Monday, July 2, 2012

An Interview with author Dan Wright

Hiya peeps! I've been lucky enough to snag Dan Wright, author of some really cool manga-style fantasy novels.  He's gearing up for the sequel to Trapped on Draconica, which I reviewed HERE. We've appeared on each other's blogs several times, but this will be the first time I've interrogated him mercilessly like I do all my victims!

Let's dive right in, shall we? Dan, tell us about yourself. What do you do when you're not trapped on Draconica with all the Dragonkin?

Actually, I pretty much am in Draconica full time at the moment – trying to let others into my world (lol). But in the few occasions that I am NOT in Draconica (by that I mean writing), then I like to read and review books. I’ve currently offered a long list of authors a review of their books and am working through them as quickly as I can. I love reading indie authors and the amazing stories they come out with. Many of which I hope they can make into a film!

Aside from that, I also enjoy listening to music and gigging with my band. I’m in a heavy metal band called The Self Titled – website here: I play the rhythm guitar and love ripping out chunky power chords! Music usually plays a huge part in my life and I often get inspired in my writing with music sometimes. My favourite bands are Dream Theater (currently my favourite band of all time), Metallica, Stone Sour, Pantera and Fear Factory. I do listen to all types of music though – but given the chance I love to bang my head to some rocking metal!

I also love video game music and am amazed at how powerful it can be. Currently I enjoy listening to the music of the video game Blazblue, and I love the music in Final Fantasy VII.

Give us the scoop on TOD and the upcoming sequel, Legacy of the Dragonkin. What's the general story line of each?

In TOD, we were introduced to the world of Draconica through the eyes of Ben Anthony – a teenager that was known for getting into trouble. For reasons he can’t explain, he is teleported to the world of Draconica, where his adventure takes places. Draconica is a world that was created by the dragons – but in the context of this story, they are godlike entities that learned to travel across the Universe. They created the world of Draconica based on the worlds they visited.

At the time of the book, the dragons have passed away. But their legacy lives on in the form of the Dragonkin – four sisters that were granted powers by the last dragon, Dronor. They are Daniar, a powerful warrior woman that breathes fire – Erowin, a sweet girl that can communicate with nature and has healing breath – Zarracka, the villainess that forms an alliance with the antagonists, The Baalarian Empire, who can blow ice – and Rana, a kinda outcast and, what I like to call a “Feminist She-Ra”. She commands lighting and can also blow hurricanes. Not someone you should annoy!

Ben makes friends with Daniar and Erowin and they begin their journey to try and find Ben’s way home. The antagonists of the story are the Baalarian Empire – ruled by Emperor Gothon. They are poised for world domination and Ben is somehow the key to their victory. But there is more to the story than meets the eye...

TOD was written in a Young Adult Fantasy style and included Manga style illustrations to bring the story to life. It mixed comedy, action, romance and drama to create something that (I hope) will appeal to all readers.

Legacy of the Dragonkin takes place ten years after the events of this novel and (without giving too many spoilers) follows the adventures of Daniar Dragonkin’s son, Benji. He is training to be a hero just like his mother – but quickly finds out that being a hero is not as easy as he thinks it is. The villains of this piece are the Kthonian Knights, a group of 3 women and 1 male that are looking for the heart of a mara (a supernatural monster) called Kthonia so that they can bring vengeance on the world. All of them have been tormented at the hands of men and are seeking to make the men of Draconica pay for their crimes. Not only that, but the leader is an old enemy of Daniar!

LOD will be a little more of a traditional Fantasy – but also a lot more personal as a story. Whereas Daniar and her family were almost background characters in TOD, here they are the centre of attention. As I said before, the leader of the knights (Jihadain) is an old enemy of Daniar – but not only that, she’s one of the few enemies that was able to traumatise her and strike her an injury that has haunted her ever since. Those who read TOD would know that Daniar is a strong, but gentle warrior who never kills – but in this one she is driven to almost murderous rage! It is actually much darker than TOD – and it includes a storyline that I think most people will find heart wrenching at best.

This book also is part of what I call my Final Raganrok Event, something that was eluded to in a spin off novel I wrote. I won’t say what it is – but it is something that will have an effect on the world of Draconica as we know it.

Before I read TOD, I had never read anything in the manga style. I have to say I loved seeing Alexis Centino's stunning artwork to illustrate scenes as I read along. For those of us who aren't familiar with it, tell us what manga is and how you became interested in it.

Manga is a style of artwork from Japan – known for its overly stylized characters (who tend to have unique, colourful and sometimes ridiculously long hair), exaggerated expressions, cartoonish looks and badass looking characters. It tends to be over the top and extreme in places – especially when it comes to fight scenes and the use of super powers. It also has extremely quirky humour and tends to throw in some completely mad scenes now and then – but it can also be very dark and (in some cases) disturbing. It’s also known for its sometimes ridiculous amount of “fanservice” – but I try to stay away from that in my writing. The most popular Manga’s are/have been, Naruto, One Piece, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Death Note.

Buy it HERE!
To be honest, I actually wasn’t that into Manga when I first looked for an artist for this book. But Alexis M Centeno’s work looked so amazing that I had to give it a go. In actual fact, Manga works wonders with Fantasy due to the over the top nature and highly exaggerated characterisations and weapons – not to mention the possibility for amazing fight scenes! I actually adapted my writing style to a more “Manga” style when writing this book, so the artwork really helped bring it to life in a way I could never have imagined.

Even though I’m not an expert of Manga myself, I do enjoy the genre as a whole. I love Japanese Anime films (Akira and Spirited Away being my favourites). At the moment, I’m reading the Full Metal Alchemist manga and I’m loving it. I love the story, the characters and the general theme of it. In many ways it’s my perfect genre as a writer as I have the chance to let my imagination run wild.

I find it fascinating when authors and artists collaborate on things, maybe because I picture writers hiding out in chilly basement offices listening to Pandora while a cat warms their laps. Or maybe that's just me. How did you meet Alexis Centino, and how long did it take to finish the story + illustrations?

Whilst I have worked with her for so long, I have never actually met her. She’s based in Miami and I am based in Canterbury (United Kingdom), so we have never actually met in person – although we have exchanged photographs with each other. Or main communication has been through email thus far, but I hope that one day we can meet face to face.

She answered an advert that I put up on a website called Zuda and we just went from there. In total, it took us a couple of years to get all the artwork done (as she was doing through her college studies at the time and I had to make allowances for that), but during this time she has shown amazing dedication to the project. All the character designs she did were to some basic designs I gave her, but she added her own feel to them and created them based on how she saw them. And I think her designs are just incredible! It’s rare that I have to tell her to do a second draft of a character as she seems to get it right first time almost every time!

I actually consider her a “co-creator” for this series now as she has put in all her time and effort into this piece. I also think having a female perspective on a story is a good idea for any male writer, as it means that I can gauge what I can get away with without offending any “feminist” sensibilities. Thankfully, Alexis is very open to a lot of stuff and will always tell me if I’ve gone too far.

I can't wait any longer. I have to throw you a random question. Are you a night owl or morning person?

To be honest I’m both. I don’t really like to get up too late in the morning as I like to try and enjoy my day, but I do enjoy a lie in every now and then. So I guess you could say I’m a night/morning owl type person. Lol.

Now, Mr. Wright, would you be so kind as to share an excerpt of your work?

For you, Mysti, and your readers, anything! This is a little excerpt from Chapter 19 – where Daniar and Jihadain finally meet for a major battle. I even through in some rough artwork for this scene, so you can see how it’s coming along! Hope you enjoy it!


Daniar went to one knee, clutching her belly with her free hand. Her insides were crying out in agony, as if a fire was burning through them. She lifted up her head, looking straight at Jihadain. She seemed to be glowing with a purple aura, although Daniar couldn’t tell if that was just the pain making her hallucinate. Jihadain was smiling wickedly – a smile that made Daniar want to get up and punch her stupid face, which she would have done had she the strength to do so.

‘What’s the matter, Daniar?’ Jihadain asked, disappointed at how lacklustre this battle was thus far. ‘You’re a lot slower than I remember. Have you gotten soft in your old age?’

Daniar was inhaling and exhaling huge breaths through the gaps in her clenched teeth. She had started the fight feeling exhausted and her body ached all over. Jihadain, by contrast, was yet to break sweat. ‘Then again, you never could best me in a in fight, could you Daniar? How many battles is it that we’ve fought? Four? Five? They all seem to blur into one for me, as they always have the same outcome.’

She waited for Daniar, expecting her to say something. Daniar however, had yet to catch her breath.
‘What? No witty retort? No comeback? Don’t you always do a heroic speech at this point?’ Jihadain cleared her throat, then spoke in a slightly higher and droning pitch than normal, sounding slow and unintelligent. “You’ll never stop me, Jihadain. As long as I have breath I will never give up!”

Thanks so much for visiting us today, Dan! I wish you continued success!

It was a pleasure. Thanks for having me! J

Readers--now that we've gotten you interested, I hope you'll consider helping Dan make his next release a reality. He could use some extra funds to help illustrate Legacy of the Dragonkin. See this link: to watch a video Dan made about the project or share the widget below on your own site! 


  1. A huge thanks to Mysti for giving me this opportunity to talk about myself and being hosted on HER blog this time! Much appreciated!

    1. It was, of course, MY pleasure. Looking forward to your next installment in Draconica :)


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