Dragons & Fun with Kids at Midwinter Festival

Today I had fun at the Writers Plot & Readers Read Midwinter Book Festival. Writers Plot is a cool bookstore in Upper Hutt that only stocks books by kiwi authors They invited me to read some of my dragon books and bring along my dragon costume.

Fun with dragon costumes
Hannah and I had fun after the festival! Her twin sister Isobel was fun too, but those photos didn’t end up on my camera.

Well, if I’m going to bring  a dragon costume, why not wear it?

And if I’m going to wear a costume, why not do my hair too?! (Luckily, one of my best buddies is into creating wacky multi-colored dragon hair, so we gave it a whirl! Yes, I flinched whenever I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror for the first day!)

AND, if you’re going to wear one costume, why not stay up late the night before, making an extra costume for the kids, too? (I swear there was no cursing at the sewing machine, at all, when the foot dropped off and the fabric bunched because I’d forgotten that I needed a special microtex needle! And no mutterings of, “giving up in ten stupid minutes, if I can’t get this silly machine working!” But I did sigh in relief when after an hour’s struggle, the machine suddenly hummed. An hour or two later, the kid’s costume was born!)

Dragon costumes by Eileen Mueller, author of middle grade and YA dragon books
More fun for Mia and Renae, a.k.a. fighting dragons.

At the festival, we dived into the word of Dragons’ Realm —A You Say Which Way Adventure, where a dragonet sings off-tune, farts chocolate wrappers and pines for its mother! Of course that’s not the only story in Dragon’s Realm. In this book, You Say Which Way the story goes, so you can discover all sorts of adventures in one book —22 to be exact.

Of course, the kids got to choose at every decision point and my lovely assistant (dressed in the kid’s dragon costume) awarded them with blood stains or medals for their efforts. It was loads of fun, with kids joining in and even teenagers eye-rolling at all the manure jokes!  These kids chose a long and involved story with lots of action, adventure and opportunities to ride (you guessed it) dragons!

After the festival was over, we had the chance to snap a few photos and enjoy cos-playing dragon attacks! My books flew off the sales table! Everyone loves dragons — and adventure. With four dragon books to choose from, there was something to suit all types of reader — pulse-pounding adventure and plenty of laughs with Attack on Dragons’ Realm and Dragons’ Realm; fun and frolics with Dragon Tales; laughs with Fangtastic Dragon Jokes & Clawsome Limericks; and interactive fiction with Mystic Portal and Dragons’ Realm.

Ben Spies child author has a dragon fight with his brother
Ben Spies, a young author, has a dragon fight with his brother Daniel.

I was thrilled to meet Ben Spies, who wrote his first novel, Weirdo, at nine years old, and his next The Magic Pencil  at ten! Ben is now twelve and still writing up a storm. The kids in his workshop loved his book and enjoyed his insights. It’s inspiring for them to see someone so young and already published!

Ben spies, child author, with Eileen Mueller who writes for kids and YA

A big shout out to Writers Plot owners, Cat and Caro, for doing such a great job. It’s well worth a trip to Upper Hutt to see their great selection of kiwi books for kids, teens and adults. They also have an online store, so if you’d like one of my paperbacks, you can shop here, or contact me here.

Ben Spies, Eileen Mueller and a junior dragon.
Ben Spies, a young author, and his brother enjoyed being dragons for a change.

Attack on Dragons Realm 99c now!

Attack on Dragons Realm on 99c pre-order

Phantom Feather Press have put my latest e-book on 99 cent pre-order – so family and friends can grab a copAttack on Dragons Realmy before the real price kicks in. But be quick, the offer ends soon.

Attack on Dragons Realm – Blurb

Drums pound the danger signal. Tharuks, monsters from another world, are attacking Dragons’ Realm. Three friends must separate – Jerrick must train as a dragon rider, Benno as a warrior and Reina as a wizard. War grows closer every day. To save their families, they must endure tough training and overcome their darkest fears. Only the upcoming battle will prove their worth.

An interactive book, where you choose how you read the story. One beginning, one end and three middles – you choose which order you read them in.

Other Dragons Realm novels

Attack on Dragons Realm is the prequel to Dragons Realm – A You Say Which Way Adventure. In Dragons Realm, you are running from the school bullies when you stumble through a world gate, into a world of dragons. monsters and magic. You make decisions as you read, changing the shape of your reading experience. With 22 possible endings, you can read and re-read,  experiencing a different stories.

Attack on Dragons Realm is also the prequel to Riders of Fire, my young adult series to be released late 2016.

I originally wrote Ezaara, the first book in Riders of Fire, seven years ago. Despite fifteen revisions, winning an award for the first three chapters, and an offer of publication in 2013, I wasn’t happy with version fifteen! Over the years, my beta readers for Ezaara have begged me to publish the book, wanting to know what happens in books 2 & 3!! (And yes, book two is already written, but no one has seen it! I wasn’t sure how to fix these books.)

After more years writing and honing my craft, I’m now in a position to revise these books. I’m excited. Dragons Realm is a fun, intriguing world I love to explore. It’s exhilarating – riding dragons, mind-melding and falling in love on dragon-back. I can’t wait to work on these books.

In the meantime, Attack on Dragons Realm, suitable for 10-13 year-olds, or Dragons Realm (8-12 yrs olds) are available on Amazon.

Attack on Dragons Realm is a fun adventure with exciting action and twists. Attack on Dragons Realm is available in paperback and e-book. Get your copy here now! 99c kindle offer ends soon.

Attack on Dragons Realm paperback cover. By Eileen Mueller
Attack on Dragons Realm paperback cover.

 

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales

It’s been an absolutely frantic year, and I seem to spend most of my time running from one project to another, while  juggling several others at the same time. This link will take you to a fun movie trailer for one of those projects, The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales, with sneak previews of some of the book art and lots of cool info about the project.

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales - 31 stories by 27 authors including Joy Cowley, David Hill and Dave Freer
The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales – 31 stories by 27 authors including Joy Cowley, David Hill and Dave Freer

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales is looking good! You can order your copy online now at the Twisty Christmas Pledge Me site or if you’re in Wellington on Thursday 13 November, you can come along to our book launch at 6p at The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie. (I’ll post more launch details soon.)

Remember some of New Zealand’s most famous children’s authors feature in this anthology. For a full list go here  or here. Every book purchased supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand. So, join us for a fun ride on Santa’s sleigh, as our reindeer gallop full tilt into a frenetic fantasy world of kiwi Christmases.

Short Story Submissions Open: Twisty Christmas Tales

Phantom Feather Press are opening their doors to short story submissions for a print edition of The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales.

Courtesy of www.netanimations.net
Click the picture to see Santa gallop – courtesy of www.netanimations.net. Submissions open now!

Well-written, offbeat, zany Christmas tales with a kiwi flavour or a fantastical twist will capture their editors’ hearts and earn you a spot in this festive book for kids and their families. So rein in those mischievous elves, decorate the pohutakawa and sprinkle your enchanted pavlova with fairy dust. Get in the spirit of tinsel and magic as you weave Christmas wonder for eager children!

Stories must be suitable for 8-12-year olds. Limit 1,500 words.

More details and submission guidelines are here. Have fun creating crazy Christmas capers! Deadline is 22 June 2014!