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).

fullspike

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):

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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:

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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’.

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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!

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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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The Return from Supanova

April 21st-23rd was the massively popular Gold Coast Supanova Pop Culture Expo!

Supanova is Australia’s equivalent to the USA’s Comic-Con, and takes place five times a year, at five bustling cities across Australia (although, we also have the Comic-Con conventions as well, so we get double the awesomeness!).

This year my Dragon Calling store doubled in size; yep, that’s right, I had two tables set up this time around, and it looked awesome!

Here’s a couple of shots of us Bumping-in and setting everything up on the Friday (a special shout-out to Chris for helping us with everything, including taking these photos!).

ALSO, this year I decided to cosplay as one of my books characters (Shifra). My sister and ever-helpful convention assistant has cosplayed as Lady Megandel (also from the DC series) for the past few conventions, but this is the first time I have joined her. Not only that, my awesome nephew was eager to jump on board the cosplay wagon, and even forked out some of his own funds toward putting together his Norf cosplay outfit (what a little Champion!).

So, for the entirety of the Saturday, there were three of us dressed up as characters from the book series! Shifra (morwulf), Norf (satyr) and Lady Megandel (faerie). As you can imagine, we got a lot of attention; it was a pretty fantastic experience!

Here are a couple of group shots:

I’ll definitely be cosplaying in the future (although with a couple of tweaks–a lighter shade of purple, and a little fixing of the fox tail). Even my nephew wants to go as Norf again, although we’ll be adding some cushioning into his wig to better protect his ears (by the end of the day, he was sure his ‘real’ ears were ready to fall off! lol).

Sunday saw us all dress as normal humans, which sadly, we didn’t get any photos of (my bad!). But the set-up was the same, and we had an equally awesome day.

THE highlight of my weekend was getting to meet and chat with renowned voice actor (as well as singer, song-writer, actor and director!) Vic Mignogna. I was able to get him to sign my special Edward Elric and Laeka’Draeon picture PLUS get a photo with him. See the awesome pic below!

Vic and Nez

I first met Vic during his first visit to the Gold Coast Supanova, back in April 2013. Back then, my first book wasn’t even published. I told him a little about my writing journey, and that I had a booth at the convention, and lo-and-behold, he came to check out my stall (during his lunch-break!!!). I was so chuffed, and humbled. If ever my name becomes as well-known as his, I want to follow in his footsteps and really take the time and effort to love on my fans. It was just such a wonderful experience. 🙂

Oh, and something else new at this convention was my Special Edition Character Prints! They really made the wall-space of my booth shine, and I can’t wait to show them off again at the next convention!

SO, another Gold Coast Supanova under my belt. I met heaps of cool people, and new fans (and even returning ones!). We even made friends with one of the event security guards. He was such a cool guy, and he loved the Laeka’Draeon plush! (which is still available to Pre-Order via the GoFundMe project.

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I absolutely love going to these conventions and can’t wait for the next one. I have applied for the Brisbane Comic-Con in September (fingers crossed they accept my submission), and am going to apply for a booth at the Brisbane Madman Anime Festival in June (this one will be a new one for me). And of course, I’ll be back at Supanova again, come November, when it’s Brisbane’s turn to host the event.

GEEK CONS FOREVER!

Over and out, my wonderful Dragon-Seekers.

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What February Brings

Hello February!

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Or, in the case of Australia, arrives like a bone-melting sun flare, which sends us all into prayers of gratitude for this gift we know as Air Conditioning.

 

Well, actually we’re almost two weeks into the month, but a belated welcome is better than none. 😉

I hope 2017 has launched spectacularly for all of you, my fellow dragon-seekers and creative dreamers. If January ended up stalling, it’s never too late to kick-start back into gear; the year is young, and anything is possible!

For me, January was a bit of a respite month, as far as pulling back from working on the bigger projects of my writing/ drawing. December saw me finally finish the Special Edition Dragon Calling Character Card designs, and while throughout that month (actually probably since October) I’ve been making plot notes and mentally preparing myself to start writing Book 4 of my series, I made sure to wind down a little and not get (too) carried away with everything that I wanted/ needed to get done.

Although, I did have to make sure everything was ready in regards to releasing my second Companion Guide (formatting checks, file submissions, setting dates blah blah blah). BUT, the majority of the work was already done, so January was a steady plod-plod-plod toward “Good To Go” status.

And it is! TODAY is the official launch of The Beacon Thrones Companion Guide (which you can purchase HERE). Happy Birthday to my 5th published book!

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Now, jumping back to January; I want to share with you a commission project I worked on during that month (since, you know, I was “taking a break” from focusing 100% on Dragon Calling stuff).

A friend of mine asked if I could design an exclusive chibi character for her to add to her (amazing!) Planner Sticker range. Her etsy store Plan It Beautiful has been well received and highly rated, and it’s no wonder–she is an amazing designer and has a sensational eye for artistic loveliness and detail.

So when she asked for the chibi commission, I was happy to jump on board; not simply because she is a friend, but because she strives for quality and excellence, and it’s always a pleasure to be a part of something of that calibre. If you’re into Planner journals and sticker sets, you should seriously take a look at her stock; it’s fantastic!

Here are some samples of that character “Charlie” that I created for Plan It Beautiful.

NOTE: I shouldn’t have to say it, but these images are copyright protected. Sorry, but you can’t use them.

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It’s rare that I make myself available for commissions, but the timing for this was just right. And it ended up being a really fun project to do (although I lost count of the hours it took to do it). But I managed to get all the requested Charlie designs completed before the end of Jan, which meant I could re-direct my focus toward starting my big Dragon Calling Projects, come February.

And now, it’s February, and *drum roll* I have officially started writing Book 4 of my Dragon Calling series! I already have the cover design in mind, and also the book title (but both will remain a secret until the book is completed, sorry!).

I’ve also been working on a very special cosplay that I’ll be using during the pop-culture conventions this year. Once I have more of the pieces of the outfit, I’ll post updates on the Dragon Calling Facebook page. It’s going to look so awesome once it’s all done and ready (since I’m on the subject of Dragon Calling, you can likely guess that the cosplay is related).

Phew! So this year has started off with bang! And I’ll be spending the rest of the year writing Book 4, as well as working on side projects like the next set of promo posters (Book 3 allies and enemies), getting the dragon plushie funded (don’t forget you can pledge any amount toward the project, right HERE), and slowly chip away at bits and pieces of the third Companion Guide. But I have to make sure my priorities stay in the right order (with everything I want to do, I can get carried away and side-tracked if I’m not careful).

I shall repeat to myself every day “Book 4 comes first. Book 4 comes first.”, so that all you wonderful readers of mine who are eagerly waiting to find out what happens next, won’t be pining for too long. Look hopefully toward an April/ May 2018 release.

And there we have it. That’s what I’ve been up to these past six weeks. And this year is only going to get more awesome! But it’s only going to be as awesome as we make it.

So make it so!

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UPCOMING RELEASE – The Beacon Thrones Companion Guide

I know it’s belated but … HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

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I have some EXCITING news for all you Dragon Calling fans.

Come February 12th, the second book in my Companion Guide collection will be available!

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COMING FEB 12TH!

That’s right, The Beacon Thrones Companion Guide is on the cusp of publication! It will include new creature profiles, and new information of various locations Laeka’Draeon and company travel through in The Beacon Thrones novel; not to mention, new “General Knowledge” info, new (and very interesting!) histories/ fables, as well as the three newest, and ever-popular, Prologue Comics. There are over 50 illustrations, and 29 pages of comics!

Check out some of the illustration samples below!

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PLUS, I’ve gone ahead and added The Beacon Throne promo posters to the back of the book (just because they’re awesome, and I’m sure fans will appreciate the extra illustrations). I have also revised the Kin Seeker Companion Guide to include the Kin Seeker promo posters at the back too, so the Guides have similar content.

Anyway, I wanted to let all you wonderful fantasy compadres know about my upcoming release, to keep you informed, and to hopefully spark some interest! 😉

If you’d like to grab yourself a copy of the Guide, you can pre-order one right HERE!

That link will take you to my little Dragon Calling Shop. You can also grab yourself a copy of the Kin Seeker Companion Guide, too, if you don’t already one one! The pre-orders will really help toward supporting my online shop, so if you can pre-order, please do so! The Companion Guides are fantastic additions to the Dragon Calling universe, and a perfect addition to any fantasy-readers collection!

NOTE: Being a “Companion” Guide, it goes without saying that the information in the guide ties closely with details in The Beacon Thrones novel. So, if you haven’t yet read the book, I would not recommend purchasing the Guide (same goes for Kin Seeker novel, and Kin Seeker Comp Guide). BUT, you can easily remedy that problem by purchasing the book + the the guide! All my books are available on my Dragon Calling Shop.

ALSO: Don’t forget, I still have my Dragon Plushie project ongoing over at GoFundMe.

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If you want to see the Laeka’Draeon plush go through to production, your support will help make it happen! Any pledge amount helps, and your name will down on my list of “Awesomely Awesome People That I Will Be Grateful To Forever”. Doesn’t that sound nice! 😉

Oh! And I can’t forget to mention the other tier reward you can choose on the GoFundMe project page (aside from the plushie). I spent weeks working on these beautiful Special Edition Dragon Calling Character Cards. They will come in the large ‘postcard’ size (I originally put them as 5×7 inch in size, but I believe they will actually be BIGGER: A5 size).

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So if you’re more of an art fan than a plush fan, you can order the Character Cards instead!

Aaaand, that about wraps up my ramblings! I apologise that it’s basically all product promotion stuff but … actually, I’m not sorry. This is what I do for a living, and it’s you guys, my awesome fans, and your support, that help to keep me going. So, I’ve got to let you guys know about all my goods somehow, right?

Thanks for being awesome, and I hope to be able to post out a bunch of pre-ordered Comp Guides, come FEB 12th. 🙂

 

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The Hard Truth About Publishing—What Writers & Readers NEED to Know

Some harsh truths and important insights into the world of publishing, summarized very well by Kristen Lamb.
I encourage all readers and fellow writers (especially fledgling writers) to read this and take an extended moment to think about how important it is that we support each other; especially readers supporting the writers they like.
Cheers everyone! 2016 is almost done!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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As we careen toward the New Year, many emerging writers have a goal to finally publish that novel and I hope you do! But the arts are kind of strange. We often get fixated on the creative side, without really understanding the business side of our business.

The publishing world is still in massive upheaval and it is a Digital Wild West. Old rules are falling away and new ones are emerging, but still? Knowledge is power.

In my book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World, I go into a LOT more detail and I highly recommend you get a copy if you don’t have one. I spend the first chapters of the book explaining how the various forms of publishing work so you can make an educated decision as you are building your brand.

All types of publishing have corresponding strengths and weaknesses and this is…

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