Wow, you’ve done it again! 1020 names for our dragon shifters!
I love my readers. You’re such an awesome community and I’m so glad to have your creativity on board when I create new stories! But, 1020 names for dragon shifters and friends? How in the name of the First Egg did we do that?
A few weeks ago A.J. Ponder and I asked you to name some characters and magical artifacts in Snow and Red, our Dragon Shifters’ Hoard novel. Snow and Red releases in February next year in the Enchanted Kingdoms box set, a collection of 22 novels raising funds for Puzzle Peace, a charity that supports kids with autism! We also intend to continue the Dragons Shifters’ Hoard and add more books later!
When we asked you to name our characters, we knew you’d jump on board… but that many?
There were so many cool suggestions, it was hard to choose.
Snow and Red have their names from the traditional fairy tale of Snow White and Rose Red, who are sisters who provide a home for a bear in winter, only to discover that an evil dwarf cast a spell upon him, and he was actually a prince all along. They rescue the dwarf several times in the course of the story, and finally end up marrying the prince and his brother when they break the curse.
That’s how our main characters got their names!Of course, our story has a lot of twists not in the original…
Let’s hear who came up with the names that our characters are now wearing! Or will be, in future Dragon Shifters’ Hoard books. Now, for your names: *drumroll*
Hazel is Snow and Red’s mother — named by Coty.
Endora is Dante and Zeph’s mother — named by Kitty Kelleher.
Valnor is Dante and Zeph’s father — named by Christopher P Barrett.
Jena is Snow’s friend from school — named by Alicia Love.
Brock is Snow’s friend from school — named by Guy F Worley.
Riz Baker is an aggressive policewoman with a buzz cut— named by Carol Sue Breckenridge.
Black Oak is the name of a suburb in Pinevale where shifters live — named by Sandré Moore.
Starglow Sapphire, a precious artifact from the dragon shifters treasure hoard — named by Jasmine Breeden.
Thank you for all of your brilliant suggestions. It’s always fun to see the names readers come up with and to integrate your creativity into our writing process. We’ll acknowledge your contributions when we publish Snow and Red in the Dragon Shifters’ Hoard series. (It won’t be possible to include your names in the acknowledgements for Enchanted Kingdoms because we don’t have control of that publishing process).
To support kids with autism, please pre-order your 99c copy of Enchanted Kingdoms: 22 fairy tale retellings — that’s 22 novels in a variety of young adult fantasy genres by best-selling authors!
Thank you to everyone who entered our Riders of Fire and Dragon Art Contest! We had some coloring entries and some originally drawn and painted work from adults and teens. Thank you for your patience. With me being so busy finishing Sea Dragon, launching the Riders of Fire box set, and finishing Ruby Dragon, the announcement of the results got delayed.
Feel free to check out some of the entries below.
Congratulations to Lilly of New Zealand for her winning art. She was so enthusiastic and entered four pictures — of a dragon eye, Zaarusha the dragon queen, a tharuk, and Handel the bronze dragon. All four of her entries showed different styles, cartoon and free style, with great use of color. Lilly wins a Riders of Fire paperback of her choice.
I also loved the sea dragon and black dragon below from Saydi of Honduras. These pictures show a fabulous use of imagination and color and style.
Erob by Mia of New Zealand, is very cute, too.
Skilah Cat shows us the power of a dragon’s eye.
Sam used a cool concept to decorate Zaarusha – colors and words that make up Dragons’ Realm. This is really creative and I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you.
We were lucky enough to have Laura Thompson of Rogue Kitsune send one of her lovely dragons for the contest.
Susi Galley did Zaarusha the honor of putting her likeness on canvas! I think the dragon queen would be very pleased with the lovely colors on her scales and wings.
Several entrants colored dragons or characters and sent them in.
Thank you everyone for your art, for joining in and having fun, and celebrating Riders of Fire by sharing your talents. I hope you have a lot more fun in Dragons’ Realm!
By the blazing Robandi desert sun, YOU did it again!
We got 1005 Sea Dragon names!
Ithsar, the Robandi assassin, applauds you! I recently published a request for names for some minor characters in my latest novel, Sea Dragon, Riders of Fire book 6. My readers are so awesome! I was thrilled when I received 1005 suggestions! I love your enthusiasm, your willingness to be part of my writing world, and the brilliant names you come up with. I wish I had more characters and dragons for them.
On the other hand, I’m thankful I don’t have to write 1005 characters in my adventures! So, thank you everyone for participating.
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
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!
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!)
The following readers have won lanyards which are in dragons’ saddlebags, winging their way to their doors.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
More Riders of Fire readers
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.
Today I’m interviewing Lee Murray about her latest children’s book, Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse, a clever book that breaks with tradition and presents a classic theme in a new light. These zombies are not like anything you’ve seen before. I loved this book and thought you may too, especially with Christmas coming up. Kids love video games – or reading about them!
Everyone loves a new computer game, especially Seb, who accidentally downloads a game that turns all the adults in Bridgetown into zombies. He and his friends must figure out how to save the world – after he deals with his screaming little sister!
Twelve-year-old Seb downloads the latest Chaos game, along with its new subliminal feature. It’s awesome: hero Bastion Axestone storms though town, slaying the zombies. But after Seb downloads the game, all the adults in Bridgetown, maybe in the entire world, turn into zombies. Talk about a disaster! Now Seb and his best friends, Darren and Talia, have to work out how to reverse the effects of the game. Only, it’s not so easy to save the world, when you need to walk the dog and look after your baby sister Ava…
Sebastion and he tells me he’s a Gryffindor, like his zombie-slaying hero Bastion Axestone. It’s true they’re both inclined to be courageous—or maybe reckless is a better word. Seb’s mate Darren likes to think he’s a Gryffindor too, but, in reality, Darren’s a tried and true Hufflepuff. He’s a good friend, though. Loyal. Patient. Darren’s always there to help Seb out of a pickle, including letting Seb copy his maths answers before Mrs Pike turns up to class. Talia is Seb’s secret crush. The prettiest girl in school, she’s a Ravenclaw: a stickler for rules and ultra-smart.
Is Bridgetown a real place?
Bridgetown is definitely a real place, only I’m not sure where. It could be in the US, or maybe in Australia or New Zealand. I should google it sometime. I’ll know it when I see it. It has a Founder’s Park in the middle of town, a school, sport fields, and streets named Mannering and Hulme. The thing is, Bridgetown could be anywhere that people spend too much time on their devices and ignoring the things going on around them.
At the end of Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse, readers are equipped with a REAL solution to the zombie problem. That concept could be worth millions of dollars, and yet you wrote it in a book. Why?
That’s the fantastic thing about speculative fiction; it allows us to test possible futures from a safe distance (where no one is actually being chased by teeth-gnashing ravenous zombies) and, sometimes, when we’re writing these stories we stumble across practical solutions to real problems. Of course, readers looking for clues to surviving the apocalypse, will have to pick up a copy of the book and find out for themselves.
Are any more books planned in this series?
Yes! I’m currently writing two more adventures involving Seb, Darren, and Talia called Dawn of the Mutant Invasion and Dawn of the AI Revolution. A Spanish language version of Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse is also in progress and will be available from IFWG Publishing, Australia.
Lee Murray is a multi-award-winning author and editor. Her books for children include Battle of the Birds, Misplaced, and Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse, among others. She lives in New Zealand’s sunny Bay of Plenty, where she conjures up stories for readers of all ages from her office overlooking a cow paddock. https://www.leemurray.info/dawn-of-the-zombie-apocalypse
We’re lucky to have the fabulous Caitlin Davies onboard as narrator. Caitlin, an award-wining narrator and actress, has narrated many books in various genres. I discovered her when listening to Lindsay Buroker’s Dragon Blood series and Alisha Klapheke’s Fate of Dragons. She has a great voice and excellent narration. I hope you enjoy her rendition of the first three Riders of Fire books.
As you can imagine, Caitlin and I have had fun with my pronunciation guide. I created MP3 files, using my fantastic New Zealand accent to pronounce all the fantasy names in the series. It’s been great emailing each other and gaining insight into the narration process. Seeing Caitlin discover Dragons’ Realm and our courageous dragon riders and dragons was fun. It was quite an adventure, especially my rendition of growly, snarly tharuks, some of whom only speak broken English. Despite my weird kiwi accent, I know she’s done justice to the characters. I hope you enjoy listening to Riders of Fire. Now you can enjoy your favorite series out walking, doing housework or working, anywhere at any time.
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I’d like to announce the winner of the Name a Spider contest that I ran on Facebook back in March! I had meant to announce the results along time ago, but was neck-deep in edits for Dragon Rift, my latest book. Then I launched Dragon Rift at Armageddon, and life went crazy with Easter and visitors and running my writing business and publishing the NZ Youth Laureate Award winners, and suddenly… its’ May!
I mean, May? How did that happen?
The Challenge was:
I need a cool fantasy name for a venomous spider as big as a dinner plate. Any ideas?
What I’m looking for is a fantasy species name, so a fantasy name that shows it’s a huge, dangerous spider. i.e.: a species name – bitten by a/an xxx spider. This is for Dragon Rift, the 3rd book in Riders of Fire, a dragon rider medieval fantasy series… go for it! I’ll name you and call out your genius in my acknowledgements!!
You all came up with such fantastic names! Now I’ll have to write another novel full of awesome spider characters. That’s the problem with being a writer: thousands of book ideas and not enough time to write them all!
There were over 80 entries, so I had a lot of clever names to choose from.
The Winner :
Susan Minot: Gargantula ?
Sue’s name is in the acknowledgements of Dragon Rift. As a bonus, I’ll send her a copy of the paperback. And although gargantulas are only mentioned once in Dragon Rift, I’m sure they’ll skitter across the pages of Dragon Strike, Riders of Fire book 4, due out later this year.
I loved everyone’s ideas. I was torn in a few different directions, but ultimately I wanted the species to sound big and venomous. Here are some of my favourite suggestions. Some made me laugh, some gave me the creeps, some were fascinating. See what you think:
Ava Fairhall: Mix and match with these: Shield crawler, or
colossal harvestman, or
disc spinner, or
Virginia Taylor: Michael
Bronwyn Norman: Venomous maxima, but people call it ‘Carol’
Natasha Kenyon: TEmperor
Zelda Tufue Dahya: Aracknidus Giganticus (Hail came up with that! He has been a Spiderman fan since he was 2yrs old)
Eric Corrington: Peteroid Parkernid
Ryan Mcfadden: a Ceramihumngi. I took the word for large and the start of the word Ceramic seen as as large as a dinner plate…
Tania Torea: Ingensaranea Literally two Latin words meaning huge spider Or Ragnoenorme
Peter Friend: Troll Hands – named after their supposed resemblance to those of mythical (or are they?) eight-fingered trolls, or so parents tell their children…
Nicky Curran: Zorboct.
Silvia Brown: Plato, means plate in Spanish and is the first thing that came to mind so I am sticking with it. Plus wasnt that the name of an Ancient Greek philosopher as well? A philosophical ceramic spider!!!
Martin Riesen: What kind of a name are you looking for? A pet? (Fred), More funny? (Spidermax). Medieval? Arachnia Tantus
Simon Voysey: Skitters
Meg Jolly: Empress Widow?
Jean E. Lane: The “Freakindead” spider.
Matt Whitaker Jeff. Or Dave.
Kevin Maclean: Tarantula morbidius…
Moya Bawden: Tantunab – Sanskrit
Gary Freedman: Puppy
Adam Roberts: Arachadonis. Spider with a six pack…
Adam Roberts: Arachadonis Rex. Front legs are too small to do anything useful…
Adam Roberts: Terran Chulla.
Eric Corrington: Aralob.
Deryn Pittar: Archnia gigantus
Wow, you made it to the end of that humongous list of scary spiders. Just for being brave, here’s a reward. Enjoy this fascinating video.
If the venomous spiders haven;t put you off Riders of Fire, feel free to pick up a copy here. Your next wild adventure is waiting.