Varthikes wrote:From a reader:
"The book could have benefited from a more diligent editor, but wrong word choice (your instead you're) and stray words left in a sentence as if the author intended to write a passage one way and then changed his mind aside, I found the story entertaining and I recommend this for anyone who likes intelligent dragon stories and who also enjoyed The Dragonriders of Pern."
DLC: I want to introduce everyone to the author of Draconia: Forging Trust. Please introduce yourself.
FJH: Greetings. I am F.J. Hansen. I hail from Fremont, CA, where I was born, raised, and am currently living with my parents. I am the seventh of seven children, with three older brothers and three older sisters -- three of whom are married and have moved out.
DLC: I'm the youngest in my family too. We get spoiled. lol =) Tell us about Draconia.
FJH: My current book out, which is also my very first book ever published, is Draconia: Forging Trust. It centers around a planet, Draconia, home to a race of dragons. A Human survey party comes to Draconia looking to establish a colony when they encounter the dragons. Paranoia by the Human commander sparks a misunderstanding, burning into suspicion among the dragons concerning the Humans' true purpose. During all of this, Varthikes, an adolescent dragon, and Audwin McClance, an ensign on his first mission, form a fast friendship and struggle for a peaceful coexistence between their respective kinds.
DLC: A true fantasy/sci-fi. So what inspired you to be a writer or have you always had a passion for writing?
FJH: I started writing when I was about 6. But, I didn't actually begin aspiring to be a writer until around 10-11. I was coming up with stories while playing with my Micro Machines. One day, I decided it would be a great idea to write these stories down. So, I just started writing. I have always been writing since then.
DLC: Nice. So if you could give advice to other authors or aspiring authors what would say?
FJH: I would echo the most common piece of advice given to aspiring writers: read, a lot. And, I would agree that it's helpful to read outside of your preferred genre as well as within. If you write fiction, be observant in your day-to-day life--observe how people act, react, hear how they talk. When you go on road trips, taking a moment to just watch the scenery can help enrich the landscapes in your stories.
DLC: Yes that's good advice.
FJH: When it comes to publishing the work, be patient and continually apply yourself to perfecting your writing as much as possible. Don't let rejections get you down. 9 times out of 10, you'll get rejected. It's simply part of the process.
DLC: Rejection is just part of the process. What source or sources do you draw from when creating a new story?
FJH: I draw inspiration from my own experiences, experiences of others that I hear, from what I see in the world around me. Movies, television shows, and books from other authors can also generate ideas. One short story I wrote was inspired by the first few minutes of a certain Disney movie. Inspiration for Draconia came from another movie and a book series that I was reading at the time.
DLC: What was your greatest challenge personally when writing your current story?
FJH: For five years prior to creating Draconia, I wrote mainly short stories. So, it took some doing to get me comfortable with breaking that page count barrier. But then, I had to reach the appropriate novel length of 80,000 words. That took a bit more exercising to get the creative juices running.
DLC: It is a big difference. Why did you choose science fiction as your genre?
FJH: I grew up around science fiction, Star Trek particularly. When I was 8, I started collecting Star Trek Micro Machines with which I created my own Star Trek stories. After a few years, I decided to start writing these stories down. A few more years, I started creating my own science fiction Universe. Eleven years later, I'm still writing science fiction. This genre allows me to do things that I wouldn't be able to do in most other genres--like traveling through space, exploring other planets, creating alien civilizations, flying with dragons, pitting dragon against fighter, having dragons fly alongside fighters... The possibilities are endless.
DLC: Science fiction truly does open up the possibilities. So who are your favorite authors?
FJH: At the moment, E.E. Knight would be my favorite. Particularly, I love his Age of Fire series, which he writes completely from the point-of-view of dragons. I love dragons. Also, I couldn't leave out Anne McCaffrey, whose writing influenced mine. It was her series Dragonriders of Pern that inspired my Draconia story.
DLC: Cool. Are you working on a book now and if so tell us a little bit about it?
FJH: I'm at the editing stage of Fractured Dream, Book 2 in the Draconia series. Seven years of peace between dragons and Humans is sabotaged when the dragons suffer a devastating attack by a Human fighter. Dragons respond by attacking the colony. Varthikes and Audwin, now considered traitors by both sides, struggle to save their home for themselves and their families.
And, I'm already writing Book 3, where Varthikes and Audwin, with the help of an alien ambassador, attempt to build a new future for Draconia.
DLC: That's wonderful. Tell us where we can go to get more information about you and your book?
FJH: More information, as well as an excerpt of my current book, can be found here:
DLC: Thank you so much FJ for sharing with us today. I pray you have great success!
Daniel L Carter
Author of The Unwanted Trilogy
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