Tag Archives: Daven Carrickson

The Dragonprince’s Legacy

a-darkness-in-the-eastNote: The following is a cleverly concealed new-release notification. If you’d prefer to skip straight to the good stuff, click here.

I just re-released The Dragonswarm (The Dragonprince’s Legacy, #2) with a new Afterword. I thought my regular readers here might find its contents interesting, so here you go:

Welcome to the end of The Dragonswarm. Since you’ve made it this far, I’m going to act as though you enjoyed the story. Now I need to take a moment to tell you how to keep enjoying the story.

I originally wrote the tale of Daven Carrickson becoming the Dragonprince–everything you’ve just read in two volumes–as a single mega-epic novel called Taming Fire. That was fifteen years ago, and the story has changed a lot since then, but it always started with Daven meeting Othin on the little hill outside town, and it always ended with him battling Pazyarev in the skies and then sending the king packing.

Back then, I expected Taming Fire to come with a sequel–a story that’s now available as The Dragonprince’s Heir. It skips ahead fifteen years from here, and finds the dragonswarm mostly subdued, but Daven has been lost (as in “missing in action,” although most everyone does assume he’s dead), and the story is told from the point of view of his first-born son.

I published The Dragonprince’s Heir in June 2012, six months after The Dragonswarm, and it completed the original trilogy. If you’d like to read the story as my original artistic “vision,” that’s your next step. Grab a copy of The Dragonprince’s Heir and discover the ultimate conclusion to the story that started when Othin confronted Daven by the little brook.

However, I also always intended to spin out some additional (maybe supplemental?) stories about the time between this novel and the next one. But when I skipped fifteen years and changed protagonists, I forgot that my readers didn’t know my secret intentions.

Because of that, The Dragonprince’s Heir elicited a minor outcry from fans who wanted to see more of Daven in action, who wanted to see how Daven used the powers and resources gained in The Dragonswarm to overcome the tide of dragons, who wanted to meet the “famed dragonriders” who get mentioned in the final book but are already lost by then.

We live and learn. So now, before you jump ahead, I can give you that warning. I’ve outlined ten novellas exploring those stories (which will eventually be collected in The Dragonprince’s Arrows and The Dragonprince’s Blades), as well as an additional feature-length Daven novel (The Dragonprince’s Odyssey), all of which take place between The Dragonswarm and The Dragonprince’s Heir.

And, even better than a warning, I can give you an opportunity to sample those stories. The first of the ten novellas, A Darkness in the East, is available now! It picks up the thread a few months after the end of The Dragonswarm and starts with Daven riding into battle on the back of the mighty Pazyarev.

He’s also a little concerned because he hasn’t heard anything from Vechernyvetr since that fight. And now there are rumors of really terrible things happening in the shadow of the mountains that Daven and Vechernyvetr briefly shared as a home.

The novella works as a standalone story, but it also introduces some of the plot and much of the story dynamic that will drive the other stories in the collections. And I won’t lie; it’s pretty fun to see the Dragonprince in action. Daven kills a lot of dragons in this piece.

Check it out. And thank you for reading. I really hope you’ve enjoyed the experience.

And, because it’s so much easier to embed a functioning hyperlink in a blog post than it is in an ebook, I’ll go ahead and give you the link (in addition to the name). Click here to grab your own copy of the new Dragonprince novella for just $2.99!

The Next Big Thing

My friend and fellow fantasy author (and now collaborator) Joshua Unruh asked me to write about my next project as part of a chain blog. He spent a lot of his own post talking about writing in my world, so it would be rude for me to ignore his request. But, then, I’ve struggled so much with my “next project” that this has felt like a really difficult post to write.

The thing is…long before Josh tagged me, I already knew that this was the post I needed to write. And it’s been difficult that whole time. That’s why I haven’t said a word here for two months now (and why that last word was some nonsense about cookies).

Here’s the thing: One year ago, I quit my day job to be a full-time writer. I spent five months completing my masters degree and capping off an epic fantasy series that I’ve been working on since I was a teenager. Every bit of that was a dream come true.

Then I published The Dragonprince’s Heir, and in the time since then I have wanted to do anything but write.

Those words are painful to say. It’s especially painful to share with you, my strongest supporters.

There are a lot of reasons. There was a vocal negative reaction to The Dragonprince’s Heir, but that’s probably the smallest reason of them all. I’m used to criticism, and I’m not under the impression that anything I write right now is pure gold. I’m still learning, still developing as an artist, so the books I’m writing now are just stepping stones to the really good stuff I’m going to work on next year.

I believe that now, and I hope to keep believing it with every passing year until I run out of them entirely.

No, most of what’s getting in my way is stress and obligation. See, I didn’t just quit my job last year. I also started an indie publishing company and hired a couple editors and a marketing guy. You probably know them all by name. They’re all fellow authors and good friends of mine, and it was our plan to put together a flood of awesome fantasy for you guys that would leave you begging for even more (and, in the process, fund Consortium Books to hire and train even more authors).

It…didn’t quite work out that way. We got a good start with the release of Courtney’s epic fantasy Rethana’s Surrender and Joshua’s noir viking saga Downfall, but the weak point in our plan was me.

I had boring day-job work to do. Not for my old government bosses, this time, but for my own organization. There was so much work to do, and now several families’ livelihoods depending (at least partially) on my business acumen. That’s a lot of pressure (and not a small amount of tedious paperwork).

On top of that, for lots of very good reasons, I signed a three-book publishing deal with Amazon’s 47North. I owed them the first novel in a new trilogy on November 1, but when I started hiring people in June and planning our schedule, November looked a long way off. As it turned out, I just had time to deal with the first, most urgent mountain of corporate paperwork before I had to dive into the 47North project with a desperate urgency just to hit my deadline.

And, of course, after I turned that in I found myself facing a new mountain of chores that had piled up while I was frantically writing. And then, when I realized they still needed me for consulting on promotional materials and reviewing edits and revising the manuscript, I discovered there was still a surprising amount of work to do on the novel I’d just delivered.

Somewhere in there I had a root canal, watched dad campaign for and then unfairly lose a bid for State Representative, caught pneumonia for six weeks or so, and survived two major holidays with all the family commitments those entail.

That’s how I’ve spent my dream-come-true so far: exhausted, overwhelmed, and behind schedule.

So! The challenge for this blog post was to tell you about my current writing project. The sad fact is, it’s the same one I blogged about last July (and promised by the end of summer). I’m working on a novella set in the world of the Dragonprince, featuring Daven and taking place immediately after the events of The Dragonswarm. Six months now, and I’ve got a little over 6,000 words written.

I’m actually really excited about the story. It’s Daven in all his power fighting a vicious (and frighteningly clever) dragon brood out in the eastern plains. It’s full of exciting action and tense drama and some surprising revelations with regard to the dragon bond.

It also sets the stage for the collaborative novellas Joshua was talking about in his post. A Darkness in the East is the first chapter in a five-piece collection called The Dragonprince’s Arrows. Among them, those stories will reveal how Daven came to have an army of dragonriders behind him and introduce some of the more interesting riders.

Unlike the one I’m still working on, those stories are already written. Or…drafted, anyway. Joshua and Jessie agreed to collaborate with me on them, so I’ll get to introduce you to Joshua’s break-neck plot and Jessie’s endearing characters, all wrapped up in the huge and fascinating setting that is Daven’s dragonswarm.

In other words, the next big thing is huge. It’s awesome, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I just have to get over myself first, get out of my own way, and learn how to write for fun again.

Wish me luck. I’ll let you know the moment the story’s done.

Works in Progress

I’ve spent most of July being a businessman. I’ve been shopping group insurance coverage for my editors and me, trying to find someone reliable to handle payroll and corporate taxes, and running board meetings.

Most of the writing I’ve done recently has been on a formal business plan. Fun.

But it’s all to the good. You might remember how glad I was to stop working out of Starbucks and start working out of an office. That office was a tiny, temporary space just to get me a desk. Now that we have editors on staff and are working to hire a whole handful of new folks, we need more space.

And we’ve found the perfect space. It’s a two-story open retail space in the midtown/arts district. We’ve drawn up plans that include a public art gallery, a little bookstore for our products, a wide open work area for our Writers and Programmers, a raised studio with direct sunlight for our Painters and Photographers, and (eventually) a dedicated recording studio for our Musicians.

It’s gorgeous. It’s also a huge financial commitment. So I’ve been very busy crunching numbers and making best guesses (and worst-case scenarios) and planning for the future. I had to convince my board of directors that we could (and should) afford the place, and now I have to convince the building owners to take us on as tenants.

It was an interesting board meeting. Once we’d finished the agenda items, it settled into more of a casual discussion as one of the directors asked me how I planned to handle the conflicting job responsibilities of producing new novels and running the company.

I smiled sweetly and explained that I’m still producing new novels in my free time. I’m a full-time CEO, and it’s everything I can do to manage that job.

This experience is so far from anything I ever expected for my life. It’s incredible. It’s stressful and tedious at times and often incredibly uncreative, but it’s also big. It’s important. I’m not just telling stories; I’m building a new media empire.

That’s not to say I’m done telling stories. Hah! I am still producing new novels in my free time. I’ve been hard at work on a short story in the World of Auric, a dragonrider novella featuring Daven, and a brand new epic novel (which I hope to get written this fall) featuring Daven’s son Damion.

I’m also hard at work as publisher and coach. In just the last week I’ve helped workshop Courtney’s sequel to Rethana’s Surrender, Joshua’s epic viking fantasy Myth Reaver: Downfall, and Jessie’s adventure fantasy, The City of Orphans. And then there are the dragonrider collaborations. But that’s a story for another time.