Hey, everybody! Welcome to our Book Wyrms blog—where the books are fantastic and the drawing is terrible! We have debut author Errin Krystal with us today, here to talk about her brand new release, The Last Dragon Rider (The Wild Realms of Véneanár, #1)! We love it (read our review here), and we know you will, too! Welcome, Errin!
— Thank you! It’s great to be here!
So The Last Dragon Rider comes out today!!! Congratulations!!! (Amazon just sent our Kindle preorder, by the way!) Can you give us a feel for how long it’s been in the works? When did you start writing it, when did you finish, and when did you first sign it with your publisher?
–I started writing The Last Dragon Rider back in Janurary of 2015, and I had completed it by June 2015. So six months. I was only working part time after having my son, so my evenings were suddenly free of work. I finished it, spent roughly 4 months editing and re-editing about a million times, and finally sent off a query to my now publisher that November. Within 24hrs I had my now editor requesting the first three chapters.
–So I sent along my chapters (I felt physically ill with nerves). In December (about 4-5 weeks later I think) I heard back. She loved the story and my characters and had me make a few simple edits. We went back and forth for a few months. It needed a fair bit of work, but she was happy to work with me on it. I received my contract August 2016.
–So, from beginning the story until publication? 2 ½ years. 🙂
I’m sure two and a half years feels like a long time, but at least the query phase was fast! Congratulations! (We weren’t surprised at all, by the way.) What was your inspiration for the story?
–There’s bits and pieces from everywhere! It’s funny, because people who really know me can see where it comes from. I get ideas from everywhere, so not really one specific place or thing.
–My sister for example, can read my work and be like, “Oh, so you got this idea from here?” and most of the time I don’t even realise it until it has been pointed out to me. For example, the main character, Flintathriël, is kind of a hybrid of several different characters from my favorite video game series. There’s one element that was inspired by one of my favorite films, so it comes from all over really. Anything can jog an idea.
When you started writing The Last Dragon Rider, was that when you first knew you wanted to be a writer, or was it before then? What was it that made you want to become an author as a profession?
— I’d like to sit here and say, “Oh, yes, I have always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little girl.” But that just isn’t true. Yes, I have written stories for as long as I can remember. I attempted writing my first novel at 16, but it was always a hobby. I never really took it seriously for a long time.
–So what made me want to try do it professionally? It was weird really. I was at work one day. It was a super quiet winter day, and I was chatting away to my friend at work. We started talking books and somehow we got onto the topic of writing from there. I still had the copy of the novel I started when i was in school and somehow found myself showing him my work. He actually really liked it, and after I took a look at it I realised it wasn’t completely terrible. So I went home and started rewriting it and decided then and there I was really going to give it a proper go. That book was not The Last Dragon Rider, but it was the one that started it all.
Did you finish that one first? Or is The Last Dragon Rider the first novel you completed?
–The Last Dragon Rider is my first completed novel. The first one (MIdnight Redemptions it’s called) is so far incomplete, but it is only a few chapters shy of completion. That manuscript and I have a long, drawn out history. There was an incident which caused me to lose half of it way back when, and it basically got shelved for about ten years. Plus, when it first started out it was set in 18th century France but now has been moved into my fantasy realm. So it’s been through some changes. Hoping to finish it for this year’s NaNoWriMo.
Ten years! So you’ve been honing your writing craft for more than a decade! Character development, plot development, the art of writing… Can you tell us something about how you learned each of these?
–Mostly from reading and my mum. She is an author too, so I have picked up a lot from her over the years and growing up. I used to read her work out loud and help edit and plot when I was in high school.
–My highest qualification is straight A+’s in English and English Literature at high school. I have never read a writing reference book in my life. I just picked it up along the way I guess.
Without giving away any spoilers or trade secrets, of course, can you show us a photo of the space where you do most of your writing? What do you like about it? What do you wish you could change?
–I have to say, I love having dual monitors! I can have my writing up on one screen and my research/outlines up on the other. My husband set this up for me and it’s just perfect. It’s currently covered in notebooks and papers and pens (and maybe some dishes). You can’t see it in the photo, but I have a filing cabinet around to the left where all the strewn papers should go.
What an awesome setup! Are there any particular programs or apps—or any other tools, for that matter—that you’ve found to be especially useful to your writing process?
–Microsoft OneNote! It is the best thing ever! I have the app on my phone, which syncs to my desktop. So I can get ideas when I’m out and about, and I can type them in and voila! Just cut and paste to the main document and I’m done.
–The amount of writing I have done on my phone is insane. I have written whole scenes while standing in the shower! I have also been known to pull the car over and punch out a few paragraphs. Very, very handy.
From inspiration straight to drafting! That’s fantastic! But you heard her, folks. Pull the car over before you work on that manuscript. Let’s be careful out there!
The Last Dragon Rider comes out today, so be sure to check it out! We gave it five stars!
ERRIN KRYSTAL ON SOCIAL MEDIA: