Today I have a guest post from Middle Grade author, Iain Reading. His book, The Dragon of the Month Club is gathering great reviews. I have not yet reviewed it myself, but look forward to it in the future. Below is his quest post to fellow authors and readers. I am including all the book details after the post and info about a contest.
Hear The Blues And Feel Them Too
I once was in a band and one night a bunch of musicians were out at a farmhouse just kind of jamming and playing around. We played through the songs we knew and then started just experimenting and (as often happens) we got to playing the blues. And I remember that one of the guitar players (let's call him Doug) was really struggling with this, which seemed rather odd because the reason most jam sessions end up playing the blues is because the blues are predictable – structurally speaking, anyway. (Notice that I didn't say they were "easy to play".)
As we were packing up later that night the harmonica player commented to me about how Doug had been struggling. Clearly I wasn't the only one who'd noticed and we put our heads together to try and figure out why this otherwise talented player had such a problem playing the blues. And we decided that it was because he'd never really HEARD the blues much in his life and wasn't that familiar with it. Or maybe because he'd never FELT the blues either, but that's another story.
Years later, as a writer of books, I look back on that and wonder if there's a lesson in there somewhere. One of the topics I've heard discussed many times by fantasy writers or science-fiction writers is whether or not to read books within their own genre. The argument on one side goes something like this: if you read books in your own genre, then elements of those books start to seep into your own and you're never sure which ideas are yours and which belong to someone else.
For a long time I thought that this was a pretty solid argument. But as I look back to long ago and Doug's awkward fumbling through what have to be the simplest and most predictable chord structures in music, I now start to wonder about the wisdom of this writing argument.
If you're gonna write fantasy or science-fiction, then take time to get a feel for the genre first. Read the great books. Hear the blues and feel them too.
And... PS – You owe me ten dollars and a doughnut.
The Dragon Of The Month Club, by Iain Reading, was published in February 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Genres: Middle Grade / Fantasy / Adventure
The Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club - The Dragon of the Month Club.
On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.
But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler's messy bedroom. Travelling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.
Drawing inspiration from some of literature's most memorable stories - from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes's London - the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.
Praise for The Dragon of the Month Club:
“No other book bonds together so many stories in such a fashion that is actually readable and enjoyable at the same time. With the title being The Dragon of the Month Club, many might think this is a book strictly about magic and dragons, yet you will find that what’s inside this book will leave you awe struck.” – Red City Reviews
“Iain Reading has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I started reading his Kitty Hawk books and now I’m introduced to a fantastical world. This is the type of book I would have spent hours in my room, wishing I could slip into the pages and have an adventure.” – Sandra Stiles
“The Dragon of the Month Club is a very enjoyable read. I'm a grown adult and I enjoyed it. It reminded me of a Harry Potter meets Goosebumps (the part where the books come alive) meets Sherlock Holmes. I found the book to be engaging and kept me wanting to read on. This is a wonderful series for any young reader.” - sgebhard
There is an ongoing contest for readers to win a one-of-a-kind hardcover version of The Dragon of the Month Club with their artwork as the cover.
“Draw a picture! Write a story! Take a photograph! Bake some cookies! Mold a dragon out of clay! Knit one out of yarn! Make one out of LEGO! Whatever you want! Just let your imagination run wild because anything goes – the more creative the better! Send your dragon in and then on the 13th day of every month one entry will be chosen at random and featured on the official Dragon Of The Month Club website. Each month’s lucky winner will also receive a free one-of-a-kind personalized hard-cover edition of The Dragon Of The Month Club book featuring their winning artwork (or other creative content) on the cover or inside the book itself,” says Iain.
To learn more, go to http://www.dragonofthemonthclub.com/
About the Author:
Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.
Iain writes middle grade and young adult books. His published works include the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/