2021 Year in Review

To celebrate three years of Dragon Soul Press, we present the three best in each of the following categories: Author Interviews, Prolific Authors, Anthologies, Blog Posts, and the Editor’s Pick.


Top 3 Author Interviews

These are the most viewed author interviews for the year.

  1. Benjamin Chandler
  2. Laura Q. Jimenez
  3. Isabella Cheung

Top 3 Prolific Authors

These authors have submitted and been accepted into the most DSP anthologies for the year.

  1. Barend Nieuwstraten III
  2. Lincoln Reed
  3. S.O. Green

Top 3 Anthologies

These anthologies were the most popular among readers during the year.

  1. Imperial Devices
  2. Spirit
  3. Space Bound

Top 3 Blog Posts

These are the most viewed blog posts for the year.

  1. Character First Impressions
  2. Write Like It Matters
  3. Writing Flashbacks

Editor’s Pick

These are the stories that resonated the most with the editor during the year.

Upcoming Submission Calls for 2022

Listed below are some of the upcoming Dragon Soul Press anthology deadlines.
Visit DSP Anthology Calls for more titles and submission instructions.


Everlast (Rated R)

Deadline – January 31st, 2022

Publication – March 2022

Word Count – 5,000 to 15,000

Theme – Romance can be difficult on its own, even before adding the complications of time travel to the equation. These couples find themselves from separate timelines in history, but cross paths due to unforeseen circumstances.


Surge (Rated R)

Deadline – February 28th, 2022

Publication – April 2022

Word Count – 5,000 to 15,000

Theme – Cyberpunk. These characters are trying to survive in a dystopia of advanced technologies. Living alongside Artificial Intelligence has its perks, but also many deadly downfalls.


Beyond Atlantis (Rated R)

Deadline – February 28th, 2022

Publication – May 2022

Word Count – 5,000 to 15,000

Theme – Unique retellings of Atlantis-like civilizations. Preferably with mermaids, selkies, krakens, or other mythological sea creatures included.


Chance on Love (Rated R)

Deadline – March 31st, 2022

Publication – June 2022

Word Count – 5,000 to 15,000

Theme – Everyone deserves a chance at love. Whether it lasts forever or ends up being temporary, these characters will fight for the chance at happily ever after.


Valor (Rated R)

Deadline – March 31st, 2022

Publication – July 2022

Word Count – 5,000 to 15,000

Theme – All stories featuring East Asian warriors are welcome.


Organic Ink: Volume 5 (Not Rated)

Deadline – April 30th, 2022

Publication – June 2022

Word Count – 1,000 word count minimum (not line count)

Theme – All poetry pieces are welcome. There is no theme.

NOTE: Minimum word count does not mean one poem of 1,000 words. It is all of the poetry/haiku submissions with word counts combined to equal 1,000 words or more.


Age of Artifice (Rated R)

Deadline – April 30th, 2022

Publication – August 2022

Word Count – 1,000-15,000

Theme – All stories featuring steampunk (including similar subgenres) are welcome.


Haunt (Rated R)

Deadline – May 31st, 2022

Publication – September 2022

Word Count – 1,000-15,000

Theme – In a world where so many dark things go bump in the night, terror awaits around every corner as these authors take horror stories to the next level.


Beautiful Darkness: Volume 1 (Rated R)

Deadline – June 30th, 2022

Publication – October 2022

Word Count – 5,000-15,000

Theme – In a world where so many dark things go bump in the night, terror awaits around every corner as these authors take horror stories to the next level.

Note: This series replaces All Dark Places.


Life At Its Best (Rated R)

Deadline – July 30th, 2022

Publication – November 2022

Word Count – 5,000-15,000

Theme – These women are navigating through the ups and downs of life whether it be relationships, children, health, etc.

Note: This is Women’s Contemporary ‘Realistic’ Fiction only.


Magick & Mistletoe (Rated R)

Deadline – August 31st, 2022

Publication – December 2022

Word Count – 500-15,000

Theme – All Christmas stories. As long as Christmas is involved, the story qualifies. All genres. Happily Ever After not required.

Note: This will be an ebook only anthology. No paperback will be published.


Reign of Fire (Rated R)

Deadline – September 30th, 2022

Publication – January 2023

Word Count – 5,000-15,000

Theme – All dragon stories. As long as dragons are involved, the story qualifies. All genres.


Union (Rated R)

Deadline – October 31st, 2022

Publication – February 2023

Word Count – 5,000-15,000

Theme – All science fiction romance stories. Outer space and aliens are accepted. All heat levels are accepted.


Carried Away (Rated R)

Deadline – November 30th, 2022

Publication – March 2023

Word Count – 5,000-15,000

Theme – All romantic comedy stories are welcome. Does not have to be Happily Ever After. All heat levels are accepted.


Carried Away (Rated R)

Deadline – December 31st, 2022

Publication – April 2023

Word Count – 5,000-15,000

Theme – All LGBTQ+ stories are welcome. All fantasy genres are accepted.

Author Interview with Charlotte Langtree

Dragon Soul Press sat down to interview Charlotte Langtree, author of The Shadow Queen featured in the Timeless 2 anthology.


1. What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and telling stories since before I could write. I just love jumping into another world. I suppose that’s probably because I’ve always loved reading, too. However, I spent many years of my adult life dabbling in writing but letting my lack of confidence hold me back. When I became a mother, I realized I wanted my daughter to know that you should chase what makes you happy. I couldn’t bear to think of her one day being stuck in a career that made her unhappy, as I had been. It’s not easy to chase your dreams but it’s so very important, and I knew that I had to be the one to show her that it’s the right thing to do. That’s the point when I started to take my writing more seriously, so I guess you could say that my daughter is my inspiration – in so many ways.

2. What comes first, the plot or characters?

For me, it’s always the characters who come first. My work explores and focuses on emotion, so it’s right for me that a character is ‘born’ before their story. I might have only the vaguest idea of the theme for the story but, once I know my character, it always falls into place around them.

3. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I don’t know if it’s really a quirk, but I write whenever and wherever I can. As a busy mama I have to squeeze my work into short snippets of time. I’ve jotted sentences down on my phone during night time car rides (obviously I’m not the one driving!), carry a small notebook with me wherever I go in case inspiration strikes, and have written some of my best work with my little one asleep on me. If I get to sit at my laptop in the morning, I have a cup of coffee. At the minute I’m enjoying a lovely Christmas-flavored coffee. However, if I’m at my laptop in the evening I need a strong cup of Yorkshire tea (often more than one).

4. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

I have almost completed my first poetry collection, which is a real passion-project that examines concepts of love, memory, loss, and so many other emotions through the lens of my own eyes. I am also working on my first novel, which is book one of a fantasy trilogy. I’m in the editing stage at the moment, so obviously I’m drinking lots of coffee and pulling lots of grumpy faces! In all seriousness, I’m very excited about it and hopeful that I may have it finished in the new year. It follows the life of a young mage who’s forced to face up to the increasing prejudice tainting her world when her choices lead her down a difficult road. Why do the leaders of the four clans allow such violence against their people? What secrets have been buried in the long forgotten past, and how do they relate to the current segregation of magic? How far will a mother go to save her child when the growing darkness is turned against her unborn babe? I hope you all want to read more! Feel free to follow me on social media and I will definitely update my pages when there’s more news.

5. Who is your favorite author and why?

This is a really hard choice as it can often depend on my mood. Nick Harkaway wrote my desert island book. Jasper Fforde always makes me laugh. Robin Hobb says such important things about the world through her fantasy work. Cecilia Dart Thornton’s writing is heartbreakingly beautiful. There are also some fantastic indie authors out there. An impossible choice! If I’m forced to choose just one author, I have to say my favorite is David Eddings. Several of his books were read to me when I was six, to check they were appropriate for me to read, and I was given my own copies aged seven. I’ve read them at least once a year since. They are definite comfort reads; reading Eddings’ Belgariad series is a little like coming home. I love the way he builds characters, and I’m sure some of those lovable rogues helped to shape my own character.

6. If you could ask one successful author three questions about their writing, writing process, or books, what would they be?

I would love to question Jasper Fforde. He has so many brilliant ideas and a wonderful way with words. I would ask what his process is when planning out a new story. The different ways of working really fascinate me, and I’m always looking out for tips to make my own writing process more organised. Included in that would be any tips on editing, which is the bane of my writing life. Secondly, I would ask for his advice on approaching agents and publishers. If I’m feeling deflated, I like to remind myself that his work was rejected 76 times before he found a publisher. Now, he’s incredibly successful as well as fantastically talented. I’m sure he could offer some useful tips in persistence! Lastly, I’d love to know how he comes up with ideas for his Thursday Next series (if you haven’t read those books, you really should!), with a cheeky extra question about what’s next for his most famous character.

7. What are you reading now?

I’m actually in the middle of two books, both of which I’ve read before. The reason for having two on the go is that I have one downstairs to grab if I have a spare few minutes, and another upstairs – I don’t get a lot of time to read with being a mummy, and I never know when opportunity will strike! My upstairs book is The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde. My downstairs book is The Goneaway World by Nick Harkaway. They are two of my favorite authors and I read everything they write.

8. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

These days I have very little time to do anything – I’m sure other parents can relate. I’m thoroughly sleep deprived and take every opportunity to go to bed early! I used to enjoy martial arts and dancing, and do intend to take both up again when I can.

9. What is the best part of your day?

Every moment with my little girl is magical. She is the absolute light of my life and can make any gloomy moment brighter. Nothing is ever boring when she’s around (even if you want it to be!) The phrase ‘pride and joy’ was just three words together until I had her; now it resonates.

10. Where can readers learn more about you?

Learn more at my website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Balancing Multiple Projects

As writers it is nearly impossible not to have a constant flood of new ideas. But we how do we balance all the new ideas while still working and completing what we’ve got? Some of us might find that working on multiple projects helpful, but we also want to find a balance. 

Tips to balancing different projects:

1) Use Different Notebooks

We all love a good notebook. It’s almost like a writer’s rite of passage to have hundreds of unused notebooks in some desk drawer just waiting to be used. Put some of these notebooks to good use by dedicating them to your projects. Instead of scattering your ideas for all your stories across several different notebooks, just use one notebook per project. I have found it makes a world of different when I can just go to one notebook for everything having to do with Project A instead of rifling through five different notebooks trying to find the note I wrote.  

2) Plot, Plot, Plot

Organization is key to balancing several different writing projects. Writing one book is difficult enough and requires you to be organized, but when you’re juggling two books or more books, organization is essential. Plotting and outlining is a great way to make sense of your different storylines so that they flow cohesively. The last thing you want is your different plots overlapping in your head, which is why creating clear and concise outlines for each will help to keep you on track for each project. 

3) Compartmentalize One Project Per Day

Divide your time evenly amongst your different projects. And when you go to work on a project, work on just that project. For example, if you’ve decided that you have an hour on a Tuesday evening and you want to work on Book A, then just work on Book A. For that hour, pretend that nothing else in the world matters but working on Book A. If you like to spend your Saturday mornings working on multiple outlines, then make sure whatever length of time you take for yourself you evenly distribute for all your outlining projects. I find that if I’m outlining two things at once, I like to set a timer for each. So, if I’ve given myself half an hour each, I’ll set a timer so I stay on track. This also helps to create a sense of urgency to focus my allotted time to the project at hand, rather than wasting time letting my mind wander. Going off this point, dedicate your day to whichever project fits your mood. For example, if you wake up feeling like you’ve got a million different plot points you want to connect, then maybe take that day to focus on the project that is still in its plotting phase. Or, if you wake up thinking of some really good dialogue, then maybe focus on the writing aspect and choose one of your projects that is already in the drafting stage. 

4) Get in Your “Zone”

Before starting work on any project, it’s a good idea to get your head in the game. As writers we all have our different Go to your favorite writing space, play a specific playlist, light a scented candle – do whatever makes you get into that writer frame of mind. This ritual is also helpful when trying to transition between projects that you’re working on. I personally like to use different playlists for each of my projects. The music helps me shift from one story to the next through different themed playlists. But you can do whatever it is that makes you get in your writing zone. 

5) The 10-minute trick

This is great for those writer’s block moments. At some point we will all experience writer’s block on all of our writing projects. But if you don’t want to abandon yet another manuscript then this is a great idea, especially if you’re experiencing writer’s block on the dedicated writing day of one of projects. Rather than letting it roll over to next week or whenever you’ve scheduled yourself to work on it again, try this instead. Sit down at your chosen writing space and set your timer for 10 minutes. And during that time just start working. By the time your alarm goes off, you’ll be so entrenched in the flow you won’t want to stop. 

6) Be Patient and Don’t Give Up

Perhaps the biggest lesson to take away from trying to balance several different writing projects at once is that you need to have patience with yourself. Each project will end up going at its own pace. You might find yourself wanting to constantly write Project A while neglecting Project B or having severe writer’s block on Project C – and that is okay. No one is expecting you to finish all three at once and within an entire year’s timeframe. That is your own internalized pressure. Be patient and just keep going. Everything that you’re writing will eventually get written, you just need to keep working on them. Some of your projects will end up going fast than you expected, others will give you a little bit more resistance. Just keep moving forward and you’ll eventually get there. 

Author Interview with J.R. Rustrian

Dragon Soul Press took a moment to interview J.R. Rustrian, author of The Dragon’s Den in the upcoming History anthology.


1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been writing in some way since I was five years old. I would write three sentence stories in second grade as an assignment and write fan fiction in middle school and high school for myself and friends. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to take a crack at writing fiction. Looking back, I realize that the passion for writing was always there.

2. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

In my opinion, the ability to create a live, vivid character is a good element of writing. Using your unique voice to create somebody that speaks to a reader can make or break a story. What also makes for good writing is a world that you can see yourself interacting with, a place that you will either want to live in or be terrified of being in.

3. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Recently, I’ve noticed a lack of focus. Ideas are there, but difficult to translate into words on a page. Characters are also difficult to deal with since I place so much emphasis on whether or not these people are believable and compelling.

4. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing the story?

It usually starts with a premise, then evolves into who is part of that premise and where. I’ll try with an outline of all the ideas in my head, and try to put that into something resembling cohesive. I’ll jot down character backgrounds, world settings, scenes I want to see into a journal that I keep close. Then, I’ll dive in and see if anything comes from all that. 

5. Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

I wrote a story for Brave New Girls with a character named Leona. She’s a brainy, techy girl, but awkward and full of self doubt. What I love about her is that how much she has passion for her inventions and science in general, but struggles with typical teenage issues. In creating her, I tried to make her a bit unconventional. Most of her growth is personal and emotional, but never loses that spark that makes her who she is.

6. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I’m a big history fan, so a lot of ideas come from books that I’ve read and classes that I’ve attended. I’m also Hispanic, so I turn to Mesoamerican stories and settings for a lot of inspiration. Real life also offers a rich gold mine of ideas.

7. Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

I’m a big Philip K. Dick fan. His stories are off-beat and give a more relatable view of science fiction that I tend to emulate in stories. Michael Crichton is also great. There’s a lot of suspense and tension that just grips you.

8. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love playing video games, cooking, hiking and watching movies.

9. Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

I’m a huge heavy metal fan. I’ve been listening to the genre since high school. There’s nothing more calming than screaming guitars and loud drums after a long day.

10. Where can readers learn more about you?

Check me out on Twitter.