Riders of Fire Dragon Masters – new prequel series announced

riders of Fire Dragon Masters series

Riders of Fire Dragon Masters is a new exciting series available from Eileen Mueller, starting with Anakisha's Dragon in March 2021.

 

Sea Dragon Riders of Fire book 6 is live, completing the Riders of Fire series! I absolutely love this cover from Christian Bentulan. He’s done a beautiful job. I’m so excited to let this story swim out into the wide world. So far, feedback from my readers has been great, and I hope you enjoy Sea Dragon too!

Many readers asked what happened to Ithsar, the assassin whose fingers Ezaara had healed when she was being held captive by Ashewar, the chief prophetess—Ithsar’s mother in the Robandi Desert.

Due to their questions, Sea Dragon was born. The story has grown, also encompassing another young girl who hadn’t been seen since since she made her debut in Dragon Hero (all those moons ago).  The two girls strike up  a friendship, with remarkable results, and as those of you who’ve read Dragon War will know, Ithsar is able to help turn the tide of battle. (Sea pun intended).

Sea Dragon fleshes out some details that have been omitted from Ezaara’s adventures as the new Queen’s Rider, and concludes the war against Zens, rounding up some threads that readers may not have realized I’d deliberately left hanging. But wait, Riders of Fire isn’t over yet!

Riders of Fire Dragon Masters is an exciting new series that features the events leading up to Ezaara’s birth. Some of these books were originally planned as books 7-9 of the Riders of Fire series, however, new readers may like to read these adventures in chronological order. Splitting out the prequels into a separate series allows people to do this.

Here are the two series below, so you can see the gorgeous covers. I’m excited about working on the new stores for Riders of Fire Dragon Masters  and hope you’re looking forward to reading them.

Riders of Fire

YA epic fantasy adventure. Series link here.
Book 1: Ezaara
Book 2: Dragon Hero
Book 3: Dragon Rift
Book 4: Dragon Strike
Book 5: Dragon War
Book 6: Sea Dragon

Riders of Fire Dragon Masters

YA epic fantasy adventure:
Book 1: Anakisha’s Dragon
Book 2: Dragon Mage
Book 3: Dragon Spy
Book 4: Dragon Healer

riders of Fire Dragon Masters series

 

 

 

 

Riders of Fire Dragons

These prequels, can be read in any order:
1. Bronze Dragon (free novelette)
2. Ruby Dragon (short story)
3. Silver Dragon – free  novelette only available here.

These are shorter stories about how many of the dragons and riders found each other. I hope to expand on this series as time permits.

Thank you

A big thank you to my readers. Your energy and enthusiasm for my stories keeps me writing. I love your emails, messages and having fun with you on social media. It’s wonderful knowing you’re waiting for my stories! If you’d like to hang out in my Facebook group and have fun, pop over here. 

Dragon Art Contest

Riders of Fire Dragon Art & Coloring Contest

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.

Winner

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.

Lilly, 13, New Zealand: Dragon eye with shimmering scales
Lilly, 13, Bronze Dragon, Handel (the pen ran out!)
Lilly, 13, New Zealand: A tharuk.
dragon art
Lilly, 13, New Zealand: Zaarusha the Dragon Queen, with shiny scales

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.

Saydi Duplantis, 13, Honduras, child: This is a sea dragon. It hides in old shipwrecks and spreads its wings to attract its next meal.
Saydi Duplantis, 13, Honduras. A black dragon.

Erob by Mia of New Zealand, is very cute, too.

dragon art Riders of Fire rob
Mia, 12, New Zealand: Erob, Roberto’s blue dragon with a great sense of humor.

Skilah Cat shows us the power of a dragon’s eye.

Skilah Cat: 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.

Sam, 12, New Zealand: Zaarusha the Dragon Queen.

We were lucky enough to have Laura Thompson of Rogue Kitsune send one of her lovely dragons for the contest.

Laura Thompson, USA. Laura has more dragon art at Rogue Kitsune Art deviantart/artstation.
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.
Susi Galley, UK, Zaarusha in oil paint.

Coloring entries

Several entrants colored dragons or characters and sent them in.

Susi Galley, UK, demonstrates her lovely use of color  to give us a beautiful depiction of Zaarusha and Ezaara.
Sean Alexander uses online coloring sites, and he sent me this dragon for everyone to enjoy.
dragon art riders of fire tharuk
Julie imagined a tharuk like this but with a lot more fur.

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!

1005 Names Suggested for Sea Dragon! You are Awesome!

Sea Dragon -Riders of Fire book 6 readers suggest 1005 names for characters

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.

Sea Dragon Riders of Fire 6 by Eileen Mueller

Sea Dragon launches in 20 days, so grab your pre-order now. If you haven’t read the rest of the series you can start with either the Riders of Fire books 1-3 box set, or jump right into the Riders of Fire series if you’d like the individual books.

Which names made it into Sea Dragon?

Here are the readers who will have their names in the bright lights of the acknowledgements of Sea Dragon:

Feel free to share this post and flaunt it on social media! Your name will be on the lips of all Riders of Fire!

  • Queen of the sea dragons – Queen Aquaria  (Catherine Ellis)
  • Orphaned female teen Robandi assassin – Misha (Stacy Floyd)
  • Misha’s Dragon – Ramisha (Stacy Floyd)
  • Valiant Robandi assassin – Roshni (Charlotte Kieft)
  • Bold, wild Robandi assassin & her dragon – Nila & Nilanna (Cathy Wellman)
  • Kisha’s dragon – Kishanna (Cathy Wellman)
  • The eldest Robandi assassin – Drida (Pierre Rutherford)
  • Izodia’s sidekick, a bully – Thut (Douglas La Grow)
  • Izodia’s sidekick, another bully – Bala (Jeanine Thornton)
  • Leader of the green guards & his dragon – Goren & Rengar (Drea Dean)
  • Hot-headed green dragon rider & his brash dragon – Stefan & Fangora (Marvin Smith)
  • A father, member of the resistance – Kadran (Brittany Timmins)
  • A mother, member of the resistance – Katrine (Lucy Ladeira)
  • A daughter, member of the resistance – Hana (Cecilia Rodriguez)

As much as I’m dying to tell you more about these characters nd how they interact with each other… NO SPOILERS!  You’ll have to read the next nail-biting installment to find out!

If you haven’t read my series yet, but love fast-paced epic adventures with intrigue, action and DRAGONS, try Riders of Fire!

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)

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

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.

Riders of Fire Audio Books on Audible

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that Audible Studios  have produced Riders of Fire audio books for Ezaara, Dragon Hero and Dragon Rift, the first three books in the series. They’re up on pre-order now and will available to listen to on November 5th (subject to time zones) on Audible .com – USA, Audible .au – Australia, Audible.can – Canada and Audible.uk – United Kingdom.

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.

Get Riders of Fire on Audible here.

You could be Famous & Win Cool Dragon Swag!

Would you like to be famous? Or win cool Riders of Fire dragon swag?

Yes? Read on…

I’ve finished the draft of Dragon Strike, and guess what? At 180,000 words, it’s big enough to be two books! Yes, Dragon Strike and Dragon War (working title) will be coming out later this year.

To celebrate the release of Dragon Strike, Dragon War and my Riders of Fire audio books later this year (yay!!!!), I’m offering you a chance to star on my blog! Just send me a photo of you with one of my books – paperback, e-book or audio book!

If you don’t like photos, feel free to send your own art of dragons or riders from Riders of Fire! Or a just photo of my book somewhere interesting.

It’s that easy! Enter here now!

Don’t have one of my books? Download a free copy of Bronze Dragon or Silver Dragon by joining my readers here, or downloading Bronze Dragon from  Amazon.

I’ll collect the photos now, and be publishing them in November before the books launch.

Prizes – cool dragon swag

What cool dragon swag am I giving away? You’ll go in the running to win one of:

  • 2 x poster-sized color maps of Dragons’ Realm by Ava Fairhall (unframed – excuse the late night photo!)
  • 5 x e-books
  • 10 x  bright Riders of Fire lanyards featuring your favorite dragons.

Note: Due to expensive international postage, I can only send posters and lanyards to Canada, USA and NZ. (I’ll be in USA in November). I can send e-books internationally. I’d love your photos from all around the world.

To enter, click here

I’m asking for your location so I can make interesting blog titles, like:

  • Zak’s reading my book at the pool
  • Sam’s reading my book in Kentucky
  • Elsie’s reading my book my book a tree
  • Sarah is reading my book with her dragon (yes!)
  • Frodo is reading my book with a hobbit in her time machine
  • Samantha’s reading my book at the zoo in South Africa

The options are as wide as your imagination so, go crazy, and have fun!

Enter here, and you could soon be famous… or a winner… or both!