Today is release day for A DRAGON’S DESIRE, and I am thrilled and excited to be sharing my latest baby with you. As with giving birth, even of books, there is much labor and love involved, and I am happy to share a tale of the labor and how it influenced my creation of the Dragons series.
When I started writing as an adult, I started out a place of trauma, a way to try to re-gain something that fear had taken away from me: hope. Those first two books are dark. I lived in darkness, drank it in, and soaked it up into my skin until I couldn’t tell the difference between the world I wished to create on paper and the world in which I lived. For three years, I worked on the then titled, THOU SHALL NOT, a play on THOU SHALT NOT. It was well received. People wondered how a woman so young could be so dark–I wrote from a dark place, and understood the motivation behind my characters.
And then, not knowing anything about marketing, publicity or how to make that newfound success into something, I fumbled the ball, and drifted away on to the back of people’s shelves.
Although I continued to write, and published a follow up to the book, it tanked–not from a lack of story, but for a huge change in the market, and lack of knowledge still about what I needed to make it in this hard business. Struck by anything and everything that glittered and sparkled, I continued my journey, but by this time, the darkness was becoming less home. It was a place I could visit, but not a place I wished to dwell. That dip into horror or dark story telling ceased to be a comfort but a chore.
Again the market shifted, and by the mid-2015, I was broken. It seemed as if my dreams had shattered worse than second-hand glass. I felt like a phony and fraud. The recipient of harsh emails from readers didn’t help. I wanted to stop; I wanted to give up… but my muse wouldn’t let me. I began this journey into flash fiction–stories that were 250 words long–it was me dipping a toe into speculative fiction, a little of the fantastical and being able to fracture fairytales that I enjoyed.
I was shocked how readers enjoyed it, but even more, how I looked forward to being able to participate every week, and truly rejoiced when something I did placed or even won! This confidence boost allowed me to explore a different side of me–and although I’d been a gamer of years, playing on the XBOX, and enjoying the world of fantasy, I never thought to write it until I fell head over heels into a story that just shook me to the core.
Then, death came.
I’ve constantly felt the need to prove myself, to define my success according to the boxes I’m able to check out. I know we all have our own battles, and stories as to how we’ve come to this moment in our lives. It doesn’t have to be something traumatic, nor does it have to be some long drawn out tome. But after death came, I found that I could no longer step into darkness like the books from before. Sorrow tugged at me, and going through the stages of grief (of which I find myself to still be in), I found that only through working on the fantastical did I have any joy. My muse beamed at the story; characters came to life and like a phoenix, I felt that this could be my rebirth–out of the ashes, dragons arose.
I am blessed that this year, I have been able to complete three additional stories since the initial release, and continue to work on a series that is not work, but fun. It saved me from a dark depression. It saved me from despair, and walking away from this author thing. My readers embraced a product of my heart, and they might never know how they also saved me from giving up completely.
In this series, I’ve discovered hapless heroes, kick-ass heroines, and how love is worth fighting for–not just romantic love, but also for me as an author and being able to love the path I am on, and the journey to success. I’m able to use all of those things that I learned in college–including that theology degree, interest in the humanities, mythology and of course love and romance. This is an amazing journey, and I feel like I am on the right path for my writing right now, to bathe in the glorious tales as influence by mythology, deities, and history. I can’t wait to see where the stories take me next!
If you enjoy Norse/Viking Mythology, have interest in the gods, and fantastical creatures, and also enjoy a grand adventure to love, I think this series could be something for you.
“What did you do?” Tink asked.
Her question made me stop giving Erich my come-hither stare. Would I be a bad friend if I admitted that I wanted to kick out Tink, his non-blood relation who he called sister on this earthly plane, so that I could explore where his hot gaze might lead?
Tink snapped her fingers before my eyes.
“Jaz,” she screamed. “What did you do?” She backed up until the kitchen table jammed into her side.
It was then I noticed the army of fire ants that paraded down the wall and marched toward her. Climbing on top of each other, they quickly formed a three-dimensional shape resembling a moving wave.
“Make it stop!” she said.
I had no idea how to make fire ants obey me. Hell, I didn’t even know I could conjure them up. Like a madwoman, I gathered pots and pans and began to scoop them up, while saying every Latin word I could think of. “Sic semper tyrannis,” I said, as if the motto of the Virginian flag might help.
Instead the ants continued to pile on top of one another. Tink scampered away, and still they came.
She followed my lead and started to bang together pots and pans to knock them away.
“Say something to stop this,” I said.
Tink waved her hands. Nothing happened. “I can’t. You’re magical. Your magic is not like anything I’ve ever handled. You have to learn how to hone in and control it.”
“Brutum fulme” I then shouted, as if calling forth senseless lightning would cause a bolt to come through and fry the pesky things. Still nothing happened.
“I’m so not qualified for this,” I screamed. Frustration caused a tingling in my fingers, which rose up my arms like I’d touched a hotplate.
“Jaz,” Erich interjected, “concentrate.”
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and focused on the dragon resting just below my skin. I felt her stir, awaken. Fire grew in my belly. My lips puckered and uttered the words the beast had whispered to me, “Carpe noctem.” Seize the night!
The ants stopped mid-step, frozen.
Hearing the beast, I repeated what it ordered: “Transit umbra, lux permanet.” Shadow passes, light remains. The fire ants disintegrated, leaving not even a speck of dust behind.
Tink hurried to her cauldron, which was boiling over, vomiting a cloud of what looked like pixie dust on to the counter and removed her black choker with Chakra stones. “I’ve read of many wearing talismans until they are able to get control of their powers. This will protect you. Do NOT take it off, do you hear me?”
“Sure, sure,” I nodded my head, but really, I just wanted to push her out of the door. “Thanks, Tink.”
Tink looked first at me and then at Erich.
Instead of moving towards the door, I wished for it to open, and it did.
“I guess that’s my sign to leave,” she said and quickly packed everything into her wicker basket.
“I didn’t know I could do that.”
Thank you Jo-Ann for allowing me to be a guest today!
Grab your copy of A DRAGON’S DESIRE from Amazon and where books are sold (Nook, IBooks, Kobo)
Who is Tina?
Tina Glasneck can’t imagine a world without coffee, acrylic paints or castles. Her love of history, fantastical creatures and storytelling all come together in her Dragons series. You can connect with her online at tglasneck.wixsite.com/tglasneck