Tag Archives: dragons

Author Interview: Ronesa Aveela

Author Ronesa Aveela is “the creative power of two.” Two authors writing as one to introduce the world to the rich and magical culture of Bulgaria. Please welcome them to No Wasted Ink.

Author Ronesa AveelaThis is the pen name of two authors: Nelly Toncheva and Rebecca Carter (who will be answering questions today). Nelly is married and has two children. In the late 90s, she came to the U.S. from Bulgaria when her husband won a national lottery (not monetary, but immigration). She enjoys painting to relax. Rebecca is happily single. She’s lived her entire live in New England: hates the cold, but it’s home. She enjoys reading, knitting, and baking, although author-related tasks take up most of her time nowadays.

When and why did you begin writing?

Our writing career began in 2011, when Nelly asked me to help her with a book she had written in Bulgarian, a romantic fantasy about a place she fell in love with when she visited: Emona, Bulgaria. Since English wasn’t her native language and I had a background in editing and publishing, she wanted help making it sound good in English.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. In my senior year in high school, as part of a class assignment, I wrote a short murder mystery in the style of Agatha Christie. It was one of the few papers that impressed the teacher enough that she read it to the class. Since then, writing has been the most enjoyable part of the various jobs I’ve held.

As far as professional writing is concerned, although we started working on the book in 2011, it wasn’t until we finally published it in 2014 that the word “writer” became “author.”

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I’m working on the second book in a nonfiction series called “Spirits and Creatures,” which focuses on the mythology and folklore of Eastern Europe. This book is about Rusalki, Slavic mermaids. All the books in the series are geared toward the non-academic world to bring the rich culture and mythology of Bulgaria and the eastern world to the western world. The books include artwork and stories to make the creatures come alive, as well as links to videos and music.

What inspired you to write this book?

In our fantasy book The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village, a character possesses a book called Lamia’s Bible. This book holds the secrets of all the creatures who live in Dragon Village. I wanted to know what secrets these creatures might have that would enable someone to defeat them, so I did more research. I discovered a wealth of information that I wanted to share.

Do you have a specific writing style?

The writing depends on the type of book we are working on. We write fiction (adult and children’s) and non-fiction. The first book in the adult fantasy (Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey) is slower paced, with many descriptions, as we want to draw the reader into the location and customs of the people. The children’s fiction (one full-length novel and a few short stories) are faster paced, with more action. We wanted to make the nonfiction books fun, so the writing style is chatty.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

I’ll talk about our recent book, The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village. Bulgarian folklore references “unborn children” (boys and girls), who will become great heroes because at least one of their parents is a supernatural creature. Quite often, the mother is human and the father is a dragon. Other heroes are born from a Samodiva (woodland nymph) and a human father whom the nymph enchanted. Dragon Village (Zmeykovo in Bulgarian) is a place at the end of the world where all the mythical creatures live in the wintertime. They return to the human world on March 25, which in Bulgaria is called Blagovets.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Besides wanting to introduce people to the world of Bulgarian mythology and folklore, The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village wants kids to know they are not alone. There are people who can help them accomplish their goals in life if they work together as a team. And, their differences make them unique and special.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

No, but every kid has a fantasy about being special, especially if that child is different. We all long to believe in the stories we were told as a child. In Bulgaria, Samodivi are still very much alive in the minds of the people. They are beloved and feared.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

My favorite authors when I was growing up were Agatha Christie and Taylor Caldwell. They both made me think. With Christie, it was a matter of using my mind to solve a murder mystery. With Caldwell, it was pondering the world: politics, religion, life in general.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

I’d pick Neil Gaiman. Having recently read his American Gods book, I’d like to know more about his research methods into various mythologies that he included in the book.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Nelly designed the cover for The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village. Even though she does her own artwork, we decided to have the cover illustrated by Dmitry Yakhovsky. He does marvelous illustrations and works quickly.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up. It can be frustrating, but find other authors you can talk with about issues you are having. We’ve all gone through it, and are willing to support each other.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Indie authors love hearing from you. A single kind word or message does so much to brighten our day and make the struggles of publishing worth it. Please also take the time to write reviews, even a sentence or two telling others what you thought of the books you’ve read.

CS-Cover_UnbornHeroRonesa Aveela
Swanzey, NH and Virginia Beach, VA

FACEBOOK
GOODREADS
TWITTER
INSTAGRAM
PINTEREST
BOOKBUB
YOUTUBE

The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village

Cover Artist: Dmitry Yakhovsky
Publisher: Bendideia Publishing

AMAZON
BOOKS2READ

Author Interview: Paige L Cristie

Author Paige L. Cristie claims to be not much of a plotter. She prefers to start with a character or an idea and let the story take her where it will. A slow writer, she types “terribly”, and edits like mad. Writing many more words than ever in up in the story.  Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author Paige CristieHi! I’m an opinionated Yankee who loves to read, write, dance, laugh, cross country ski, and snuggle with my 3-legged cat, Timmy. I was raised in Maine and currently live in the Western North Carolina Mountains where I am the Executive Director of a non-profit. I practice middle eastern stage and folkloric dance, enjoy good wine, good books, and good friends. I’m also a founding member of the Blazing Lioness Writers. I am caretaker of 2 dogs and 3 cats, and they all like to crawl over the keyboard when I write—which gets really interesting when it’s taken into account that one dog is a 60lb coonhound…

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was about seven years old. I was a horse crazy child and a lot of my stories where horse adventures – usually from the horse’s POV. I don’t recall the why of it, I just had stories to tell.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have considered myself a writer for as long as I can remember. What I never considered was that anyone might want to read any stories I wrote. I have always written because I couldn’t not write. But, having grown up when publishing was a great mystery that happened in large cities to people who knew how to outline novels (so I thought), it never occurred to me until 2015 to try to get anything I wrote out into the world.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I am finishing up the third of four books in my Legacies of Arnan series. It’s feminist high fantasy with old west overtones and dragons. Because of course dragons! The books are about the power of friendship, and story, and the inner strength it takes to forge a way in the world despite any odds. The first book is Draigon Weather and the second is Wing Wind. Book 3, Long Light, will be released in the fall of 2019. Storm Forged will be out in late 2020.

What inspired you to write this book?

Draigon Weather started with a question – What if the woman chained to the rock waiting to be eaten by the dragon wanted to be there? Why would that be? What would it mean to those tasked with saving her? What would happen?

Do you have a specific writing style?

Other than slow? Seriously, I’m a slow writer. And I tend to like flowing, complex sentences that evoke image and emotion. I’m a little bit literary, but not ‘fancy’. I’m not sure how to describe it, but there is definitely a unique tone to my words when I get rolling.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Well, the book is at heart a dragon book, so I always knew that would be part of the title. And not only do the dragons control weather in the series, but all the characters ‘weather’ a lot as the story goes on. So, it’s a bit of a wordplay in that respect. Then, once I decided on Dragon Weather, I did a quick online search. Which, of course, revealed another book of that name. That’s when I changed to the Celtic spelling: Draigon, and thus was Draigon Weather born.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Oh, there are several. Not the least of which is the power of story and education to change lives, and the dangers of being unwilling to look beyond the obvious expectations of society.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Well here’s a list that can get long in a hurry…but to narrow things down, Janny Wurts is a huge influence – her unexpected use of language and the depth of her storytelling and character development are things I can only strive toward. Also, Robert B. Parker for his brilliant, tight dialogue and unique character creation, Robin McKinley for her fabulous feminist storytelling, Ursula LeGuinn for her ability to make readers think beyond themselves, Orson Scott Card for the rhythm of his writing, Peter Straub and Dan Simmons for the depth of their plotting, Max Brand for his intense character creation, Gloria Naylor for her ability to make the simple seem magical, Leslie Marmon Silko with her skill at making her characters bear witness to truth…Yeah…I could keep going for about four hours.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Well, the list of writers above have all been mentors in their own way, just mostly from afar, just through my reading and studying of their works. I have been lucky that both Janny Wurts and David B. Coe have taken an interest in helping me along toward a real career as an author, and I am greatly honored by their willingness to help and answer all my inane questions.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

The cover of my books are designed by ARTE RAVE in conjunction with my Publisher, Prospective Press.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write. Write. Write. Write. READ – as much or more than you write. Take advice when it’s offered, examine it, filter it, use what makes sense to you. Be willing to learn, always. Edit like your life depends on it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! I never really thought, growing up, that my works would ever have readers, so the thought that people take their time and energy to read my books still boggles my mind. I am more grateful than I can say for people giving my books a shot – and even reviewing them! Readers rule!

Draigon Weather Book CoverPaige L Christie
Bryson City, NC

FACEBOOK
TWITTER

Draigon Weather: The Legacies of Arnan

Cover Artist: ARTE RAVE w/Prospective Press
Publisher: Prospective Press

AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
INDIE BOUND
PROSPECTIVE PRESS

 

Author Interview: Richard Fierce

Richard Fierce is a fantasy author best known for his novella The Last Page. He’s also one of the creative brains behind the Allatoona Book Festival, a literary event in Acworth, Georgia. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author Richard FierceMy name is Richard Fierce and I write fantasy. My day job is in the tech industry, but my passion is writing. I hope to be a full-time writer by the end of 2018! I have 4 dogs (three huskies), three cats, two birds and a dwarf hamster. My wife and three step-daughters are animal fanatics and “No” apparently means “Yes” in my house. My daily commute is 4 hours round trip. The office I work at is 82 miles from my house, and I drive through Atlanta traffic. People in Georgia drive like they aren’t afraid to die if that tells you anything.

When and why did you begin writing?

I have been writing since I was in elementary school, but I really got serious about it in 2007/2008. I self-published a novella that had been collecting dust and began my publishing career. I began writing because I love telling stories. The creative side of my brain is constantly coming up with ideas, so I always joke that I have more unfinished story ideas than I do friends.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve always considered myself a writer, even before I was published, but I didn’t consider myself an “author” until my first book went out into the world. I think a lot of writers have that backward, though. They don’t think they are writers until they have something published. I disagree with that view. Regardless of whether or not you are published, if you write, you are a writer.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

My book is titled Dragonsphere. It’s the first in a completed four book series and sets the stage for the events that happen across two kingdoms. These kingdoms have been at war for as long that no one really remembers why they’re even still fighting. When a dragon starts ravaging cities of both kingdoms, they have to put their differences aside to stop it. The top of each chapter has a quote from someone, either a historical figure in that world or a current character, and gives insight into the history of the world that isn’t in the main narrative.

The Kingdom of Talvaard had a great persecution break out against wizards, and so they do not have wizards to help them against their enemies. The Kingdom of Oakvalor has wizards but no weapon smiths because Talvaard has assassinated all of them. Both kingdoms have an advantage over the other, and this is what forces them into a truce, however temporary, to stop the dragon.

What inspired you to write this book?

The idea for Dragonsphere came to me as I was helping my wife in the nursery of a church. She was watching the younger kids and one of them was playing with a toy ball that had buttons all over it. When you pushed the buttons, it played music. I thought to myself, “What if there was something inside that ball, and if the music didn’t get played so often, it would escape?” That idea slowly turned into this book.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m always working on my craft, but I can’t think of any “style” that I have aside from being a “narrative” writer. I aim to entertain readers, but not with the beauty of language or anything. I use descriptive language so that readers can envision or imagine the scenery and characters.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The title came about as a play on words. It’s Dragonsphere, which is an item in the story, but the play on words is dragon(s) fear. Classic fantasy always shows people being overcome with an intense fear when dragons show up, and I thought it was rather fitting to play into the classic trope.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

When I write, I try to weave things that people can relate to into the story. One of the main characters in the book is a monk, and he struggles with faith. I think that’s something many people can relate to. I know I do. The character poses questions, both philosophical and honest, and learns about different beliefs as the story progresses. While not direct events, I have experienced this in my own life.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Good questions! My idols are R.A. Salvatore and Margaret Weis. I find Margaret’s storytelling to be so in depth and well thought out. Salvatore is a master of storytelling as well, and I love how he keeps you engaged with the characters and shows you their inner thoughts.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

Yes, actually. Pdmac is a sci-fi writer I met at a convention a few years ago. He lives in the same area as I do and we talk at least once a week. We share each other’s WIPs with one another for feedback. He’s a mentor in that he makes me think of things I hadn’t considered before and poses questions that make me re-think why I’m writing a scene a certain way or points out passive voice. He’s a mentor and an editor, I suppose.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Saeed Ramez did the art. I chose him because his style fits what I was looking for (and he let me use the art for free!) Sapphire Designs did the formatting and typography. I posted my original cover in the 20Coversto50K Facebook group and she had some pointers on how to make it better. I’m not a designer, so when she offered to fix it up for me, I was more than welcome for the help. She charged me a very fair amount, too.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing. Even the most prolific writers suffer from self-doubt. I find the way to fight through that doubt is to keep writing and working on my craft. Don’t let your work die in the hands of the critics. As I see the sales starting to increase, it adds to the feeling that you are doing something worthwhile. My worst critic is self, but I always remind myself that no one lies to me more than I lie to myself.

Richard Fierce Dragonsphere EbookRichard Fierce
Rockmart, Georgia

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
GOODREADS

Dragonsphere

Cover Artist: Saeed Ramez

AMAZON

Author Interview: Maya Starling

Author Maya Starling has many writing credits in addition to her fantasy novels.  Her short stories have been featured in anthologies and on fandom websites. In 2017, she had the honor of being the Guest Editor-in-Chief for the English installment of a Croatian SF&F Fanzine called Parsek, a Worldcon edition. She was greatly received at Worldcon and was proud to promote local Croatian authors and artists.  Please give her a warm welcome to No Wasted Ink.

Author Maya StarlingI’m Maya Starling, a fantasy author from a little country called Croatia. I like to introduce myself as a writer, geek, animal lover and a gamer. I’m a Browncoat, a Trekkie, and I like Star Wars. I’m a big Joss Whedon fan, Buffy all the way, loving Avengers, #TeamCaptain. I think that LOTR are the best Christmas movies. I have two rescue cats. As for the gamer part, I’ve lived the life of an oracle, a paladin, a bard, a rebel, a mortician… all while rolling the dice, sitting around the table with some of my closest friends.

Of course, I love reading, preferably fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and romance. So hard to choose a favorite book but there are a few that have left a long-lasting impression. And let’s not forget graphic novels, and one of my favorites is Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore.

Last, but not least, I’m a mom to a very wonderful little boy.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started about eight years ago and writing pulled me out of depression and gave me a purpose what life kept bringing me down.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It took me some time to consider myself a writer. At first, I kept writing and saying that I was an aspiring writer, but then a friend said… you don’t aspire, you already write. You are a writer already.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I’m currently working on two books. Started the third in my Dragons Awaken series and finishing up a dark fantasy, a stand-alone novel called Vengeance Upturned.

What inspired you to write this book?

An illustration, then the description of the illustration, and then the character and the world were born, encouraging me to write their story.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think I have a very specific writing style because I’m still growing as a writer. I live vivid imagery without being too wordy. I like casual, down to earth characters, and I especially love making my characters grow. So, most of my stories are character driven.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

I really don’t remember. It just came to me. (feel free to skip this answer)

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I think that Vengeance Upturned has a deep message about overcoming grief, about how different people deal differently with a loss. It’s about hitting rock bottom (mentally and emotionally) and then finding your way back to the light. And that it’s okay to ask and accept help.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

L.M. Bujold, Carrie Vaughn, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Roger Zelazny… All of them are inspiring because they finished a book and got published, and they continued writing something I enjoy reading. But I found L.M. Bujold’s Sharing Knife Trilogy to be defining books when it comes to my writing, the ones that inspired me to write my own story. Simple, effective prose, loveable down-to-earth characters, simple yet complex plot. You just have to read it.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Not one, but many, especially my fellow authors by providing feedback on my books and stories. That’s how I learned and grew the most in my writing.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

The two books I’m working on don’t have covers yet. But, for my first two, I did the cover design, and for the second of those two, I worked with a local illustrator for the custom artwork, because he is an undiscovered gem and I wanted to promote local talent; Borna Nikola Zezelj.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Persevere. Write. Read. Learn. Write some more. Read even more. Don’t give up. Don’t let the self-doubt win. Ask for feedback. Don’t take it personally, and grow from it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I’m just happy that you enjoy my characters, my stories, and my worlds. What more could I ask for? I hope I continue creating that magic, and that you keep on reading. And please, feel free to reach out and contact me. Love you all!

Dragons Treasure Book CoverMaya Starling
Zagreb, Croatia (Europe)

FACEBOOK
TWITTER

Dragon’s Treasure

Cover Artist: Borna Nikola Zezelj 

AMAZON

Author Interview: CJ McKee

Author CJ McKee has been writing short stories and doing other forms of art and music since he was young. “Creativity is utmost in my endeavors.” Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author CJ McKeeGreetings! I’m C.J. McKee and I’ve been writing or doing some sort of creative thing for many years. Music, art, you name it which includes making costumes and going to fantasy/sci-fi conventions! I love to dabble in new things!

When and why did you begin writing?

I first got the writing bug way back in grade and high school. However, I didn’t pick it up again, and more seriously until much later. I always loved dragons since as far back as I can remember. In literature, I felt they were never written as anything other than a pest or dangerous being. I wrote my own version, a short story starting in the late 90’s and continued to build on the “realms” until it became a published novel.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

The moment I sat down to write novels. I wrote short stories before that but hadn’t seriously considered publishing. Once I set my mind to it and had them edited and published I knew.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Blood and Bane: The Dragon Sage Chronicles is about the Realms ruled by Dragons. All who reside on the land are under the Sovereign Dragons’ rule and must not defile the Land nor harm the balance of the Realms of Arydd. If they do, they suffer the wrath of the Dragons. The Dragon Sage. a wizard of sorts is the liaison between those in the realms and the Sovereigns. He must train others in the art of magic in order to help watch over the humans. For there are those who wish to defile the land for their own selfish needs.

What inspired you to write this book?

Dragons typically are seen or written as being hoarders, dangerous, deadly and a general nuisance. I wanted to portray them in a more positive light. I have loved dragons all my life and wanted to put a positive spin on them. Additionally, how many dragons do you know who are rulers over humans and other life forms?

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’d like to think I have my own, third person with some inner dialogue of the characters. I’ve been told my writing reminds them of Christopher Paolini (Eragon).

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The story revolves around family ties and dark magicks. Those who’re bad guys (evil wizards) are called banes. The Dragon Sage Chronicles refers to the main character, Galddor who is a liaison between the Realms and the Sovereign Dragons.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Don’t take the world around you for granted.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

No, however, the amber eyes of the dragons is in honor to my dog who passed away in 2001.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Ray Bradbury. His writing is one of my favorite styles to read. His descriptions are beyond compare and his ideas are incredible. JRR Tolkien for the fantasy aspect, of course. He created the world that forever changed fantasy novels for years to come.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Ray Bradbury. I felt he was my boyhood hero because of his ability to write a science fiction world that spoke to me. Also, I met him and saw one of his lectures many years ago. A bright, enthusiastic man who saw the world through the eyes of wonder and potential.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I did. I dabble in many styles of art and had this idea for the cover that I thought conveyed the amber eyes of the dragons as well as their ever watching gaze on the land.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read, learn and absolutely get an editor for your writing if you intend to publish. It is well worth it!!!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope you enjoy the world I have created. May you watch the second moon rise with someone you love…

dragonsagecoverpart4-199x300C.J. McKee
Whitefish, Montana

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
GOODREADS
YOUTUBE

Blood and Bane: The Dragon Sage Chronicles

AMAZON
B&N
SMASHWORDS