Tag Archives: dragons

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

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Author Interview: Manner Hall

Author Manner Hall is a young upcoming fantasy author from Los Angeles. It is always my pleasure to feature local authors on my blog. Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author Manner HallMy name is Manner Hall, I am twenty-five years old. I am a published author, as well as a sword and vape collector. I also happen to be a muscle car fanatic. Alongside those pastimes, I enjoy spreading joy and happiness via my social media pages and in daily life. I have five loving fur babies, three dogs, and two cats. In recent months I have also been exploring the world of good health and a centered well being. I enjoy meeting new people, I feel that a person can learn valid things from almost anybody. Which is why I am so excited to do this interview and share some of my knowledge with other upcoming writers. Perhaps if I am lucky enough, I will be able to connect with more people and hear their experiences.

When and why did you start writing?

I began writing at the age of thirteen. At the time I suffered from nearly debilitating night terrors. You know, the kind that wakes you up in a bed of sweat gasping for air. Often times I would wake up terrified because my nightmares felt so real. I was told by various family members, mainly my grandmother, that if I told someone what they were about they would go away. Sadly, that did not happen. So instead every night I began going to sleep with an open mind rather than fear. I kept a journal by my bed and when I would have a dream I would wake up and jot down what I saw and heard. Over the course of the next few months, I realized that the dreams had begun to link together much like a puzzle. I began to get to know and feel the emotions of the characters, people, and creatures that came to visit me in the realm of sleep. I was always the bystander, my dreams seemed like a movie playing before my eyes. As I see it, I am the voice of my dreams, I bring them to life through my writing. It was that pain and terror that gave birth to my book series Amulet of the Elements.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I came to acknowledge myself as a writer by the time I turned fifteen. Between balancing my studies at school and other various activities, I forced myself to find time to write. If I went to long without pumping out a chapter or two a week, I found that my night terrors would return with a vengeance. The more I slept, the more I got to know characters from my series, Tonisa, Reanon the Red etc. The expansive universe my mind had come to subconsciously build, making me realize this was my calling and my gift. The more I wrote, the more mature and eccentric my writing style became, it was then that I labeled myself as a writer.

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

The book that I would enjoy sharing with everyone would be, Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone. It is a dark epic fantasy novel that I began writing, what seems forever ago. It takes place in medieval times and has races, planets, and languages that I have created myself. It is set around the story of three main characters. Zacura Bloodclaw, a hellhound who claims the breed of the Trivouchion Red Horn. She is what many believe is the next chosen Keeper of the Elements, of chosen of the stone. Zacura is the main protagonist in my series. Another character of note would be Tonisa Tyliquin. She is the main antagonist in the series, with her secret lover Calira Draconvieh or as he is commonly known, The Dark Dragon King, being the supporting antagonist.

In short, my book and its series are about the greater good. So many characters that many think would never clash do in unthinkable ways. The main focus is a battle for the planet of Evernia. It has been subjected to a noxious and plague-like cloud of darkness known as the Raxonian Bane. No one knows where or how it started, but some view it as the gods’ way of washing sin from a world they never meant to create. The secondary focus is a battle between the dragons of Evernia and the witches known as the Tyliquin race. It is a legendary war that has been going on for over ten thousand years. I would say it is a civil war, one that began with the sin of a goddess in the form of pre-marital sex with a demon. It is a battle for control, rights, and wealth in the form of land. One side wishes to regain dominion over what they feel was stolen from them, while the other wishes to see magic vanquished. This is often times found to be unreasonable in my series to most characters, as magic is what freed the draconic races from their chains and slavery to the human race in the Embryonic Era.

What inspired you to write this book?

I would have to say that my brain’s creativity inspired me to write this book and all six others that will follow. I always tell people who ask me this question, that my brain is in a way, my master. It shows me things that I never thought possible and allows me to connect mentally and somewhat physically to my characters and their stories. There are so many ideas and tales in my head that I feel it would be a disservice to my gift to never see them in print. I want to share my stories with the world. My hope is that everyone can find something in this book to relate to.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, I do. I believe I would fall under both the descriptive and narrative columns of writing styles. I have had many of my readers tell me that my writing could be compared to a song. I found that quite flattering honestly. I am very descriptive, I enjoy explaining things like feelings, sounds and clothing textures in comparison to other items or things. I feel it gives the reader a much more realistic depiction of the text. For example, when I express something like a dragon roaring I would say something like the following.

“The thunderous ballad of serpentine vocals trampled through the open air like a drum of thunder.”

I just personally enjoy having common things to refer to when I read, especially in a fantasy novel. Authors of the fantasy genre build worlds we know nothing about. It is for this reason I enjoy adding a bit of realism to derive a scene from. Something to give the reader a painting of something that is familiar to them.

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

Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone is a second edition of the first book. The original title was Amulet of the Elements Keeper of the Elements.  Over time as my skills evolved and I left my previous publishing company, I found it to be redundant. It felt more like a title for a children’s book or teen novel. Which my book is in no way marketed for, so I changed it having then been in my twenties. Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone was born basically out of having more maturity and the ability to think deeper into my work. The title symbolizes that someone is the chosen being, and has been elected by a powerful and ethereal like stone, rather than by their peers or another being in the line of succession.

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

Yes! There are so many that I could never explain them all in one sitting so I will focus on pointing out the main ones. While writing AOTE, I wanted to spread what I feel is peace and wisdom in an exciting landscape. The fantasy genre is huge, so much so that some even cosplay, or live by the creed or lifestyle of some very popular books. We as people tend to be more open to make a stand or accept something if someone we look up to agrees with it. Writing is a valuable tool to see such things happen.

One of my messages would be on racism. Even today in 2018 we still face issues with judgmental opinions and prejudice. I happen to be in an interracial relationship, my boyfriend and I get looks all the time because I am African/German American and he is Caucasian/ White. Even answering this question ruffles my feathers a bit. I do not enjoy claiming a race, I am human as are we all.

To sum up this particular message I will say this. In my series, hellhounds represent the poor and middle class. In comparison to our world, they are the African Americans, the Latino, the Muslim or any race or religion that is currently or has always been frowned upon.

The dragons represent the rich and influent, they are often times prejudice and feel that anyone who is not like them are beneath them. Now I am not saying that every rich person is cruel or a racist or anything like that. There is good and evil in everyone, such is true with certain dragons in my books.

Take Calira and Tonisa for example. Calira is what is known as a hidden drake. Meaning he is a dragon but he can walk as a human. Tonisa is a Tyliquin witch, a race of human magical beings. It is illegal for a dragon to marry or mate with a witch. And in some countries as a dragon, you can be killed if you hold a Tyliquin as anything more than a slave. This couple has lived through segregation and torment. Even still, they persevere and fight for their right to love no matter the blood they claim.

The second I will share today is greed. In my books, it shows how greed can be enjoyed, but also how it can damage an ecosystem, a class of people and or creatures as a whole. My other messages are hidden here and there. I am sure everyone who reads my books will find them.

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

No, they are not. This book and all those that will come to follow, just bloom as I go. I know how the story began and I know how it will end. Everything else is up to whatever direction my imagination forces me to take.

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

I would have to say the authors who have influenced my life would be, J.K. Rowling and Steven Erickson to name a couple. I would even say a sprinkle of J.R.R Tolkien and George R.R. Martin. J.K. Rowling was my very first introduction into Fantasy followed by Tolkien, Martin, and Erickson. What I find most inspiring about them all is the originality of their work and how they never gave up on their dreams of becoming a well known and best-selling author.

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

I would have to say J.K. Rowling for sure. She is an amazing person. She created a world and story both adults and children could enjoy. Gave messages of love and war and the good side, at last, gaining the upper hand. I hope to one day be like her. She is extremely rich and famous but still remains humble and caring to others. She is not greedy nor has she ever forgotten how far she has come, I admire that.

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

I design all the covers to my books from my AOTE series to my short stories and novels. However, A wonderful man by the name of Sukrit, known as Doomguy26 on Deviantart illustrated them for me and brought my ideas to life. I chose him because he had the exact drawing style I was looking for. A realistic feel with the ability to keep the wonders of fantasy and myth in the art.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My best advice would be to do your research and take your time. Never give up on your dream of becoming an author. It has been one of the most time consuming yet rewarding activities in my life thus far. I have had the experience of meeting new people from around the globe. I would also suggest that they look into self-publishing through Amazon if they run into issues or far too many denial letters from traditional publishers. I left my old publishing company Tate Publishing back in early 2016. They were not at all what they seemed. I have since then had much more exposure networking myself than I ever had with them. Research, talk to people, explore the vast world or the internet and educate yourself before you dive in. You can also build up your followers and popularity for free while you work on your book or series. That way you can grow as you go. I began on Wattpad and just expanded from there.

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

I just want to thank all my followers and readers for their support and opinions throughout the years. I would be nothing without all you guys. To all the followers I may gain from this interview, I wish to extend my thanks in advance to you and hope you enjoy this as well as my book and those coming in the near future. And of course, let’s spread love not hate.

Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone Book CoverManner Hall
Los Angeles California

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Author Interview: Hannah Steenbock

Hannah Steenbock is a German writer of Speculative Fiction. She uses both her native German and English as languages for her tales, as she loves English and tends to think in that language when plotting Fantasy. She lives and works in Kiel, the northernmost state capital of Germany. Her other pastimes include strolling along beaches, talking with trees, and devouring as many stories as time allows. I’m honored to introduce her here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Hannah SteenbockI’m Hannah Steenbock. I’m German, living in Germany, but writing in English, mostly. I’m 50+, and I wear many hats: I work part-time in a civil service job, I run a small practice as therapist and coach, and of course, I write.

When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote fan fiction as a kid. But I seriously started writing in January 2000. I know this so well because it was such an exciting experience to start writing out a scene stuck in my head and finding that I did 30 pages of work before even getting to it – and the whole thing eventually built into several novel-sized adventures of my fantasy hero and heroine. Those novels need a lot of work before I’ll publish them, but they were the beginning of my writing career.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I got my first outside validation by signing a contract with an agent in 2004, on the strength of the first novel in that fantasy series. That was when I thought I might actually be good enough. They didn’t sell a single book, and I ended the contract five years later… and then started self-publishing.

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

I’m going to talk about “Dorelle’s Journey”, the first book in my Cloud Lands Saga. That’s the first series I wrote about dragons, even though I’ve been in love with dragons since I discovered Pern in the school library during my exchange year in California. It took me that long to write dragons… I was always afraid that it would be called a copy of Anne McCaffrey.

I love Dorelle because she’s an independent woman, firm in her beliefs and her love of her dragon. And she’s willing to risk her life for others. In the book, I challenge her a lot… and she came through it all with flying colors. So did her dragon.

What inspired you to write this book?

#takes a deep breath#

Originally, I started out writing a novel with three different main characters, and three different timelines. They were supposed to meet in the Cloud Lands (that’s one large area in my world) and turn from enemies to friends. I got stuck on that one… ( it’s the base for my second series that will be called The Cloud Lands Wars, though.)
Even so, my mind stayed in that world, and I found a shorter story about how the Cloud Lands actually were discovered – basically a generation or so before that ill-fated novel. And the result is “Dorelle’s Journey”.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think so, to be honest. But most of my stories are “feel-good” stories. I see so much destruction and darkness in the world around us that I don’t need to put that into my stories. It’s unlikely you’ll see anything dystopian by me.

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

I thought about it. 😉 No, seriously, most of my titles are just short descriptions of what happens in the books. And in this one, Dorelle takes a heck of a journey – and back. I try to make my titles short and powerful, though.

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

Yes, there is. Underlying the whole struggle in the series – Dorelle’s trouble with her Wing Commander and everything else – is the big question: How do we treat our dragons? They are an intelligent species, but their abilities are not valued everywhere, beyond their flying and fighting. There is a lot of discrimination going on. In this case, it’s speciism, and not racism, but the result is very similar. There are similarities to slavery…

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

Anne McCaffrey, for introducing me to dragons and amazing worlds. Pern was my favorite, but I read most of her books. Rosemary Sutcliff and Judith Tarr, for their writing style. Both know how to pack an emotional punch with few words. Even with simple words. I adore that ability. And I adore Judy’s Lippizans. Rita Mae Brown, when she described why she wrote “Riding Shotgun”: She was stuck in a cabin with nothing new to read, so she sat down and wrote what she wanted to read. Isn’t that powerful?

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

I don’t really want a mentor for writing. I guard my own voice. I want it to be me, not a watered-down version of someone else. When I’m writing intensely, I don’t even read fiction. However, I would love to learn marketing and fan interaction from Hugh Howey. #laughs#

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

The cover design is by Ashley Fontainne. I used to be in an FB group with her, and when I wanted new covers for the series before publishing the last part, I realized she had been doing covers for a while. I like hers – they are dynamic and dramatic, so it was an easy choice. Working with her was very awesome and totally easy.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write. Stop reading writing advice. Stop taking the next writing class. Sit down and write. Write more. Publish what you write.
And learn about the trade. Learn copyright. Learn grammar, spelling, pacing – by reading lots. Soak up the language of your genre. So read and write. Very basic.

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

I love you all. I’m so grateful you’re reading my books, and I love hearing from you, too. I’m an avid reader myself, I know all the joy that comes from books – and I hope I can feed that joy for you.

Dorrelle - Ebook_D2DHannah Steenbock
Kiel, Germany

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Author Interview: Stephanie Barr

Author Stephanie Barr is a storyteller with a focus on people, whatever form those “people” might be. And she loves to make you think, feel, and laugh. Please welcome this dynamic writer to No Wasted Ink.

Author Stephanie BarrStephanie Barr is a part time novelist, full-time rocket scientist, mother of three children (two still at home) and slave to many cats. I have three blogs, which are sporadically updated: Rocket Scientist, Rockets and Dragons, and The Unlikely Otaku. I like to read, though I’m currently obsessed with manga, and I love to write and tell stories. But I can also do the math.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing no later than thirteen because that’s when I first started saving it. I used to write poetry and throw it away—usually telling a story because I’m a natural born story teller—then I wrote one I thought my father, who generally didn’t like any fiction, might like. And he did. And he made me promise not to throw anything away ever again, so I haven’t. Been writing ever since.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Since then. Oh, I’ve grown as a writer—it has been thirty-six years—but I published my first short story I ever wrote in my first anthology and I’m not a big ashamed of it. I didn’t change it either. My first anthology (Conjuring Dreams) was really about my growth as a writer. I started out with epic poetry, then moved to short stories, then later I started writing novels. But you can see how I taught myself dialog and subtleties and such in the anthology, so I didn’t go back and change the old work. Sometimes, the old work works, too, just as it is. I still write short stories and have another anthology coming out shortly called Legacy

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

Beast Within (The Bete Book 1) starts with a cargo of refugee children (mostly teenagers) that gets diverted en route to the local moon during a war with an intergalactic aggressor. As a result, the cargo ship crash lands on an unknown planet across the universe with a thousand kids and a handful of crew and teachers. Among the thousand kids are about 40 or so kids who happen to be shapeshifters and/or have psychic powers (the Bete) who desperately want to keep their nature hidden because they will be treated like demons by some of the humans.

What inspired you to write this book?

A few things. My teenage daughter was reading fantasy YA. I’d been writing fantasy since before she was born. I was also addicted to a manga/anime she introduced me to call Fruits Basket that had shapeshifters, and I found some of their dilemmas thought provoking and some of the characters interesting. In the end, very little of that inspiration remained in the story, but it’s what sparked it. Can’t give my brain an inch.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I probably write a little chattier than many. I love humor and have to be physically restrained from using parentheses. I really like to inject the particular personality of my character into my POV writing and I have a total soft spot for sarcasm and snarky folks, including telepathic cats (which are in Beast Within, by the way). I like to focus on characters and on their interactions. I am a character driven writer. I like smart characters and usually have at least one character that’s very smart. I prefer to outsmart my bad guys. Rapists never end well in my books (and are never protagonists) and I always have cats and at least one dragon.

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

The male lead (Xander) of this book is a shapeshifter who happens to change into a dragon, which is very bad ass. However, his father (who was abusive and also a dragon) used his strength as an excuse to mistreat people and told him that Xander that it was an unavoidable side effect of the dragon alter, that if he became emotional, he’d hurt the people he loved, so Xander spends a lot of time squashing his feelings, so the title reflects how he feels about himself. But, it also reflects some of the less savory aspects of humankind including prejudice and ruthlessness, so the intent was to ask the question, which one is really the beast. Hence the title.

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

Most of my books include the message: who you are is more important than what you are and you choose who you are. I try to drive that home on several different fronts, not only with the prejudice of some of the humans but the close-mindedness of some of the Bete.

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

The characters tend to be built from aspects of myself (taken, sometimes to extreme), but not the circumstances. They’re usually far outside my experience base and this is really not an exception.

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

I’ve learned from a lot of authors, sometimes just as good storytellers/character writers (Heinlein, Georgette Heyer, Nora Roberts, Clavel, Michener, McCaffery, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller), to people who had particular skills I admired (Poe:poetry/emotive response, Emily Bronte: emotive response, Stephen King: emotive response/writing kids effectively, etc). There are many mangakas I’ve found inspiring for their different perspectives. And, actually, I got started writing fantasy short stories by reading a story called “Spoils of War” by Jennifer Roberson in Sword and Sorceress V edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley that got me interested and involved in fantasy. It’s still one of the best short stories I’ve ever read.

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

Brandon Smith. Ryn Katryn does most of my covers, but Brandon has done a few and this is one of them. I was actually just chatting with him, explaining I wanted to revamp my covers (from what I had done myself) and he built the cover in record time and it was exactly what I wanted.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write what you love. If you love it, you’ll always have at least one fan. Learn your craft. Always strive to be better, not to be successful (though that’s always nice) but because it has your name on it, a legacy and you want it to be good. Read everything out loud, to an audience if you can swing it. I’ve caught more errors that way than every other way combined. Everything—I mean everything—is better with humor.

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

My books are an eclectic mix of different genres and characters, but they’re all fun, they’re all thought-provoking, they’re all full of excitement and adventure. And cats, often telepathic ones. And I’m not done, not by a long shot.

Beast Within Book Cover.jpgStephanie Barr
League City, TX

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Author Interview: Saoirse O’Mara

Author Saoirse O’Mara tries to follow her heart with her children’s stories. Her goal is to make her readers smile, laugh, guess, and be entertained until the end, and to think about her intriguing stories for a long time. A goal worthy of any author! Please welcome her here to No Wasted Ink.

author-photo-saoirse-omaraI’m Saoirse O’Mara, also known as Theresa Berg. I write under two different names because I write in two different languages. Books written as Theresa Berg are originally German, books written as Saoirse O’Mara are originally written in English. I live in Berlin, Germany, with my American husband and our two cats, Tüte and Kami. Our household communicates in fluent Denglish (mix of German and English) of course. When I’m not writing children’s books or mystery, I’m studying languages and linguistics, currently Sanskrit and Latin. So yeah, I’m a complete language nerd. I’m also a gamer; I love playing pen and paper RPGs like The Dark Eye and Pathfinder, but also video games like League of Legends, Titan Quest, and others.

When and why did you begin writing?

I think I started writing as soon as I was able to write coherent sentences. I just had so many stories to tell, and a very creative mind (teachers may have called me out for daydreaming). I also loved reading, and when I was still in kindergarten and was finally able to read books on my own (my parents taught me to read before I entered school), I decided that when I grew up, I wanted to be a writer too.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

This is a difficult one. I actually don’t remember, but it was probably after finishing my first manuscript. I was twelve or thirteen, and the story was a lot like Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. This manuscript is still hidden away somewhere at home, and I even revised it a few years later, but it’s nowhere near publishable. It did show me, though, that I am able to tell a story from beginning to end and write it down.

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

The book shown here, Miro the Dragon, is a children’s book about friendship and courage. In four stories, the tiny and scared dragon Miro has to learn essential dragon skills like flying, breathing fire, swimming, and hunting. He befriends a human girl who helps him believe in himself and later befriends one of his classmates at dragon school, the big dragon Botsch, who teaches him to swim. The book has fans ranging from three years old to over sixty years old, but the recommended age range is four to eight years old.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was at a medieval market in my home town and started talking to the storyteller, who complained about a lack of dragon stories for young kids, and who, after learning that I am a writer, asked me whether I could write her a story. I agreed, but after I had written Miro’s first story, she never responded to my email about licensing and payment, so I decided to instead turn it into a book. Miro told me a few more stories, which I faithfully wrote down, and once I had four stories written, I looked for an illustrator to capture him and his friends.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I actually don’t know. I rather think I have several writing styles, depending on what I write, and in which language I write. I do tend to avoid long descriptions and story “padding”, though, which is probably why my books are all rather short.

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

That was actually pretty easy; Miro told me. What was more difficult was coming up with fitting titles for the individual stories. I sometimes wrote the whole story before the right title came to mind, and at other times, the title was the only thing I had and the story followed.

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

It is okay to be afraid. And if you are too afraid to even try something new, maybe a friend can help you overcome your fear. Sometimes, all it takes is to finally try it.

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

Two of my greatest influences were Enid Blyton, whose books I devoured as a child, and Agatha Christie, the queen of British mystery. I love the stories they told, and the characters they created.

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

The cover and illustrations for Miro were done by the amazing artist Svenja Liv, who is also a friend of mine. We met in a writer’s forum online and I simply fell in love with her style. She was able to bring Miro and his friends to life with her drawings. She also did the covers for my middle-grade mystery/fantasy series A Rogue’s Tale. A few years ago, we finally met in person.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up. Try out different things. Follow your heart. Listen to your characters (they’re always right, you know). But most importantly, have fun.

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

Thank you for all the feedback you’re giving me, either through reviews or personally. Thank you for letting me know that you (or your kids) fell in love with my characters. Thank you for spending your precious time with my books.

Miro-Cover-web (2)Saoirse O’Mara
Berlin, Germany

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Miro the Dragon

Cover Artist: Svenja Liv

AMAZON