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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October

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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


November

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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


December

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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

First Five Pages Checklist

The first five pages of your book are so important. As aspiring authors, we are well aware of their significance. And we place so much time and emphasis on getting them right. While we probably have a fair idea of what to do and not do in our first five pages, here is a quick recap of things to keep in mind when looking at the start of your novel.

Important questions to ask yourself:

Does the first line engage your reader?

Is your main character properly introduced?

Has the POV and narration style been made clear to the reader?

Does your reader get a good feel for the world – i.e. have you set the status quo?

Have you established your main character’s deepest desire?

Is there an inciting incident?

The most important thing to avoid at the beginning of your novel:

The information dump. 

Your reader is only starting to get to know your main character and within these pages, so you don’t want to overwhelm them with backstory or world building information so early on. Remember, you’ve got a minimum of 80,000 words to work with, you can take your time introducing the important background information. 

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 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.