not to the point of spoiling; and I hope you took enough of a pause within all the chaos to drink in and reflect on what this time of giving and celebrating is really all about. 🙂

I had a memorable Australian Country Christmas, spent with close family.

I sketched this with my neice’s crayon pens to get into the merry spirit:

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A Christmas Dragon … no surprises there!

The weather gifted us with this:

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The wide open sky country of mid-west QLD

And this:

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The best view of sunsets!

And we got to meet one of the farm’s furry residents:

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She was a bit shy, little sweet-heart

Come Boxing Day, the weather took a turn to this:

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I actually captured a lightning strike!!!

Which was chased down by an even angrier front:

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This was a monster

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Seriously, the photos don’t do it justice …

Whew! It was wild; but so awesome! We survived unscathed, and returned home to the coast the following day with some great memories.

Tick over to the 29th, and I finally have the last $$$ saved up to picked up my belated Christmas gift:

 

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WOOT!!!

 

Aaaand now the new year has finally begun! So, what’s planned for me? I have a feeling this year is going to be HUGE (in so many good ways), so I am going to spend January mentally charging myself and doing some home/ office rearranging and updating in preparation for what is being anticipated.

But my calling is still the same. I am still dedicating the majority of my efforts toward my Dragon Calling series. I plan to have Book 4 launched sometime in the first half of 2018 … and wouldn’t it be awesome if I also managed to launch the 3rd Companion Guide in the second half of the year! I’m not making any promises on that second release, but I can guarantee the first one! I am currently working through rounds of major self edits in preparation for handing the manuscript over to my editor.

I will be working on the 4’s cover design this month, as well as the Promo Posters.

No official release date on the book yet, or the Cover Reveal. Sorry fans! But to make up for it, I DO have the new ‘Promo-styled Posters’ for Book 3! I know, I know, book 3 has been out for almost two years; I should have done the posters ages ago. My excuse was that I was working on the 2nd Companion Guide, and that the posters weren’t a priority, since, you know, they actually aren’t official promotional material (just a fun and cool-looking accessory).

Although … I will give you all a hint that the ‘Promo-styled’ posters may actually be used for official pitching in the not-too-distant future. I won’t say too much at this stage, and just leave you all wondering what on earth I am going on about. 😉 You’ll see soon enough (when I make an official update at a later date).

Anyway, I will leave you with my gift of the Promo-styled Posters for Dual Destiny (Book 3 of Dragon Calling).

Enjoy! And bring on 2018!

Poster Good Guys DD A2 small

THE ALLIES

 

Poster Bad Guys DD A2 small

THE ENEMIES

 

 

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Dragon Size Chart 3!

When it comes to dragons, size is completely subjective to the whims of their origin; whether that be cultural folklore, standard mythology, or the imaginations of the writers and illustrators who bring them to life.

Dragons! And (we) the mere mortals who are insatiably fascinated by these amazing mythical creatures, and perfectly happy to keep on indulging in the tales, games, and movies that shine them in the spotlight.

Having a shared love and curiosity for these scaly wonders, I decided a few years ago to do up my first Dragon Size Comparison Chart. After seeing its popularity with many of you web-wanders and fellow dragon-lovers, and receiving multiple requests for certain dragon sizes, I opted to do a Second Chart.

And the dragon requests kept coming in!

And so, after finishing the draft of my forth novel this year, I set aside some time to research, measure, sketch and silhouette another set of dragons for you to enjoy!

  • Just as a disclaimer, the human silhouette I use is a 6″ 3″ man (the average height of the human-like hemlans in my fantasy series).
  • Another disclaimer: these dragon size charts are just estimates. I did do research to determine as accurately as possible the sizes of the dragons in comparison to a 6″ 3′ man, but I’m no professional ‘size estimator’, and some dragons were more difficult than others to work out size accuracy (some are never given a specific size by their creator at all).
  • Another disclaimer: this is for fun! So I hope you enjoy checking out the new dragon size comparisons. 😀

This time around, I have done up charts for twelve dragons, and how I came about estimating their sizes. AND I have also included right at the end of the post a super large chart containing ALL the dragons from the 3 charts (which also includes Deathwing in both his smaller, and ultimate, sizes).

Now, let’s begin!

Dragon Number One: Spike (TV Series, My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic)

SPIKE

Coming in first, is Twilight Sparkle’s best little bud, Spike. Helpful and playful, even if a bit sarcastic and mean-spirited (on occasion), Spike a fan favourite in the remake Pony franchise; and why would he not be? He’s just so cute!
Spike was reasonably easy to size, because they are plenty of shots with him standing next to his pony friends. For the stickler, the trouble comes in the form of determining the exact size of the Ponies. I checked out a few forums … and couldn’t believe the amount of arguing going back and forth about the the exact height of the Ponies. In the end, I went with Twilight averaging in at 3″2′, making Spike roughly 2″0′ (or 2″6′ if you including his head cone).

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Dragon Number Two: Elliot (Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, 2016 Remake)

Elliot

ELLIOT

I don’t know everyone’s opinion on the remake of Pete’s Dragon, by I personally thought it was wonderful. And I loved Elliot! Like a giant, furry, canine-hybrid, Elliot’s new look, as well as his personality (loyal, friendly, fiercely protective, and intelligent) have surely won the hearts of many dragon-lovers the world over. He has certainly won mine. And he was easy to size, too. I used the below reference picture for inspiration (taking into account Pete’s smaller eleven-year-old size).

PetesDragon1

Dragon Number Three: Dragon (Shrek Movie Series)

Dragon

DRAGON

Having missed out on a place in the first two charts (by a small margin), I couldn’t deny Dragon a spot in this chart. Both fierce and adoring, Dragon plays a major role in the Shrek series, both as an antagonist, a love interest, a mount, and a supporting character (gosh, Dragon is a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades, isn’t she!). I was surprised by her size when I worked it out (taking into account Shrek is between 7-8 feet tall, compared to my human silhouette of 6″3′). She looks quite large, but I think that has to do more with her rotund ‘fruity’ shape, than actual bulk and bone. Still, you wouldn’t want her to sit on you!

Dragon_in_Shrek_The_Third

 

Dragon Number Four: Drogon (TV Series, A Game of Thrones; Season 7)

Drogon Large1

DROGON

Having done Drogon at his size in Season 4, I received a request to upgrade him to his most current size (as he appears in Season 7). So, I happily obliged! He may not be the biggest dragon in this chart series, but he is one of the fiercest-looking, and quite fearsome all-round if you ask me. An awesome and terrifying creature, indeed. I used the reference screen shot of Drogon’s head next to Jon Snow, to help me work out the dragons’ size. Thanks Jon!

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Dragon Number Five: Nicol Bolas (Magic, The Gathering)

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NICOL BOLAS

The planeswalker Nicol Bolas is the most powerful of the five Elder Dragons to have survived the Dragon War, and is considered one of the most powerful planewalkers of the MTG multiverse; which, of course, MTG fans would already be aware. But I haven’t played MTG, so I had to go to wiki for help with information, and google for reference pictures.
Now, in the MTG worlds, it’s clear that size is no reflection of power. Nicol Bolas is not what you would call a significantly ‘large’ dragon; in fact, his physique is deceptively slender and agile. But obviously, you’d be a fool to underestimate him. He is irrefutably one of the baddest Big Bads in Magic, The Gathering. Adventurers, you have been warned …

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Dragon Number Six: Shenron (Dragon Ball Franchise, DB, DBZ, DBGT, DBS)

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SHENRON

Ah, good ol’ Dragon Ball. A part of my childhood was spent enthralled with Dragon Ball Z alongside my younger brother; fun times, and good memories. I also saw some of GT, but Z was my favourite. And of course, the creature that plays a pivotal role in all the series is the dragon that can grant your wish if your gather all seven Dragon Balls: Shenron the Eternal Dragon.
Shenron was hard to size; the reason being the inconsistency of his size during different summonings (I think the difference lies in the length of his tail; it appears to keep growing out of the Dragon Balls for the duration of his summoning).
In the end, I just had to pick a size that was reasonable as far as being able to fit on the standard dragon size chart compilation. So, while the head and body of my Shenron silhouette is roughly accurate, the tail is not; in reality it would be several times the given length.

dragon-ball-z-battle-of-gods-shenron

Dragon Number Seven: Igneel (Anime Series, Fairy Tail)

Igneel

IGNEEL

Igneel, the ‘Fire Dragon King’, and foster father to one of the main protagonists of the series: Natsu Dragneel. Igneel is described as fatherly and protective, but also brash, fiery-tempered and arrogant. I’ve started watching the Fairy Tail series, but haven’t gotten to the episode where Igneel makes an appearance. Nevertheless, I know he is a catalyst for important plot arcs in the series, so I felt he deserved a place in my Dragon Size Chart collection. One of the reference pictures I used was this (taking into account that Natsu in this shot is just a child):

igneel_and_natsu_part_4_by_reshikrym1-d9l35u6

Dragon Number Eight: Tiamat (Dungeons & Dragons)

Tiamat

TIAMAT

Tiamat is a supremely powerful 5-headed dragonic goddess from the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game; also named one of the greatest villains in D&D history. Whew! I guess she ranks up there with Nicol Bolas for a gold title of Big Bad. The difference being, Tiamat is much larger in size by comparison!
Tiamat was a bit tricky to estimate in size; though google had plenty of fan and concept art, very few had human-sized figures in good ratio (the Neverwinter Online shots I found were not very useful). The best reference picture I used to help me was this one:

Tiamat_Final_02_Full

Dragon Number Nine: Naydra (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)

Naydra

NAYDRA

I could go on and on (and on) about how much I love Breath of the Wild. The same feeling of awe and wonder I got as a child playing LoZ: Ocarina of Time for the first time (a feeling I never thought I’d be able to feel again), returned to me in flood-like proportions during my play-through of this game. So, naturally, I had to add one of the three Spring Guardians to my latest Dragon Chart. I chose Naydra, the guardian of the Spring of Wisdom.
There were plenty of references pictures for this dragon. Heck, I could just as easily turn the game on in my lounge-room and find the dragon myself. But it actually turned out to be quite difficult to estimate. For one, the dragons are really long, and really big … and you can’t get too close to them or you’ll be zapped/ burned/ frozen by their awesomeness. Plus, Link (the protagonist), is actually quite a short, wiry little hylian, so I had to take into account his smaller stature, too.
These are the reference pictures I used (the Wisdom Shrine with Naydra in view, and the Wisdom Shrine with Link in view, and of course a good long-distance shot).

Naydra

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Yeah … these dragons are LOOOOOONG!!!

Dragon Number Ten: King Ghidorah (Godzilla Franchise/ MonsterVerse)

King Ghidorah

KING GHIDORAH

Time to step into the big leagues. King Ghidorah is one of the ultimate city-destroying monsters of fiction. His original origin story pinned him as an extra terrestrial, planet-killing dragon (yikes!), and 2019 will see the silver screen shine fire and gold as Ghidorah takes on Godzilla in the next Legendary Pictures MonsterVerse installment: Godzilla: King of the Monsters. I, for one, am really looking forward to it!
This is the reference picture I used to help me, although I also took into account the size of the newest Godzilla design (slightly larger than the Godzilla shown), and estimated Ghidorah as being slighter larger, too.

Godzilla-size-chart

Dragon Number Eleven: Eminroth (Dragon Calling series)

Eminroth

EMINROTH

Eminroth is one of the four creatures guarding the energy-stabilizing towers called the Beacon Thrones. Though he is not technically a dragon (he is a serpentine drake), I wanted to add him to the chart because of his awesome size … and his general awesomeness. Eminroth makes his entrance in Book 3 of the series, and what an entrance it is! He is caught in a sand hurricane, but his body is so huge it creates its own vortexes; a storm within a storm.

* Reference pic? Don’t need one. This beauty is of my own creation. I know exactly how big he is! Can you see the speck next to his front claws? Yep … that’s a person.

Dragon Number Twelve: Ancalagon (The Silmarillion)

ancalagon

ANCALAGON

Also known as Ancalagon the Black … there is no contest, Ancalagon is the biggest dragon in fiction history! He is so large that his creator, J. R. R. Tolkien, never specified his size, other than being so colossal that when he was felled his body destroyed the towers of Thangorodrim (which were described in the book as three smoking peaks of the mountain). So yeah. He destroyed a substantial part of a mountain range.
He is/ was a great dragon of Middle-Earth, a fire-drake, the same as Smaug … but poor ol’ Smaug is a worm by comparison. And since Smaug was already quite large compared to a man … well, you just might be able to spot the human silhouette in the chart if you look really hard. I used the reference picture below to help me establish a size that would qualify as truly ‘colossal’.

3817203-dragon_of_the_first_age_by_rubendevela

Full Chart Part One:

Dragon Size Chart 3.1

Full Chart Part Two (because they were TOO BIG to fit into the other one, and even then, Ancalagon still doesn’t fit):

Dragon Size Chart 3.2

Ultimate Chart (charts 1, 2&3 – so everyone can fit, including Ancalagon!):

Dragon Size Chart XL

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the next installment of my dragon size project! But to be sure, there are many more dragons out there! Who are some of your favourites? Which dragons would you like to see in future charts?

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Dragon Calling at Riveting Reads 2017

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What’s better than going to an event where you come across a few authors promoting their awesome books?

Going to an event where you bump into literally dozens of authors promoting their awesome books!

riveting reads logo

This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending Riveting Reads 2017: a special all-weekend author event organised by MI Bookshelf and hosted at the Mecure Hotel in the heart of Brisbane, Australia. The event launched Friday night with a special cocktail party, and ran all the way through to Sunday evening.

While I have done bookstore signings, school presentations, and pop culture conventions, this was my first time attending an author-exclusive event. And though I was only able to take part during the Saturday, I still had a fantastic time!

N at Imaginarium 2.o Table

Yours Truly at the Imaginarium 2.0 Booth

Thanks to my amazing Australian distributor, Imaginarium 2.0, I was able to come along and help out at the Imaginarium booth without expense. A delicious lunch of salads, sandwiches and lamb shanks was provided (yes, lamb shanks! Cue sparkly eyes and watering mouth), as well as morning and afternoon tea. And I—being used to getting by on bitter coffees and sugary snacks during such outings—felt quite pampered! 😀

The venue space was filled with rows of tables stocked with a colourful array of books and banners and eye-catching swag goodies. The tables were perhaps a little too small (especially for our Imaginarium 2.0 booth, where several authors’ works were on display), but at least the hotel provided comfy chairs; trust me, I have been to events where the chairs are less-than-friendly to the derriere, and it seriously makes a big difference!

View of Riveting Reads from Imaginarium 2.0 booth

Photo taken by Catherine Davenport

One thing that stood out to me—differing from other events I have attended—was the sheer volume of romance books being represented. I am aware of how popular the genre is, but I was actually taken aback by the number of authors from the different branches of romance (historical, paranormal, erotica etc.) in attendance.

Jerry-Seinfeld-Whoa

Like … SO much Romance!

And the number of covers with rippling pectorals and shiny abs … I must say, for those who love that particular cup of tea, it would have been like moths to flames!

And for those like me:

VWGYe

Ah-hem, anyway.

What did that bode for me and my upper middle-grade light epic fantasy books?

Well, let’s just say, where there are romance novels, there are crowds of mother and grandmother readers. And what do such wonderful ladies have in common? Children/ Grand Children!

Turns out, my books were the best-sellers for Imaginarium 2.0 over the weekend!

Wow, that definitely boosted my Happy Metre.

ar3Kx

Cue Happy Dance

It really made my day to learn my books were so well received, and at an event where they had to compete with hundreds of other exciting and interesting books! I believe my presence there on the Saturday helped (books are likely to get more attention if the actual author is there to engage with curious readers), but I have to give a shout-out to the incredible efforts of Catherine Davenport, who worked the booth the whole weekend, including set-up and pack-down, and helped to make my Saturday all the more enjoyable with her morale and good conversation.

So, I had a great time and experienced something new (including signing carry bags and t-shirts for the first time! … I had no idea that was a popular thing for readers to do at author events).

Will I attend similar events in the future? Of course! Why not! Not only is it a good opportunity to gain exposure as an author, but you get to meet so many other interesting and colourful people from the same profession (and you get to ogle books!).

Thanks again, Imaginarium 2.0, for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to the next event!

And now, I need to get back to writing Book 4 of the Dragon Calling series!

typing cat

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Dragon Calling Characters Go Pop Vinyl, AGAIN!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been two years since my debut Character Pop Vinyl post!

Even after all these years, the POP vinyl craze has not diminished as a fad. In fact, if anything, it seems to have grown! The number of franchises joined to the Funko merchandise list has expanded significantly, spreading to more book characters (e.g. Where the Wild Things Are, Peanuts, Dr. Seuss), famous solo figures (e.g. Bob Ross, Cthulhu, Michael Jackson, William Wallace) and even characters from TV series long past their aired seasons (e.g LOST, Alias, Firefly).

And as new games and series are released, more POPs will inevitably pop up! Haha, terrible pun intended. A-hem. But that’s the beauty of the POP vinyl franchise; the little big-headed characters will keep on coming, so long as Pop Culture shows, books & games endure.

Ah, so many cute and clever little POPs to choose from, and to look forward to!

The ones I, personally, would be most excited to see come into being are … *drum roll* my own Dragon Calling POPs of course! 😉

There are so many characters in my Dragon Calling series. I gave you a sample platter of fantastical cuteness in my first POP character post, but that was not even half the current Dragon Calling cast.

During a recent break from working on Book 4 of the Dragon Calling series, I felt compelled to design a few more DC characters in the POP style. These ones are introduced in Book 3 (and some from Book 2), so if you haven’t read the books, you’ll have no idea who they are. But that doesn’t really matter; you can check them out anyway. 🙂

SO, without further ado, I present the next batch of Dragon Calling POP vinyl character figurines.

Enjoy the cuteness!

 

DC Pop Vinyl Concept Art Conso and HaskelDC Pop Vinyl Concept Art Ferule and ChaseDC Pop Vinyl Concept Art Maita and KushalDC Pop Vinyl Concept Art Yarad and AtanuDC Pop Vinyl Concept Art Gharth and RiinetaeDC Pop Vinyl Concept Hongrin Priest and Sadukravon

 

Let me know what you think! Which are your favourites? Which ones would you add to your Pop Vinyl collection? Are there any characters not here that you would like to see turned into Pop Vinyl figurine designs?

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Dragon Calling and Myers-Briggs Typing

quote-we-cannot-safely-assume-that-other-people-s-minds-work-on-the-same-principles-as-our-isabel-briggs-myers-58-49-78

I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now, and finally, finally, I’ve put all the pieces together and gotten it done. What am I talking about, exactly?

Why, assigning Myers-Briggs Personality Types to my Dragon Calling characters, of course!

For those who are unfamiliar, the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective system of Personality Types based on psychologist Carl Jung’s theory of cognitive perceptions in how people view the world around them and make decisions. The are sixteen Types in the system, comprised of a 4-letter combination from eight possible choices of cognitive preferences:

Introvert (I) or Extrovert (E)

Sensor (S) or Intuitive (N)

Feeler (F) or Thinker (T)

Judger (J) or Perceiver (P)

Now I know that “personality typing” is not an 100% accurate discipline, but the Myers-Briggs is one of the more involved systems, and, I think, the most fascinating to research.

Not only are there the eight preferences, but there are also eight cognitive functions further developed and categorized based on whether they are predominantly extraverted or introverted, judging or perceiving.

And then there’s the whole theory of shadow functions. But let’s not get side-tracked!

Here’s what the eight cognitive functions look like:

Introverted Sensing (Si)
Introverted Intuition (Ni)
Introverted Thinking (Ti)
Introverted Feeling (Fi)

Extraverted Sensing (Se)
Extraverted Intuition (Ne)
Extraverted Thinking (Te)
Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

And here they are, divided into Introverted, Extraverted, Judging & Perceiving:

Introverted Functions (Si, Ni, Ti, Fi)
Extraverted Functions (Se, Ne, Te, Fe)
Judging Functions (Ti, Te, Fi, Fe)
Perceiving Functions (Si, Se, Ni, Ne)

Is your mind scrambled yet? Haha! Don’t worry; I’ve been doing research for weeks now, and I’m still having difficulty wrapping my mind around it all.

I won’t prattle on and on about it, so if you’re curious you can click on any of the links I’ve provided and check out more in-depth descriptions and examples of what Myers-Briggs is all about. Also, have a look at K. M. Weiland’s post on how to use Myers-Briggs for fictional characters. She explains things in a much clearer and absorbing way than I.

At any rate, suffice to say I am very interested in Myers-Briggs. Especially when it comes to working out the different Types for fictional characters! Hence why I have spent the last couple of weeks working on figuring out what Types my Dragon Calling characters are.

There are a lot of characters in the Dragon Calling series, so naturally I haven’t finished Typing them all. But I’ve discovered a character for each of the sixteen types, and created a special MBTI chart for you to check out.

ENJOY!

dragon calling myers briggs chart

 

What do you think of Myers-Briggs? Have you worked out your Type before? (You don’t need to let a random quiz decide for you; just find some websites with in-depth breakdowns and descriptions of the different types and work it out by dissecting the different functions for yourself).

If you already know your type, which Dragon Calling character are you aligned with?

Feel free to send me your thoughts in the comments below.

P.S In case you were wondering, I’m an INFJ. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Prowling the Prose – Alternatives to Overused Words

“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason boys–to woo women–and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.” – N. H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

Well now, witty and withered web-wanderers, I bid you a warm welcome to my latest blogging endeavour. I am sure you are as pleased to have me return from my prowlings, as I am to be here, ready to share more of my werecat wisdom.

whim werecat lying down pose

For those who are unaware (shame on you!) I am the Whimsical Werecat. For those who are already acquainted … I am perfectly pleased to host you again.

This blog’s subject is a light touching on the sorry case of overused words. I suppose a large majority of overused words end up in the “filler” pile, too, but that is a different (though somewhat related) subject that will not be addressed this time around.

Now, little humans, please understand, there is nothing wrong with any of the words I have in my chart below. They are practical, useful, and when all is said an done, totally acceptable additions to any compiled prose. There is, however, the threat of turning your fine written work into a repetitive, distracting pile of goblin mush if you decide to use these words over and over again in every available paragraph, choosing laziness over expansion and style.

The English language is a smorgasbord of words!

There is no shortage of creative and colourful expression, and so no excuse to be lazy or boring with your writing. Now, in saying that, you don’t want to hurry off and pull apart your work, making sure every adjective and verb is different than the last one used to describe the same thing. That’s like dumping a dreadfully thoughtless amalgamation of herbs and spices onto your freshly steamed vegetables. Too many different seasonings, and the food is lost in an avalanche of clashing flavours.

Simplicity is key to an enjoyable meal (and read!), but you should never leave (either of them) bland. Spice is good. So is sauce. Those things help to make food pop and prickle and sing!

So, with the food analogy in mind, be sure to add a balanced amount of variation into your writing. The chart below will help with some (of many) overused words by giving you a little list of alternative choices.

Yes. You’re welcome.

prowling the prose alternative for overused words

 

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