Archives for posts with tag: top new fantasy books

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Book Blast – March 6 through March 8!

This weekend Renee at Mother/Daughter Book Reviews will host a Book Blast for Diego’s Dragon: Spirits of the Sun. Can’t say I really understand it all, but it sounds like a very cool promotion. Over 50 bloggers will participate in spreading the word about Diego’s Dragon, and there will be a “rafflecopter” giveaway, a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

I’m interested in seeing the result. As I’ve said before, 2014 is the year of the internet. I’ll try a number of different promotions to see if I can push Diego’s story over the hump. Later this year I’ll work with pubslush to organize a crowdfunding effort so I can have Spirits of the Sun made into an audiobook.

Wish me luck! Here’s the URL for the Book Blast, and remember, it’ll only appear on March 6, 7, and 8.

http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/100-book-blast-giveaway-diegos-dragon-by-kevin-gerard

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2013 was the year of farmer’s markets and street fairs. They didn’t pan out very well, so 2014 became the year of the internet. Steep learning curve? Picture half-dome in Yosemite National Park and you’ll get a pretty good idea.

I did happen to find a goldmine while reading one of the IBPA (Independent Book Publisher’s Association) monthly magazines. There are two websites devoted to bloggers who love reading middle grade and young adult fantasy novels. I emailed every one of the middle grade folks asking if they would read and review Diego’s first book, Spirits of the Sun, and about fifteen to twenty responded favorably. I sent print or ebooks, and the reviews came back very positive, extremely so in some cases.

One of the bloggers, Mother Daughter Book Reviews promotes books in a few innovative ways. I signed up for a “Book Blast,” which will occur between March 6 and March 8. I’m sure I won’t do her justice by trying to explain the promotion, so I’ll quote her website:

“A Book Blast involves multiple blogs (including MDBR) all posting information about one book (i.e., title, summary, purchasing information, author information, etc.) over 1, 2, or 3 days.  A Book Blast also involves a shared Rafflecopter giveaway (usually for a $25, $50, or $100 Amazon gift card and/or PayPal cash) where individuals gain entries by adding the book to a Goodreads shelf, following the author, following the participating blogs, and so on.  Each participating blogger posts roughly the same information and shares the post and giveaway via their social media networks.  A Book Blast’s main purpose is to gain exposure for the book and followers for the author.”

The link for the Blast is below, and you can only access it during those three days.
http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/100-book-blast-giveaway-diegos-dragon-by-kevin-gerard

The fantastic part of this promotion is that other bloggers sign up to promote it. Diego’s Blast has over 50 bloggers involved, which may result in a huge amount of exposure.

I keep plodding along, but with every day comes a new discovery. I have an author facebook page, a fan facebook page, and a twitter account, and I think as of March, 2014, I finally know how to use 2.7% of the functionality of either platform. I’ve been to author/publisher seminars where speakers have said, “If you write for kids and you’re not on Instagram, you don’t exist.” So I came home and popped open the Instagram home page, which showed two large icons, telling me that I could open an account either through Apple or Google. I tried Google, got completely lost, and gave it up. If anyone knows how to establish an Instagram account and they’re not laughing uproariously right now, could you email me and give me a quick lesson?

I’m having trouble with my upstairs neighbor. She seems to think my cats are making her place stink, even though my place doesn’t!?! Nothing in the world would make me give up my boys. They are my children and I couldn’t love them more if they were human kids.

When I wrote the Conor and the Crossworlds series, I made a group of giant, wild cats the protectors of the dimension called the Crossworlds. I used the personalities of my cats to create the characteristics of the Champions of the Crossworlds. Ajur, a 2800 pound jaguar, had the same plodding, stubborn mentality of Lenny, an orange tabby. Eha, an 1800 pound cheetah, matched the happy-go-lucky personality of Sunny, a black and white tabby and a real card.

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Maya, the Lord of the Champions, is his real self, a big tom that used to live next door to me in another neighborhood. He died in the most horrible of ways. I told the woman who cared for him that I was going to make him immortal by making him a character in the Conor and the Crossworlds story. He weighs in at 1400 pounds, and every aspect of his personality remained. He is a powerful shaman, so powerful that even the creators of the Crossworlds don’t know the extent of his magic.

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I think I put a little of myself into one of the Champions, a 3000 pound flying cougar named Purugama. He is Conor’s mentor, his best friend, funny but stern, and every reader’s favorite character.

Cats are magnificent animals, whether domestic or wild. What I love most is the identical similarities between the two. It’s amazing to watch a documentary about any wild cat, and then watch your tiny little house cat exhibit the same traits and behaviors. I’ll always have them in my home, they are a real comfort, whether resting on my desk as I write, sleeping with me, or tugging at my foot because they want to play.

Onward!

Kevin Gerard

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Greetings,

I know, I haven’t written since October. Time to get cracking again. Here’s a good topic to begin with – I believe I’ll be able to start writing the fourth book in the Diego’s Dragon series around April first. I needed a break – 8 novels in 8 years – it was starting to show. Not in the quality of the books, but in the quality of my emotional and physical well-being. Thank the maker for the gym! I exercise quite frequently, as a matter of fact I’ll be heading to the exercise room in about an hour. But enough about me.

If you’ve read Book Three: Battle at Tenochtitlan, then you know where it left Magnifico, Diego, the Spanish conquistadors, and many of the Sol Dragones. Readers have to wonder how Estrella and what’s left of Magnifico’s army will be able to battle Satadon as long as he is siding with the ancients.

And what of the introduction of the new supernatural beings? What role will they play in Diego’s struggle to save his people? Millions of Aztec descendants have vanished, including Diego’s mother, Alejandra, taken from their loved ones by the horrible spell set into motion by the Dark Lord.

I love writing myself into inescapable corners, because eventually the light turns on and the path becomes illuminated. I can’t remember when it happened, but a few weeks ago the window opened and I saw the first vision of how the story will continue, and who will join with the Sol Dragones to battle Satadon and his mystical alliance. The only hint I’ll provide is this – those who will come to fight with the Sol Dragones were introduced in Book Two: Dragons of the Dark Rift. It makes perfect sense, and it’s a brilliant plot twist. What’s more, it will take the combined power of Sol and Celestina to open the heavens so the saviors can travel across space and time to find Tenochtitlan, Magnifico, Estrella, Racquel, and hopefully, Diego. If you’ve finished the third book, then you know where Diego is, and who he’s with. He’s safe for now, but he’s angry. He wants revenge for what Satadon did to his friend Magnifico, and to his beloved mother. It will be up to his new friends to convince him to wait until the right time to strike at the Dark Lord.

Yes, I’m getting very excited about continuing Diego’s story. Was I put on this earth to write fantastic novels for kids? I think so.

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In 24 hours I’ll be dropping Little Man and Jesse the WonderCat off at their Mommy’s house. They get to stay with her and their brother and sister while I’m up north at the festival. Poor Jelly has to stay here by himself because Mandy and Toby don’t know him yet. That might be too much to expect from any babysitter. I have a caring neighbor who will look in on him every night, and he’s come to love his new home. I think he’ll be all right.

In 36 hours I’ll be watching the sunset from my room at the Lost Whale Inn in Trinidad. I remember when I was in grad school and I heard about the Lost Whale being reserved three years out for each graduation. It seemed like this untouchable place I would never get to enjoy, but now I’ll be there for a much needed rest.

I’ll formally visit two schools during the festival, and the students are very excited. I hope to give them an experience they’ll never forget. It’s so magical for them to have an author come to their school, even if it’s just little old me!

Thanks Conor and Diego for getting me invited to this awesome festival 🙂

Here’s a link to some incredible books – WOW

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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Awesome!

Benito is working on the next illustration for Diego’s third adventure book. Diego has a vision of traveling back 500 years to Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Aztec empire, where he sees a boy buying a statue of Magnifico from a vendor. When he realizes it really is Magnifico, he steals it and runs for his life. Four Mexica soldiers catch him and take him to the nobles, who will decide the outcome of Diego’s crime. The illustration shows Diego being carried by the soldiers. It’s just a sketch, so keep checking back to see it in its finished form.

This Hispanic book is going to be so amazing! I love writing fantasy, and like Conor’s story, Diego’s story is getting better and better with every fantasy fiction book.

Check out the Diego’s Dragon blog on wordpress.com to see the illustration.

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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Wow!

A fourth grade fan of Diego’s fantasy fiction novels created the coolest shrine to the series. She put both adventure books together on a desk and decorated it with trees, dragons, and more!

I’m honored!

If you want to see a picture of this, go to Diego’s fantasy dragons website (www.diegosdragon.com) and click the Reader Comments link, or go to wordpress.com and search for Diego’s Dragon. I’m putting the picture on the website this morning.

Maybe that will be the next contest – having fans create their own shrine to Diego and Magnifico – but this one will be hard to beat!

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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Congratulations to Starr, Star-Lynn, Taylor-Rae, Tamera, and Jordan, for entering the five best subtitles in this year’s fantasy fiction novel contest. Starr Culwell’s entry, Battle at Tenochtitlan, took first place – check out the cover on this web page:

http://www.diegosdragon.com/buybookthreesoon.html

Many thanks to all the students who entered subtitles for this Hispanic book contest. You are all dreamers, and don’t ever change, for dreaming is what makes life an adventure.

A testimonial:

I love your fantasy fiction books so much! Tanner – Desert Charter School

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

In a week I’ll be jumping on a jet to fly to San Francisco, and then I’ll climb into a prayer plane to fly to McKinleyville, CA for a much needed rest in Humboldt County. I’ll be staying at the Lost Whale Inn for a few days and then at the Eureka Inn during the festival. Here’s the website about the festival.

http://www.authorfest.org/

25 authors and illustrators will come to Humboldt from throughout California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah, Florida and Indiana. They will travel to 60 Humboldt County schools, talk about themselves and their work to thousands of school children, and spend a day at a public autographing session in the Main Library in Eureka, where their fantasy dragon books can be purchased.

I can’t wait – 2011 was so much fun!

A testimonial:

“Conor and the Crossworlds is the perfect blend of fantasy and adventure.
Action around every corner! Conor is my favorite character for his courage and bravery. People can relate to him.” – Andrew – Portland, Oregon

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds

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YEA!

Three more schools have signed on this semester for school visits. I’m psyched, and so is Diego, Conor, Magnifico, Purugama, and all the characters in my adventure books.

We love visiting schools and talking about awesome fantasy fiction books that they’ll love to read! Can’t wait to meet each and every student!

The action starts tomorrow at Fallbrook High School – let the fun begin!

A testimonial:

“I got a copy of your first book for my 4th grade class.  I need another copy of the first book because the kids have worn it down.  Let me know how I can get an extra copy. Thanks, Randy.”

Onward!

Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds