So, as an author with a debut novel, one of the biggest things I get to do is network. Pretty much, that means make friends with other authors. Some of them are even willing to take a break from their busy lives to spend some time here on my site.
Today I feel double lucky because I’ve got an author and a graphic novelist. Here’s a little bit about him.
Dan lives in the UK, his hometown being Canterbury, Kent. A huge fan of both Fantasy and Manga, he has a style that combines both within his writing, which lets him tell stories that are both dramatic and tongue-in-cheek at the same time.
Dan also runs his own website, blog and even a wiki page that goes into detail of the world of Draconica. He is also a reviewer for the website Read2Review and also reviews books independently on his own website.
Authors who have inspired Dan are Douglas Adams, J.R.R Tolkien, Harlan Ellison, Alan Moore, Joss Whedon, H.P Lovecraft, George R.R Martin and Hiromu Arakawa.
You can connect with Dan Wright at the following places:
Pretty sweet, right?
So, while he was here he talked about the writing process behind his work. Since that’s often more wild than readers imagine, I was more than excited to read about it.
Without further ado, Here’s Dan!
I actually wrote Legacy of the Dragonkin whilst I was waiting for the artwork to be completed for the predecessor, Trapped on Draconica, a good couple of years before. Much like the first book, Legacy of the Dragonkin has gone through a lot of changes – usually to try and address some of the weaknesses that my first book had. One of the common complaints I got with Trapped on Draconica was that my main hero – Ben – didn’t do anything, so that was one of the first things I wanted to correct on this book.
At that time of writing this book, I was reading quite a bit of Manga and became interested in the Shonen (Young Adult) Mangas at the time, such as Full Metal Alchemist and Naruto, so I decided that I wanted this book to be written in this way. By that I mean with more of an upbeat tone and featuring a young protagonist trying to become a hero. That’s where the character of Benji Dragonkin came from. He is the son of Daniar Dragonkin and Kalak Ramera (who many considered the true main characters in Trapped on Draconica) and wishes to be a hero like his mother. But, having read Spider-Man comics in the past, I remembered the running them of that story – With great power comes great responsibility. So I didn’t want to just make it a story about Benji becoming a hero, but LEARNING the responsibilities and dangers that come with it.
Along the way, other character stories started to develop. Lydia Taurok, who was only really a walk on role in Trapped on Draconica, becomes a fully fledged supporting character (who has almost as much book time as Daniar) and has grown up to be a confident female. At only fifteen, she is now a general of an army and has spent her entire adult life training to be a warrior. But all of this was to escape a dark secret that she is trying to keep from her family. I was actually quite proud of this story as it added a personal element to the tale. It was also good for me to try and expand on a character that was hardly used previously.
Zarracka, the villainess from Trapped on Draconica, also got a brand new character arc in this tale. Whereas she was little more than an evil bitch in the first book, here we get to look deeper into her character and learn a few things about her we never did before. My aim for this was to try and make the readers feel sorry for her, something that they never would have done in Trapped on Draconica. I really like it when a writer does that, takes a character one way and then throws something in that makes you change your opinion of them somewhat.
The villains of Legacy of the Dragonkin, are the Kthonian Knights. Originally, they were inspired by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their motives were pretty much just death and destruction. But to be honest, the Four Horsemen idea had been pretty much done to death (excuse the pun) and I’ve always found villains are more believable as characters if you know what their motives are, rather than being evil for the sake of being evil. I then decided to do a little reverse of this motion, and make the knights all (or predominantly) female – each of them having been abused by men at one point in their lives. This, for me, added a strong feminist element to the book and gave a good reason for the Kthonian Knights wanting to kill all the men of the world (although they would not hesitate to kill any females that got in their way). Not only that, but the leader – Jihadain – is an old enemy of Daniar and can drive her to rages that no one ever thought possible. Daniar was pretty much put across in the last book as a true heroic character – one that always did the right thing and never killed anyone. I wanted to create a villain that would test her limits – in much the same way that The Joker had driven Batman to murderous rage in the comics more than once, or even the Green Goblin coming close for Spider-Man to kill him.
Like with Trapped on Draconica, I wanted Legacy of the Dragonkin to have Manga inserts along with the text. That was one of the major selling points of Trapped on Draconica and one that I wanted to replicate in the sequel. Sadly, my previous artist left the project due to college commitments and it meant that I had to get another artist involved – but thankfully she completed the front cover before leaving. Not wanting to wait any longer, I decided to release Legacy of the Dragonkin without any artwork – saving all the art till the paperback.
Thankfully, I now have two artists that I’m working with for art in the paperback, which I hope to have all completed before the end of the year.
Legacy of the Dragonkin, I would say, is probably my favourite novel so far in this series. It’s a book that I think is more personal than Trapped on Draconica, the important plot isn’t necessarily about the overall danger to the world, but the personal struggles of the individual characters – which I think always makes a great series, be it a book, film, comic or whatever. I also feel that this book has a lot more emotional depth than Trapped on Draconica. I think the best compliment I got so far was from one reader who said that she cried during one scene with Daniar and her son. That being said, I did try to put a lot of madcap humour in it as well. Even in dark stories, humour is always good to relieve the tension now and then.
But what I’m most proud of from this book is that it sets up a story foreshadowing something greater to come. At one point, Daniar is told “She is Coming… and Final Ragnarok will follow.” What does this mean? You’ll find out soon enough!