Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan


Interview with Andrez Bergen

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Things have been a little tough at work recently and, what with the release of my new novel in a couple of weeks, I've been keeping myself busy.


Nevertheless, I intend to make up for that today, as I once again have the pleasure of my favourite author back with me. He took time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his work and a little about his upcoming novel (which he briefly talked about on my blog a few weeks back). He was willing to impart his knowledge about writing to me and also a little about his forthcoming novel.


Whaddya say? Let's get down to it!




1. Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?


Thanks for having me, Dan. In a nutshell? I'm an Australian (born and reared in Melbourne) who's lived in Tokyo these past 13 years. I'm a journalist and I do electronic music under aliases like Little Nobody and Funk Gadget, but since 2011 have focused on writing fiction — with no particular genre holding precedence, though everyone knows I love my noir.



2. Wow! Sounds like you keep a busy lifestyle! So what first inspired you to get into writing?


I've been pushing a pen since I could hold one — and before I could spell, apparently, if you look at some of the old stories my mum kept from primary school. I love doing the thing. It's a form of escapism and adventure in which I have no idea of what direction we'll take. Later reading people like Graham Greene, Raymond Chandler and Philip K. Dick inspired me to bird-dog the passion into novels.



3. Thumbs up for the Philip K. Dick mention! Who are your favourite authors?


Definitely still Chandler, and I still pick up Greene and Dick occasionally. Dashiell Hammett, Nicholas Christopher and Angela Carter. More recent people like Michael Chabon and China Miéville.



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


No, no, I have way too many of the things. I really enjoy making music, as I mentioned, along with catching up with experimental electronic sounds. I love movies and anime — I was a film reviewer for several years — and I'm a comic book buff. That's where I'm right into other writers like Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction. I'm right into trying new, obscure foods. And I also make comics too.



5. Is there no end to your talents? Ok, that's not my real question. Haha. Do you have a favourite genre to write in?


Anything goes — seriously. I've brushed up against fantasy, surreal, slipstream, magical realism, farce, sci-fi, dystopia, coming-of-age. They're all fun. But hardboiled noir often undercuts the lot.



6. Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people (us) a little bit about your new book?


Yep, that's a toughie — a few reviewers have already commented that it's hard to talk about this story without giving away essential parts of the yarn. Basically, it's the story of a teenage high school girl growing up in Nede, pronounced 'Needy', which is a surrogate city for Melbourne in the 1980s. She comes from an abusive family, discovers herself through music and subculture, and then stumbles across a possible murder-mystery — or is it just plain madness?



7. Ah, sounds interesting. I'm gonna add that to my to be read pile! Where did you get the inspirations for this?


Some of it is based on my own childhood with an abusive older brother, as well as the tales of friends who went through a similar experience, particularly in the goth/post-punk scene in the 1980s and '90s. The rest is pure fiction, directions that I didn't plan and came out of nowhere.



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


Um... definitely Mina. Without giving away much, I've worked with her before and will do so again. I love the hidden strength of her character. She reminds me of a female Sam Spade — if he were a teenage girl with a passion for post-punk tunes and bubbly. So I guess Spade mixed a little with another Hammett creation, Nora Charles from The Thin Man. I also loved working with Animeid, and felt regret for Mina's friend Sarah.



9. If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this? Also, can I have a bit part in it?


XD  Ha Ha Ha — yep, of course you can! We can work together as the toilet cleaners at Flinders Street Station during the crowded mardi gras scene! This one's always a tough, and constantly changes depending on what I'm exposed to at the time, cinematically speaking, and their age. Obviously I think Chloë Grace Moretz would be awesome, and she's the right age (17) — but she's American. I'd prefer an Australian, British or New Zealand actor to play Mina. Mia Wasikowska? Perfect if she were 7 years younger. I'm not really up on current Aussie actresses having lived in Japan all these years. But ideally? Brigitte Bardot when she was a brunette in the early '50s, or Michelle Pfeiffer circa 1980. Don't get me started on the other characters — you'll stop paying attention before I'm half-way finished. Director? Five years ago I would've said Peter Jackson. Now I won't — The Hobbit scarred me a bit. He's still great, but needs to go back to his roots. I love what Christopher Nolan does, and I'm a Terry Gillian fan from way back — in fact he'd excel with the middle part of the book. I'm tempted to say Spike Jonze. But if John Schlesinger were still alive, I'd opt for him — Billy Liar, The Falcon and the Snowman and Cold Comfort Farm are still brilliant films.



10. Some good choices for directors there. And I did used to work as a cleaner as one of my old jobs. XD Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?


Can I say both? For me, definitely both, with characters (and their dialogue) only slightly edging the plot.



11. Of course you can say both. It's your interview after all. ;) What do you look for in a good story?


Something that keeps my attention from wandering. A good yarn that builds to something special, with characters I dig even if they're not the most likeable of people.



12. So I understand that one of your other books, Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat is being turned into a graphic novel. Do you have plans to turn any of your other works into graphic novels?


Yep, I just wrapped up that graphic novel in May, and it's being published in August. I did the artwork as well, and it was a mind-blowing experience. I realized partway into it that it was impossible to do the entire novel, and concentrated instead on the first 100 pages, plus added some new plot-twists that have occurred to me over the ensuing three years since TSMG was published. I'm also currently developing my novel from last year, Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, as a continuing comic book series — which is appropriate since it's heavily influenced by golden and silver age comics. But another graphic novel? I haven't thought that far ahead... yet.



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


Perseverence is the thing to hang onto. Don't give up just because you get knocked back a few times. And you need to have faith in what you do. I know that's hard. But if you don't believe in your work — who will?



14. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that one. And indeed that's something that I myself have come to blows with sometimes. Ok, now for the REAL question of the interview – and this is real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?


Yikes — this question. Was praying you wouldn't ask. So I'm going to dip back into my favourite Dr Suess tome, since this is the wisest fox in the world: “When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles... they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle.” Exactly.



Thank to Andrez for an amazing interview! Be sure to check out his novels here:


Amazon Page


Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!







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Interview with Alexis M Centeno

Guys, I got a real treat for you today. Recently, I reconnected with Alexis M Centeno, the original artist for the Draconica series. Many of you who follow my work will know the huge contribution that she has made to her series - her art setting the standard for all other Draconica art that followed. She is an amazingly talented artist and, whilst she no longer works on the Draconica series, it was great for her to reconnect.


So, as a special treat, she agreed to do an interview on my blog - and we can even show you the mini comic that she drew for me as well! So sit back and relax and let's catch up with one of the most talent artists I have ever worked with.





Tell us a bit about yourself – how did you first get into art?


I’ve been drawing my whole life. It’s just something I have to do.



Who would you say are your influences?


That is really hard to pinpoint these days:). For the last few years, I’ve been a sponge soaking up whatever catches my eye. I don’t even put too much thought anymore; if I like something; whatever it is, I’ll put it into a design; the more outside the box the better.



What are your major artistic tools you are using at the moment?


3D has really expanded my toolbox. I would say I use ZBrush and MAYA as much as Photoshop these days. For the sake of staying competitive, I have to use a lot of different 3D apps and plugins, but ZBrush is a great tool even for 2D illustrators.



How did we (you and Dan) first meet?


It’s been a long time, but I think it all started with me answering an ad on a comic book forum. Dan was (and still is) very easy to work with and it just took off from there.



What was it like working on the Draconica series?


Draconica was probably one of the most important artistic experiences of my life. I learned a lot about how to work with a writer. Luckily, Dan was very open with his story and characters; he never stifled my creativity and was always very encouraging. It was a fun experience and I’m very glad I answered that ad.



What have you been doing since Draconica?


Working on Draconica gave me the confidence to pursue other areas of art, so I took time to finish my BFA in computer animation and work on characters in 3D. Right now it looks like I’m coming full circle by doing pre-viz work for an animated short tentatively called Grandpa that I would like to complete by Halloween 2014. Stay tuned to my blog,  for updates.



Do you still follow the Draconica series in any way or have you moved onto bigger things?


I drew the characters for several years and it is hard not to become a little possessive. It was better for me to put some distance. However, the story continues and I am happy to see it succeed. Draconica and its characters will always be special to me. Based on the people’s appetite for good fantasy, it’s only a matter of time until Dan’s books reach a much wider audience.



Do you have any favourite characters in the Draconica series?


There are so many wonderful characters to choose from, but Mordak and Zarracka remain my favourites.



And who are your least or most hated characters?


I was never a fan of Daniar. Maybe because Zarracka was my favourite princess and I saw Daniar through her eyes.



What do you think about the forthcoming book Final Ragnarok: She Returns? Are you excited about it? What do you think is going to happen – and what are you most looking forward to?


I recently saw the trailer and it seems very exciting. During the making of Legacy of the Dragonkin, Dan had mentioned a few shocking plot points he was considering for the future. Should be interesting what made it in and what didn’t. I’m also excited about Dan’s other projects outside this series; he’s been very busy.



Now, let’s talk a little bit about the commission you’re doing for me – a mini comic called The Bad Girls of Draconica





What’s happening in this picture? Who are these characters and what is about to happen?


One of the most interesting aspects of working with Dan were the “what if” illustrations. He would write up a scenario and I would illustrate it. I never knew if it would go into the story of if he was testing things out to see if it would work.  Here is a “what if” Zarracka and Kthonia teamed up to take down Mordak and Lucia. Here the two ladies are agreeing to use their wind powers to get rid of them. They’re both powerful and confident, so I wanted to show their playful side.





Looks like some serious stuff is going down here! Can you tell us what’s happening?


Here Mordak is going in for the kill, but the ladies combine their power to literally blow him to pieces.





And finally, what’s happening to the poor guy here?


Blowing up Lucia seemed a bit much, so here he gets a tap from the cyclone and that is enough to send him hurtling to space like old school team rocket.



Moral of the story: don't f*** with the ladies of Draconica! XD So what’s next for you?


My post-grad experience has been very technical. I spent a lot of time learning software, and that’s great, but working on this commission for Dan reminded me how much I love to draw and I haven’t stopped since. I do hope I can recruit enough artists to make an animated short happen; I think it will be very special and allow me to do both the 2D and 3D art I enjoy so much. I also hope it will put another spotlight on Miami based 3D artists. There is so much talent here, but it often goes unrecognized.



Finally, one more question before you go. If you had the option to spend one day with one of the characters from the Draconica series, who would it be and why?


Based on how I answered the questions above, Zarracka would be the obvious choice. She knows how to have fun :)



Be sure to follow Alexis at to check out more of her upcoming projects and more excellent art! Thanks to Alexis for being here today!







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Author Interview - Jessika Council

Well, this is the last Author Interview that I am doing this month - and I decided once more to revisit an old friend.


A couple of years ago, I reviewed Jessika Council's book Airion: Return to Zire, which I kinda gave a hard time due to the amount of typos that there were in it, but I geniunely did enjoy reading it. Thankfully, Jessika didn't take my comments personally and she agreed to this special author interview - which I wanted to do to make up for the bashing I gave her for the review. I'll also give her a chance to offer a giveaway for her work like I've done with the other authors that have featured here.


So please welcome to my blog, the marvelous Jessika Council! (round of applause!)



Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, Jessika. So, why don't you tell the nice people what inspired you to get into writing?


I’ve always loved writing. There is something about creating life on a page that is so satisfying.



Too true! Who are your favourite authors?


J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, and Erin Hunter are three of my favorite authors. They all create amazing worlds, plots, and characters.



Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?


I think good characters create the story. The best story goes down the toilet with crappy characters.



I agree there. What do you look for in a good story?


Character development is very important. But beyond that, I like to walk away from a novel feeling invested, not wanting it to end, excited for the next novel, or feeling as if I’ve learned something.



I feel the same way about any novel I read. What’s the best advice you can give to authors?


Not everyone is going to feel the way you do about your work. This is not to say that you should sell your soul to gain fans. If you don’t want to write about love triangles, vampires, or werewolves, DON’T. Write what you want and keep writing. The fans will come.



I totally agree with you there! Writers should tell the stories that they want to tell. So tell us, what is the title of your most recent/soon to be released novel?


Airion: Light and Dawn



Can you tell us a little about it?


This is book two of the Airion Series. Kobi and Raili are constantly challenged by destiny, which is trying to pull them apart. I can’t say more than that without giving away the first book Airion: Return to Zire.



Oh we can't have you posting spoilers now, can we? Lol. Have you worked/are you working on anything else?


I am currently plotting book three of the Airion Series, Airion: The Ruins of Drake. I am very excited about this book because there will be a significant setting change, new characters, and a large twist to the series plot.



Ooooh, plot twist! I like those! Do you have any favourite characters in the story


I hate to play favorites with my characters, it’s almost like choosing your favorite child. But, admittedly, I do have some characters that I favor more than others. Black Master Rick, Trayn Saio, and Kai Ventra are among my favorites. But, of course my twins, Kobi and Raili, have my heart. :)



Yeah, we authors always seem to pick favourites, despite our best not to. If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters?


That is a loaded question. I think that they would have to get all new actors to play the characters in this series, because it is such a strange setting and the character’s ethnicities aren’t conventional. It will have to be almost like the new actors in the Chronicles of Narnia movies.



That's pretty cool - choosing new actors rather than big name ones. I think that makes a film that more realistic. So, do you have any other hobbies other than writing?


Oh… So many… I dance everything from contemporary to hip hop, I sing (pretty well I guess), Draw (my mom has a little gallery in her place full of my drawings) I love Japanese Culture, Anime, and I speak Japanese. On top of all of that, I am a huge dork for science and history. Yeah… I think that’s it. Lol



Nice! Anime lovers are always welcome on my blog! Are you a summer or winter person?


I LOVE SUMMER!! I don’t like winter at all, although my favorite holidays are in winter, as well as my birthday. Just my luck.



Summer kicks ass! Are you a night owl or morning person?


I am definitely a night owl. I sometimes characterize myself as a child that loves to fight sleep every night. Even if I’m sleepy, I will find a reason to stay awake until at least 1 or 2 in the morning. Horrible, I know.



What is your favourite food/drink?


Japanese and Italian food is my favorite. As for drink, I am a big fan of water and juice. I’m not a big fan of soda (unless it’s ginger ale or orange soda).



Cool. Now for the big one. Who would win in a fight between a zombie ninja dragon and a cyborg unicorn with advanced weaponry?



Hmm… good question… I would like to think that the zombie ninja dragon would win. Cyborgs are hard to kill, the ninja dragons are epic. :)



Cool. Ok, now the fun part. You are a superheroine and you have to pick your powers. For this, I picked a superheroine I think you'll be happy with!






You're welcome. ;)


Anyway, would you prefer superstrength or superspeed?


Superspeed, for sure. I could go anywhere in a fraction of the time. Maybe even travel at the speed of light and discover time travel, going backward or forward in history to see some of the world’s greatest moments the way they really happened.



Cool. Flight or teleportation?


Flight. I would fly to the store if I could. I love flying.



Gale-force breath or freeze breath?


Hmm… That’s some strong breath… I would have to go with Gale-force breath. I hate the cold.



Me to. Heat vision or telekinesis?


Undoubtedly telekinesis! How cool would it be to be able to move things with your mind. Did you know that humans only use about 10% of their brain and some scientists speculate that humans could possibly become telekinetic if they could use 100% of their brain? Very cool! (Yes, I’m a dork ^_^)



That's a cool fact! Personally, if I even used 1% of my brain we could get things done! XD Final question,   Invincibility or accelerated healing factor?


Hmmm… that’s like being a vampire or an original vampire in that American drama The Vampire Diaries (Great show by the way). I would rather be an original, which is the same as being invincible. Invincibility rocks!! :)



It sure does! Well thank you for being so cool in talking to me today. Jessika has also kindly agreed to offer some discounted rates for her current book Airion: Return to Zire. All you have to do is use this special code - XJ73W -  to get some discounts by putting it in at check in! Click on the pic below to be able to get yourself a discounted copy now!





You can connect with Jessika at the following links:






Barnes and Noble




A huge thanks to Jessika for taking the time to talk to me and good luck with your new novel. It was a pleasure to have you.


Well guys, that's it for this month with Author Interviews. I'll be doing another one in a few months time, so authors, if you want to be featured on my blog, please get in touch at any of the...





Ok, just what the hell is going on here? These things have been appearing in my blog for days now. I want to know who is doing this! Show yourself now!


Myysterious Voice: Be careful for what you wish for...




(A blast of lightning strikes).




Mysterious Voice: Hehehehe. Don't worry, Dan... I'll look after you blog whilst you... take a nap...








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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:








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


Happy Reading everyone ;)







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Character Interview with Zarracka Dragonkin

Hey guys - my character Zarracka Dragonkin was featured in an interview on Tsukime Reads and Reviews recently. Thought it would be fun to share it with you guys!


Here, Zarracka tells all - from what she looks for in a man, how she got her name - and even how she feels about being paired up with a famous Disney Princess.


Can Tsukime survive this interview without being frozen? Read on and find out! Click on the picture below to be taken to the interview!







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