Author Interview with Chad A. B. Wilson

Dragon Soul Press sat down for an interview with Author Chad A. B. Wilson, featured in the Dragons and Heroines anthology.

1. What inspired you to start writing?

When I was in second grade, I would write narratives out of the movies I watched. The first thing I ever wrote was a retelling of Charlotte’s Web, complete with dialogue and everything. I even got the punctuation right. In sixth grade, I wrote a zany time travel novel inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Later in middle school, I began writing horror stories inspired by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley. So I’ve always been inspired by what I’m reading. When I read a good horror story, I want to write a good horror story. I’m not in competition with the greats, but I want to try to do what I enjoy and make something that other people will enjoy. That’s really the motivation: inspire enjoyment in others. Some people, they just feel compelled to write, and their art comes first, but for me, it’s always outward focused. When I was in a punk band in college, I wrote a song called “I wanna be a sellout.” I’ve always wanted people to enjoy what I do. It’s not about art or the idea that people don’t understand my work because it’s great art. I want to write what people enjoy. I spent 10 years working on a PhD in Victorian literature. Once I finished that, I went back to reading the fun stuff I always loved—fantasy and science fiction. So then I was inspired again! I started writing again about two years ago.

2. What comes first, the plot or characters?

Definitely the plot. I know that may sound weird, and maybe it’s because I’m a novice and not that great at it, but the real world is full of boring people. What makes things exciting are external events. I’m not writing stories about the internal struggles of real people, after all. No, what I need are exciting events; then I figure out how a person will deal with those events, and the character is fleshed out along the way.

3. How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

I’ve read enough about writing science fiction and fantasy that I’m aware of the trap of world building. Basically, I don’t do much. I let the plots drive the world building, and then I go back and revise. I’ve written two novels (unpublished) and a dozen short stories that take place in Grenmir’s world of Searithia and the city Falsea, so the world has become fleshed out over time.

4. Describe your writing space.

We built a shed behind our house and decked it out as a “studio” after the pandemic hit and the entire family was working and studying from home. My wife works in there during the day, and then I go write in there after most of the house is down for the night. It’s just a simple desk but it’s cozy with few distractions.

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

I find satisfying conclusions to be the hardest. Ideas come easily, but shaping them into problems that can be solved is difficult. I used to love the heist genre, for example, because of the way the protagonists would solve the problems (that they always anticipated beforehand). I’ve tried to write my own heist stories, and they always come up flat. It’s the interesting solution that eludes me. I imagine audiences can see my conclusions from a mile away.

6. What does success mean to you? What is the definition of success?

Like I said, I want people to read and like my work. That’s really it.

7. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have three unpublished novels. My favorite is my latest: a bizarro, supernatural tour of Texas led by a middle-aged alcoholic gunslinger who must save the world. It’s called “Grit Versus the Necromantic Society.” Its absolutely bonkers. One chapter is told by an armadillo. In another, Grit is saved by an army of squirrels. He meets a bunch of famous ghosts, too. It was so fun to write.

8. Where do you get your inspiration?

I am often inspired by travel. Atlas Obscura (a travel website of the odd and bizarre) has inspired some of my current work. I know I have a story when I pull off the interstate and find something so weird or creepy that it sticks with me. Or sometimes I just get images in my head that I must write a story around it.

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

I just finished another story about the rogue Grenmir, and I’m working on revising my Grit novel. I may seek out a publisher or may self-publish. I haven’t decided.

10. Where can readers learn more about you?

I can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

2022 First Quarter Book Releases

Listed below are the Dragon Soul Press anthologies that released during the first quarter of 2022.
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Don’t stand between a woman and her dragon.

Dragons infiltrate society in these tales. From belittled office workers harboring scaly secrets, monster hunts, fiery queens of millennia past, and dragons hoarding more than gold. These eleven stories will sweep you off your feet with nostalgic adventures of a lifetime.

Yasmine Learns to Fly by J.C. Murray

Questing for Creatures by Elyse Kallen

Miss Haversmith Appreciates by Kirsty Mackay

The Dragon’s Eye by Chad A.B. Wilson

Dragon Marked by Charity Ayres

Reach Your Heart by Jo Niederhoff

One Whisker by Barend Nieuwstraten III

Heaven by Rose McClary

Amaya and Umber by L. Jade

Fireborn by Clint Foster

Dragon Blood by J.E. Feldman


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A new look at dark fairytales.

Akin to the Brothers Grimm, none of these storybook characters are innocent. Cinder Ellah forgets who earned her the crown and pays a hefty price. Kaede’s new love interest weighs heavily on his soul. Olivia won’t give up her firstborn without a fight. The old woman living in a shoe bites off more than she can chew. Lere planned revenge, but contracted love sickness instead. These five stories will have you on the edge of your seat craving a sequel.

Cinder Ellah by Deborah Brown

Hard to Come Back by Jo Niederhoff

The Vigilante Queen by Victor Nandi

Loved Once by Jarrett Mazza

To Conquer a Fae Lord by Thea Watson


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Time travel romance…

Romance can be difficult, even before adding the complications of time travel to the equation. These unlikely couples find themselves from separate timelines in history, but cross paths due to unforeseen circumstances. Will their love survive against all odds?

Thicker Than Water by Lincoln Reed

Shifting Sands by Rosetta Yorke

The Chasquis by Jen Ross

Phantasms of the Past by Helen Mihajlovic

Waiting for You by Jo Niederhoff

Broken by J.E. Feldman

Author Interview with Jo Niederhoff

Dragon Soul Press interviewed Jo Niederhoff, an author in the Rogue Tales, Dragons & Heroines, History, Space Bound, and Spirit anthologies.

1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since about as long as I knew stories existed. I told my parents about the fairies that lived in my walls, and about my imaginary babies. I’ve been writing well since high school, when I joined a writing club and started getting feedback on my stories.

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

Editing, definitely. I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but it’s so much easier to put words down on paper than to go through and reshape them.

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

I can write just about anywhere. I often have stories running in the back of my mind, which does sometimes mean I miss out on other things happening around me, especially the radio going while I’m driving.

4. What does success mean to you? What is the definition of success?

To me, success means feeling good about my life as a whole. I would much rather be a small-time writer who is happy every time I sit down at the computer to get some words down than a best-seller who feels like writing has become a chore.

5. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Daydreamer, sarcastic, fidgety.

6. Who is your favorite character?

Of my own, it would have to be a so-far unnamed girl from a novel I keep toying with, about the people left behind in fantasy novels. Her brother vanishes into a traditional fantasy adventure, but the novel would focus more on how she and her family deal with his disappearance. From others’ works, it would have to be Lois Lane or Cordelia LeHane from Amberlough.

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

I’m actually working on a non-writing project which is really exciting; I’m studying to become a speech pathologist. It’s very interesting, but also a little stressful.

8. Who is your favorite author and why?

R. F. Kuang. The Poppy War tore me apart in the best way and showed me what historical inspired fantasy can be at its finest.

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

I do lots of community theater acting, but I also enjoy learning more about all sorts of things (mostly history and biology, but I’m trying to be rounded out with some hard sciences), and I have a quilting project I work on every now and then.

10. Where can readers learn more about you?

I have Facebook, but I’m on Twitter much more frequently, even if half of what I write there is utter nonsense.

Author Interview with John Greville

Dragon Soul Press interviewed John Greville, a History and Reign of Queens anthology author.

1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

As a child in Baghdad in the early 1950’s, I was drawn to the small diaries sold at the upscale department store, Orosdi-Backs, on Rashid Street. The diary had a little pencil that sat in the hold along the spine. I scribbled in the tiny books, and felt some level of satisfaction. Later, in 10th grade, I read a short story by Thomas Mann, “Tonio Kröger,” about a young man who desired a normal life, and as a boy and teen was attracted to normal, popular peers. But he never really fit in, and his sensitivities were also trampled by the oblivious crowd. He became a writer, an artist, and I immediately identified with him. I was also transfixed by Hermann Hesse’s novel Der Steppenwolf, also about an outsider. In 11th grade I started writing poetry, and in college much better poetry and short stories. Finally, as a freshman at Berkeley, I discovered Tolkien, and devoured Lord of the Rings. Fantasy and SF became my reading passion, and ultimately, the landscapes for the stories I wanted to tell.

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

Believable and compelling characters facing mounting challenges are vital, otherwise readers will lose interest. The depiction of setting is also critical, particularly in SF/F. The detailed world building of LOTR and the Earthsea trilogy, along with Dune, early favorites of mine, formed the foundations of the epic nature of the stories. Clean, crisp prose that supports the action of the characters also matters. I dislike overwritten scenes. I agree with Elmore Leonard: “I don’t want the reader to be aware of me as the writer.”

3. Describe your writing space.

I have a small foldout desk which supports my laptop. On the shelf above the desk sit my collection of dragons, including a spectacular specimen of an alebrije, a piece of Mexican folk art. Stretching to either side are my book shelves, overflowing with books, nick-nacks, scattered notes, and, for good measure, a couple of ornamental daggers. I occasionally plug in my head phones to listen to ambient noise of waves breaking on shingle or sand. Music I find too distracting.

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

The first draft is the most painful for me. Watching myself set down the crappy words and sentences that are parodies of what I have in my head is excruciating. I am constantly reminded of William Gibson’s advice: “You must learn to overcome your very natural and appropriate revulsion for your own work.”

5. How do you do research for your books?

It depends on the story. For my fan fiction novel set in Middle Earth, I combed through Christopher Tolkien’s History of Middle Earth volumes to make sure I was within canon for the stub I was expanding on. For my own invented world, I studied different forms of government, economies, religions, cultures, mythologies. World building is intense, and I like to have a solid basis for my inventions. For the story published in Reign of Queens, I drew on my own memories of traveling through Wales, memories I also drew on for my story published in the forthcoming History with Dragons anthology. I also collect books on arcane topics such as the Tarot, witchcraft, shamanism, etc. I was struck by a piece of advice from a talk Connie Willis gave, when asked a similar question. She said it only takes a few telling details to place the reader in a particular time and place, and refrain from filling in the entire setting.

6. How do you handle literary criticism?

I welcome feedback. I have several beta readers whose comments have been invaluable. I also hired an editor to savage my prose. Humbling, but necessary. The give and take in writer’s workshops has also been important for my growth as a writer. I have learned as much giving feedback as getting it. It can be painful at times, but without it, I wouldn’t grow my craft.

7. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have completed three novels and several short stories. Two of the novels were inspired by works I love: LOTR and The Seven Samurai. Three of my short stories reflect my various childhood heroes: Robin Hood, King Arthur, and Peter Pan. I have a special fondness for my fan fiction set in Middle Earth, where I set out to tell the story of a character mentioned in passing by Tom Bombadil. I wondered about her for years before gathering my courage and writing her tale.

8. Who is your favorite character?

Oddly enough, I only have one character who so clearly channeled himself through me that I felt I was basically dictating his story. He is Gyrax, a clumsy jewel thief, who is released from hanging to do a special job in my novel Seven at Bay. For some reason, his Han Solo type wise-guy persona must represent some shadow self in my subconscious.

9. How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

I have several stories and one novel that exist in notes and bits of scenes. The one that is easiest to describe is a prequel to my current WIP, and describes the exodus of a people who leave their idyllic home city rather than succumb to the predations of an avaricious despot who covets their valley. Some 50,000 folk travel over a thousand miles to the north, seeking a land where they can prosper in peace, led by a young priestess who has a vision of their new home.

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

My pen name, John Greville, comes from a nineteenth century house I lived in during my two years in London. The address was 2 Greville Place. It was a marvelous Gormenghastian dwelling, with nooks and hidies, perfect for my teenage day dreams.

11. Where can readers learn more about you?

On Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon.

2021 Fourth Quarter Book Releases

Listed below are the Dragon Soul Press anthologies that released during the fourth quarter of 2021.
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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. Discover ghosts, demons, and your worst nightmares. Read at your own risk.

Baby Food by Warren Benedetto

Mister McKenzie by Jacob Steven Mohr

Dark Shadows by L.V. Gaudet

Toil and Trouble by Dylan Roche

Hatchling by Barend Nieuwstraten III

Solyn the Scavenger 2 by Barend Nieuwstraten III

Don’t Breathe His Name by Lincoln Reed

Beauty Kills by Victor Nandi


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The fairytale retellings you’ve always needed.

Dive into the nostalgic feel of fairytales, but don’t get too comfortable. This mixture of fantastical twists and origin stories will leave you begging for more.

Presenting a Red Riding Hood who will kill anyone to break a curse, a vengeful child abandoned by his mother to be raised by demons, a Neverland past its glory days, and many more.

The Shadow Queen by Charlotte Langtree

Hans and Gretta by S.A. McKenzie

Upon Reflection by Barend Nieuwstraten III

Lila by Arwen Spicer

A Curse of Red by Danielle Davis

The Alchemical Godmother by Elle Hartford

His Blue Beard by Lauren Marrero

Cat and Mouse by Mindi Briar

The Price of a First-Born by Liv Strom


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Real historical events, but with dragons.

These tales highlight important events in our past with the strong influence of dragons. Why did the Library of Alexandria actually burn? Did miners really give up the search for gold because of a shortage? What was Genghis Khan’s true secret to forming a successful empire?

Many more await in the eleven stories within.

Queen of Glass by Toni Mobley

The Spirit of St. George by Damascus Mincemeyer

The Betrothal Trials by Cherie Lynae Cabrera Suski

The War Dragon by A.K. Stuntz

Grumble by R.C. Capasso

The Dragon’s Den by J.R. Rustrian

Dragon’s Lace by Mackenzie Stapleton

Maid Marian and the Elusive Dragon by John Greville

The Khan of Earth and Sky by Clint Foster

Subterranean Kosmos by Jo Niederhoff

Inferno by J.E. Feldman