Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tarragon: Dragon Mage by Karlie Lucas Interview & Giveaway

After hundreds of years, the gates to Tarragon are open once more, fulfilling age-old prophecy. However, Anwen’s journey is far from over. The dragons still sleep and she has no clue how to wake them. Forced to retreat from the Mountain, she and her newfound friends must devise a new plan to wake the inhabitants of Tarragon.

Meanwhile, the Mage Circle, a group of dragon mages with a vendetta, is camped outside the Gates. Calling on allies of their own, they will stop at nothing to gain control of the Dragon City and all who dwell inside.

To complicate matters even more, Anwen’s mother has joined the party. But even with the help of all her friends, can Anwen overcome the ordeals set before her or will this spell the end of the dragons and the world as we know it?

Purchase your copy here:
Amazon US ~ AU ~ CA ~ UK ~

 ~ Goodreads ~ Createspace ~

~ Kobo ~ B&N ~ Smashwords ~

Karlie Lucas is a preschool teacher by day and a writer/artist by night.

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.

Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally

1.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I guess you could say I first realized it when I was in first or second grade. I can't exactly remember which. But my teacher had us create little books where we made up a story about a favorite toy or person. I remember I wrote about this little doll I had named Krissy. I actually still have the book I made.

2.  How long does it take you to write a book?

That is the million dollar question because it's different for each book. It also depends on what else I have going on at the time. Last year I was able to do about a book a year, mostly because I worked a day job. Now that I don't have a day job? Who knows? I still have a lot of projects going on and sometimes the characters get jealous, so I'd say it takes a whole year, start to finish, to write a book, eight to ten months at the minimum. Though, I'm sure if I really wanted to, I could finish one in a couple of months, if the characters cooperate. ;)

3.  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

My work schedule, unfortunately, varies on a lot of factors. As I said above, I do various other projects as well, but I try to get in at least an hour of writing every day. When my husband doesn't work, it doesn't happen as much, unfortunately, mostly because we see so little of each other during the week. But, I try to get at least an hour in every day. I'll work on my stories until either my eyes start going cross or I just have to get up and move or do something else.

4.  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My interesting writing quirk? I guess it's that I like to be alone when I write. It's hard for me to write when there are others around. I put on my jams, pull up my word document, and start going at it. Though, there are times, off and on, where I prefer to write it all out by hand in a notebook before transferring it into my word document. I do tend to get restless from time to time and will leave the house and find some place in nature to just jot down stuff in my notebook.

5.  How do books get published?

Books get published in a number of different ways. If you go traditional, you have to either have some really good luck to get picked up by a publishing house on merit alone, or find an agent who will try and broker you a deal with a publishing house. And not every agent or publisher will want your work. They have a set idea of what they think will sell and if they don't think you're work is it, you don't get represented. And, in the off chance you do get picked, you're waiting on someone else to get everything done, with less control on your end. They set the type, format it, do some editing, create the cover, some promotion, print it up and distribute it for you. But you still have to do a lot of your own promotional work.
You go the Indie route, which is what I do, you have more control over everything. You end up also having to do everything, creating the cover art, formatting the manuscript, editing, the whole nine yards, along with finding someone to print them, distribute them, etc. I went this route after various agents and whatnots decided I wasn't "a good fit" for them, even though I knew I had a good "product".

6.  Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Most of the ideas for my books come from either random thoughts I have while reading other books, watching tv shows, or just observing others. Other times, the ideas come from snippets of dreams I've had. Or, with my only children's book, from making it up on the spot while teaching preschool. It just depends. My Tarragon series started out with a dream I had. However, along the way, I do have to do some research to make sure things work both in my imaginary world and the real world. I try to go for a feeling of realism in most of my writing (anything for middle grade and up) so I will look things up on the internet or use my husband for information.

7.  When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote my first full manuscript when I was in ninth grade, so I was probably about.... fourteen or fifteen years old. Over the course of the years, learning more about writing and story-telling, I expanded on it and improved it into the first book I published, The Unknown Elf.

8.  What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I'm not writing, I work on my non-profit radio drama production, read, write fan fiction, watch tv with my hubby, sometimes play video games, go on long walks, bake, or just chill while watching cat videos on facebook and magic videos on Youtube.

9.  What does your family think of your writing?

Actually, a lot of my family writes as well, so I'd say they think it's pretty cool. My mom writes middle grade mysteries. My oldest sister writes young adult and adult novels. My second oldest writes poetry. The sister under me mostly writes songs and the lyrics that go with them. And my other siblings write general fiction and fan fiction. Even my husband writes general fiction/fantasy. I'm just the only one who's gotten published so far, though I can't wait until they do as well.

10.   What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

The most surprising thing I learned is probably just how much goes into everything. I mean, I had a basic idea of needing to edit and format and create a cover and all that. But when it came to getting printing stuff done, I was a little surprised at how it worked. There's getting an ISBN, unless you want someone else to claim to be your publisher of record, there's the final edits, promotional stuff (that is a constant), and just launching it. It's a lot of hard work and I"ll be the first to admit I'm not very good at the promotional part. But, honestly, the hardest part is probably waiting to see what people think about what I've done, if they like it, if it will do well. It's easy to second-guess yourself when you're going Indie and you hear all these success stories of others also going Indie and you're sitting here, staring at your sales rankings, wondering when they'll actually move upwards.

11. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

So far, I've got five books fully written and/or published. And I can't honestly say I have a favorite because I like each one for different reasons. My children's book, I like because I didn't think I could do it, illustrate and write a children's book. I"d tried for years and failed, until I worked at a preschool. The elf book was a start to my own Santa Claus mythos, which has always fascinated me. Kas is my homage to Beauty and the Beast. Tarragon: Key Keeper and Dragon Mage are my first truly different, I guess, works, and decidedly the most complex. And the final one in the trilogy is going to be even more so.

12. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

The best suggestion I can give you is to keep writing and don't sweat the small stuff. It took me almost twenty years to finally try and publish a book. Of course, there were tons of edits and changes between, and times off and on with actually writing. But the best thing I can tell you is to keep at it and don't expect perfection. There will come a time when you just have to say "It's good enough" and let it go out there. Then, if it doesn't get a bite, go ahead and go back and see if you missed something.

13.  Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I occasionally get reviews, but no readers of my older works have really said much to me. Since my children's book was created here, and I have had the opportunity to market it more in the area I currently live, I do get more feedback from that. And I love it! Those who review my novels tend to either love or hate them, though the only one that really gets the most hate is Kas. It's not your typical story and makes you think, so I believe that contributes to that. But the majority of people who say anything seem to like what I write and can somehow relate to the characters, which is what I hoped would happen in the long run.

14. Do you like to create books for adults?

I haven't gotten as into creating books for the more adult audiences yet, though I do have some in the works. I guess you could say adults can enjoy what I've already written, and most who have read them do enjoy them, even the children's book. But as for books meant for the older audiences, I haven't published any yet, started a few, but they're nowhere near ready right now. But I love to explore new ways of improving my craft. It's all about the story for me, regardless of target age. If the story sings, I'm cool with any age group reading my works, so long as they're able to handle them.

15. What do you think makes a good story?

I think a good story requires relatable characters, firm background locations (the world is a character in of itself), compelling and relatable circumstances they must face, flaws in the characters, a reason for the audience to become invested. It is how the words are spun. They have to make a compelling argument, make the reader question what will happen next, or give them just enough of a question to wonder what might happen. It has to be compelling, with writing that isn't dry. A Tale of Two Cities is a good story, but I find the writing dry, as do most modern readers, so it has to be relevant to the current generation, presenting things they can understand or be persuaded to understand. That's what makes a great story.

16. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I have always wanted to be a writer, mixed in with wanting to be an artist. I do a bit of both. I create my own promotional items. I create my book covers and illustrations. It's the best of both worlds.

17. What Would you like my readers to know?

I would like your readers to know that there is more to life than what we see through our limited views, that there is always a way to overcome, even if it means stepping to the side instead of moving forward. I want them to know that anyone can be anything if they really try and look for a new angle. 

Connect with the Author here: 
Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

1 comment: