Please be sure to welcome Dan Wright back to my blog. He’s just released his latest novel, Legacy of the DragonKin, which is the sequel to Trapped on Draconica. I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel and look forward to reading the second novel. Be sure to stick around and enter the giveaway at the end of the post!
1. Legacy of the DragonKin is the sequel to Trapped on Draconica. Did you have any troubles at all when first writing the sequel? I know a lot of authors (myself included) tend to have some problems at first with the transition and tackling that in the first couple chapters.
I won’t lie, Legacy of the Dragonkin has gone through a TON of re-writes to get to this stage — and I changed the idea for the story several times before I was happy with it. The original sequel was going to be much darker than this one, but I changed it as it was too overly depressing and I felt that I still kinda needed an upbeat kinda tone.
In the end though, I think it turned out ok. I think the problem is when you’re writing a sequel is that, in its own way, it needs to be its own standalone story as well as continuing the storyline (if that makes any sense), so you need to make sure that new readers can understand what’s going on, without needing to read the previous book, and that old readers can follow on with the characters. It’s a hard balance, but hopefully I did that right with this one!
2. I saw the cover when you first unveiled it and I have to admit: That cat on the cover is hilarious. It has this “don’t mess with me” expression. What details can you unveil about that character?
Strangely enough, a lot of people have said that is their favourite character!
The characters name is Wispy, she’s the pet of Benji Dragonkin, the hero. She’s actually a grimalkin — which is a general term for talking animals on Draconica. We decided to put her on the front cover to demonstrate the two elements of the book. We have Benji in the background, in a strong and powerful pose, then we have Wispy trying to look fierce. It’s basically saying that the novel has some great dramatic moments, but isn’t afraid to have fun now and then!
Wispy is actually based on my own cat. I always try to put something cat related in my stories — mainly because I love cats! (insert Cure reference here!) 🙂
3. You’ve been spared from any Cure references from me since I’ve never seen the show (terrible, I know). What can we expect in Legacy of the DragonKin? Will characters from Trapped on Draconica make a return?
The story is set 10 years after Trapped on Draconica, and mainly follows Daniar and her family. She has a son, called Benji (named after the main character in the first book), who desperately wants to be a hero — but has little understanding about the work involved with it. The main antagonists are a group called the Kthonian Knights — a predominantly female group that seek to destroy all the men of the world (as they have all been hurt by men at some point in their lives). The leader, Jihadain, has a particular hatred for Daniar and she is determined to break Daniar down mentally as well as physically.
Without giving away TOO many spoilers, a lot of characters from Trapped on Draconica will return. In fact, many of them will have character arcs that let you see another side of their character. Zarracka, who was pretty much an evil witch in the first book, will have a storyline that helps you understand her character a little more. You may even feel a little sorry for her!
Daniar has more of a central role this time around — and in fact this book is probably a bit more painful for her, as she has to face some demons. Not only does she have to keep her family safe, but she has to face an enemy that is able to drive her to extreme lengths. You may even see a side to Daniar you never thought was possible!
Obviously, a lot of new characters appear — my favourite of them has to the Man in Shadow. He’s a character that only appears a few times, but makes a major impact every time! He’s essentially my version of The Joker from The Dark Knight. Very funny, but quite sick at the same time. Hopefully he’ll be one of those characters you love to hate!
4. You put in a lot of references for all the otakus out there. One of my favorite references in your first novel was the little bit on chocobos. So I have to know: What’s your biggest anime inspiration?
Actually, I am pretty much inspired by Manga/Anime as a genre. I just love the over the top action, the highly dramatic moments, the silly, tongue – in cheek humour, sexy characters (because, let’s face it, Anime/Manga characters can be just impossibly attractive!) and just the fact that it seems to work so well with Fantasy as a whole! It has so many possibilities with it that, for me anyway, it’s impossible not to like it.
For actual inspiration, I would say that anything by Studio Ghibli is a major inspiration (for the emotional aspect in my writing) and also the film Akira — which was the first full length Anime film I ever saw and remains one of my favourites to this day. I love the Manga Full Metal Alchemist and also the Manga inspired video game series Blazblue and Guilty Gear.
There also used to be an Anime series I saw Ultimate Muscle (or the The Kinnikuman Legacy as it was known in Japan), which was one of my fav Anime programs — being a fan of Wrestling. It was one of the funniest shows at the time and I just LOVE the characters in it! It’s a very underrated series in my eyes. Believe it or not, this series actually inspired an actual wrestling move called the Muscle Buster — based on the move the Kinniku-Driver, used by King Muscle and his son Kid Muscle.
5. Wow! I never knew Ultimate Muscle inspired a wrestling move! The show never appealed to me and I know nothing about wrestling. Do you plan on having another book set in the world of Draconica?
Yes, I have plenty more stories to come. The world of Draconica is a large place and I plan on expanding the world as much as I can over the next few years.
6. Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I will be releasing another prequel story to Trapped on Draconica later this year. I already released on based on the character of Emperor Gothon and his life story. This one will be based around General Taurok and his introduction into the Baalarian Empire. General Taurok was actually one of the more balanced and complex characters in Trapped on Draconica, so I wanted to expand on his character a little more.
I also have another sequel planned for Legacy of the Dragonkin — remember how I said at the beginning that Legacy of the Dragonkin was going to be much darker? Well, certain elements of that story will find their way into this book. And believe me, it will be pretty shocking to say the least!
7. A prequel for General Taurok would be great! I loved him! Your artist for the first two novels, Alexis M. Centeno, had to leave the project. Have you found a new lead artist for your future projects and if so, is there anything that you can unveil about him or her at this moment?
I was kinda disappointed that Alexis chose to leave the project as her artwork set the standard for my Draconica novels. But she made her choice to leave and I respect her for it. Luckily, I now have not one but TWO amazing artists working for me! Christina De Ville and Brenna Albert. Brenna has done some art for me on other projects and her art style is amazing! She and Christina work well together so I am glad I have such a great team working for me. Some of the art that Alexis did survived and will make it into the paperback version when it’s released (and the front cover is done by her), but the rest will be done with my other artists.
8. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
Being able to create worlds and tell stories. And creating characters that, I hope, others will find interesting and fleshed out. It’s one of the few times I can let my imagination run wild!
9. Pay-it-forward time! What book by another author would you recommend to readers who love Trapped on Draconica and Legacy of the DragonKin?
This is a tough one as there are a few authors that I can recommend that would be great. But, for the Otaku’s out there, I can recommend the author Andrez Bergen. His books are more Sci-Fi based, but they are some of the best stories I’ve read. Plus they have a lot of Japanese history and mythology references to them and he even references Manga and Anime. He has a couple of books that I recommend — Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat and One Hundred Years of Vicissitude.
10. I’ll have to look up his works! Can you share with us your favorite scene from Legacy of the DragonKin?
I actually have a few. I’ll try to keep it brief for the sake of spoilers though. The scene where Benji comes out of his shell and demonstrates his powers is a pretty good scene as it shows him maturing as a person. Zarracka has a good scene with Kalak near the end that shows another side to her. And the fight scene with Daniar and Jihadain is a favourite of mine — simply because of the way that Jihadain can push Daniar’s buttons in a way that no one else can — pushing her even to a berserk rage. When you see what happens to Daniar when she’s pushed too far, the results will no doubt shock you!
But I would have to say that my favourite scenes are the ones with the Man in Shadow. I enjoyed every minute of writing those scenes — making him as hilarious and despicable as possible! He’s basically a cross between GLaDOS from Portal, Psycho Mantis form Metal Gear Solid, and — as I said earlier — The Joker from The Dark Knight. He’s kinda an enigma. You’re never entirely sure of his true intentions — but you can guess that he’s a puppet master behind all this death and destruction.
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.
Legacy of the Dragonkin
Benji Dragonkin aspires to be a hero, just like his mother – Queen Daniar Dragonkin. He wants to become a famous warrior so that he can save the day – and win the heart of his long time friend, Lydia Taurok. But with his mother being overly protective of him, and a dark side to his father that threatens to tear their family apart, Benji has a long way to go just yet.
Zarracka Dragonkin, still a prisoner of Daniar, plots her revenge against her sister – and Benji may just be the key to her victory.
And in the land of Drewghaven, the Kthonian Knights arise once more, determined to once again bring forth their revenge against the men of the world. Their leader, Jihadain, seeks to settle old scores with Daniar – and break her spirit in the process.
With villains gathering and allies faltering, Benji sees this as a chance to prove himself a true warrior. But even more harrowing is a warning that his mother receives, forshadowing a greater evil:
“She is coming…”
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