So today is the official day, May 12th, 2015: the Sword of Dragons is available everywhere! Including one unexpected channel: the print edition is available to order from Barnes and Noble’s website!! :D
This has been such an incredibly long journey getting to this point, but I’m really glad I can share this long story with everyone. Which reminds me: I was going to put this up on the website when it is ready to launch (which, shame on me…should have been ready today.) The Sword of Dragons has a very long history, and I don’t believe I’ve told that story yet.
Unexpected Beginnings – Star Dragon Legion
It began with a sci-fi story…wait, what?! This purely fantasy novel began as a Sci Fi?
Yep. Or rather, the story that eventually morphed into began that way. I believe I was still in Junior High school (they call it Middle School these days) when I came up with the story idea called Star Dragon Legion.
In the universe of Star Dragon Legion, exceptionally talented people from all over the universe, those with a strong connection to magic, would be found and recruited by the Star Dragon Legion. At the height of their training, they would inherit the powers of the dragons, and be able to transform into an actual dragon.
The Legion was all that stood between the peaceful worlds of the universe and an evil Empire. And this story focused on one man in particular, a young newly-minted Legionnaire named Chris Ector.
Yep, Chris Ector, not Cardin Kataar. That name change came a loooong time after this original story. Once I had the universe physicals, the ‘sci fi rules’ so to speak, figured out, I started on the first story.
Then disaster struck. 12 chapters into the novel, a virus hit my computer and wiped everything out. And this was before I knew to make backups. I had a couple of false starts again after that, but shortly after the virus issue, I started my fan fiction, Star Trek Dragon. (Yep, I appear to have a thing for dragons, heheh.)
This was when I tabled writing novels and started writing only short stories.
Sword of the Dragon
The idea of the weapon that would eventually become The Sword of Dragons started with one of those short stories. My senior year of high school, I had to do what was called Senior Project: a year-long project that ended with a report before a panel of judges. I of course decided to write a story and try to get it published.
By this point I’d written about a half dozen short stories in Star Dragon Legion. For my senior project, I wanted to write something special. I somehow came up with the idea of a weapon called Sword of the Dragon.
Chris Ector was still a trainee in this story, but finding and retrieving the Sword was his final test before graduating. He found it on a remote world, overcame great obstacles, and obtained the Sword.
My first year of college is when it hit me: change my sci fi story into a purely fantasy!! And I really liked the idea of the Sword of the Dragon. So began my very first completed novel. By 2004, Sword of the Dragon was ready. Thinking it was fantastic, I submitted it to Daw books as an unsolicited manuscript just days before I left to continue my education at a 4 year college (after 2 years at a community college.)
Rejection and Revamp
About 4 weeks into college, I was super depressed. I was lonely, living on my own, none of my friends or family around, and classes weren’t going well. I was learning a lot in creative writing, but the professor had some deep-seated hatred for ‘genre’ fiction and I was not allowed to write sci fi or fantasy.
And then I got the rejection letter for Sword of the Dragon. It couldn’t have come at a worse time.
After weeks of wallowing in self pity, I decided to re-read the manuscript before I sent it to the next publisher. About 2 chapters in, I realized my horrible mistake: it was poorly written. What I had learned from my creative writing class at that point was enough to make me realize it was unpublishable. It was unreadable. Horrible!!!
So I put it on pause for another couple of years, and focused on honing my craft with creative writing classes and by finishing out my fan fiction.
Come 2006, I started the first chapter of the final product now available today. Yep, that’s right, it is that old!! And it was still called Sword of the Dragon. This was also when I changed Chris Ector’s name to Cardin Kataar.
It’s all in the Name
Why Cardin Kataar? Well Chris Ector to me just didn’t sound original or fantasy-ish. I wanted a more original name. Kataar was a name I had come up with in Junior High for another fan fic I had started back then, and I liked it. It’s been my internet handle ever since. And Cardin?
There once was an awesome game called Star Wars Galaxies. And in it, I created a character named Talir Kataar. Some time later, I ended up buying a 2nd account and created Talir’s father, whom I named Cardin. The name has no origin or link to anything, it was simply pulled out of my head, like most character names I use.
I liked the name so much that I decided to use it for the protagonist of Sword of the Dragon.
But then the worst thing imaginable for an author happened. 12 chapters into Sword of the Dragon…writer’s block hit.
For 4 years.
To Be Continued…
This has turned into a really long blog, so I think I’ll split it into 2 parts for you all. Stay tuned for the rest of the history another night!! :) And spread the word: the adventure has begun! Get your copy today :) (I’m still not used to marketing myself or my own product…)
Thanks for reading!