Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm back from a two week vacation in Disney World with my family. Loved it and had an absolutely great vacation. The sun was hot and I actually have a bit of a tan. I've spent the week back trying to catch up on writing and publishing. I have to finish my St. Patty's day anthology which I have named Star-Crosssed. I meant to write yesterday but I couldn't put words on the paper. Maybe next week as I manage to finish past projects.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Dakota's Bride gets 4.5 from LASR

I can’t remember the last time I was so engrossed in a book: Dakota’s Bride took over my weekend, and even now, am wishing to go peruse it one more time…In the heart of the American West, we discover a mystery and something of an adventure alongside a good old-fashioned romance.

Epic style plot twists and unpredictable machinations contrive to keep us guessing throughout this long western tale. Young Clare, brother Jacob, the famed Boston Madame Velvet -– and even the bad guys are all notable characters. No secondary character is simply stereotypical, which keeps this tale amazingly alive.

Check out entire review:

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Dragons Among Us
By C. L. Kraemer

Writing about dragons isn’t new, and it isn’t completely unique. Hundreds of books will be released on the subject. So why did I pick something so… common?

I think the idea that dragons have become common triggered my choice. How could I make an oft-written subject different and my own? It was when I put the infamous writer’s phrase, what if, to work that the answer was revealed to me.

When I started researching dragons for some background to my story, I discovered in most cultures dragons have important functions dictating the flow of rivers, type of the day’s weather and life and death issues. The knowledge opened my eyes and my mind to my characters. I began writing a follow up book to a short story I had published in 2000. My husband liked the characters and felt they deserved a bigger venue of their own.

Thus began Dragons Among Us. I have brought dragons into the 21st century and imbued them with more emotions than roaring fire and killing knights. This novel started life to be a finish to the story. But as all writers are aware, once you give the characters a say in their world, amazing and wondrous things happen. My small book morphed first into a trilogy then into a series. What finally happened was the base book became the start for a nine-book series. My reading opened my thinking to how many different types of dragons existed and how many different types I could create.

I set down some general rules, which I backed with research. Dragons live to be 3000 years old. Most European and Chinese dragons have five digits on their talons while Japanese dragons only have three. European dragons are recognized as large creatures varying from 25 feet to 45 feet in length and have tremendous wingspans. Chinese dragons often resemble snakes with wings and also measure in the 25 to 45 foot length but their legs are short and squat giving them an undulating motion when they walk.

Each of my dragon clans is visually identified with colors. Persian dragons are varying shades of tan to match the surrounding countryside.

Chinese dragons vary according to where their birthplace is, for example: lowland dragons are light yellow with white edging, midland dragons are green with brown edging and highland dragons are black with brown and yellow mottled edging. The emperor’s dragons are golden with golden eyes. Master dragons of the compass points are different colors: Ao Chin is a white dragon of the south who has countenance over renewal and death; Ao Jun is a red dragon of the west and has countenance storms that occur when he fights in the air; Ao Kuang is a blue dragon of the east and his countenance is spring; and finally, Ao Shun is a black dragon of the north and his countenance is also storms caused when fighting in the air.

Swedish/Norwegian dragons are basically iridescent white and their scale edges are different colors which relate to their eye colors.

Indonesian dragons resemble Komodo dragons and tend to be different shades of green with brownish scales edges.

European dragons are large winged, grey green creatures.

American dragons like Americans are a mix of colors and sizes according to their parental lineage.

I also created a shape shifter group called Sapien Draconi; shape shifters who change from humans to dragons. These shifters are recognized by the different eye colors they have when in dragon form. Where full-blooded dragons have amber to gold eye colors, shifters have mixed colors, turquoise with amber flecks, green with blue flecks. It’s how the full-blooded dragons can spot the shifters and how the shifters spot each other in their human forms as they live among the population.

When I started writing this book, three years ago, I did some reading about creating fictional fantasy worlds. The one set of rules I had to continually go back and make adjustments for was; create the world, set the rules, don’t deter from the rules.

When writing fantasy it is paramount to set rules hard and fast about the characters’ environment. Should I decide to make the grass a lovely burgundy and the sky color puce, readers will believe this as long as I’m consistent with my world rules. The moment I deter, I’ve lost credibility.

I hope my kind, friendly and curious dragons will win the hearts of many. I plan to continue the journey of each clan in a different book.

Quest for the Amber Ruby- It’s the prequel to Dragons Among Us.

Dragons Among the Pyramids- Persians dragons

Dragons Among the Fjords- Swedish/Norwegians dragons

Dragons Behind the Great Walls- Chinese dragons

Dragons Among the Rain Forests- Story of Vala, important character in Dragons Among Us

Dragons Among the Heather- British Isles dragons

Dragons among the Stars- Indonesians dragons

Red, White and Blue Dragons- American dragons