Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to welcome author Kandi J. Wyatt as a guest contributor with us today. Ms. Wyatt is here to share the inspiration behind and information about her newly released (today) middle grade fantasy, “Dragon’s Future”. Be sure to scroll down to read an excerpt!
It is an honor to be a guest on Mother-Daughter Book Reviews. Today is a special day for me. It is the release day of my first novel, Dragon’s Future!
History of Dragon’s Future:
Back in 2009 I was on a Christmas vacation visiting relatives in Eastern Oregon. As we traveled, I had a conversation with my daughter about her name. She said she was misnamed Dawnya because she isn’t a morning person. I jokingly asked if she should have been named Duskya. Later, we traveled past Three Mile Canyon. In my mind’s eye I saw a dragon flying over a canyon and spewing fire. I took the image in my head with the name Duskya and Dragon’s Future was born. Much to my amazement it was finished within the month!
I didn’t expect it to go the way it did. I thought Duskya would be the main character. Instead, her timid twin brother, Ruskya, became the hero. Another surprise was how the theme of family developed throughout the book. The twins slowly learn more about their father as the story progresses. The various flashbacks surprised me. I hadn’t planned them out. I was pleased to see the ending of the book. As I was fighting over the epilogue, my daughter’s friend asked if I was going to write more. I replied, “Not if I can’t finish this one!” However, two weeks later, I was following Braidyn through the streets of Boeskay in book 2, Dragon’s Heir.
In my spare time, I love to draw. I began drawing my characters and scenes from the Dragon Courage series. I enjoyed trying to create cover art for the books. My idea for Dragon’s Future was to have Ruskya and Wyeth, his dragon. Wyeth would spray dragon courage, a sparkly dust that brings courage to the person on whom it lands. When I signed on with Booktrope, I found Amalia Chitulescu, an artist from Romania. I fell in love with her work. My first glimpse at the cover had my jaw dropping to the ground. It was love at first sight. Upon closer inspection, I sent it back for touch-ups to make it more inline with the book. The final product is a piece to be proud of.
Dragon’s Future is a story of twins, unusual twins in that they share a special bond and have special powers. These twins are chosen to become riders–dragon riders. As the story progresses, we learn that the dragons are not reproducing as regularly and the population of dragons and riders as a result is dwindling. Into this scenario comes a mysterious rider from another colony. He is looking for a plant with magical qualities. He is willing to fight for this plant. Ruskya and Duskya must fight to protect their home and their dragons’ future!
Read an Excerpt:
Glendyn led them over to the table, where they sat down. He served the meal of roast lamb, rolls, greens with dressing, and goat’s milk. Each procession day the riders celebrated with lamb. The new youngling would have a small meal with Glendyn and a select few riders that the older man chose. The other riders would celebrate in their own way together. Often it would be enough to overwhelm a young one who had just been uprooted from his or her home.
As they ate, Glendyn and Duskya asked questions, and Kyn talked about his home. He was the youngest of five children. His parents owned a store where the villagers could trade for things they could not make on their own. While they talked, Ruskya just listened. He liked the youngling’s voice. It had a soothing manner to it. Ruskya thought it would be good for calming a dragon or any other animal in distress.
Toward the end of the meal, Ruskya decided to do as Glendyn had suggested. He reached out and focused his thoughts toward his mentor. With a shock, he immediately saw his own father sitting beside a fire warming his hands. Duskya felt the shock wave also and sent a query mentally toward him.
“I’m fine,” he responded, then tried again.
This time he was ready for the image of his father. He heard Glendyn say, “But what happens if the dragons disappear? Won’t the villagers revolt?”
“No, Glendyn,” Ruskya’s father replied, “I think they will be relieved. Although it is my heart’s desire that the twins become riders, when I see them in Meredyth’s arms, I wonder if I can truly tear them away from her like that.”
“Ruskya!” Duskya’s insistent voice in his head blended with Glendyn’s spoken voice. “Are you okay?” she added.
“Ruskya, did you not hear what I said?” Glendyn asked.
“I am sorry, honored rider,” Ruskya replied with a flush. “I missed that.”
“It’s all right.” Glendyn’s dark eyes regarded his young friend. “I just asked if you would take on the responsibility of training respected rider, Kyn.”
Ruskya was shocked. Him? Train another rider? He would be honored, but was he ready? He knew the response was up to him. He cleared his head and his throat and replied, “The honor would be mine, honored rider. I will train this youngling in the art of dragon riding, and all the duties and responsibilities that it entails. This I vow by Wyeth, my dragon.”
Glendyn answered, “I hear your vow. Respected rider, Kyn, do you accept the training offered by Honored Rider Ruskya?”
Kyn timidly replied, “I do. This I vow by Wylen, my dragon.”
“Good job, Kyn,” Ruskya thought toward the boy.
“Honored Rider Ruskya, I hold you responsible for the training of this youngling. May your dragon fly true and straight in this endeavor. I understand, because of your close relationship with your sister, that she will be an intricate part of this youngling’s training. I trust both of your judgment to train him well. If you have any questions, please come to me. Now, it is time to send you all off to bed. It has been a long day for both youngling and honored rider. I bid you all good night.”
“Not since reading Christopher Paolini’s “Eragon” have I read a book about dragons that made me want to be a part of that world. Kandi Wyatt has created a story that keeps you flying high like her dragon riders, making this a story for everyone from the reluctant middle school reader to the adventure seeking adult.” ~Sandra Stiles, National Board Certified Middle School Teacher blogger, author of Steps of Courage
“Have you ever ridden a dragon? You’re about to, so hold on tight! Dragon’s Future is quite the ride!” ~Ridley Pearson, New York Times bestselling author
Every child of Woolpren dreams of becoming one, but only a few are chosen. Now, ten-year-old twin brother and sister, Ruskya and Duskya, have been selected to join an elite group of riders: dragon riders. Full of awe and excitement, the twins leave their mother, and their home, to train for their new lives.
Fifteen years later, dragons are becoming extinct and riders are rare. One day, Ruskya is at the general store in town when a man announces that he is recruiting new dragon riders. Ruskya goes undercover, and discovers that there is another colony of riders with their own agenda—a quest to find a mysterious plant that could restore the dragon population, or destroy it. When a battle erupts between the two colonies, it’s up to Ruskya and his friends to fight for their dragons’ future, and their lives.
Follow Ruskya’s quest as he finds courage and friendship in this exciting preteen fantasy series by new author Kandi J Wyatt.
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About the Author:
I am a wife, mom of five, teacher, artist and author. In my free time, I enjoy writing fantasy, writing Christmas programs, drawing using graphite and colored pencils. Portraits are my specialty. I also enjoy photography. Thank you to my photographer husband who has let me join his journey in photography as well. I am both his model and apprentice. (I still think he does a better job than me.) On occasion I’m his assistant when working with clients and when he needs a “light stand with feet”.