A few items for your consideration today:
Item #1. Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, allow me to present the new version of my young adult fantasy novel, Dragontamer’s Daughters.
“What’s it about?” Think Little House on the Prairie…with dragons. DTD is the story of sisters Isabella and Alijandra, who live in the Old West of an alternate Earth. One day, they find a small, injured dragon and take it home to care for it…and complications ensue from there.
“Is it a new story?” It’s different, but it’s not new. I originally published DTD in two volumes (Part 1: Pearl, and Part 2: Stormbringer) in June 2012. It was my first published work, and it earned good reviews, averaging 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon for Part 1; and 5 stars for Part 2.
While I was proud of it, and it received some attention and sales, I thought it could be improved: it was a long book, whose pacing I once described as an avalanche–slow at first, but then building ever-increasing momentum to a thundering climax. One had to read both parts to get the whole story, but it wasn’t always easy to convince readers to take a chance on two books (about 300 pages each, in softcover) from an unknown author.
Hence, this new, revised edition.
“What’s different?” Going through the book again, I found those scenes and dialogue that, on second thought, I could cut or eliminate without harming the story; with those edits and some tighter layout, the new softcover version is about 75 pages shorter (if I’ve done my math right).
There are three chapters (“How the Dragontamer Won a Wife,” “How the Dragontamer Learned His Craft,” and “The Cave”) of mostly background material that I strongly considered getting rid of, but doing so would have meant fewer battle scenes and dramatic moments, fewer monsters, and a lesser understanding of several important characters. And the book wouldn’t be as cool.
There’s a smidge of new stuff (some of which I revealed earlier), and, of course, an awesome new cover by my pal and pro artist James Arnold (who did the original covers, as well the one for my other novel, Lost Dogs).
“Tell me about that cover!” I’ve known James for over 10 years, and he’s constantly learning, experimenting, and building on his formidable talent. Almost everything you see on the cover–the dragon, the cliffs, the clouds, the girls–are paper cut-outs, done by hand, that he arranged and photographed. Yes, he’s THAT good.
“I bought the original Dragontamer’s Daughters–do I need to buy this one?” No, you don’t. As I mentioned, there’s some new material, but nothing drastically changed between the 2012 version and this one. But if you’d like a copy of the new one, I certainly won’t stop you.
“How do I get it?” The new DTD is available on Kindle for $2.99. The softcover will be on the main Amazon site soon for $14.99, but you can get it at CreateSpace (an Amazon subsidiary that I publish my work through) for $2.00 off when you enter the code WYB398XJ during check out. If you’d like a signed copy, please e-mail me to make arrangements.
Item #3: On July 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, I’ll be doing a reading of Lost Dogs at the Kent Island branch of the Queen Anne’s County Public Library. I’ll be joining Eastern Shore authors Brent Lewis, Mark Lidinsky, and Nick Hoxter for an evening of stories about Kent Island. If you’re a local, don’t miss it!
Item #4: Lastly, this week (July 6-11), you can get Lost Dogs for $0.99 on Amazon. If you’re a dog lover, you don’t want to miss this story of the apocalypse as seen, heard, and smelled by a German Shepherd named Buddy.
Item #5: I’m going to take a few weeks to take care of some projects at home, and then it’s time to dive into drafting my next work, a modern-day horror novel called In Lonely Lands. You can get a hint of its tone in the image below…but know that while you’re looking at it, someone is looking back at you.
Kenton Kilgore is forging a new direction in young adult science-fiction and fantasy. He is the author of Dragontamer’s Daughters, based on Navajo culture and belief. Kenton also wrote Lost Dogs, the story of a German Shepherd and a Beagle-mix who survive the end of the human world, only to find that their struggles have just begun. With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.
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