Developing A Dragon Fantasy
It takes alot to develop a novel, even more so to create an entire series. After my last quartet of books, Silke's Strike Force, came out I started to feel like the well had run dry. I finished off two additional titles for the Vegas Vigilantes trilogy and thought that might be it for me.
I am not the owner of my talent, just the manager
While finishing up the previous two series, I got a new idea! This one would be a fantasy series centered around a fierce woman warrior and by the way there will also be dragons! I've always been a fan of fantasy ever since I watched Conan the Barbarian as a kid. In that film actress Sandhal Bergman plays a character from the Robert E. Howard novels called Valeria. She was my first introduction to a tough, capable woman holding a sword and holding her own with her male counterparts. Those types of characters became my favorite to watch and thus are the ones I like to write about.
How did this dragon fantasy idea get sparked in the first place?
I happened upon a website that sells incredible statues and I saw one called Dragon Slayer: Warrior Forged in Flame
Just looking at the exquisite details of this finely crafted item brought to mind the entire premise of the series. Yes, just like that I got a new idea that begged me to write it! I found myself jotting down character notes and bits of dialogue for this dragon fantasy while still finishing Vegas Vigilantes. That's when you know you have a winner, it starts to flow out of you and cannot be contained.
So, I had an idea and scraps of a start. But how would I flush this thing out into a full series?
As I said, I love fantasy and that includes novels. It's my favorite genre and I've written a few heroic fantasy titles in the past. My Demon Hunter series even got nominated for a "Best New Series" in 2009. But somewhere along the lines I got it into my head that I couldn't write straight fantasy as well as your Martins, Tolkiens, or Howards and I started to lean more towards urban fantasy that held a contemporary element to it.
A Time of Dragons demanded I go back to sword & sorcery fantasy
When I started to develop what is currently a trilogy for the Time of Dragons novels, I went back and drew upon all the elements of fantasy that I loved...starting with the characters who I've enjoyed.
Thus, my lead character Rayna is a mix of Valeria, Xena: Warrior Princess, Lagertha from Vikings, and Taarna from the animated film Heavy Metal. She also holds characteristics of the powerhouse Abby from The Last of Us game. As a former fitness competitor I found it so cool that they gave a female character muscles that I wanted to incorporate that aspect as well. And of course I had that amazing statue as inspiration as well.
I should also note during this time that I started re-reading a series of novels by Richard Kirk about a warrior woman named Raven. I'd read some of the series when I was younger and they always stuck with me. You'll find that my Rayna and Raven have a bit in common as well. What I found most compelling with the Raven series is the depth of description Kirk uses to move the story forward without making it too complicated. That is the type of writing I've always tried to accomplish.
Rayna the Dragonslayer is book one in the Time of Dragons series. It sets the precedence for what is to come and I liken it to a mix of Game of Thrones meets The Mandalorian.
I'm currently in the middle of the second book in the series, Rayna the Dragon Warrior, and I also went back and wrote Rayna's origin story which you can read by signing up for my newsletter here:
I've been writing for a long time and I've come to learn that if I'm not having fun then there is no point it doing it. Writing Rayna the Dragonslayer has been fun. The beauty of writing fantasy is that you can create your own rules.
I'll never truly be done writing. I don't know why I ever thought that. Even now I have several new ideas that I can't wait to get to. But I promise you readers, you won't have to wait ten years for me to finish my series! I'll be completing the first leg of Rayna's journey soon. For now, you can get Rayna the Dragonslayer on Amazon!
View the trailer below:
"Original Cyn" Cynthia Vespia writes fantasy novels for escapism entertainment. This blog is dedicated to all things fantasy, writer wellness, and my author journey.