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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Prowling the Prose – Collective Nouns: Fantasy Edition

“All is one and one is all. The world is all … and I am that one.” – FMA

Goodness, it was about time I made my way back to this blog! My prowlings have taken me to many a yonder place, but of course I felt compelled to return and give you scrawny web wanderers some invaluable insight from the vaults of my fabulous mind.

Poor little dears. Always inundated with all sorts of nonsense on this thing called “internet”. Like flies in a spider’s sticky trap. So careful now, and keep your wits about you.

At least you know your delicate little senses are safe on this blog, and especially with me, the Whimsical Werecat.

whim werecat lying down pose

Today I bring you a special treat! You all know what collective nouns are, right? If not, the standard description is: a noun that appears singular in form but denotes a group of persons, creatures, or objects. They are the nouns used when describing a collection/ group of related things.

Some you may know off the top of your head, like a pack of dogs, a herd of horses, a pride of lions, an audience of listeners, a pod of peas, a string of pearls, a tribe of natives, a troupe of acrobats, or a team of athletes.

Some may be a little less familiar, like a gaggle of geese, a murder of crows, a colony of fungi, an ambush of tigers, a flock of tourists, a coalition of cheetahs, or a parliament of owls.

There are also multiple collective nouns assigned to the same grouping, like a mob/ troop of kangaroos, a conspiracy/ unkindness of ravens, a cluster/ galaxy of stars, a colony/ horde/ mischief/ swarm of rats, a nest/ swarm/ bike of hornets, or a pack/ rout of wolves.

In other words, there are a lot of collective nouns. Many of which people do not use in regular conversations, or even written descriptions. Nevertheless, they are both fun and interesting to learn about.

So today I have with me a collection of collective nouns, and not just any old boring list … a list of VALADILIAN collective nouns! That’s right, I have gone and put together some of the official “group names” of some of Valadae’s most well-known creatures.

Enjoy being informed, and learning something new.

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The Wall-watcher – Prologue Comic VI

*Drum Roll* Here is it, the FINAL Character Prologue Comic for The Beacon Thrones Companion Guide.

This one is a little different than the others, as it follows one of the strangest secondary characters you meet in the book: the wall-watcher.

I hope you enjoy reading this bonus content on a very peculiar Valadilian creature, and if you do, I hope you take the opportunity to get yourself a copy of The Beacon Thrones Companion Guide, when it gets published. Not only will it have this comic in it, alongside the comics of Shifra and Ghinzel, but it will also contain additional content on the wall-watchers, which you can read about in the Tales of Valadae chapter of the Guide.

You can find all the available Prologue Comics HERE:

Anyhow, you’re here for the latest comic, so I will stop prattling and let you get clicking.

Enjoy!

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On a different note, I’ve moved my Dragon Plushie Project from Kickstarter (since the time limit has come and gone) onto GoFundMe. It would make me so happy if you took a moment to have a look at the project, and if you want to help fund it, do so. I promise it will be worth it! The plushie is amazing (19×12 inches, super soft velboa fabric, generous stuffing, embroidered features, and wired wings)! I spent almost three months working with the team at CustomToysUK to get the design just right, and it has paid off.

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Now it’s just a matter of getting the funds to send the plushie through to production. I hope you can help! I’d like to think of any pledges as a sort of pre-order; after all, however long it takes, I am determined this plushie will get made, and those who pledge for one, will get one. 🙂

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Ghinzel – The Misadventures of a Fellis

And here we are again, with ANOTHER Prologue Comic!

This time the cheerful and eager-to-please apprentice magician, Ghinzel, gets his turn in comic form. This is the third Prologue Comic that will be a part of the soon-to-be-published The Beacon Thrones Companion Guide.

You can check out all the other available Prologue Comics HERE.

Otherwise, now is the perfect time to check out the mischief and mayhem Ghinzel created leading up to his run-in with Laeka’Draeon and his companions! To read the comic, just click on the image of Ghinzel below.

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Alternatively, if you wish to show additional support toward my works, my first two books, Kin Seeker and The Beacon Thrones have their book covers entered into a fun little Cover Comp over at AuthorsDB.

You don’t need to sign in or join the site to vote, so if you have a spare minute of two, and wish to show your admiration of my cover designs ;), then I’d appreciate your vote. You can vote for either cover (whichever is your favourite), or both!

Also, there are many other great covers entered into the comp. If one stands out to you, show your support and vote for it! 🙂 This small act of kindness won’t take too much of your time and those who worked hard on the designs will be chuffed.

Just click on the cover images below and you will be taken to the Comp Page, where you can just scroll down and hit the “Vote” button. Simple! 🙂

Cover Art Kin Seeker Text 2 (853x1280)     Cover Art Beacon Thrones 3

Thanks dragon-seekers!
Keep being amazing!

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Shifra – The Next Prologue Comic!

A very big HELLO to my fellow dragon-seekers and curious blog readers!

Over the past several months I’ve been working hard at getting the next Companion Guide finished; the most difficult and time-consuming portion being the last third of the book: which is made up of the Prologue Comics.

To celebrate the many hours poured into these little ‘side stories’ I am happy to share with you all the FIRST prologue comic that will be part of The Beacon Thrones Companion Guide.

If you haven’t done so already, you can check out the other comics I’ve created, here.

Otherwise, click on the picture below to read all about Shifra’s prologue story!

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ALSO, don’t forget that I have my awesome kickstarter project going at the moment! If you want to be a part of helping me get Laeka’Draeon dragon plushies into production, click on the picture below and it will take you to Kickstarter. I appreciate any support given!

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Laeka’Draeon Dragon Plushie Kickstarter Campaign!

*drum roll*

IT HAS BEGUN!

For the past two and half months I have been working with the creative team over at CustomToysUK on a project that is very dear to me (and has me super excited). Since the beginning of my journey with my Dragon Calling series, I have always envisioned great things for it, including the books sitting in bookstores around the world, and the production and availability of a wide range of merchandise … including plushies!

Well now, thanks to my collaboration with the good folks at CustomToysUK, I have a prototype plushie of my dragon protagonist, Laeka’Draeon, shipped out and on his way to Australia. I can’t wait to meet him!

And, more importantly, I now have to opportunity to offer all my fans the chance to take home their very own, fully customised Laeka’Draeon plush!

But in order to see more than just the prototype Laeka’Draeon enjoying the benefits of existence, I will need the help of you guys (my friends, fans, and followers).

I have spent the last week working hard at putting together a fantastic Kickstarter campaign, offering cool rewards to anyone who wishes to help fund the Laeka’Draeon plushie, and see him put through to full production.

If dragon plushies and cool fantasy-themed merchandise are things you love to collect (or you know someone who does), please check out the link to my Kickstarter campaign below.

The campaign is now LIVE, and will run until October 31st AEST, and backers will only get charged if the project reaches it’s funding goal (with your help, we can make it!)

This is such a cool opportunity; owning your very own awesome dragon plush, based on a fully-developed fictional character!

All the information you need to know is explained in the campaign, but you are welcome to contact me via my site’s contact form if you have any questions.

So, what are you waiting for?

Check out the Laeka’Draeon Dragon Plushie Campaign!

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Cover Reveal: FAITHFUL


Today Michelle Hauck and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for FAITHFUL, book two in the Birth of Saints series which releases November 15, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win a SIGNED copy
of book 1, GRUDGING!
 
I am very pleased to be a part of sharing this Cover Reveal. Michelle was my editor for my books Kin Seeker, The Beacon Thrones, and the Kin Seeker Companion Guide. Her editorial expertise has been invaluable to me; plus she is an amazing person and exceptional writer.
So, here we go, on to the reveal! 





Title: FAITHFUL (Birth of Saints #2)

Author: Michelle Hauck

Pub. Date: November 15, 2016

Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse

Formats: eBook

ISBN: 9780062447173

Find it: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads



Following Grudging–and with a mix of Terry Goodkind and Bernard Cornwall–religion, witchcraft, and chivalry war in Faithful, the exciting next chapter in Michelle Hauck’s Birth of Saints series!



A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.


Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?


On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.


What they find instead is an old woman.


But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.


A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.

 
Exclusive Excerpt!
 
Not for the first time, Claire reconsidered her decision to stay when Ramiro had asked her. She’d lingered out of curiosity—and truthfully because it felt good to be needed—but they didn’t need her now with the Northern army defeated. She could return to the swamp and away from so many people. Despite her hopes of friends and community, she felt awkward here. Reason said she’d get used to their ways, but being around so many folk made her want to hide. Everything pressed down. The walls of the tent shrunk, pinning her in, and smothering her. It became hard to breathe.
She reached for a fresh strip of cloth, only to have her hand shake. She snatched the material and began to roll it, trying to shut out everything else, including her own doubts.
Before she could find a semblance of peace, though, someone shouted. Ladies screamed. Claire looked over her shoulder at the noise. A brown-bearded man in a poncho and a floppy hat ran in her direction. “My family is dead, because of the evacuations. Because of you.”
Claire gasped. He seemed to be talking to Beatriz, then his gaze found Claire.
“Witch!” His outstretched hand suddenly held a long butcher knife. “Witch! Stay away from us! Murderer! Abomination! Die!”
Fronilde dropped to the ground, but Claire couldn’t move. Surprise robbed her brain of a Song to stop him. Even the words of the Hornet Tune, which she knew as well as her name, deserted her. The man closed as everyone scrambled out of his way. Then Beatriz sprang from her chair to stand over Claire, holding up her hand. The tall, black-lace mantilla atop her head waved like a flag. “Stop.”
Something about the authority in the First Wife’s voice—or maybe her simple resistance instead of cringing or scrambling away—brought the man up short, making him pause for a moment. Just the moment the bodyguard needed to crush the lunatic to the floor and overpower him, wrestling free the knife. More guards came running from outside.
Breath rushed back in Claire’s lungs. Beatriz sniffed and touched a spot on her chest over her heart and then her forehead and stomach areas. “Imbecile. He didn’t know who he was dealing with.”
 
 
About Michelle: 


Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling
metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons
help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children
by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A
book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for
any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.
She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query
Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir
Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The
Elephant’s Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer’s Double Edge.
She’s repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.

Giveaway Details:
2 winners will receive a signed  of
GRUDGING, US Only.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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