Posts Tagged ‘Masters of Air & Fire’

I did it! I got the font to a size that Amazon’s AI will accept, and the paperback is officially ready for pre-orders. The official release is on February 1st, 2023. I therefore can present…

Drum roll please…

My latest masterpiece! Which actually is a re-issue from 2015. Masters of Air & Fire is a middle grade fantasy, aimed at readers from third to sixth grades. It’s a family drama where the family happen to be dragons, or wyrms. Three young wyrmlings are orphaned by the eruption of their volcanic home and must struggle to find their place in the world. Not only do they strive against each other, determining which of them is in charge, they also run afoul of some small, hairless, alien creatures called humans.

Some of the humans seem friendly. But do they have dark intentions toward the wyrmlings? Other humans are hostile, until the wyrmlings see them as captives with a shared purpose. Deciding which humans to trust is a major challenge of the book. The question of humans domesticating dragons is a sore point for me, and I enjoyed exploring that.

For more on this, there’s a whole post here about the early development of the project.

Masters of Air & Fire

Orlik, Romik and Yazka are wyrmlings, living peacefully on the slopes of Hot Mountain. Until the volcano erupts, and they are separated from their mother. Alone in the world, these three wyrmlings struggle to find a new home among creatures alien to them: humans!

The book is available as an e-book through Amazon and Books2Read. The paperback is from Amazon only.

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The reprint of Masters of Air & Fire (in ebook and paperback) has been complete for a while… Or so I thought! Almost a week after I approved the layout, I started getting notes from Amazon’s AI that the font is too large on one exact part of the book. I’ve been patiently reducing the font size by 1 point and re-submitting. Eventually I’m sure I’ll get it right.

Meantime, I had ordered author copies as soon as I thought I was done with it. They aren’t scheduled to arrive until early February. I’m honestly curious whether my author copies will arrive with the font still in the size the AI doesn’t like, or if the shipment will be pushed back. I do hope it gets settled soon. There’s an appearance coming up in late February that I want to have these books ready for.

Work also continues on the follow-up to “Mistress Henbane,” my as-yet-unsold fantasy short story. Maybe it’s just as well the story hasn’t sold yet, because I keep discovering new bits of background info that have to be reconciled. And now, I’ll get back to that!

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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My first solid project of the year is to re-issue Masters of Air & Fire. To that end, I have selected cover art that can be cropped for an e-book cover and also work as a paperback cover, although with some fiddling. There’s been a lot of buzz about using AI programs to create cover art, but I’m choosing to go through Shutterstock, where I’m pretty sure an actual human is being paid for their work.

My next step will be to create a splashy title to go on the cover. Then I’ll use Canva to lay it out. Once I have something to show around, I’ll begin reformatting the text for the e-book. Another step I have to do is assigning a new ISBN. However, the Bowker system is undergoing maintenance, so that that will have to wait a day or three.

These will be the easy parts. I’m hoping to handle most of it this weekend, because the trade paper process takes longer. Someone (or another AI, who knows) has to approve it and then I wait for printed copies. Hm… Maybe I should do that first?

Anyhow! It’s time to get started on that title. Cheers, all!

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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At last, I have some publication news to share! I was able to reach the publisher at Wolfsinger, the small press that is taking up some of the contracts from my previous publisher, Sky Warrior. It looks like Seven Exalted Orders will be reprinted sometime in spring of 2023 and The Grimhold Wolf in fall of 2024. If all goes well with those two, there will be a sequel to Seven Exalted Orders the following spring.

In addition to that, we agreed that my middle grade fantasy, Masters of Air and Fire, is not a good fit for Wolfsinger. The full rights are back with me, and I’m planning to release a second edition of that when my schedule allows. Just another reason that I need to hurry up and finish the first draft of Tale of the Drakanox, so there’s room for other things in my schedule.

A lot could happen in that “if all goes well” frame, but that’s the plan right now.

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Something I’ve noticed recently is how often the stories I write involve someone going on a journey. In Too Many Princes, the title characters went on a quest. In The Seven Exalted Orders, two of the characters were running away from the others. In the sequel, The Eighth Order, which the publisher has been sitting on forever, they also chase someone across the countryside. In The Grimhold Wolf, a character was abducted and the other ones went to rescue him. In Masters of Air & Fire, the characters’ home was destroyed and they had to search for another one. In The Weight of Their Souls, the characters were traveling home after a war. In The Tower in the Mist, soldiers are taking their prisoner to a special prison — on the other side of a haunted forest. In The Grove of Ghosts, the MC is traveling to break a curse.

Only in The Magister’s Mask, The Necromancer’s Bones, and The Gellboar did everyone basically stay at home and do stuff there. That’s three out of eleven tales involving some sort of travel.

I must confess, I feel like I’m starting to repeat myself with the journeys. My current WIP, Fang Marsh, starts with the main character on a journey. Now that I’ve thought about it, I’m going to have her arrive at a destination and stay there. This will make some other parts of the plot easier. For one thing, the villain and her henchmen will be able to find her!

What do you guys think — am I worrying too much about this?

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First, I want to thank David and Craig for responding to my initial call for feedback on what exactly my genre is.

When I reflect on the things my stories have in common, it comes down to two concepts: family and magic. Almost every one of my books has had some kind of family issue at its heart. After all, who knows you better than family? Who can hurt you with a word, or lift you up? In Too Many Princes, the brothers Brastigan and Lottres go on a quest, but the story is really about how their relationship is threatened by conflicting goals in adulthood. In Masters of Air & Fire, a sibling group of young dragons struggles to stay together after the death of their mother.

I get a lot into the magic with my world-building. If magic was real, how would that shape society? In The Gellboar and The Seven Exalted Orders, mages are separate from other people and there are restrictions on magic for the public good. In The Magister’s Mask and The Necromancer’s Bones, magic is common and well understood. They use it for things like preserving food, where we would use refrigeration technology.

In both of these, perhaps, I do follow more closely to High Fantasy than Low. Grapping with ideas and consequences around magic is High Fantasy. Family might not be as obvious at first, but you can’t deny the importance of family drama in series like A Game of Thrones.

So maybe that’s where I land — but I’d still like to hear from more of you. And if you’ve read my books, why not take a minute to leave a review? It will really make a difference!

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In the online game Flight Rising (see my last post) one of your chores is to gather food for your dragon clan. Flight Rising provides four types of food — vegetation, insects, meat and seafood. You need to collect some of each, because every dragon breed likes different foods.

As I’ve clicked my way through this, various dragons from past stories* began to knock on the door to my brain. They’d say things like, “Vegetation. Really? What fool thinks a dragon could survive on vegetation?”

Out of respect for their opinions, here are five statements on what dragons eat.

Carnisha, from the Cragmaw Mountains, was blunt. “Dragons eat whatever we want. But not salad.”

According to Cazarluun, Spectral Guardian of Venge Hill, “Dragons are spiritual beings. As such, we may partake of food or drink for our own pleasure, but we do not actually have to eat.”

Lythiskar, Mystik of Yabble, agrees in part. “We dragons are learned creatures. Our taste in foods should be equally refined. This is why so many dragons prefer Virgins — no musty, gamy odors there. By the way, did you know a Virgin doesn’t have to be female? Many priests and the nerdier young men can be equally choice fare.”

From Shoredance Island, the sea dragon Tetheus said, “Whatever it is, it has to be big enough to satisfy a dragon’s appetite. Large sharks and whales are good. On land, there are horses, moose, water buffalo… I just don’t see insects as a substantial meal.”

Wrotha, the Great Wyrm of Hot Mountain, reported, “Whatever comes too close to my eggs, I eat it.”

*  Wrotha is a featured character in my middle-grade fantasy, Masters of Air & Fire. Carnisha appears in the anthology The Dragon’s Hoard. Tales of Cazarluun, Lythiskar, and Tetheus are as yet unpublished.

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Pardon this brief commercial announcement. My publisher, Sky Warrior Books, is having a summer e-book sale, now til Friday, July 31st. All E-Books are half-off.

Dragon's Hoard cover

Dragon’s Hoard cover

I have a story in this anthology, which is all about dragons and treasure.

Cover to the MG fantasy novel, Masters of Air & Fire

Cover to the MG fantasy novel, Masters of Air & Fire

Here’s my juvenile fantasy novel, Masters of Air & Fire, a family drama where the family are dragons.

The Grimhold Wolf low res
Another recent release is The Grimhold Wolf, a Gothic-style werewolf novel.

And don’t forget The Seven Exalted Orders, my best selling book for Sky Warrior!

Follow this link to get the code: https://www.facebook.com/events/486968021477427/

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To close this thread, I can’t pass up the chance to tout my own book. Masters of Air & Fire is a fantasy for middle graders featuring a trio of young wyrmlings who are cast adrift due to the sudden death of their parent.

My wyrmlings have chameleon-like patches of skin in their crests and underwings. These change colors and patterns to show emotions. Their crests may turn black (fear), striped black/yellow or black/white (anger, aggression), and green or blue (friendship, affection, humor). When Wrotha is lost, all of their scales show gray and white, and their crests droop with despair.

Each of the wyrmlings have a different emotional reaction, as well. Romik, the gentlest of the three, holds onto Wrotha’s memory and insists on searching for her even when there’s no hope. When they encounter humans, Romik cultivates a surrogate-parent relationship with an older woman, Hanani. Yazka, the aggressive one, tries to take leadership of the group. It’s her way to regain a sense of control, and also plays out a sibling rivalry with Orlik. She also makes friends with a human, the village chief Taksepu. However, her motives for this are suspect. Finally, Orlik is the responsible one. He becomes so focused on taking care of the others that he sometimes seems to feel nothing at all.

If you’re interested, please check out Masters of Air & Fire for Kindle or Nook.

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Here’s a preview of the cover for the fantasy anthology, The Dragon’s Hoard. It’s coming out sometime this summer, from Sky Warrior Books. Yes, I have a story in it! As you might guess, it is told from the dragon’s point of view.

Dragon's Hoard cover

Dragon’s Hoard cover

This has been a really good year for me, publication-wise. Not only did my middle grade dragon fantasy Masters of Air & Fire come out on February 2nd. Not only did my gothic werewolf novel, The Grimhold Wolf, come out February 13th. The Dragon’s Hoard will be the second anthology issued within 8 months months that includes one of my stories. This brings me to four publications within twelve months.

For some of you, it may not sound like much, but for me this is outstanding productivity. The only thing that would make it better is if a few of you could help me out with reviews, tweets, shares, and any other way you can think of to boost my signal. I can provide review copies.

If you’d like to find out more about my books, just click here. E-books and paper are available from Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Regardless how much or how little you can do, know that I appreciate the friendship and support I get from all of you bloggers out there. You are the best!

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