Today, I’m excited to welcome Dan Rice, whose recent release, Dragons Walk Among Us, has garnered some great reviews! He’s here to tell us all about this young adult fantasy, writing, publishing, promo, and the second book in the series. Take it away, Dan!
I often read the advice for authors that the best career move is to write the next book. Lately, along with all the promotional work to launch my debut Dragons Walk Among Us, I’ve been hammering away at the next installment of Allison Lee’s adventures. Although I readily admit it may prove a pipe dream, my goal is to have book two in The Allison Lee Chronicles turned in to my editor by December of this year––fingers crossed!
Before having Dragons Walk Among Us picked up by The Wild Rose Press, I had been drafting an epic fantasy. I continued working on that book while at the same time incorporating feedback from my editor on Dragons Walk Among Us. About the time I finished correcting the initial galley––the galley is the document sent to the printer––I gleefully realized that I hadn’t been dreaming; I actually had a book coming out! Hopefully, the first book in a four or five-book series. I knew the time was right to set aside the epic fantasy, despite having written 60,000 words or more, and start writing the further adventures of Allison Lee.
I quickly outlined the plot for book two and started writing. At the same time, I was correcting the final galley of Dragons Walk Among Us and trying to unravel the secret of “promo”. As best I can tell, like many things in life, the secret to promoting your writing is diligently putting in the time and effort, just like when you’re crafting a story. With my debut released only two short weeks ago, I’m a hair over 60,000 words into the second book. I’m shooting for approximately a 90,000-word novel, so I have about a third left to write. Sometimes I feel like I will easily make my December goal, but then I remember the numerous hours I will spend at the editorial chopping block hacking the first draft into a manuscript worthy of submission.
With any luck, readers who enjoy Dragons Walk Among Us will read Allison Lee’s continuing exploits next summer. She will travel from the rain-soaked streets of Seattle to sun-drenched islands in Southeast Asia to encounter mystery, magic, and creatures ripped straight out of the myth.
More about Dragons Walk Among Us:
Shutterbug Allison Lee is trying to survive high school while suffering the popular girl’s abuse. Her life is often abysmal, but at least her green hair is savage. Her talent for photography is recognized by the school paper and the judges of a photo contest.
While visiting her friend Joe, a homeless vet, Allison’s life irrevocably changes after an attack leaves her blind. All her dreams as a photojournalist are dashed as she realizes she’ll never see again. Despair sets in until she is offered an experimental procedure to restore her vision. But there are side effects, or are they hallucinations? She now sees dragons accompanying some of the people she meets. Can she trust her eyes, or has the procedure affected her more than she can see?
A peek between the pages:
Biting my lower lip, I cross the threshold into the room. To my left, I see the glittering scales of a gargantuan golden dragon with its leathery green wings pressed tight against its sides. The beast shimmers and fades in and out of existence. One second the serpentine neck looms overhead to nearly touch the vaulted ceiling and in the next second fades away. The same is true for the rest of the serpent’s body.
There is a click, and a desk lamp flares to life. I breathe in sharply and hop in place. Sitting in a chair at the table, bathed in the lamplight, is Dr. Radcliffe. His elbows are propped up on the table, and his hands are steepled.
“Ah, Allison Lee,” Dr. Radcliffe says and checks a golden wristwatch. “You, young lady, have an impeccable sense of time, so unlike most of your generation.”
I gulp, only barely registering what he just said to me. I gawp at his draconic companion.
“Well, Allison, you want to talk to me. Here I am.”
“Why…why is there a translucent dragon looming over you?” I stutter and fumble with my sling bag’s zipper.
“Hmmm,” he says and, placing his fingertips against the table, stands. “A fascinating question. Do I take that to mean that you do not know what I am?”
“How would I know what you are?” I get hold of the zipper and start opening the bag.
Dr. Radcliffe, lips forming a hard, grim line, marches around from behind the table and approaches me. The dragon that almost seems to project from him follows, a forefoot that should crush the table passing through the wood as though insubstantial.
My hand wraps around the barrel of my camera lens. I hear a door slam from outside in the atrium. Good. My friends have arrived. Even if I can’t get a shot off, they will. Dr. Radcliffe stops in front of me and places a hand that feels very human against my hand that holds the camera lens.
“Now, now, Allison. I think it is best if you come with me, my dear. Your friends in the hall. They will come also.” He sniffs me, like a predator scenting prey. “Odd. I do not recognize your scent.”
“You’re sniffing me? You sicko! I’m not going anywhere with you.”
I pull away, but he clenches my wrist. His grip is shockingly strong for a spindly old man.
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More about Dan:
Dan has wanted to write novels since first reading Frank Herbert’s Dune at the age of eleven. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he often goes hiking with his family through mist-shrouded forests and along alpine trails with expansive views.
Dragons Walk Among Us is his debut novel. He plans to keep writing fantasy and science-fiction for many years. You can explore his blog at https://www.danscifi.com.
Where to find him:
Thanks so much for joining us today, Dan. Wishing you all the best and continued success with Dragons Walk Among Us!