Author Chat with Dan Elish (The Royal Order Of Fighting Dragons), Plus Giveaway!
Today we're excited to chat with Dan Elish,
author of The Royal Order Of Fighting Dragons.
Read on for more about Dan and his book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Dan Elish!
Dan Elish is the author of ten novels for all ages, including “The Worldwide Dessert Contest” and “The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons” (for kids), “Nine Wives” and “The Misadventures of Justin Hearnfeld” (for grown-up types) and “Born Too Short” which won a 2004 International Reading Association Students’ Choice Award. Dan also wrote the book for the Broadway musical “13” which premiered in 2008 at the Jacobs Theater and is now slated to be a movie by CBS Films. His most recent musical, “The Evolution of Mann” (based on his novel “Nine Wives”) is opening Off Broadway this fall. Dan has also written for TV, notably PBS’s “Cyberchase.” Dan has received fellowships and scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and lives in New York with his wife and two children.
Meet The Royal Order Of Fighting Dragons!
"Elish delivers a fast-paced, entertaining story with appealing characters, a healthy dose of action, and a dash of humor" ~Publishers Weekly
Born To ... Fight?
Ike Rupert Hollingsberry is haunted by the past because complete strangers won't let him forget when his famous father died on the set of The Fighting Dragons, a cult favorite that still has people talking.
But when he's attacked by a large locust, like the one that killed his dad, Ike is helped by the geekiest nerd of all, Elmira Hand.
Killing the giant locust was only the beginning of the surprises in store for Ike as he is whisked away from New York City to an isolated Florida compound to assume his role as the next in line to lead the Royal Order of the Fighting Dragons—that are NOT supposed to exist—and learns his dad's death was a cover-up for a far greater purpose...
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
One day around five years ago I was thinking that it would be fun to write something about a New York City kid whose dad was a well-known TV star. That led to the idea of Ike Hollingsberry whose dad was the star of THE FIGHTING DRAGONS, a popular kids’ TV show about an order of knights and dragons who defend the world from plagues of giant locusts. So far so good. But there wasn’t much of a story. Then I had the idea that the TV show was a cover-up for a REAL organization of fighting dragons and that Ike was the “next in line” to be its leader. Then I got to work.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite is Elmira Hand – she’s the class outcast (many kids feel that way) and is strangely beautiful and has her own blog ElmiraSpeaks. She’s also an expert on everything pertaining to THE FIGHTING DRAGONS and dragon-life in general. She begins the book as somewhat annoying but changes into a more likable kid and a truly valued member of the team.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I’m most proud of when Ike, Elmira and their friends try to save New York City. They are each aboard a different dragon and the villain of the story, Theodore Opal, has control of the giant locusts and intends to take over the city. It’s a fairly long sequence and I’m proud of how the suspense keeps building to a showdown. I think it’s funny and dramatic.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
My first novel (and still one of my favorites) is called THE WORLDWIDE DESSERT CONTEST. When I started working on it I thought it might take me a few months to write. Ha! It took two years of diligent, non-stop work. I’ve learned the writing is about re-writing again and again until the book is as good as you can possibly get it to be. It’s a lesson I seem to have to relearn every time.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The cover of THE ROYAL ORDER OF FIGHTING DRAGONS is awesome. It shows Ike atop his dragon, facing down a giant locust with the New York City skyline in the background. The artist, Sam Shearon, did a fantastic job in taking one of the most exciting moments in the story and dramatizing it in a fun way. It’s always cool to see what the artists come up with, especially covers – that’s an exciting part of the process.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018/2019?
Anything published by Vesuvian. :)
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I just finished a sequel to THE ROYAL ORDER OF FIGHTING DRAGONS, called THE SLAVE OF TIME. In it, Ike and the gang go back in time to King Arthur’s Court to search for Ike’s missing Dad.
I’m also working on an adult novel that is a spoof of the world of musical theater (another of my interests).
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The most difficult scenes are always the largest ones. THE ROYAL ORDER OF FIGHTING DRAGONS stars Ike and five other kids. So when they are all in a scene together it takes effort to make sure that they all have their chance to speak and that no one is left out. It’s a tough balance to strike. After writing a big scene with lots of characters it’s always a relief to write something smaller.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I enjoy revising much MUCH more. Drafting is hard. You’re looking at a blank page and you’ve got to fill it with good words. Assuming you’ve done that, revising is more rewarding because you can see what’s there then tweak and rewrite to perfect it.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
There are so many. But I love the General Breed Fund, an organization that raises money to send kids to camp in Vermont. I went to camp for nine years and loved it. I want other kids to have the same experience.
The Royal Order Of Fighting Dragons
Author: Dan Elish
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Release Date: August 7th, 2018
One winner will receive a copy of The Royal Order Of Fighting Dragons (Dan Elish) ~ US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The cover is definitely kid-oriented and will attract your young readers of this genre. The synopsis sounds exciting and action-packed. My best wishes on your novel. I can't wait to read this one.
Both the synopsis and cover are right up my youngest son's reading alley per se; action packed and has dragons. He loves this genre.