Self Publishing Formula – Spotlight 41

Self Publishing Formula – Spotlight 41 -Eileen Mueller

I’m absolutely thrilled to let you know that I featured on Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula podcast! Yes, Mark Dawson interviews big-name, famous authors each week who are raking in 6-figures or millions, so he invited me onto the show!

No wait! Not that show. It’s true, he and the charming James Blatch do interview truly famous authors, but did you know they also get Tom Ashford to interview up-and-coming authors on their Spotlight podcast? Yeah, that’s me! Steadily stretching my dragon wings to find awesome new readers! Hopefully, those millions will come one day!

Today we discuss dragons (ahem), why I write fantasy, mistakes I’ve made, dragons under the bed, how I plot and dictate, bullies, the fabulous support I’ve had on my journey and yes, kids, bloodstains and (ahem again) more dragons!

Feel free to listen! It’s short and sweet. Spot the British train in the background, and see if you can understand my kiwi accent among the ambient effects the of the long-distance connection.

Thank you to James Blatch for inviting me onto the show and to Tom Ashford for being such a lovely host, and to Mark Dawson for all the amazing resources he provides. Self Publishing Formula is a wonderful organization that helps many indie authors make their mark on the world (pun intended). Click the image below to take you to the show!

 

Riders of Fire series Order

Riders of Fire Books 1-6: Ezaara, Dragon Hero, Dragon Rift, Dragon Strike, Dragon War and Sea Dragon.

Change in Riders of Fire Series Order

Riders of Fire has been keeping me busy for years! And there’s more to come… I’ve recently made changes to the series order, so the Riders of Fire stories stay within their own timelines and don’t jump back and forth too much.

Books 1-5 follow Ezaara, Roberto and the whole team of riders of fire, the brave young dragon riders who fight against Commander Zens and his cloned tharuk monsters intent on enslaving people and destroying Dragons’ Realm.

Book 6, Sea Dragon, is Ithsar’s story. Ithsar is  the Robandi assassin we met in Ezaara, book 1. I’d originally planned to put Sea Dragon at the end of the series, but, because it ties in with Ezaara’s story, it’s better to have Sea Dragon straight after the conclusion of Dragon War.

Bronze Riders of Fire series

I’ve had many fans and readers asking for prequels about their favorite characters, so:

Book 7 is now Dragon Healer, a prequel to Ezaara, which shows us how Ezaara’s parents, Marlies and Hans, met and the struggles and battles they went through that culminated in them fleeing Dragons’ Hold to have Ezaara and her twin brother Tomaaz.

Book 8, Dragon Mage, also a prequel, shows us how Master Giddi, by following his heart, broke Dragons’ Realm and unleashed devastation upon the land. I’ve had many fans asking for more about Giddi.

Book 9… is a surprise prequel I have tucked up my sleeve. I’m hoping it will also see the light of day, but I need to plot it fully before I announce the title!

Book 7-9 are especially challenging because they don’t occur sequentially. There are timeline overlaps and common events in these books. In order to ensure these books are seamless, I’ll need to plot all of them at once — a monumental task.

The Riders of Fire New Series Order:

Book 1: Ezaara
Book 2: Dragon Hero
Book 3: Dragon Rift
Book 4: Dragon Strike
Book 5: Dragon War
Book 6: Sea Dragon
Book 7: Dragon Healer
Book 8: Dragon Mage

Book 9: tbc – surprise!!!

My free Riders of Fire prequel novelettes are available here.
Bronze Dragon – Hans & Handel
Silver Dragon – Marlies & Liesar

Adventures in Dragon’s Realm for younger readers:

Attack on Dragons’ Realm (same world as Riders of Fire, a prequel for 10-12 yea olds)
Dragons’ Realm, A You Say Which Way Adventure – Winner 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award, Best Youth Novel (interactive fiction with humor, for all ages)

Sea Dragon Cover Reveal

Sea Dragon

I’ve been so flat out, with the launch of Dragon War and starting my new Facebook Group: Riders of Fire Fan Zone, that I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath and update my blog.

So, what is Sea Dragon about?

If you’ve read Ezaara, Riders of Fire 1, you’ll remember Ithsar, the Robandi Assassin who meets Ezaara when she’s in captivity and aids her escape. Sea Dragon is Ithsar’s book. It’s a side story in Riders of Fire, a lovely tale of someone downtrodden who gets the recognition she deserves.

Sea Dragon Riders of Fire 6 by Eileen Mueller

When Ithsar helps Ezaara and Roberto escape from the Robandi silent assassins, she’s charged with treason. And sentenced to death by her own mother, the Chief Prophetess. Ithsar will be thrown into of the Naobian Sea, to be devoured by the fanged monsters that prowl its depths.

But Ithsar, born with deformed fingers, has been scorned and maltreated all her life. She’s secretly learned to fight back. And Ithsar’s seen visions of her future. Visions that mean she must fight to survive—or hundreds of dragons and riders will die.

Riders of Fire

Sea Dragon, Riders of Fire 5, by Eileen Mueller

Fans are raving about Riders of Fire: “Each book gets better and better.”

If you haven’t read Riders of Fire, yet, saddle up your dragon and leap into the skies for an adrenaline-fueled adventure.

When Ezaara imprints with the dragon queen, she’s swept into a world she’d never dreamed of. A world of dragons, treachery, intrigue and danger. Now the new Queen’s Rider, Ezaara must lead her people as Commander Zens and his army of monsters rampage across Dragons’ Realm, killing and enslaving innocents. She must stop them.

But who can she trust when political intrigue puts her own life in danger?

And when Zens is growing terrible new creatures faster than she and her dragon riders can defeat them…

Series – Awards

Winner – Storylines Notable Book Awards (Ezaara & Dragon Hero, 2019)

Quarter Finalist –  2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Reader’s Choice Awards (Ezaara & Dragon Hero)

Reviewers are raving about Riders of Fire!

Eileen has managed to wow the socks off me once again in this powerful, action-filled page turner!”

Dragon lovers, this book is for you!”

This series is fantastic! It has kept me riveted!”

If you like dragons with lots of adventure, this series is for you.”

Skillful, incisive writing.”

It almost brought me to tears more than once, yet had me laughing out loud at others.”

A whirlwind of emotions. This series is easily one of my favorites. I can’t wait to figure out what will happen next.”

The ending came together brilliantly.”

The suspense is killing me!”

Praise for Ezaara, Riders of Fire, book 1.
★★★★★ “A great fantasy read.”

—Dean OGorman, actor, Fili the dwarf in The Hobbit

Riders of Fire Dragon Art Contest

Create Dragon Art & Color in Dragons!

Go Wild. Have Fun.

Let’s help you (and your kids) through the covid-19 lock down! Color and draw dragon art to your heart’s content, and go into the draw for a surprise prize pack!

Two Ways to Enter Dragon Art

  • My new Riders of Fire coloring book is releasing in late 2020. You can get a sneak preview & test fly a dragon colouring page for free. Have fun. Go wild!
  • You can also create your own dragon art and enter that in the contest too.

Enter as many times as you want via the form below.  Throughout April, upload a photo or scanned image of your dragon art or coloring page! It’s that easy!

Download the coloring page here: Coloring download Page

All entrants must fill in this Google Form to upload your entry, so I know how to contact the winner. The plain text link is https://bit.ly/RoFire-DragonArt

Feel free to join me in my brand new Riders of Fire Facebook group! Once you’ve joined, you can post your entries on this post in the group.

The Riders of Fire Dragon Art contest closes on 30 April 2020 at midnight in the world’s last time zone!

Contest Judges:

  • Eileen Mueller
  • Christian Bentulan (Eileen’s cover artist)
  • Pablo Airth – the artist designing the Riders of Fire coloring book, the perfect gift for all dragon enthusiasts.

Dragon Fun Riders of Fire Facebook Group Eileen Mueller Fan zone

601 names for Dragon War! My readers are amazing!

By the First Egg, You Astound Me!

We got 601 Dragon War names!

The Council of the Twelve Dragon Masters applauds you! I recently published a request for names for some minor characters in my latest novel, Dragon War (Riders of Fire book 5, on Amazon here). By the flaming First Egg, I was gobsmacked when I received 601 suggestions!

Wow, my readers are awesome. Last time I asked for a few names for Dragon Strike, I received over 200 amazing contributions. I could write novels for the rest of my life using those names and not run out of great characters!

HOWEVER, as much as I loved many of the names I didn’t use in Dragon Strike, I decided not to peek at them again when I was writing Dragon War.

Why?

Dragon War, Riders of Fire - YA epic fantasy

 

 

Here’s why:

  • Because I love the enthusiasm my readers have.
  • I love your input and value your emails and messages.
  • I enjoy the fun we have in our Dragon Den Facebook group. Feel free to join us, here.
  • I want to give you a chance to influence my work.
  • And I love thanking you whenever I can. What better way than having your name in the bright lights of the acknowledgements of my latest book?

Here are the winning names!

Feel free to share this post and flaunt it on social media! Your name will be flying on pennants in the Dragons’ Realm caverns of fame! (Hmm, there’s an idea…)

Drumroll…

  •  Caldeff: an elderly sick dragon rider – named by Mike the Mailman
  • Kion: a small boy at Dragons’ Hold – Rachel Dyne
  • Darynn and Rynnlak: a dragon troop leader and his brown dragon – Gayreth Walden
  • Eryk and Beryk: a young dragon rider and his brown dragon – Angie Watson
  • Amara: a blue dragon – Kate
  • Trya: a young girl who’ll grow up to be a dragon rider (in another series) – Cheryl Bailey
  • Captain Bloodeye: a fierce pirate – Charles Brown
  • The Scarlett Hand: the bloodthirsty leader of the Bloody Cutlasses – Alisha Klapheke
  • Serana: a modern dragon rider- Annabelle

As much as I’m dying to tell you more about the identities of many of these characters… NO SPOILERS! Some of them might be related to your favorite characters! You’ll have to read the next nail-biting installment to find out!

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm. It is only paralleled by Erob’s humor!

Who’s Erob? Why a dragon, of course! To find out which one, try Riders of Fire!

 

Dragon Rift – Eligible for nomination for Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Dragon Rift Epic fantasy

It’s awards time of year again. Well, not now – the awards come later, but now is the time for nominations! This year’s Sir Julius Vogel awards will be presented as part of WorldCon 2020, ConZealand. Wow. It would be an honor to have one of my books on the shortlist.

However, books need multiple nominations! Here’s where you come in. I’d love you to share your enthusiasm for my series and for one book in particular! Read on…

Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Anyone in the world can nominate New Zealand sci-fi /fantasy/horror books or films for Sir Julius Vogel Awards. I’ve been lucky enough to win best Best Youth Novel and Best New Talent in the past. I’d love it if you could nominate Dragon Rift, by filling in this form.

If you haven’t read Dragon Rift yet and would like to nominate the book, please contact me for a gifted copy or you can read it on Kindle unlimited or purchase from Amazon. Although Dragon Rift is book 3 in my Riders of Fire young adult epic fantasy series, readers can still understand the series when starting with this book. Dragon Rift was an Amazon best-seller in launch month, so many of my fans have devoured this book, and the next…

Dragon Strike is is also eligible, however, I’ve found that it’s best to focus on one book for awards, so fans don’t split votes in the final rounds. Because Dragon Strike ends on a cliffhanger, Dragon Rift is probably the best book for those who read the nominated books in order to vote, but don’t know the whole series.

SJV award NZ SFFANZ awards
Sir Julius Vogel Award

Sir Julius Vogel nomination info:

Title: Dragon Rift, Riders of Fire book 3

Author: Eileen Mueller

Category: Best Youth Novel

Publisher: Phantom Feather Press

Published: April 2019

 

 

Thanks for nominating Dragon Rift via this SJV Nomination form. I appreciate your support very much. It’s wonderful to have so many fabulous readers across the world. You can’t imagine how much your support means to me.

Final voting will be at ConZealand in July-August 2020 by members of SFFANZ.

My Readers Name Characters!

Dragon Strike, Riders of Fire, book 4

My Readers Name Characters in Dragons’ Realm

My readers are amazing. I’ve had so many of you asking after Dragon Strike and sending me wonderful messages about Riders of Fire. It’s been a blast writing my books, knowing you’re waiting out there to gobble them up!

Recently I issued a challenge to my readers via my newsletter, and asked them to suggest names for characters in my short story, Ruby Dragon (to be published in 2020) and in Dragon Strike!

I also had a wonderful response to my request for character names. I was blown away by receiving over two hundred names, most of them well-suited to Dragons’ Realm. Choosing was really tricky!

Here is the roll call of honor for my fabulous readers who named characters in Dragon Strike!

Readers Name characters in Dragon Strike by Eileen Mueller

Thank you to:

  • Amy Condra for naming Willow, a young widow in Lush Valley
  • Susanne Galley for naming Tylishia, a young mage
  • Monica Lewallen for naming Arturo, another young mage
  • Riley Gentsch for naming Warlin, Roberto’s beekeeper friend
  • John Rambish for naming Warlin’s wife Anastia, the best seamstress in Naobia.

My readers and reviewers deserve 5 gold stars!! Thank you.

Riders of Fire Fan Art

Riders of Fire Fan Art

I’ve been so lucky to have enthusiastic readers draw wonderful Riders of Fire Fan Art. I’ve been very slow to post these cute dragon pictures, but wanted to take a moment before the year ends to showcase some of the wonderful talent out there.

These lovely creations have been made by readers of all ages and walks of life. I hope you enjoy them.

I’d like to acknowledge the Indie Fantasy Fanatics, who hosted my fun game which encouraged budding artists to show us their work!

Here goes…

Cute dragonet - Riders of Fire fan art
This cute dragonet is by Ana Cordoba!
A young NZ girl drew this gorgeous picture of Zaarusha defending a unicorn! Now, there’s an idea for a story!  Her picture hangs in my office so I can see it every day.
Christine Marie took this photo of her pets who are in disguise as dragons! Luna RIP. We hope Fawkes keeps going for many more years! Aren’t they cute?

 

Riders of Fire Fan art - Shorty from Wingspan
Melissa Jean created a cute rendition of Shorty from my story Wingspan.
Ana Codoba has captured Erob, Roberto’s dragon flying at twilight, which made his midnight blue scales take on a violet hue. Doesn’t he look fabulous? Beware, his fire looks hot!

Last but not least, not fan art, but a fan of some art…

After over twenty hours of travel, at nearly midnight the day before I left (time zones do that!), I met a wee friend in Las Vegas airport! This baby still had his wings furled and was just as tired as I was, so I couldn’t hug him long… his mama dragon roared, calling him to bed!

Dragons at 20books Vegas conference!

20books Vegas! Dragons at Large!

I’m currently in the USA! Yes, this is a big deal. Although I’ve been around the world many times, and even lived in Switzerland for years, most of my international travel was before I had kids. And man, did I have kids … lots of them.

So coming to the 20books Vegas indie author conference was amazing. I’m still overseas so my internet connection isn’t always brilliant, so I’m posting a few photos here and will put more up when I get home.

Meet me this week – Salt Lake City

By the way, if you’re in Salt Lake City, I’m meeting readers and writers tomorrow night, Tuesday 19 November, at Hatch’s cafe at 7pm, 376 East, 8th Avenue.

If you’re a friend, email me and I’ll let you know where I’m seeing friends tonight, Monday 18 November. That goes for anyone I’ve met in New Zealand or Switzerland over the years.

Okay, onto 20books Vegas!

Mal Cooper gets into channeling her inner dragon! Not the usual genre for a sci-fi author, but hey!

Mal Cooper who writes as M D Cooper and I had a great time as dragons. Although Mal does look particularly fierce here, she has a great sense of humor and is hilarious fun, as well as being a NY Times best-selling author with her sci-fi world Aeon 14. If you check out this book, you’ll see the ‘cat suit’ Mal is wearing on the front cover. We call them jump suits in NZ or latex paint-ons, but hey, I’m in the States right now, so cat suits they are!

Dragons don’t always have to be fierce…

20books Vegas
Dragons can be cutsie too!

20books Vegas

I met a fellow rainbow-haired dragon too, a Brit living in Aussie!  Tony Slater’s partner, Rue – or is it Roo after kangaroos? – and I had lots of fun while Tony captivated us with hilarious tales of his travels. Everything he writes is humorous, even his sci-fi and travel books, so hanging with them was fun.

20books Vegas
Eating Eric T Knight with Jeff Kohanek

I was surprised to find out that everything was about authors at 20books Vegas. Even the menu. But Jeff Kohanek and I tucked right in, in true dragon style, and ate Eric T Knight for dinner!

Jeff writes cool epic fantasy and Eric T Knight writes westerns and epic dragon fantasy! Yes, I found my tribe.

20books Vegas
Eileen, Jeff and Eric in their dragon tribe!

I have squagillions of photos yet to post, but I’m staying in Salt Lake City at a friend’s house, so I can’t work all day (like I have the last 3 days!). I’ll pop the photos up over the next couple pf weeks and keep you up with the antics of a thousands of authors in Vegas. And no, it was not about gambling – and all about books!

See you soon, with wings on and talons out!

Meet Eileen’s Riders of Fire Readers Around the World

They’re reading Riders of Fire here! And here! And there!

I recently ran a  contest for my Riders of Fire readers. Here are the results. Meet my readers from around the world.

Our Riders of Fire readers grand prize winners are Zach and Cherish

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Cherish Kasner in Ledges State Park in Iowa

Cherish is from Madrid, Iowa USA, and loves Ezaara. She says, “The Riders of Fire books are original and they pull you in!” She sent some lovely photos of her having fun with dragons, a trainee dragon rider, swords and magic! Scroll down to see more of Cherish!

Cherish’s A2 poster of Dragons’ Realm is being flown by dragon post to her doorstep!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Zachary Spencer in Alberta Canada

Zach has many aliases, including Zach the Shark, because he gobbles up so many books and is always prowling the waters of Amazon looking for more! (If you didn’t realize Amazon was a sea, it is now! I claim poetic license). He helps run a Discord Server for readers in his spare time, loves gaming and is a valiant Rider of Fire, leading the troops against Commander Zens!

When asked what he likes about Riders of Fire, Zachary tells us, “I love the dragons, fast paced feel. You do not fear having loss or darkness, and of course your overall creativity.”

Wow, that’s cool and totally unexpected. Thanks, Zach.

I’m hoping the dragons don’t freeze their wings off flying up to Canada to drop Zach’s Dragons’ Realm poster to him. (I’m also hoping the sharks don’t eat them, but don’t tell Zach that!)

Lanyard winners

The following readers have won lanyards which are in dragons’ saddlebags, winging their way to their doors.

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Christine Steffens in Minnesota

Christine Steffens in Minnesota loves all things dragons and even has some pets that like to steal her e-reader and read about their fellow dragons. Look at this cutie!

Christine’s wee dragonet even matches the color scheme for Bronze Dragon, which is quite a feat! I wonder if the dragon is a chameleon, changing color depending on what book its holding.

When asked what she loves about Riders of Fire, Christine says, “Dragons, of course!”

Yeah, I get that!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Andrew Agnew in Findlay, Ohio, USA

Andrew loves dragons too (surprise!) and owns a super-sized copy of Dragon Hero which he’s proudly cradling above. He’s a Dragon Hero himself, out crusading against tharuks and battling evil.

Originally from Australia, he’s now at home in Ohio where it’s rumored that dragons are plentiful and there are many tharuks to fight. He loves audio books and e-books!

Andrew says, “I love the connection between dragons and their riders, and not just in your books, but others as well. Especially when the dragons are good and not evil. Can’t wait for the next in the series.”

The words of a true dragon hero! Go Andrew!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
A young Kasner dragon rider!

Cherish’s daughter is also a fan of dragons and got into the spirit of things. I don’t usually publish kids’ names on my blog. But here she is, armed with her sword, a trusty dragon at her side, and a great book to read!

Way to go!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Ina Fowler in Spring Hill, Florida

Ina was in a playful colorful mood and tried out Zaarusha’s rainbow colors while riding dragons!

I love this attitude of experimentation and the bright upbeat colors that every dragon rider should wear as a warning that we will triumph over evil tharuks and the darkness of Commander Zens’ Death Valley!

Ina says Riders of Fire is “Intense and mystifying.”

Well, in this photo, I think Ina is too!

 

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Richard Goodrum in Carrollton

When asked what he likes about Riders of Fire, Richard Goodrum sent me this photo, with the simple statement, “Dragons!”

I asked him if he had any further comments, and he said, “Dragons!”

I think that says it all! He’s obviously fiercely loyal to a species that has a special place in our hearts!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Deb, USA

Deb lives in the USA and loves Riders of Fire. She’s an e-book, print book and Audible fan and has the books in all three mediums! That’s pretty awesome.

Rumor has it that she’s writing books of her own, but not about dragons. Hey, it doesn’t always have to be about dragons! Good luck, Deb.

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Cherish deep in story!
Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Cherish fighting tharuks with a dragon at her side!

More Riders of Fire readers

Alisha and Elena Hewett of Crockett Texas, USA visiting New Zealand earlier this year

In January this year, I had a surprise when someone called me out of the blue and wanted to visit! Elena and Alisha devour all the books in their local library and often make recommendations to the librarians, who are happy to order titles they like.

It’s cool to know that Riders of Fire even has a home in Crockett!

If you live in Crockett, Texas, feel free to take my books out of the local library. Also feel free to recommend them to your own library!

And yes, we three do actually have eyes. It was just a bright sunny Wellington day!

More Riders of Fire readers’ comments

Some readers didn’t have photos, or experienced technical glitches when uploading,  but wanted to let me know what they thought of the series. Here are their comments.

Sherryl Taylor of Eugene, USA, says, “I LOVE LOVE LOVE DRAGONS. Have loved them since I was a kid. Now I’m a 66 year old kid!”

I know young adult fiction appeals to readers of all ages. I’ve had a kid of 9 years old write to me about my books and also pensioners in their late eighties who enjoy a dragonback adventure as much as teens do!

Stuart McClements of Bellshill says, “I like all things fantasy and horror!”

Although I don’t write stirct horror, I do have a couple of dark short stories about dragons that haven’t been widely published (in magazines or out-of-print anthologies). They may hit the light of day as soon as I have a good cover.  So hang in there, Stuart, and you may get fantasy dragons with a tinge of horror!

Gene Mallard of Lilburn, Georgia, loves the covers of Riders of Fire.

A special thank you to Christian Bentulan, my amazing cover designer! He really has helped this series come to life.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in sharing their love of Riders of Fire.