The lovely Mell Eight is hitting up my blog as part of her tour celebrating the release of Stealing the Dragon, the third book in The Dragon’s Hoard series. Today, she’s chatting about submitting the series and giving you another sneak peek behind the cover of Stealing The Dragon.
Handing in a manuscript to a publisher really is very daunting. Even now, when my seventh published story, Stealing the Dragon, has just arrived in stores. It’s nerve wracking to send something I’ve put so much work into and to then have a stranger read and critique. I always think my work is well written and solid, but there’s always the fear that I’m just deluding myself.
Rewind back to December of 2011. I felt damned good for finishing the writing for Finding the Wolf. I felt it was a fun story, a fantastical story, and that readers would love it too. But it was the first full-length novella I had ever completed, so I found myself sitting in front of my computer debating what to do with it. I could join the ranks of the people who write excellent work and post their stories online for free, something I had done before with smaller pieces. Or I could do something new and send the manuscript to an up-and-coming publishing group with a heck of a lot of chutzpa.
Obviously I chose to publish or you wouldn’t be reading this today, but it was probably one of the more difficult things I’ve done in my life. I swear, I read through Finding the Wolf two dozen times to look for any mistakes or anomalies that would cause Less Than Three Press to reject it. I double-checked LT3′s length and content requirements dozens of times. LT3 probably has me to thank for a high website visitor count that December.
One thing I’ve learned in my life is that sometimes you have to jump in and deal with the consequences afterwards or you can’t move forward. I once got on a plane to travel to Israel with no transportation or accommodations secured on the other end. It was horrible, but it was also such an amazing learning experience that I grew as a person immensely. I knew that regardless of whether the lovely ladies of LT3 accepted my manuscript for Finding the Wolf or not, I would learn and grow and try again later.
I hit the submit button and waited anxiously to hear back.
I have since published the second and third books in the series, Breaking the Shackles and Stealing the Dragon, and submitted the fourth book, Melting the Ice Witch. Stealing the Dragon arrived in stores on February 6th. It was the book I was most excited about, and it was the one book in the series I had no fear of rejection. I knew that after one glimpse of Tori playing with his hoard that no one would be able to turn away. Stealing also has a sense of humor that will make any reader smile and a storyline that is both engaging and fun. As I was writing it I already knew it would be the best one in the series. I think you’ll all agree with me, but here’s an excerpt so you can make your own opinion about how awesome Stealing the Dragon is:
Jerney looked down at what An’tatori was holding and gasped. It was a silver necklace with a delicate blue teardrop topaz hanging suspended in an intricate silver net. The topaz itself was such a clear light blue color that Jerney could see An’tatori’s hand through the stone. It was beautiful.
“I can’t accept this,” Jerney said with a shake of his head. “It’s beautiful, but I don’t want to take a part of your hoard.”
An’tatori held up the gem near Jerney’s face. “It matches your eyes,” the dragon said softly. “I want you to have it because I want you to be my friend.”
“Your friend?” Jerney asked, incredulous. An’tatori wanted to be his friend after his spells had allowed for the hatching gem to be stolen? Jerney was a thief and a witch, which wasn’t exactly friend material for a baby dragon.
“My big brother Nyle is friends with a wolf, so why can’t I be friends with a witch?”
Jerney swallowed at the casual reminder that lovers Dragon Lord An’nanyle and Prince Leon were related to An’tatori. He thought An’tatori’s logic was a bit off, but he was insistent.
“My name is Tori and I want you to be my friend,” An’tatori said firmly, holding the necklace out again.
“My name is Jerney,” he said softly as he reached out and took the necklace from Tori, “and I would be honored to be your friend.”
“Good,” Tori said with a happy smile. “Now put the spells on that necklace so you won’t lose it!” Tori grabbed Jerney’s hands and led him over to his bed. Jerney sat down across from Tori and set the necklace onto the blanket in front of them.
Tori was watching the necklace intently, one hand still clutching the ruby gem around his neck, as Jerney studied how serious the dragon really was. There was no indication that Tori was at all upset about how the night had gone—the tear tracks had all vanished from his cheeks and his gold eyes glinted with a child-like excitement that reminded Jerney again of his siblings when they were young and had found some new and exciting toy.
Jerney reminded himself that children could be fickle. There was every possibility that in a few days Tori would be at his door asking for the necklace back. But at that moment, Tori wanted his new friend to have it, so Jerney would oblige Tori for as long as the excitement would last.
Jerney prepared the spells in his mind, envisioning clearly the potion ingredients and the steps to brew it. Once he had a picture of the bottled potion in his mind, he lifted his hand and passed it over the necklace. A glance up at the dragon showed that Tori was biting his lip and wiggling in place in excitement, so Jerney added some sparkle and a flash of light to his spell.
The dragon jumped and giggled before reaching out to touch the necklace. “No one will steal it from you now?” he asked as he pushed the necklace towards Jerney.
“No one,” Jerney affirmed. He picked the necklace up and clasped it around his neck. It settled there comfortably, with the teardrop landing just below the hollow of his throat.
“Good,” Tori said with a nod. Tori yawned and shook his head. “We’ll have to play more later,” he said as Jerney got up off his bed.
I am also hosting a free giveaway to celebrate the release of Stealing the Dragon. All the information is posted on my blog: http://melleightwritingblog.blogspot.com/. Please enter and tell me about your favorite dragon!
If you want to know more about the Dragon’s Hoard—Stealing the Dragon or the upcoming fourth book in the series, Melting the Ice Witch—or about any of my other works please check out my website: https://sites.google.com/site/melleightfiction/
Thank you so much to Sasha Miller and to dragon lovers everywhere for giving me this opportunity to show you my hard work. I hope you enjoy Stealing the Dragon and The Dragon’s Hoard!
I grew up in a very small town in the middle of nowhere. When I was younger, it always seemed like there were only a couple hundred people who lived there (it was really 7k or so). We were a 45 minute drive from the nearest interstate and mall. There was no movie theater, and half the time we didn’t have a clothing store (they went in and out of business like going bankrupt was in style).
In other words, I grew up under a rock. :3 Half the rock was my own making; I was an introvert and much more interested in reading than in the same 200 boring people that inhabited my town. (None of them had magic! How could they compete?) Homophobia didn’t seem real to me; it was an abstract concept that I’d never experienced or recognized in anything around me. (This is not to say it wasn’t there, but to say that I was an oblivious, self-absorbed young person, a.k.a., a typical teenager.)
High school really cemented this. I can remember three gay classmates off the top of my head. Two had been out for as long as I could remember (the girl actually asked me out once; I declined on the grounds she was too short (seriously, I was a strange, strange teenager)). The third was a little older, a year or two before me in high school; he was the stereotypical jock, on the football and basketball teams. I remember he came out when I was in high school, and I couldn’t figure out why it was gossip. I don’t know if anyone gave him a hard time about it, but nothing seemed to change. He was still friends with the same people and did the same things.
It wasn’t until I got to college and had my own computer and a connection to the world (the great and wonderful internet!) that I realized that things like homophobia, racism, etc., weren’t just theoretical concepts. I had never experienced or witnessed any overt homophobic actions, but the internet brought me to people who had. I was connected to wonderful, creative, lovely people who had experienced homophobic discrimination, who had suffered and looked down upon because other people thought less of them because of who they loved.
So, while it may seem like common sense that gay people are first and foremost people, and deserve all the respect that entails, it’s always worth repeating. It’s never, ever right to ridicule or discriminate against someone because of who they are and who they love.
In support of the Hop, I’m offering a giveaway prize of one copy of any paperback in my backlist.* To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post on my website or LJ (tumblr will not be counted because I don’t actually understand tumblr). Please include your email address in the comment so I can get in touch with you. ^__^
Givewaway technically ends on May 20 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, but I probably won’t draw until the morning of the 21st because I like my sleep. Winner will be selected using random.org and will have 48 hours to get back to me after being notified, after which point a new winner will be selected.
** If Saving Liam is chosen, it will ship as soon as it is in my grubby little hands (very, very soon).***
*** I promise no grubbiness will be transferred to the book. ^__~
For the interested, I did a (very) short guest blog over on Clare London’s Livejournal for her birthday blogging bash. It’s pretty much me yakking about my favorite bits of fantasy and how I work my stories around it. If you’re interested in checking it out, it’s here. ^__^
I also have a short story coming in February, part of LT3′s Kiss Me Quick collection. ^__^ It’s called Any Day Will Do and it’s completely, utterly silly and sappy. ^__^ The other Valentines are awesome as well, and we’re all really excited about this collection!
Sean is good at forgetting about things, so caught up in his painting that the rest of the world slips away. He’s pretty certain he’s done it again, because his boyfriend, Dustin, is dressed to the nines and ready to take him out to dinner. Whatever important occasion he’s forgotten, Sean hopes it’s not going to cost him the best boyfriend he’s ever had.
Kiss Me Quick is a collection of short and sweet stories from authors familiar and new, celebrating the season of love. Come and enjoy these tales of misunderstandings, lonely singles, pining lovers, and so much more! Because if there is one thing that is never in doubt, it’s that LT3 knows the way to your heart, and these stories are a straight shot.