1 X Signed copy of Trapped on Draconica
1X One page mini-comic extra
1X Trapped on Draconica T-Shirt
1X Signed piece of artwork by Alexis M Centeno herself.
1X Artwork book showing character sketches and an interview with the artist.
Read on to discover Dan’s inspiration to his novel!
(Guest Post by Dan Wright)
I kinda knew that I wanted Trapped on Draconica to be a Fantasy novel after seeing the first Lord of the Rings movie. And given that I grew up on Fantasy stories from an early age, it seemed the logical step to take next. Whilst writing the book, I poured in a lot of ideas from Greek Mythology, Medieval History, 80’s cartoons, comics etc. I made sure that dragons would be the focus of this story (in some form or another) as they were my favourite type of Fantasy monster.
However after finishing the book, I was being honest, I wasn’t entirely happy with the way it came out. Even though the story had been written the way I wanted and I had my characters how I wanted them, Trapped on Draconica was missing something that would make it stand out from other Fantasy novels. It needed an edge to make it stand out – and that was important considering that I had made the choice to go down the self-publishing route after failed attempts at getting it accepted by a publisher. After much thought, I came up with the idea of including some artwork with the book to make it stand out. As I was reading a ton of comics at the time (mainly Ultimate Marvel stories), this seemed like a logical way of combining both novel and comics to create my own form of graphic novel.
I put up an ad up looking for an artist and I was contacted by an American artist called Alexis M Centeno. She sent me some examples of her work and we kinda took it from there. Her artwork is heavily based on the Manga/Anime style and, I gotta be honest, at the time I didn’t actually think it would work. Whilst I did read a lot of comics, back then Manga and Anime was something that had kinda passed me by. I had watched some Anime films and TV shows – Yu-Gi-Oh, Ultimate Muscle, Dragonball Z every now and then for TV and Akira, Ninja Scroll, Ghost in the Shell and Fist of the North Star for films, plus a ton of OVA’s which would take an age for me to list, but I just wasn’t into it as much back then.
But when Alexis did some character designs for the characters in my book, it just seemed to fit. When she drew a few pictures using some classic Manga style humour, I actually realised that was one of the key ingredients that was missing in my book. Given that Manga is kinda known for its tongue-in-cheek, and sometimes bizarre humour, this gave me an indication of which direction to go for my book. Whilst I do like Fantasy, I think the problem with it is that it can sometimes take itself a little too seriously and is afraid to have a little fun. But I’m a great believer that humour can break up the tension of a story and allow the audience to have a little fun now and then. Plus, Manga seemed to fit my warped sense of humour so it made sense that I should apply this to my book.
I did a bit of research into Manga and Anime. For Anime, I watched clips of the most popular ones, namely Sailor Moon and Naruto – as well as reruns of Yu-Gi-Oh and the odd One Piece now and then. I also started reading Bleach and Full Metal Alchemist, which remains today as my favourite Manga, as well as watching a LOAD of Studio Gibli films, such as Spirited Away, Howls Moving Castle and Princess Nomoke. I also got into the video game series Guilty Gear and Blazblue, which also had strong Manga storylines and characters (in fact I think they both have the best characters out of any fighting game franchise). Over time I gained an appreciation for Manga and even adapted my style to this kind of demographic.
After going back to add a bit more Manga style humour to the book, I finally created something that I ended up loving as opposed to just thinking it was ok. However, I do think that the illustrations have played an important part in the creation of this novel. Without the illustrations, I honestly think that this book would not do as well as it has been doing. I actually think the style of the pictures helped me to adapt it a bit more and give it just that little something special. It also helped that Alexis was extremely dedicated to the project – I couldn’t have asked for a better artist!
The coolest thing about all this is that I’ve been able to introduce other people to Manga by buying or reading my book. So if my work can introduce more people to Manga then that can only be a good thing. 🙂
Wasn’t that fascinating? Anyone who’s influenced by anime/manga is awesome in my book.
Trapped on Draconica
Ben is just your typical teenager – loud, obnoxious and always getting himself into hot water. Coming from a troubled household, it’s no wonder Ben’s been on the wrong side of the tracks lately. Ben thinks that his troubles can’t possibly get any worse. How wrong he is…
Mysteriously teleported to the world of Draconica, the homeland of the Dragons, Ben gets caught up in a invasion by the Baalarian Empire – who are hell-bent on capturing him. But what did Ben ever do to upset them?
With no idea how he got here – and with intentions only on getting home, Ben embarks on a fantastical journey. Joining forces with the Dragonkin sisters Daniar and Erowin, Ben must help them take down the Empire before their dark grasp tightens across the land.
Little does Ben realise that his role in this battle is far more vital than he realises – and that his coming here was no accident. So he embarks on a journey that will change his life forever.
Written by Dan Wright and featuring anime artwork by Alexis M. Centeno, Trapped on Draconica is an epic fantasy adventure that takes you on an incredible journey that you want to visit again and again.
About the Author
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 book reviewer, which he does independantly and on his website Read2Review. Authors who have inspired Dan are Douglas Adams, J.R.R Tolkien, Harlan Ellison, Alan Moore, Joss Whedon and Hiromu Arakawa.