Archive for January, 2011

Difficulty in Finding a Literary Agent

Posted in Publishing with tags on January 30, 2011 by Dawn Ross

Several years ago after I finished The Third Dragon, I tried to get my book published.  I did this by first finding a literary agent.  Why didn’t I go directly to a publisher?  Because getting a good publisher to publish your book without having a literary agent is almost impossible.

As I was to discover, finding a literary agent is almost as difficult as getting a publisher.  The competition is unbelievable.  The most difficult part of finding a literary agent to promote your book is finding an honest and accomplished literary agent who wants to promote you book.  I found out the hard way that finding a literary agent versus finding a good literary agent are two different things.

It took several months of submitting my synopsis and first few chapters to several literary agents before I had a literary agency reply with a request to see more.  I was so excited to finally hear back from a literary agent that I did not research them thoroughly enough.  The consequences were expensive.

After four years and almost ten thousand dollars, I realized that my literary agent was taking my money but not being aggressive enough in promoting my book.  I consistently requested a list of publishers which they submitted my book to and very often got a very lame reply.  There was always some excuse yet more money to fork up.

Upon further research, I found a lawsuit pending against the literary agency.  Many of the circumstances were the same as mine and this person won the suit against the agency.  So I decided to stop giving them my money and filed my own lawsuit.  However, my lawsuit had to be filed in small-claims court.  I had to file it in St. Louis, Missouri since that is where the agency was domiciled.  The judge barely listened and said he would get with us in a few days with his decision.  In a few days, the decision went into the agency’s favor.

Why did the agency win?  Because they had a very one-sided contract.  I had almost no rights as the author.  The contract did not stipulate that she had to prove she was working on getting my book published.  It did not stipulate how many publishers she would submit to, how often she would follow up, or any other important information.

I learned the hard way that I should have gotten a lawyer the moment I found a literary agent to support me.  But I was trying to take short cuts since I was very short on money.  Getting a book published is expensive.  And it requires almost as much time in finding qualified companies to represent you as it does to research and write the book.

Next time, I will be more careful.  I am still considering self-publishing.  This method requires a lot more work on my part, but at least I only have myself to rely on.  By the way, the literary agency was called The Robin’s Agency and, surprise, they have since gone out of business.

My Steps in Writing a Fantasy Novel

Posted in Writing with tags , on January 28, 2011 by Dawn Ross

The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction: 6 Steps to Writing and Publishing Your Bestseller!

The Dukarian Legacy all started with daydreaming.  As a child, I had a very vivid imagination.  I was always fantasizing about magical animals and good overcoming evil.  My first fantasy story was about a pet winged unicorn who would always come to my rescue when I needed him.  As I grew older, my fantasies no longer included myself.  It wasn’t me who needed rescuing, it was others.  And those others didn’t have to solely rely on magical animals to help them.  They learned to defend themselves.  Yet they still needed friends, and occasionally magic, to help them.

The story of the Dukarian Legacy probably began to form in my head during my late teens – although I did not call it the Dukarian Legacy at the time.  But the main character, Tomis, was the same.  When I was working the night shift as a 911 operator, I finally decided it was time to write this story down.  First of all, I didn’t want to make a career out of being a 911 operator.  I wanted to pursue my dreams of being an artist.  Secondly, the night shift was really slow after 2am and I had little to do between the hours of 2 and 6am.  I was bored out of my mind.

Writing Down the Basic and Key Events
And so the writing of a fantasy novel began.  The Dukarian Legacy started with me writing a down a few pertinent events.  It was just the basics of those events, not filled with descriptions of the characters or setting.

Outline the Story
But then I had to tie all the events together.  So my next step was to create an outline of my fantasy novel with a beginning, middle, and end.  That meant that some of my events had to be left out and new ones had to be inserted.  Otherwise my fantasy novel would be long, boring, and difficult to follow.

Adding More Detail to the Outline
Once I finished the basic outline, I began writing the fantasy novel with short chapters – again without much character description or setting.  After all, I already had this information in my head.  I just really wanted to get the story organized and insert the details later.  I had to decide what I wanted my main character to accomplish, what message did I want to send with the story, and what can I do to keep the story interesting.

Research
I knew very little about castles, horses, weapons, battle tactics, and other things which were an important part of the story.  I also had to work on my grammar and punctuation.  So a lot of the work put into writing a fantasy novel was put into research.  I bought and read books on castles, medieval times, Victorian times, weapons and armor, horses, mythology, castles, medieval clothing, writer’s handbook, writer’s guides to characters and plots, thesaurus, dictionary, and much much more.

Writing the Story
The next step was in actually writing the fantasy novel.  Writing the fantasy novel was not as easy as it sounds.  Trying to describe what I saw in my mind was difficult.  I had to write not only what I saw, but what I felt.  And I had to put it together in such a way that made the story flow.

Editing the Story
Once the story was all written down, I needed to edit it.  I have edited my book at least four times.  There was always something new I wanted to add, characters I wanted to refine, or punctuation and wording that I wanted to fix.

That is how I wrote the first book of the Dukarian Legacy.  It took over a year to finish and years more to perfect.  Getting it published is the next step and probably follows almost all of the same steps – understading the basic steps, outlining the steps in more detail, research, then implementation.

These Books are Dedicated to:

Posted in The Dukarian Legacy - Fantasy Novels on January 26, 2011 by Dawn Ross

These books are dedicated to:

Mom, who was the first to read it and insist I keep writing so she can read the next one,
Second Mom, Chris, who always did her best to encourage me,
Sisters, Angela and Julie, who also supported me by reading it,
Tammy Spain, friend, who fell in love with the characters and couldn’t wait to read more,
Shauna Tenpenny, friend, who read it and provided some wonderful insight,
Dreaux Sawyer, who truly understood the depth of the story and provided lots of encouragement and tips,
Grandma Ross, Aunt Sis, Grandma and Grandpa Schmitz, who helped fund it,
Jennifer with Americo, who gave me a reason to go on,
My husband, Li Xi, who supports me in everything I do,
Other friends and family who might not have read the book, but provided lots of encouragement.

I would not have had the courage to make my dreams become reality if it was not for all of you.

Synopsis for Book Three – The Dragon and the Lion

Posted in Book 3 - The Dragon and the Lion, The Dukarian Legacy - Fantasy Novels with tags , , on January 24, 2011 by Dawn Ross

The Dragon and the Lion©

Book Three of the Dukarian Legacy

By Dawn Ross

Battle begins between the kings of Upper, Mid, and Lower Ungal.  Tomis Dukar, now grown into a man, is forced to fight against his own father, King Haban Dukar of the Dragon clan.  Despite the evils his father has done, can Tomis bring himself to kill him?

When the battle is over, new and more dangerous rulers come into power.  Another, more brutal war is pending.  The land of Ungal can’t take much more bloodshed.  Its fate hangs in the balance between life and death.  The second part of the Prophecy of Peace must come to pass.

The new ruler of Mid and Upper Ungal discovers Tomis is the third son and heir of the Dragon King.  Tomis must not only run for his life, but he must save the long lost granddaughter of King Mitas the Lion.  He must take her to safety and fulfill their destiny of the Prophecy of Peace.

Synopsis for Book Two – The Raven’s Fire

Posted in Book 2 - The Raven's Fire, The Dukarian Legacy - Fantasy Novels with tags , , on January 22, 2011 by Dawn Ross

The Raven’s Fire©

Book Two of the Dukarian Legacy

By Dawn Ross

Lord Kildas Lakast of the Raven clan is cursed by the mysterious People of the Dragon.  Everyone he has ever known, including his wife and children, must beware the perils of the fire demons or be burned.  To relieve the Curse of Fire, Kildas must travel into the enchanted Andagaran Mountains and find an egg of a dragon.

In the meantime, Tomis Dukar and his friends are attacked and held hostage by brutal Outlanders.  The Outlander leader, Thorolf, threatens to take the lives of the Prince and Princess of Upper Ungal if the Crown of Creation is not given to him.  With this Crown of the Gods, Thorolf could rule the world.  Tomis is tempted to use his magic to kill Thorolf, but if he uses this blessed gift of the gods to bring death, the Prophecy of Peace will no longer hold true and the Brother of Death will prevail.  Tomis’ cunning and the Curse of Fire may be all that can save him and the people of Ungal.

Synopsis for Book One – The Third Dragon

Posted in Book 1 - The Third Dragon, The Dukarian Legacy - Fantasy Novels with tags , , on January 20, 2011 by Dawn Ross

The Third Dragon©

Book One of the Dukarian Legacy

By Dawn R. Ross

Generations of war has devastated the land of Ungal.  The people are forced to endure constant violence and turmoil.  But there is hope.  The oracles reveal the Prophecy of Peace.  It is foretold that the Third Dragon will set the Prophecy in motion and eventually bring peace to the land.

Our hero, Tomis Dukar, is the third son of King Haban Dukar, descendant of the ancient Dragon clan.  Tomis is fated to be the Third Dragon of the Prophecy, but his father has his own ideas of how the Prophecy is to be fulfilled.  King Haban sees Tomis as a threat to his ambitions.  Especially when he learns Tomis has the magical ability to heal or kill with a mere touch.  So before Tomis can fulfill his destiny, he must survive the evil of his father.

Blood is drawn; the choice is made.  Tomis begins his journey when he is still a young boy.  He is rescued by a common soldier, who has some magical ability to sense the thoughts of others.  An enemy of the King, Lord Kildas Lakast of the Raven clan, aids Tomis against the King’s soldiers.  Sisters of an order of magic protect him from the magic of the King’s necromancer.

My Biography – What do You Think?

Posted in About the Author with tags , on January 18, 2011 by Dawn Ross

About the Author

Dawn Ross is currently a resident of the wonderful state of Kansas.  She spent her childhood in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon and her teenage to young adult years in the scenic hill country of Texas.  Dawn graduated from high school in 1991.  She continued her education at Austin Community College, majoring in commercial and studio art.  Next to writing, art is her favorite hobby.  She specializes in drawing/painting predatory wildlife, scenery, portraits, and fantasy art.  Dawn enjoys reading history – especially medieval European history.  Her love for ancient times and her interest in the novels written by modern fantasy authors has inspired her to write her own epic fantasy adventures.