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I am thrilled to have Krista Wayment on the blog today and even more excited to announce the release of Book 2 in the Dragon's Trust series: BURNED I had the opportunity to read book 1, TRUSTED, and I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one. I found Krista's writing to be genuine and moving. I was turning pages so fast I quickly lost track of time. I just had to see what happened next! Anyone who likes fantasy stories at their best will love these books! Plus, there are dragons! Lots of them. This book rates right along with the Chronicles of Prydain and Eragon. A truly fantastic tale!
About the Book
Renick, apprentice dragonhand, discovers that nothing can stand in the way of a dragon’s thirst for revenge.
Caught between an outcast dragon and his human prey, Renick and his friends must find a way to appease the dragon’s burning anger. Together, Renick, Thane and Lainey learn new magic, rescue a kidnapped friend, and evade the dragon hunters while they try to prevent a war. What they find is that not all burns can be healed.
And Now for the Interview with Krista Wayment:
When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Krista Wayment: I was so young I'm not sure I remember clearly. I was always daydreaming, playing make believe, and making up stories. I think when I finally made the decision was when I wrote my first story (like actually wrote it down) in 5th grade. It was called Rose Among Thieves and was a mouse in grand Brian Jacques style. That is when it all started for me. From there I started writing and learning about what it took to get published. Took me a long time to get there—but that's when the dream started.
What makes you passionate about writing?
Krista Wayment: Writing is not something I do. It is part of who I am. Writing is how I best express myself, the blank page is my canvas and the words I put there are my paints. Talking to me in person is much less impressive than reading something that I write.
For me the thing that sparks my passion the most is the thrill of taking an idea—just a spark of something interesting—and running with it. Molding that first flash of inspiration into a character, a world, a story that I can share with others. The creative process, I don't know, sets something free inside of me that relaxes me and makes me feel whole. And apparently very philosophical and sappy.
What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
Krista Wayment: Way back in 5th grade I had the whole dream. Write an amazing story, submit to publishers, and have someone say—this is great—let's publish it. I checked out The Writers Market from the library over a dozen times in high school. I was determined to get some short stories published but at that age I would finish a story and then not send it in.
Around that time I discovered that my ideas are a little too complex for short stories so I decided to write novels instead. I started my first project which at the time was just called Lyni after the main character. (It went through several titles after that including The Pillars of Sh'tara, Haran'damari, and Shadowed Stones).
My first novel was shelved and I embarked on another project, and then another, and then another. Then I wrote Trusted followed by a middle grade science fiction (also the start of a series). I send both out to agents and editors. I even entered some pitch contests. And all I got was nos. No thanks, not for us.
I started to become discouraged. Until my husband said: Why don't you self-publish? Now I had been thinking of that for a long time. And with the technology that is out there today—I decided to go for it.
I did it all myself. Learned as I went from the internet and the online writing community. And now here I'm, letting a second book lose on the world.
Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
Krista Wayment: When I was a young writer I struggled with feeling like me work wasn't good enough. Even with people telling me it was good. I think that's why it took me so long to write my first book. I read a lot of books and took a few classes on writing. I searched for my own unique voice and finally I joined the online community. I had my mojo finally.
Then after the repeated nos I got from agents and publishers and the lack of interest in my two middle grade books in general—I started to get discouraged again. I even thought about giving up on writing a few times. It was taking time I didn't feel I had and not helping me to achieve any of my goals.
I worked through it by staying close to my writing friends. Ultimately I decided to keep writing even if I never got published. I realized that my real goal with writing was just to write and share my writing with someone. I didn't want money or fame. I just wanted to share my stories.
That's when I really got my confidence. So much confidence in fact I was able to self-publish. I still feel discouraged. Real life can get in the way of writing and I feel like I'll never reach my goal of publishing 4 books a year. But I keep going. I look at what I have done and realize it is enough. Everything else is just the icing on the cake.
Can you tell us more about BURNED?
Krista Wayment: Oh yes. I LOVE to talk about my books. I was really worried when writing BURNED because I had to go through several outlines and wasn't sure about the events in the story. I had a certain theme and feeling I wanted to come out of the book. Renick, Thane, and Lainey are tested and hurt but they come out okay. And, without sounding too prideful, I have to say I think I nailed it.
BURNED picks up right where the Epilogue of TRUSTED left off. With the explosion and chaos, which takes place almost a year after the events of TRUSTED. You get to see how Renick, Thane, and Lainey's friendship has grown stronger. You also get to know Grahm and Melatheen a lot better.
Renick and his friends are faced a member of the Dragon Kind that is bent on revenge—which is never a good thing. And then they—but if I tell you that it would spoil the ending. It is just totally awesome I can't wait for everyone to read it.
Also, I am totally pumped to get started writing book 3—because it's going to be even better.
Krista Wayment: 5. Yep, three more. I have tentative titles for them, Stollen, Broken, and Mended. I really like the number 5 for a series. I have a big thing about numbers and 5 is one of my favorite. I also like 3, 7, and even numbers.
Anyway, my goal is to write the first draft of all three books by the end of January, 2015. I'm not ready to declare myself insane—but we are getting close to that threshold.
How do you keep the story going?
Krista Wayment: I always have a major series long conflict that runs through the whole book. Something that gets introduced in book 1 and resolved in the last book. The other books also have their own individual conflicts. In TRUSTED it was being lost in the forest and then—I won't say more in case anyone hasn't read book 1. BURNED the conflict is the dragon bent on revenge.
Still each book in the series takes the characters closer to the final resolution. It helps me to think of a TV series. Each season has a main conflict and then something happens in each episode.
Who is your favorite character in the story?
Krista Wayment: That's a tough call for me. Renick, Thane and Lainey are all pretty dear to me. But since you are going to make me rank them here it goes.
3. At the bottom probably because he is the character that I am still discovering. But the trait about him that I like the most is his bravery and loyalty.
2. Renick. I'll admit there is a lot of me in Renick. So he is of course one of my favs. He's just so down to earth and so observant.
1. And the winner is … Lainey. Why you ask? Have you ever read the Prydain Chronicles? If not I order you to read them now. Even before you read BURNED. They are that good. I patterned Lainey after Eilonwy who I think is just an excellent character—but there were a few things that bugged me about her. So that's why Lainey is my favorite. Because she reminds me of a childhood (okay I didn't read the books until college, but still) book friend.
If you were a dragon what color would you be?
Krista Wayment: Green and silver. Yes, I have thought about this a lot if you were wondering. If I couldn't be green I would totally be red with black markings.
What is the one message you hope readers take from your books?
Krista Wayment: Never give up. You can succeed at anything if you stick with your friends and never give up.
Get a copy of BURNED
About the Author
Krista Wayment has been making up stories since she learned to talk. Writing naturally grew out of that. Krista is an avid Fantasy and Science Fiction fan, and a total nerd. She is also a software engineer and loves playing video games. Although, curling up with a good book is still one of her favorite past times.
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