Archives for the month of: September, 2013

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Alright!

One of my critique group members chastised me for leaving him with too much of a cliffhanger at the end of Diego’s third fantasy dragons novel. “Cliffhangers are good for chapter endings, but not for entire novels.” I liked the ending, but I like a lot of things until good people make strong and correct suggestions that make my books better. Such was the case with this Hispanic book.

It actually turned out really well, and it gave me the ending I wanted, which will either be a brilliant move or a total catastrophe. No hints, but if I was a fan of my last fantasy fiction novel series, Conor and the Crossworlds, I’d be jumping for joy at the end of Diego’s third book.

One more round of critiques from my writer’s group and some comments from individual readers, and I’ll be ready to move forward. I’ll also do one final read through myself.

Benito Gallego, my illustrator, is coming up with some incredible designs. His depictions of Taragon, the fastest of the Sol Dragones, and Icoron, his guide from the Andromeda galaxy, are fantastic. Can’t wait to post them.

A testimonial:

“Another fun little book by Kevin Gerard in the Diego’s Dragon series. This time Diego, Magnifico and company take their adventure to the cosmos in order to save the world. My daughter (who is in the 4th grade, but reads at the middle school level) read this book right after she read the first in this series ‘Diego’s Dragon: Spirits of the Sun. She can’t wait for the next one to come out. Anyone who loves dragons will enjoy reading this book.”

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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Awesome!

I sent a copy of the new hardcover version of Diego’s first Hispanic book to every school in the Humboldt County School District as a gift for their invitation to the Children’s Author Festival. I’ve been receiving emails and thank you cards from librarians at every level, elementary, middle, and high school.

Every message includes a little note about how much the students love Diego’s first fantasy fiction book, Spirits of the Sun. I’m slated to visit two schools, but quite a few librarians have asked me to stop by during the festival.

I get so excited when I hear news like that. I put my heart and soul into every adventure book I write, and instill so much love into each character. Diego is the star of the series, but everyone loves Magnifico, his dragon the most. He is, after all, an amazing creature with an unpredictable personality.

This phenomenon is very similar to the Conor and the Crossworlds series. Conor is the main character, but his big friend Purugama, the flying cougar, is the one readers love. Maybe that’s why Conor landed in Diego’s world in the third Diego’s Dragon book, and why Purugama makes a surprise entrance as well.

Oops! I gave something away!

A testimonial:

“My son bought 2 books, Spirits of the Sun and Dragons of the Dark Rift, and is loving them! We were wondering when you will be at the market off Melrose again and if they are always on special if you buy them in person?”

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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In 90 minutes I’ll be on the road to the Latino Author Summit at the University of LaVerne. Should be very interesting, and well attended, by the look of the location.

I’ll be bringing a poster of Diego’s new fantasy adventure book cover with me. This cover is so powerful, I’m sure the kids who like Hispanic books and fantasy fiction books are going to go nuts!

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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I usually don’t make departures like this, but this is something everyone should see at least once in their lives.

On the first weekend in October, churches all over the place celebrate a mass in honor of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. Everyone is welcome inside the church, with their animal companions. Cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs, I’ve even seen horses, cows, and pigs in rural areas.

The service is short for obvious reasons (20 minutes), and afterwards the clergy assembles at blessing stations outside the church. One by one, people bring their animals to receive a personal blessing, a St. Francis medallion, and maybe a treat or two.

The fascinating aspect is that while there might be hundreds of animals of every description, there’s never a problem, an argument, a fight inside the church. I’ve seen these services many times (mostly because I want to pet the animals), and it’s always a wonderfully serene experience.

I urge you to find a church the first weekend in October and witness this amazing event. If you love animals as much as I do, you’ll be glad you did.

And don’t forget to tell everyone you know about the best fantasy fiction books around, Diego’s Dragon and Conor and the Crossworlds!

Onward!

Kevin Gerard

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YEA!

Going to visit a school in San Ysidro in November. Gustavo, the librarian, has invited me down to talk about Diego’s and Conor’s adventure books. I’ll be speaking to roughly 600 students in two different talks, all 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Those are my favorite age groups. They’re so full of wonder and awe, and they love fantasy dragon stories.

I’m also talking to a librarian in the Ventura School District about a visit. If she agrees and I can convince another school up there, I can make a day of it. A fantasy fiction book talk in the morning, a quick lunch, and then another author visit in the afternoon.

I love it!

A testimonial:

“The day after you asked if the kids liked the book, I got a voluntary book report from a student on Diego’s Dragon.  He said (in the report) that it was interesting and he liked it, it would make a good movie and he would tell his friends that “it is like the coolest book ever.”  This was without prompting . . . I swear!”

Judy – Librarian – Jefferson Middle School

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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AWESOME!

A very nice librarian named Jonathan responded to a query of mine, asking quite a few questions about Diego’s Dragon. He offered to put the first fantasy fiction book, Spirits of the Sun, into their collection if I sent him a couple of copies.

This is great because they have a good percentage of patrons that like Hispanic books. I’m hoping the kids back east go nuts for Diego’s adventure book and spread the word everywhere.

It’s the Eastchester Public Library by the way, part of the New York Public Library system. Maybe they’ll ask me to come back there – never been to New York!

Give Diego your best thoughts!

A testimonial:

“Another fun little book by Kevin Gerard in the Diego’s Dragon series. This time Diego, Magnifico and company take their adventure to the cosmos in order to save the world. My daughter (who is in the 4th grade, but reads at the middle school level) read this book right after she read the first in this series ‘Diego’s Dragon: Spirits of the Sun. She can’t wait for the next one to come out. Anyone who loves dragons will enjoy reading this book.”

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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Fifteen days to go!

The Diego’s Dragon book three subtitle contest is winding down. I’ve received over a hundred entries, even twenty from one student, and all of the names are great. Now all I have to do is pick the winners (tough to do) and then pick the one that will be on the cover of the book (impossible to do with so many good entries).

The subtitle that wins it will be layered onto one of the best fantasy fiction book covers I’ve ever seen (see the link READ A BOOK THREE CHAPTER in Diego’s website). The illustration just screams adventure book. I’m so in love with it I have it as my desktop image.

Thanks to all the students who entered so far, and to those who will get their entries in under the wire, you’re awesome! Aside from the other two Diego books, this will be the best Hispanic book yet!

A testimonial:

“Every boy dreams of having a dragon for a friend. Diego’s Dragon turns one boy’s fantasy into reality in this story, but all is not what it seems as Magnifico comes into Diego’s life. I won’t spoil the fun. The book is a gentle read with a reading level that is appropriate for kids who read at a 5 – 7th grade level. I enjoyed listening my daughter read it to me. We’re going to buy the second book by Kevin Gerard called ‘Diego’s Dragon, Dragons of the Dark Rift’.”

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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Okay!

School’s back in session and it’s time to start scheduling fantasy fiction book author talks. So far I’m locked into three schools and hoping for more. I’m going to call a school in Newport this morning, one that I spoke with last May. It was too late in the year to do a adventure books talk – when it’s that close to summer kids don’t hear a word you say – but now it’s fall, and it’s a great time to have fun with them.

The librarian at the Newport school seemed to be full of energy, which usually makes for a great visit. I hope I can get her excited about it. I’ll be calling around to other districts as well. I like to have at least two visits a month, that keeps me busy and spreads the Hispanic books around.

It’s my favorite thing to do after writing the fantasy dragon books. Visiting students is so much fun!

A testimonial:

“Here is the photo of you and my son Estebian taken at the Welk’s
Resort. Please add us to your news letter. Estebian loves the books. We also enjoyed your reading of the book on youtube. Thanks for what you do in life…educating the future. Take care.”

Norberto Bowen

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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Benito sent me the color version of the cover for Diego’s next fantasy dragons book. It is so powerful!

I love everything about this Hispanic book cover! Magnifico looks incredible, and the reflection of the fire against his body is unbelievable.

And the Spanish galleon is amazing, with the conquistadors vaulting over the rails as Magnifico laces the ship with dragon fire.

This is just getting better and better!

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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It’s a little after 6:00 in the morning. I managed to obey my alarm clock and get out of bed at 5:40. I’ll be very happy in about three hours after I’ve had my yoga class, I’ve run a few miles, and I’ve done my shoulder stretches.

I’m sitting here watching black and golden streaks flying by my office door. Jesse and Jelly are at full tilt, running up and down the hallway and tackling each other in various rooms. I can hear it when they run cleanly, and then when one gets hold of the other and the wrassling begins.

Made me wonder about fantasy dragons, and whether they play in the early morning. Couldn’t you imagine, hearing them scuffling about in the darkness before dawn, and every once in a while what looks like the glow of a little campfire appears on a ledge or from around the corner. I’d think juvenile dragons would love the time after a long sleep. All that energy and other kids around – what a pileup for Mom and Dad to deal with every day.

One of the guests of honor at the next CONDOR in San Diego is an artist named Sarah Clemens. She draws pictures of dragons and cats together. She actually had a cat named Magnus, who, along with a dragon named Loki, became oft repeated subjects of her work. Google her, and come to CONDOR to see her. I believe it’s March 21-23, 2014. You’ll be glad you did.

My favorite dragon in Diego’s third fantasy fiction book, besides Magnifico, of course – Furtivo – he’s like a kid who refuses to grow up – just like me!

A testimonial:

I’m almost done reading the first book of the Diego’s Dragon series. This YA book is one of my favorites! The best characters so far are Diego, Magnifico and Racquel. I couldn’t stop reading and I can’t wait until the next one comes out! Other fantasy fiction novels are nothing compared to Diego’s Dragon. Thanks for signing my adventure book, you’re great! 🙂

Nicole – Island Creek Elementary

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds