Our first interview of 2018 AND I got to once again interview my dear friend, Mr. Dan Wright! What has he been up to since late 2016? What are his dorky interests of the moment? What sort of mischief are we planning on getting into this year? Find out here. Take it away, buddy!
#1. Merry meet, my dear friend! It has been a long time. Since we last interviewed, you were releasing the first book in your famous and beloved “Draconia” series? What have you been up to writing wise since?
And a merry meet to you too, Morgan-Chan 😊 I’ve missed you.
Well, I’ve made a few changes to the series since we last talked. I’ve actually renamed it World of Draconica, mostly because that’s the name of my website and I found it easier to link the two together. But I’ve been working hard at it where I could, writing whenever I get a spare moment. Currently I’m working on the third book in the series, Fall of Draconica. I hope to have that out around April time. Just working on the final edits now, so fingers crossed!
#2. For those of you who live in their basements to binge watch Netflix all day, tell the folks here a little about Dan Wright?
Oh if ONLY I had the time to bingewatch Netflix! I got SO many shows I want to watch on it right now! XD
Anyway, my name is Dan and, as you guys probably guessed, I’m a writer! I write novels set in a Fantasy land called Draconica (more on that later). I’ve always been in love with Fantasy since reading Roald Dahl novels. My first writing experience was a comic I did at school called The Abbey School Avenger – which was pretty bad to be honest as I can’t draw for shizzle! XD But, it gave me a love of writing and later in life, I decided to give novel writing a go.
Writing for me is mostly a hobby, but it’s one I enjoy. Recently, I joined a Dungeons and Dragons group and have been roleplaying a character in that! It’s been really fun and has given me a good few tips about world building and character creation. 😊
#3. What can you tell us about the “Draconia” series that will make people excited to read it?
Well, as mentioned, I now call it the World of Draconica series. It’s set in a world where dragons used to rule as gods, but now they live on in the Dragonkin – humans with the powers of dragons. They sort of try and carry on the dragon’s legacy; but right now there are dark forces afoot – and a shadow is threatening to consume all (evil cackle here).
The story is mostly inspired by Lord of the Rings and Final Fantasy – but I include a few anime elements in it as well. I try to mix humour and action together to create something that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but is really epic to read. I’ve been gradually introducing some darker elements, inspired by the Dark Souls games and also inspiration from H.P Lovecraft.
I also have another series called Amanda Moonstone, which is about a sorceress that tries to make her way in a world that hates magic. This one is a bit more family friendly, but I feel has evolved into something just a little bit more mature. Not too much, but I grew to love the main character in this series and wanted to give her a strong story. I plan to have three books in that series soon.
#4. What books inspired you to write AND what anime help continue to fuel your writing fire now?
Lord of the Rings is the most obvious inspiration, but I also used to watch the 80’s cartoons He-Man and She-Ra (who incidentally was my first fictional crush!) so that played a huge part. I’ve been reading a few novels by Dan Abnett (who I got to meet at a con) and I love his style of writing – his novels have a natural flow that few authors can match in my opinion.
The anime influence came later, when I hired an artist that drew my characters in an anime style. I was aware of anime before this of course, but never really paid it much attention – though that has changed since.
My all time favourite anime is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (although the previous series is now on Netflix so will have to check that out), but I also watched Yu-Gi-Oh and Ultimate Muscle quite a bit. I would say some of the bigger influences on this series is the video games Guilty Gear and Blazblue series – I love the characters and story so I took them as a template for creating my own characters.
However, a lot of the history in my world I took inspiration from real world history, such as the Roman Empire (for the Baalarian Empire) and the Spartans (for the Kingdom of Leonida). Being that I work in a museum, it’s pretty easy to get a lot of history to help you out.
#5. Who did the covers for your books?
My current artist is Kirsten Moody, or Snow the Wanderer if you want to check out her DA page. I commissioned her after she did my first Amanda Moonstone novel, but she also agreed to do the cover for my World of Draconica series. Her designs are based on those by Alexis M Centeno, who originally did my artwork.
#6. What is the writing process like for you? Do you work better at your own pace or with deadlines? Do you have any rituals?
I used to set myself a target by saying “right I will do THIS much writing on these days!” and things like that. But I found that I didn’t keep to that as much as I would have liked – mostly because I choose to write after work; and when you’ve had a rough day you’re just not in the mood. I find I can write better when I’m relaxed and not worried about things.
I actually like to listen to music when I write. Some find that distracting, but when I’m trying to capture a certain mood, music is a great help. Heck, I’m actually listening to music now as I write this! 😀 It’s Babymetal in case you’re interested.
#7. What is one of your favorite moments that has happened to you by becoming an author?
I think my absolute favourite moment is when someone brought my book at a convention, came back the next day with her sister and SHE brought a book. She then said I was her favourite author next to Terry Pratchett. I thought that was an awesome compliment, as Mr Pratchett was an author I had complete respect for. Being compared to him in the same breath is just amazing.
Also, through doing conventions, I got to meet Hattie Hayridge, who played Holly in Red Dwarf, my favourite Sci-Fi show.
#8. How do you handle getting reviews AND reacting to reviews?
I have been SO lazy in getting reviews for my work, due to work commitments, but in the past I just approached websites and authors seeing if they’re interested.
So far I think I’ve been pretty lucky as they have been mostly positive. I had a couple of negative reviews, but at the end of the day I respect their opinions. I don’t think any author should “lash out” at people for saying bad things about their work – it just makes them come across as a wally! I’m not saying writers shouldn’t defend their work, they just shouldn’t be an @$$ about it! Sadly, there are a few writers out there that I think should take this on board, especially in the comic world.
#9. Any news about Amanda Moonstone? You know I love me some Will. I also need to get the printed copy of the second book so I can review it properly for you, my good fellow!
I’m sure we can arrange something 😉. I just recently released the second book, The Darkbane Sorceress, so that’s available! I did start work on the third (and what will be final) book, but I decided to put that to one side to focus on a few other novels first. But trust me, I don’t think you’ll be expecting how it ends!
Maybe Amanda might appear in the World of Draconica – who can tell?
#10. I see on your Facebook posts that there is a villain you seem to have quiet the conflict with…
You mean Gertrude von Gumbywapper? The less you know about her, the better…
Let’s just say that if you combined all the evil from every Disney villain every created – it would not come CLOSE to how evil Gertrude is!
#11. I know you paint minis…May I ask what they are for?
Of course! This is actually my second hobby – they are minis for the tabletop game Age of Sigmar. I also paint models for 40K. I used to be into Games Workshop games in my younger years, but kinda stopped after a few years. I got back into it in 2016 and so far I must have sunk about £1000 quid or so into this hobby! I like to collect models and paint them. I’m not the worlds greatest painter, but I think it’s fun. Here are a few pics I posted online.
#12. The world wants to know (well, us Americans): What is up with the Earl Gray Tea and is it really that sinful to put milk and sugar in it?
Strange as it may sound, I actually don’t drink a lot of tea (yeah, I know I’m breaking a British stereotype!), but I remember drinking Earl Grey and a friend of mine giving me an evil glare when I put milk and sugar in it! I actually don’t know the reason – but to be fair, I don’t think it’s a crime to do that. Hell, there are worst things you can do when your British – like not washing your mug afterwards. I HATE people that do that!
#13. Who is the best Doctor?
Tough one! I always liked Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy. But from the new series, I really enjoyed Peter Capaldi, despite him getting to a rocky start. I am really interested in seeing how Jodie Whittaker does as the Doctor. She’s an amazing actress and I think she’ll be amazing. Plus having a female Doctor could add some interesting dynamics to the show. I’m excited for it.
#14. What shows/movies are you currently into?
I just finished watching The Punisher on Netflix and am currently watching Dirk Gently. But my girlfriend recently got me a boxed set of House MD, which I saw with her when we went to Italy and became hooked on it. Hospital dramas aren’t usually my thing, but this show is brilliantly written and House is a fantastic character.
For anime, I’m currently watching Fate/Apocrypha (which I have to say isn’t really that great) and plan to watch the original Fullmetal Alchemist after that. My girlfriend recently introduced me to two animes – School Babysitters (which is Kawaii as heck, but also quite sad) and Recovery of an MMO Junkie (which, as someone who has played MMO’s I can appreciate the humour of!)
One show I stopped watching was The Walking Dead. I just can’t get into that show anymore – it’s not a bad show, it’s just boring to watch. I watched about three episodes of the new season before I gave up. And judging my what my friends have said, looks like I’m not the only one.
#18. What was the last Disney or Pixar film you saw and how was it?
Technically that was Aladdin, as my bro really wanted to watch that film again. The last animated one I saw was Moana, which was awesome. Do Marvel and Star Wars films count? If so then I watched a lot of them last year and they were all brilliant. Yes, I even liked The Last Jedi despite it’s flaws.
The one film I wanna see is Coco. That looks so good.
#19. How is Penguin?
I guess I should explain to the readers that Penguin is the name of my girlfriend. I call her Penguin because she likes Penguins. XD She’s fine by the way, thanks for asking 😊
#20. So…I think Moon Panda Power needs to make a comeback! Care to please explain that MPP is and what collaboration should we do together? I’m game!
Ah yes, I had forgotten about that! MPP was a YouTube channel me and Morgan had where we did various videos about anime and Disney stuff! We had a lot of fun doing that – but real life kinda got in the way!
We should bring it back certainly! But what to do… what to do… mmmmmm. (puts thinking cap on!)
#21. Any advice for our audience here?
Write what you want to write. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t write, even if they are an established author. Sure, take advice from them, but don’t let it dictate how you want to tell a story. At the end of the day it’s your story and you should tell it how you want.
By the same token, also be prepared to accept criticism. By all means defend your work, but try to keep your cool during negativity. That’s a hard one to learn, and to be honest I struggle with that sometime, but trust me, it’s worth learning.
Most of all, have fun in what you do!
#22. P.S. Thanks for my Christmas gift, my friend!
You’re most welcome. And thank YOU for MY gift! 😊
Synopsis of “Amanda Moonstone: The Darkbane Sorceress (volume 2):
One hundred years ago, the dreaded Saevitia Darkbane – the most powerful of all dark sorceresses – was defeated thanks to a hero whose name has been lost. Now she has returned – as has her desire for revenge. Having rescued the true King of Celtland, Amanda is now a heroine in Celtland. But now she faces the biggest threat of her life – and her magic alone may not be enough to defeat her. Amanda and her friends must find the legendary hero that once defeated Saevitia and stop her – or else Draconica may burn to the ground.
Born in the historic town of Canterbury, Dan has always loved Fantasy stories. A keen musician and model painter in his spare time, Dan has written the novels Trapped on Draconica, Legacy of the Dragonkin, The Gothon Campaign and two novels based around the character of Amanda Moonstone called The Missing Prince and The Darkbane Sorceress. He is also a slave to his cat, who takes up a lot of his time when he isn’t at work or writing!
World of Draconia Website: