Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

300th Post Special!!!

Hey guys! Welcome to my 300th post special!!!
 
Well, technically it's 301st, but who's really counting? XD I'm only one out after all
 
Anyhoo... 300 posts on this blog. Wow. I never thought I'd make it pass three if I'm being honest! XD It's amazing to think of all the posts that I have done since I started started this blog back in early 2012. Reviews, opinions, author advice, all sorts. Some great, others not so great - others even a little dumb and probably even controversial (by my standards anyway). But it's all been fun and I want to say a huge thank you to those that do follow my blog and have done from its inception.
 
So I wanted to do something special for this post and thank you guys for all the support you've give me over the last couple of years. As you may know, I recently released my latest novel in the Draconica series, Final Ragnarok: She Returns. Well, as my thanks to you, from 31st August until 4th September, Final Ragnarok: She Returns will be free to download. So if you've been debating whether to buy it or not - this is your chance to do so!
 
Check out the link to the book to read up about it and then check back at the link tomorrow to download your free copy.
 
 
 
 
Oh, and for those that are old school and prefer paperbacks - Final Ragnarok: She Returns is also available through paperback.
 
Thanks for sticking with me through 300 posts - heres to another 300 more and beyond!
 
Have a great weekened guys.
 
 
 
------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

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Spirit Vision Blog Tour - And Interview with the Author

 
 

When Sheenah of Paper Crane Books asked if I'd be part of their blog tour for Spirit Vision, I had to think about it - for about a microsecond! :D Considering that they have helped me in the past with blog tours, now this is my turn to repay the favour!

 

I caught up with Morgan Straughan Comnick, the author of Spirit Vision and asked her a few questions about this book, her inspirations and which Disney villain is the biggest bastard! But before we get to the interview - here's some stuff about the book. Stick around as there is a giveaway at the end!

 

Check out the rest of the blog tour by clicking on the picture above!

 

Blurb

 

If God gave you a mission, would you answer His call?

 

The Lord has given Stary, a high school freshman, a mission: extinguish the evil residing in the murderer of two teens—Maren and Umbra. Stary never imagined that her strange visions meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God and now with her powers activated, she must train to use them and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the ability to hide and conjure up the dark powers from the fallen angel himself—Lucifer. If Stary fails, not only will she lose her life, but Maren and Umbra will lose their entry into heaven and the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born.

 

 

Add the book to Goodreads

 


Buy links

 

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

Kobo

Smashwords

 

 

About the Author

 

Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her "bubbliness." It is Morgan's mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.

 

Social media links

 

Official website

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

Twitter

Youtube

 

 

THE INTERVIEW

 

 

Morgan, thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog.

 

First off, thank YOU for allowing me to appear on your blog! :)

 

 

It’s an absolute pleasure. :) Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?

 

A little about me? I suppose starting at the beginning would be useful. I am from a medium-sized town in Missouri where I still live. I have great parents, two brothers, and dogs and cats that I love. I have a degree in Early Childhood education (infants to 3rd grade) and I have taught an array of subjects and grades at my local district and my college’s local summer school program. Currently, I am a teacher’s aide at my middle school in the special education department although I dream of getting my own classroom in a primary grade. I am married to my high school sweetheart.  Spirit Vision is my first book.  I am a nerd and proud! I try to be a kind, fun, hard-working, and a creative person! That’s me in a nutshell.

 

 

(Raises a fist to the *nerd and proud* line!) :D Sounds like you keep a busy life. What first inspired you to get into writing?

 

I have always been fond of spirits, the spiritual world, and our connection to the unknown and I have liked to write, but I never did consider it a career until my freshman language arts teacher, Mr. Banger, came in, all bold as usual, and declared he was writing a book. We laughed because he made random statements like that, but he walked over for me and told me, “You know, you would make a fantastic book character in my book Morgan!” I chuckled, but it triggered the question that changed my life: “If he can write a book, why can’t I?”  With my on-going imagination, most of the plot for Spirit Vision was in my head and the rest was history!

 

 

I’m quite fond of spirits myself. Jägermeister and spice rum mainly! XD. Oh, that’s not what you meant? Well now I feel stupid! Ahem, moving on. Who are your favourite authors?

 

Oh gosh! There are so many! Lurlene McDaniel and Stephanie Meyer were the two who turned me into a reading machine in high school and now, book stories take my money like a vacuum.  I also am a huge fan of: Richelle Mead, P.C. and Kirsten Cast, L.J. Smith, Jessica Day George, Susane Colasanti, Deb Caletti, Carolly Erickson, and Rick Riordan, but trust me, there are several others! I also am a huge manga fan and my favourite manga-ka (manga artists and writers) are: CLAMP, Arina Tanemura, Natsuki Takaya, and Bisco Hatori, to name a few.

 

 

Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?

 

I like to write very much, but I have to have an outlet for my outlet, HA! My hobbies are singing, doodling, acting, walking while listening to music, hanging with my loved ones, teaching, collecting cute things, being random, and, my biggie, Japanese culture (anime, manga, cosplay, anime conventions, studying Japan, and so forth).

 

 

Wow, sounds like you have a lot of cool hobbies! Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?

 

I do not want to limit myself into one genre, but I do like writing for the young adult age group. I have so many ideas for books, all over the genre spectrum, but I am betting about 90% of my works to come will be young adult. I would like to write a few children’s books and maybe an intermediate/juvenile fiction work as well.

 

 

Sounds good to me. I myself am currently trying to write for a more younger audience with my next book. But this isn’t about me! Speaking of books, can you tell us a little about...

 

 

 

Not again!

 

Er, sorry about that, Morgan. I’ve been having a bit of a problem with this lately. Think I'm being trolled!

 

*Ahem” anyway, without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new book Spirit Vision?

 

 

Spirit Vision is about fifteen-year-old Stary Moon.  Her life is fairly normal until she has a dream where a spirit is talking to her, asking for her help. Stary dismisses it, but when her school becomes edgy and there is police tape by the lobby, Stary knows something is wrong. She discovers that the skeleton of a girl was discovered at her school and when Stary sees her, it is the spirit who talked to her in her dream! Stary later meets the spirit, Maren, and her friend and fellow spirit, Umbra. Stary is then told some news that turn her world into a whirlwind of chaos: she is the Spirit Warrior for the Lord and the only one who can help Maren and Umbra track down their murderer and take the evil out of them, allowing Maren and Umbra to enter into Heaven.  This leads Stary to an adventure of tracking down an evil murderer, keeping her title a secret to protect her loved ones, training to sharpen her new powers, and dealing with high school life and drama. It has a little bit of something for everyone!

 

 

Move aside Buffy! :) Where did you get the inspirations for this?

 

Like I stated earlier, I have always enjoyed spirits and when I was fifteen, that was the genre I was obsessed with at the time.  I also was in love with the Sonic Adventure 2 game for the GameCube, which helped me formulate the relationship and some of the sci-fi elements in my work. I crafted most of the characters on people and teachers in my life and all the locations are based on my school or town; there are so many great characters in the world that we just have to have the eyes to find.

 

 

Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

Well, I am fond of Stary because she is based on a braver version of myself! All my characters have a special place in my heart, but I think the one that always makes me giggle is Mr. Tin!

 

 

If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters. Also, can I have a bit part in it? XD

 

You can absolutely have a role! The more the merrier! :D  

 

 

Cool. I’ve been told I play a good corpse. Or maybe that’s just because my acting is a little stiff!

 

*insert tumbleweed here*

 

Ahem, sorry, carry on.

 

Well, I know my dream is to play Stary myself since appearance wise, she looks just like me, but cuter (Hollywood make-up can fix that).  For Maren, I would go towards Becca Tobin or Brittany Snow and for Umbra, Taeyang, a member of the Korean Band, Big Bang. :)

 

 

Speaking of characters, which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

I think characters because they can find stories themselves; we live stories every day, right?

 

 

As they say in The Wire, "True dat!" What do you look for in a good story?

 

I like a little bit of everything: magic, heart, humour, romance, uniqueness, and a topic I enjoy.  I am big on character relationship too, romantic, friendship, family, or otherwise.

 

 

Now I am sure there are a lot of authors out there that will be inspired by what you've said. What's the best advice you can give to them?

 

Never give up, keep imagining, keep dreaming, and keep learning. :)

 

 

That’s great advice! I can dig that! Ok, now for the important questions. Who would win in a triple threat between a zombie ninja dragon, a cyborg unicorn with nuclear magical powers, and a kryptonian ewok with volcanos for shoulders?

 

Whoa! Toughie there… I would have to go with the cyborg unicorn! Unicorns are just lovely, cyborgs are B.A., and magical powers give an upper hand.  If that wasn’t enough…nuclear power!  Yeah, I think we have a winner! Go my mighty Sparkle Pants!

 

 

Now, I have to ask. Scar or Frollo? Which of these Disney villains is the biggest bastard?

 

 

                  

 

 

Ah, a Disney question! Although these two gentlemen (hmm…gentle-lion…?) are surely baddie bads, I would have to go with Scar. I mean, Frollo, in his mind, no matter how sick it was, believed he was doing all the horrid things he did for the Lord, for his faith.  Scar was killing for himself. And he was killing his FAMILY for his goals! How twisted! Now, I do not know Scar’s backstory; was he ignored due to his brother’s greatness by his parents? Was he bullied? How DID he get that scar?  So many questions (maybe Disney would make a backstory for the uncle of Simba), but still, does that make what he did right? In no way, shape, or form my good word!

 

 

Interestingly enough, Frollo was actually voiced by Tony Jay, one of my fav voice actors. He did a lot of stuff with Disney and his voice was badass! It’s sad that he’s no longer with us.

 

 

 

Now we are onto the REAL question of the interview – and this is the real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question – why DID the chicken cross the road? XD

 

To re-enact his favourite video game, Frogger! And to thank you for having me on your site! =D

 

 

And so we have now answered the oldest question known to man! Thanks Morgan, it was an absolute pleasure to have you on my blog.

 

But don't go away yet as there is a giveaway we have to mention now! Click on the link below for details!

 

 

Giveaway is open internationally and ends on April 4, 2014. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on the widget as well as emailed; they will have 48 hours to respond. Failure to respond will result in a new winner being selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Number of eligible entries received determines odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Paper Crane Books and sponsored by both the press and the author. Void where prohibited by law.

 

 

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

 

 

Thanks for reading guys! Leave a comment below to let us know what you all thought and be sure to follow this amazing author!

 

Have a great week!

 

 

--------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

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Author Interview and Giveaway - Donna Cook

You know something guys, I'm really enjoying these author interviews. So why don't we do another one today? Today on my blog we have...

 

 

 
 
What was that? Ok, I seriously don't know what's going on here! It's almost like... something is controlling my blog from the outside...
 
Huh...
 
Anyway, moving on. Today I am talking to the absolutely splendid Donna Cook. Donna was a joy to talk to, so let's find out a little more about her novel Gift of the Phoenix - and let's find out why Donna finds writing so awesome!
 
 
 
 
Thank you so much for taking the time to appear on my blog. So what first inspired you to get into writing?
 

I’m one of those who’s dreamt of writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved it. I never quite feel complete unless I’m working on a story.

 

 

I know that feeling! XD Who are your favourite authors?

 

Oh, I have such a hard time with questions like this. I’m afraid I’ll forget someone important. Favourites include John Steinbeck, Kate DiCamillo, Megan Whalen Turner, JK Rowling, Patrick Rothfuss, Katherine Paterson, and most recently, Rainbow Rowell. I know that’s a lot. I could keep going.

 

 

Had I the space on my blog I'd let you! XD Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

Both. Story without characters feels artificial. Characters without story eventually gets boring.

 

 

So what do you look for in a good story? What do you look for in a good story?

 

This may sound flippant, but I look for good writing. I read widely and the kinds of stories I enjoy vary. However, if the concept of a story is interesting but the writing is poor, I can’t get past it. I recently set aside the first book in a very popular YA fantasy series, which shall remain nameless, because the writing was too underdeveloped for my taste. The movie is due out soon and I suspect I’ll like the story just fine without the mediocre writing to distract me.

 

 

So what is the best advice you can give to authors?

 

The best advice I can give has been said before, but for good reason. Write a lot and read a lot. If you’re serious about writing, be willing to put in your time. Any high-level craft takes practice to master. Write, write, write, then write some more. And read. Read like a writer. Learn from every book you read, whether it’s what to do or what not to do.

 

 

 
 

What is the title of your most recent/soon to be released novel?

 

Gift of the Phoenix is an epic fantasy adventure, available in paperback and eBook through all your standard retailers.

 

 

Sounds good. Can you tell us a little about it?

 

Gift of the Phoenix tells the tale of three young men brought together by a common enemy and their joint destiny to protect the Phoenix, the source of magic in their world. The Three struggle to unite in spite of what separates them, and must learn how to unlock the magic of three stones that seem to harm as much as they help. Uniting is not easy for Nicolai, the simple peasant with a powerful secret; Marcellus, the warrior prince who’s no longer heir to the throne; and Corren, a gifted wizard whose ambitions threaten to ruin them all. This is only the beginning. Dubbed a “fresh new take on fantasy adventure,” Gift of the Phoenix takes you deep into the heart of a wondrous world and the three men destined to defend it. The trailer and first few chapters are available on my website, giftofthephoenix.com

 

Gift of the Phoenix has won several awards including Semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review Book of the Year Awards, and Notable Read in the Shelf Unbound/Half Price Books Indie Book of the Year competition.

 

Through book signings I’ve discovered Gift of the Phoenix appeals to both teen and adult readers, particularly those who like fantasy along the lines of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Eragon.

 

 

That's really good and congratulations on all your awards. :) Have you worked/are you working on anything else?

 

I fell backwards into writing a series of novellas about a minor character in Gift of the Phoenix. A reader requested more about Nashua, a woman the Phoenix kept alive for 1200 years for mysterious reasons. As you can imagine, she has a pretty interesting story to tell. One novella, Nashua’s Choice, is out now and the next is in progress. These stories have a different feel from Gift of the Phoenix, I don’t think they’re as likely to appeal to my teen readers, but I love Nashua’s story. Her story is gripping and compelling in its own right. There will be a total of four novellas.

I’m also working on the follow up to Gift of the Phoenix, which I wrote as a standalone. The sequel is another massive undertaking, with mystery, plot twists, and spine-tingling magic. The working title is The Hidden Branch.

 

 

Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

Another favourites question! I love the three boys, Corren, Marcellus, and Nicolai. Nicolai is probably my favourite. Janus tops the list as well. She’s just pure fun to write.

 

 

Favourite's quesitions are always the easiest to answer! lol If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters?

 

No idea. Seriously, no idea at all. But I want Peter Jackson to direct. I’m devising a devious plot to get the book into his hands.

 

 

Wow! I hope Peter Jackson is reading this! Or if anyone knows P.J. point him in the direction of this blog. I think we got his next project here!  Other than writing, do you have any other hobbies?

 

Ballroom dancing. Salsa, swing, foxtrot, nightclub two step. I love them all. Also, any day I can get someone to play Settlers of Catan with me is a good day. It goes without saying my other hobby is reading.

 

 

Are you a summer or winter person?

 

Summer. I’m an Arizona native transplanted to Idaho. I do love it here, but come winter I just want to be hot. The kind of hot that leeches through your skin and melts your bones. Ahhhh....

 

 

Night owl or morning person?

 

When left to my own devices, I’m a night owl. I live for weekends and school breaks when I don’t have to set my alarm for six in the morning.

 

Sorry, yet ANOTHER favourite question for you. Favourite food/drink?

 

Anything Mexican. Or Italian. Or chocolate. Did I mention that I struggle with favourites lists?

 

 

Ok, let's trying doing something different. Who would win in a fight between a zombie ninja dragon and a cyborg unicorn with advanced weaponry?

 

Please. The dragon. Are you kidding? ;)

 

 

Well said! Now for the fun part of the interview. You're a superheroine and you now have to choose your powers. And given that the title of your book is Gift of the PhoenixI - why not have Dark Phoenix from one of the most popular X-Men stories of all time?

 

 

 

 

Superstrength or superspeed?

 

Superspeed. I know I’m supposed to be busy saving the day, but my fantasy is to travel all over the world. Superspeed would be a boss way to get around. Just think, no standing in security lines at the airport.

 

 

Works for me! Flight or teleportation?

 

Flight. Teleportation creeps me out.

 

 

Fair enough. Gale-force breath or freeze breath?

 

Gale-force. I don’t know why. Freeze breath lacks the same kind of kick, I guess.

 

 

Agree. Heat vision or telekinesis?

 

Heat vision. You can destroy just about anything with heat vision.

 

 

True enough! Just ask General Zod! Invincibility or accelerated healing factor?

 

Invincibility. Skip the need for healing altogether.

 

Thanks for hosting me on your blog!

 

 

And thank YOU for being part of the blog! If you guys want to know more about Donna, you can follow her at the following links:

 

 

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

Amazon buy page

Barnes and Noble buy page

Apple buy page

 

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for! For a chance to win an Ebook copy of Gift of the Phoenix, all you have to do is go to the link below and do a few simple tasks. Then a copy of the book could be yours!

 

RAFFLECOPTER

 

Thanks for reading guys. Have a great week!

 

 

--------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

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Website:  LINK

Author Interview and Giveaway: Michelle Horst

Hey guys. Today I'm very excited for two reasons.

 

Firstly, it's St Patricks Day! So to start off - Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!

 

 
 
Now, onto the most important part of today. I'm excited to welcome back to my blog, Michelle Horst!
 
A couple of years ago, I reviewed Michelle's novel Vaalbara: Visions and Shadows. Whilst I had some reservations of the content and wondered if it was too overly dark for some readers, I was drawn to her excellent storytelling and characters. Having got to know her outside of writing, I can honestly say that she is one of the most honest and funniest people I know! She's a fantastic author that has gathered a strong, dedicated following of readers.
 
I'll be reviewing her novel Wake Me Up in a couple of months time - but today she's agreed to join my blog for an interview - and I'm glad that she's agreed to do so! So let's welcome Michelle to my blog and get to know her a little more!
 
 

 

 

 

Michelle, thank you so much for joining me on my blog! It's a pleasure to have you here today! Why don't you tell the readers what first inspired you to get into writing?
 

I’ve always loved reading. I started scribbling some poetry down as a child, and I guess the bug bite back then already. In my late twenties I started playing with the idea of writing an actual novel, but I only got the chance to sit down and write my first book in my middle thirties. My true inspiration? I guess you could say never letting go of that dream inside of you.

 

 

That is a really good attitude to have! So, who are your favourite authors?

 

Gosh, there are so many! Belle Aurora, Cora Carmack, Lisa De Jong, Penelope Douglas, and Veronica Roth – I could go on forever.

 

 

If I had the space on my blog I'd let you! XD  Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

The storyline. You can have the best character in the world but if your plot falls flat it’s gonna suck. You have to keep your reader interested.

 

 

Speaking of story, what do you look for in a good story?

 

I’m a sucker for romance and friendship. There’s so much violence and bitchiness in the world, I really don’t need to read about it over and over. I don’t mind it, but don’t let it rule every page. I like suspense just like every other reader, but some authors forget about good ole’ romance and friendship and skip right on to sex, blood and gore.

 

 

Yup. I have to agree with you there. What’s the best advice you can give to authors?

 

A good book is all about pacing a story just right. Don’t repeat the same word over and over; you’ll irritate your reader. Use a thesaurus – magical little book filled with wordlist.  

 

 

So, what are you working on at the moment?

 

I’ll be working on a Novelette that will be released in an anthology with two amazing other authors.

 

 

Mmmmmm, interesting. I look forward to reading that! Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

No, every character in Wake Me Up holds a specific place in my heart.

 

 

If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters?

 

Would love for Mike Vogel to play Aiden, and Emma Watson to play Emma. They’d be my dream team. As for the mother, gosh, that’s another cup of tea all together.

 

 

Do you have any other hobbies other than writing?

 

I have a bird sanctuary. I house more than 600 birds, from Australian finches to some Amazon beauties. I have Koi, Sugar Gliders and 4 dogs than keeps me busy, as well.

 

 

Oh wow! That's cool! So I take it that if they ever remake The Birds, they'll be calling you up then? lol! Anyway, these next ones are just for fun. Are you a summer or winter person?

 

I’m a spring and fall person. I don’t like it too hot and not too cold.

 

 

Night owl or morning person?

 

Both. I go to bed at between 1 and 2 a.m. and I’m up at 5 a.m.

 

 

Yikes! I don't think I could do that! Fair play to you! Favourite food/drink?

 

Anything unhealthy.  I love Sprite zero and coffee. Don’t like dinner.

 

 

Yeah, unhealthy is awesome! Now, the important question. Who would win in a fight between a zombie ninja dragon and a cyborg unicorn with advanced weaponry?

 

Mmm… Cyborg Unicorn. I think the zombie ninja dragon’s gonna wipe-out due to being a bit on the slow side. (That’s if he’s like all the other zombies I’ve seen in movies, and he’s a slow poke). Plus, I’m a girl. I like girlie stuff. You put a unicorn there and I’m bound to choose the unicorn, even if it comes with armour.

 

 

Fair enough. Ok, now this is the pretty cool stuff! You’re a superhero – what powers would you prefer out of each list and why?

 

 Superstrength or superspeed?

 

Wowza – uhm… speed, I’m and impatient person.

 

 

Ok, flight or teleportation?

 

Teleportation – again, faster method of transport.

 

 

Gale-force breath or freeze breath?

 

(I hope both of these come with breath mints.) I’ll go with freeze. I might kill someone with gale-force. Safety first!

 

 

I'm sure we can chuck a few in for you! XD Heat vision or telekinesis?

 

Damn, telekinesis. For the safety of mankind. Can’t go burning up the planet, now can we?

 

 

No we can't! Invincibility or accelerated healing factor?

 

Invincibility, of course. You won’t need the healing factor if you’re all invincible. I like this one!

 

 

Thanks for the interview, Dan! This was so much fun. I’d like to add that I’m giving away 3 copies of Wake Me Up to three of your lucky readers.

 

 

 

No worries, Michelle. It was a pleasure! And yeah, as you heard guys, she's giving away 3 copies of her critically acclaimed novel Wake Me Up, and all you have to do to get one is to leave a comment below!

 

You can follow Michelle at the following links:

 

Website

FaceBook

Twitter

GoodReads

 

 

Thanks for coming Michelle! Hope you enjoyed it! And thanks for reading, guys. Have a great day!

 

Happy Reading everyone ;)

 

 

 

--------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

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Website:  LINK

Author Interview and Giveaway: David Berger

Well... I FINALLY managed to thaw out after that somewhat unprovoked attack by Elsa and Zarracka on my last post. It's amazing what a hot soup and a cuppa tea will do!

 

I still can't believe they froze me! All because I didn't include Elsa in the Top Five Awesomely Kickass Heroines! Oh, and the way that Elsa looked at me when I said Let It Go wasn't my favourite song! I mean, seriously? Geez, this Elsa is really far up her own...

 

Elsa: Ahem!

 

 

 

 

Er... moving on!

 

Today on my blog we have another wonderful author to chat to! After getting to talk to him via Twitter, I invited him for a little chat today - and I hope you guys will join me in welcoming him! Please give a big hand to - Mr David Berger!

 

 

David, thank you so much for agreeing to the interview. So, what inspired you to get into writing?

 

I was first inspired to be a writer when I was a child, when my sister and I would write stories about the Smurfs. They were the “in” thing back then, so she and I would come up with pretty intriguing stuff, from my recollection. I wish I’d kept some of those stories, come to think of it, but this was before computers (1970s). Now, serious writing began when I was in high school and wanted to tell stories, largely influenced by my love of Greek mythology and fantasy novels. I wrote story after story of epic adventure tales, using heroes (and heroines) from Greek myths in new situations.

 

 

Who are your favourite authors?

 

I tend to like fantasy and science fiction writers the most, and in no particular order, I’d say J. R. R. Tolkien, David Eddings, Marian Zimmer Bradley, S. P. Somtow, Frank Herbert, Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, and I can’t forget Neil Gaiman.

 

 

Anyone who mentions Tolkien is ok with me! :D So, being a writer, I have to ask - which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

Characters. And I say that after having written two novels, largely because it’s the conversations I have with my characters that drive the plot. I usually have an idea of how I want a story to go, but sometimes the characters don’t want to do what I want… they truly do have a sentience all their own. Character backstory usually drives the plot forward. As a reader, I get tangled in a good tale, but if the characters don’t fit the story or if they’re too universally simple, I lose interest. The development of character for me is paramount.

 

 

I tend to agree with you there. So what do you look for in a good story?

 

After appealing characters, I look for nuances throughout the plot that snag my interest. Hidden gems, if you will. If I smirk as I’m reading because the author has put in a subtle reference to something—like mythology or an allusion to another book, for example—I’m hooked. Or, if the subtleties of a character’s persona catch my interest, I feel like the author created layers for me to find. Sometimes, just implying that something exists, like magic, without actually stating it directly is enough for me to keep reading.

 

 

What’s the best advice you can give to inspiring authors?

 

First, write and read as much as you can. The more you read, the better a writer you become over time. And, subsequently, the more you write, the better you appreciate what you read. If you’re writing fantasy, then you should read as many diverse works in fantasy as you can find. Second, and certainly this should go without saying, have professional editors look over your work before you publish. Nothing takes the reader out of a great story than a poorly edited novel.

 

 

Good advice! Now about your current work, what is the title of it?

 

My most recently released novel is the second in the Task Force: Gaea series: Memory’s Curse, the sequel to Finding Balance. My soon to be released (soon, as in late 2014/early 2015) is The Liar’s Prophecy.

 

 

 
 
 

Can you tell us a little about it?

 

Memory’s Curse follows right where Finding Balance leaves off, with the four members of the U.N. Task Force: Gaea having to find and vanquish an ancient primordial being known only as The Nebulous One who is hunting the Olympian gods. However, the gods have all vanished except for Apollo. In the process of locating this evil entity, the team members—Aegis, Aether, Zodiak, and Talon—find themselves battling against powerful memories that may prevent them from successfully completing the mission. And, this novel draws on some Lovecraftian ideas, so The Nebulous One’s power is quite formidable as well.

 

 

Oooh! You mentioned Lovecraft - that gets two thumbs up from me! Have you worked/are you working on anything else?

 

I contributed two short stories to an LGBTQ anthology called New Years to Christmas: 15 Queer Holiday Tales. One story, “The Hanukkah Gift,” tells how two gay, Jewish men, Aaron and Jason, meet, and “Father’s Day” continues their relationship and involves some of their families. They’re foundational stories with a little bit of romance that I would like to build into a novel someday.

 

 

Cool. Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

Hard question! But, in the Task Force: Gaea series, one of my favorites is Brandon, also known by his codename: Zodiak. He wears an ancient amulet that allows him to channel power from each of the zodiac signs, and with some, he can physically transform into them, like the centaur archer for Sagittarius. His story goes through some interesting turns in both novels, and his connection to the earth, Gaea, figures prominently in both. Another favorite is Dr. Aleta Halston, codename: Talon. She was genetically fused with a white eagle and can sprout wings at whim. Her tool (not really a weapon) is a silver javelin that allows her to channel Zeus’ lightning. Her sarcastic humor takes people off guard a bit, and because of that, she can seem a bit harsh. But, I really like her.

 

 

Now I ask this to EVERY author I interview, but if your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters?

 

Interestingly enough, I was approached by 490 Entertainment out in L.A. to turn my first novel into film. Currently, they have my film treatment, and I should be hearing back soon about how they're going to proceed. Now, my wish list? Well, Dan Fairmont, aka Aegis, would be played by someone like Joe Manganiello, although he should be early 30s. For Brandon Jeffries, aka Zodiak, I’d easily say Channing Tatum. For Aleta Halston, aka Talon, I would go with Ayisha Issa, who played a priestess in Immortals. For Sarah Jacobs, aka Aether, I would go with Emma Watson.

 

 

Oh wow! That's awesome! :D Well best of luck for that! So, so you have any other hobbies other than writing?

 

I’m an avid reader, comic book fan (Wonder Woman is my favorite), graphic designer, and I’m a fitness and running nut.

 

 

Wonder Woman is awesome! Are you a summer or winter person?

 

As a teacher, I’m going to say summer person, but having grown up in New York, I’ll say winter. I love the cooler weather much more. I’d rather bundle up than be sweating.

 

 

Night owl or morning person?

 

Oh, night owl, easily. I can tell those birds how it gets done, too. I’m much more creative at the wee hours.

 

 

Do you have a favourite food/drink?

 

Sushi is my favourite food, by far. I would live off it if I could.

 

 

Now, this is one of the most important questions I have ever asked. Who would win in a fight between a zombie ninja dragon and a cyborg unicorn with advanced weaponry? XD

 

I’m going to go with cyborg unicorn with advanced weaponry, partly because I’m not a fan of zombies, but I also think a cyborg has more capabilities, especially with that horn. You just never know what it can become.

 

 

Now you said that you were an avid comic book fan earlier - so I think you'll like this next one! You're a superhero - which powers would you like? Oh and here is a picture of Wonder Woman since you mentioned her. You're welcome!

 

 

 

 

Superstrength or superspeed?

 

Hmm. I’ve been a comic fan my whole life, so I’d have to say super-strength. Once I’ve gotten somewhere quickly, what else would I do? I know it works for the Flash, but I think muscle over motion for me.

 

 

Fair enough. Flight or teleportation?

 

Something about the power of flight is alluring to me. I’d like to see where I’m going, I suppose. I’ve always had those dreams where I can fly, and the idea of soaring above the clouds seems more like freedom from restraint to me, something I wish I had more often.

 

 

This one I'm sure fans of Superman will appreciate. Gale-force breath or freeze breath?

 

Gale-force breath, definitely. Once you’ve frozen you’re adversary, where’s the fun in that? I’d like to play with my foe a little before I use my super-strength to knock him across the globe.

 

 

Remind me never to tick you off! XD Heat vision or telekinesis?

 

Telekinesis! Moving objects with the mind has much more potential than heat vision. Besides, I could move fire, so I’d be able to get the best of both.

 

 

Very true! Worked for Dark Phoenix I suppose. Ok, finally, Invincibility or accelerated healing factor?

 

The true hero in me says healing factor so I can feel my own mortality a bit and keep me honest, but part of me wants to say invincibility. Nah, healing factor for sure. Best to psych out my foe and let him think he’s gotten the best of me, then I can surprise him when I’ve healed.

 

 

Well thank you so much to David for taking part in this fun little interview! Hopefully you guys enjoyed it and you can find links to follow David on his Smashwords page:

 

SMASHWORD PAGE

 

Not only that, but David is kindly offering a special code for BOTH of his books through Smashwords, so if you want to check them out - all this week they are available! All you have to do is click on the links below and use the corresponding code to get them!

 

 

Task Force: Gaea - Finding Balance: Use code TQ58D on checkout

 

Task Force: Gaea - Memory's Curse: Use code EW39X on checkout

 

 

Thanks David for taking part! Another author interview/giveaway next week!

 

 

 

--------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

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Disclaimer: Once again, all images above are copyright of their respective owners. I claim no ownership on any of them.

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