Author’s Gold (A.U.) Interview with Dan Wright (March 2016)

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Hello everyone! For our March Aspiring Author Spotlight (AAS) segment this month, we are doing an Author’s Gold (A.U.) interview with the man with the plan.  He’s witty, he’s dreamy, he’s a panda underneath his Slipknot and Elsa T-shirt…Welcome my author and channel mate and one of my dearest amigos, Mr. Dan Wright! =D

#1. Hello Dan! Welcome once again to my blog. Let’s start with the basic, age old question: Tell us a little about yourself, please:

Thanks for having me back, you wonderful person you! 😀

So, a little about myself. I was born on a far planet, of which I had to leave due to the fact that the planet – well, exploded. I arrived on Earth and was bitten by a radioactive spider, after being bathed in gamma radiation whilst at the same time learning I was a mutant Asgardian – and then went into a secret project that gave me a healing factor and the ability to break the forth wall.

Nah, just kidding! In actual fact I’m just a regular guy that loves a lot of things – from Anime to Disney! I’m a writer of fantasy/sci-fi and I live in the county of Kent with my lovely cat Whispa. And in my spare time, other than writing and working, I play guitar in a band. And if I get any free time, I like to watch movies and play video games!

#2. I see that the first book you have published, Trapped in Draconica, part of your Draconica series, is being re-released on March 31st. Could you tell our readers a little about the book?

Originally I published this book back in 2011 – but I always knew I wanted to go back and redo it. To be perfectly blunt, the first book had WAY too many typos and story inconsistencies – I’m surprised it got as many fans as it did. That MAY have been down to the Manga artwork that the original release had, but I knew that the story needed to be fix. So I spent all of last year and this year fixing those issues to make it a tighter, better story. Unfortunately though, due to a bit of a “disagreement” with the artist I hired, I decided to remove all the interior art.

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#3. Other than the lack on inner art, are there any differences from this version of Trapped in Draconica from its original?

It’s essentially a “re-mastered” version of the original tale – but I also added in some little extras to it to try and give it a little more of an “anime” feel. Those who read the first one won’t have to worry too much, as the story is basically the same – but any newcomers will be able to jump in straight away. I also fixed a few story errors and did more thorough editing to make it tighter and easier to follow. Oh and I also have tied it in to what would be the later novels in the series (released later this year). There are a few surprises I’ve thrown in, as I have a better grasp of the overaching story than I did before – but I’ll say no more for spoilers!

Basically, I’m trying to jump start the Draconica series from scratch and hopefully make it a stronger tale. Plus I’ve been working out ways to tie it to my other series, Amanda Moonstone.

#4. What inspires you to write, Draconica or any works?

Growing up, I always loved the medieval fantasy tales like Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. There is just something magical about that sort of style that appeals greatly to me. Draconica is basically my way of paying tribute to the fantasy tales I grew up with. In recent years, I also got into Manga and Anime – and I love how that genre doesn’t necessary take itself too seriously. Sometimes fantasy is just overblown drama, it’s nice to have some humour to flesh it out. I try to do that with a lot of stuff I writer – balance drama with humour.

#5. Your cover art is stunning. Could you tell us about the artist?

The original character designs were done by Alexis M Centeno (my former artist) but this artwork was done by Kirsten Moody. Those who follow my work will know she did the artwork for Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince – and she agreed to lend her talents to the Draconica series as well. She is a fantastic artist that has been uber-enthusiastic about doing art for this series and really enjoys my writing as well. I can honestly say she’s one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with, and her dedication to this and my other series is nothing short of phenomenal.

zd#6. Who is your favorite character in Draconica?

That would have to be Zarracka Dragonkin. She’s the one on the back cover in the blue dress. I know she’s the villain and she has her… ahem… charms – but as a character I think she goes through a fantastic arc in the series as a whole. She’s self-assured and utterly despicable at times, but once you know a bit of her character, you may just feel sorry for her. So far she seems to be the most popular character in the series from what I’ve heard others say. I guess it’s because she knows what she wants and how to get it. Plus I think she has the best powers out of all the Dragonkin.

Funnily enough, when Frozen came out, Zarracka got a lot of comparisons with Elsa – given her sassy nature and ice powers. So I guess you COULD say that Zarracka is my version of Elsa – even though Zarracka DID come out before Frozen. So if anything, Disney are ripping ME off! (Just kidding… if Disney are reading this, please don’t sue me!)

#7. If you could live anywhere in Draconica, where would that be and why?

That’s a good question. I think Brittana would probably be one of the best places to live – considering that Daniar Dragonkin protects it and her father is a kind ruler. Also the capital city St Geordia is protected by an indestructible wall (or is it?) so you’d probably be safer there than anywhere else.

#8. How did you come up with your lore for dragons and the Dragonkin?

Dragons have always been my favourite creature in fantasy full stop, and they are pretty much the standard trope in Fantasy – particularly in Epic Fantasy. Usually though, they are portrayed as dangerous beasts or magical, intelligent beings – but I decided to go one step further.

Essentially, in this series, the dragons are essentially gods that had power of Space and Time, so they used this power to create life on Draconica, having travelled the Universe and seen much life. They were essentially the rulers of Draconica for the longest time (so I guess you could say sorta similar to Dark Souls, except they were – mostly – friendlier) until they died out after many thousands of years. They were the peacekeepers, protectors and – in some cases – tyrants of Draconica.

When the last dragon died, he implanted the powers of dragons into four sisters – who became the Dragonkin. The idea was that they could carry on the legacy of the dragons. This is an idea that has kinda been done in fantasy before – and a few times I’ve been accused of ripping off the Dragonborn from Skyrim (again though, I wrote this series long before Skyrim came out). This pretty much fills the backbone of my Draconica series – seeing how Draconica adapts without the help of the dragons and how the Dragonkin carry on their legacy.

bigbong#9. Okay, most important question ever: Who would win in a fight: Bing Bong from Inside Out or Doug from UP? And…GO!dougup

I would say assuming he doesn’t get distracted by squirrels, Doug. I love Bing Bong, but I think Doug could be that little bit more dangerous.

#10. Confession: I knew Dan was a huge Disney and Pixar fan, like myself. So, I have heard from the ocean network that you have a new Youtube Channel, something with a panda or something…Can you elaborate?

Ah, you mean Moon Panda Power? Well, my cool writer amigo, that is a new YouTube channel I’ve recently started with an extremely talented writer (you might know who she is, Morgan 😉 ). It’s a kinda of blog/podcast channel where me and said writer talk about things that interest us. Everything from Disney to Anime and beyond. Recently, we’ve also been doing this little even called Disney Couples Reshuffled – where we took existing couples in the Disney world and gave them different partners. It’s been a fun event!

#11. Hehehe! Yep, Dan and I happen to have a Youtube Channel together, Moon Panda Power. We look forward to providing cool videos for you all in the future, such as…*coughs “Dan, please tell them what types of videos we will be doing”*:

We’ll be doing top fives, top tens – heck probably top fifteen! We’ll also be doing reviews, general discussions and anything else that takes our fancy! And I already mentioned the Disney Couples Reshuffled event!

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#12. This Disney Couples: Reshuffled event has been intense! How did you feel about it? Did you have a favorite couple or a shocking moment?

You can say that again! Well my biggest shock was that I didn’t get Flynn Rider in the selection process! XC Still hurting over that! But I think the hugest surprise was when Jane Porter and Robin Hood (two relatively forgotten characters in the Disney world) beat Jasmine and Beast. That was a big surprise! But it’s been a fun event and the support we’ve had is nothing short of amazing!

#13. What is a typical day in the life of Dan Wright like?

Normally I work most days, so most of my day is taken up with that. When I get back to work, depending on what I have on, I like to sometimes do a bit of writing and/or playing a bit of guitar. If I’m feeling lazy I’ll just watch YouTube videos, TV or play Dark Souls 2. Although I’ve had to limit the last one as I just rage too much whilst playing it!

#14. How is it being a slave to your cat? And we want a picture of your furry baby please?

Whispa is the best thing to happen to my family. She’s always there to cheer us up when we feel a little down or just need something fluffy to stroke. And I think she likes to sit on our lap as well. She’s so cute!

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This one we took when she was half asleep. She’s so Kawaii! XD

#15. So…when am I getting that tea your mom promised me last year?

Mmmmmm. I could have sworn she sent it FedEx! XD

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#16. What current TV shows are you obsessed with?

Too many to mention – I got a LOT of stuff to catch up with on Netflix at the moment. The one show I LOVE watching (probably unsurprisingly) is Game of Thrones. I can’t wait for the new series! Other shows I love watching is Heroes Reborn and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. On Netflix I love DareDevil and Jessica Jones. Oh, and I STILL need to finish Breaking Bad at some point!

#17. Any future writing projects in the future?

Oh I have a LOT planned! I aim to re-release all my Draconica novels at some point – hopefully through this year. Then I plan to start on my semi-newer series Draconi-Lore, which is a series of prequel novels I was going to do. I originally planned to do this whilst doing Trapped on Draconica, and released a few prequel novels before, but they’re also going to get a good going over. And I also plan to release my next Amanda Moonstone novel as well in the future. I also had a project which I started around NaNoWriMo, but I never really got round to doing much with it. Maybe I’ll try and fit some time in for that in the future. Just trying to keep my options open at the moment.

#18. Could you leave us with some words of wisdom?

I’m gonna leave you with two great quotes from author Garth Marenghi (Google him if you don’t know), as he has some of the best quotes that are both funny and true in my opinion XD.

“All I do, is sit down at the typewriter, and start hittin’ the keys. Getting them in the right order, that’s the trick.”

“You know, as a writer, if you took away my paper, I would write on my heart. If you take away my ink, I’d write on the wind. It wouldn’t be an ideal way to work.”

Truer words were never spoken XD And thank you SO much for having me on your blog once more. I had a blast!

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Thank you to Dan Wright for being interviewed for my blog. Best of luck on your re-release of Trapped in Draconica.

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