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WHY WRITE A PREQUEL?

A prequel is a work that forms part of a back-story to the preceding work.  Simply stated, it sets the stage for the existing novels and usually comes after the original work was written.

If you have followed my blog or perhaps seen my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or various other sites then you know I have authored a succession of books called the Dragomeir Series, an urban fantasy/sci-fi saga of dragons and their riders, along with some rather unusual creatures and captivating characters.

Some readers might ask, “Why write a prequel?”  I had originally planned to finish this series and then push on to other projects but began having second thoughts as I put a close on the third book in the Dragomeir Series, “Egg of the Amphitere.” One of the main characters known as Queen Mother needed to be expounded upon to give a better understanding and proper closure as to who she was and why.  I realized there was a fascinating back-story to be told, and the prequel was born.  The story, albeit told by Tanis Theatra (one of the dragon riders), was more about the life and times of Katherine Pendragon (Queen Mother) than anything else.

The only way to pursue that was to go back where it essentially started and tell her story as it began on the Provinces.  So, the prequel series, “Daughter of the Dark Lord” was created to give credence to Queen Mother’s life, why she was so passionate about family, and to clarify her dedication to stopping the Dark Lord from invading earth.  Last, but not least, it was to express how she eventually planned to liberate the Denizen people of the Provinces.  While telling her story, it would also give the reader a bird’s eye view into Tanis Theatra’s beginnings, and of course the amazing dragons.  To accomplish this there will also be one more installment to the original Dragomeir Series, entitled “Back from Oblivion.”  This book describes Queen Mother’s ultimate objective which is exclusively detailed in the “Daughter of the Dark Lord” prequel series.  There are two books available in this series now, and a third is currently being written.

All together it should delineate the complete story as first introduced by Tanis Theatra and recanted by me, Solitaire Parke.  Check out my website at

www.solitaireparke.com

to read sample chapters, discover exciting extras and purchase books at multiple locations in a variety of formats. I hope you enjoy!

Here is a question for my readers –  Do you enjoy reading a prequel to a novel?

Have you written a prequel? I’d love to hear about your writing experience.

Solitaire

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10 Ways to Promote Happiness

Happiness – the often elusive thing that nearly everyone is searching for.  We all have different ideas, preferences, and desires for our lives.  But after years of scientific research, it has been suggested that certain things make the good majority of us happy.  To be more specific, happiness does not result from reaching “bigger and better” signs of success, but rather from looking for contentment from new and fresh experiences in our quest for a life that is considered well lived.  So, what kinds of experiences provide the best happiness benefits?  Well, scientific study has discovered that these 10 ways will increase your everyday overall happiness:

  1. Make little changes in your daily routine, such as getting more sleep, exercising, getting out into nature, and meditating.
  2. Read more books. Read books to learn—research suggests that lifelong learners remain healthy and engaged, and live long lives. Read books as an escape from your everyday life, Read books—it will make you happy.  (One of my personal favorites.  I have always loved to read, and write as well.  Check out my books at www.solitaireparke.com)
  3. Find your right fit or match, both personally and professionally. If you love what you do and who you are with, you’ll position yourself for personal happiness and professional success.
  4. Be grateful. Two specific activities help foster a greater sense of gratitude. First, keep a daily gratitude journal. Second, pay a “gratitude visit” to someone from your past that has had a significant impact on your life, and let them know how you feel.
  5. Smile more—even if you don’t feel like it. Research shows that the simple act of smiling can trick your brain into a happier state.
  6. Take pleasure in simple, everyday moments. Appreciating life’s small moments, such as a beautiful sunny day, plants sprouting from the ground, and skipping rocks at the beach, teaches you to be more grateful for what you have, especially during moments of stress and anxiety.
  7. Perform random acts of kindness. Do good deeds. Volunteer. Be charitable. Shop for someone else! Studies have shown that you can help yourself by doing good things for others.
  8. Spend money on experiences versus things. Studies have shown that buying an object—a car, handbag, or kitchen gadget—can quickly lead to buyer’s remorse. On the other hand, investing in experiences—a concert, a camping trip, music lessons—leads to greater happiness. Experiences create “happiness residue,” and our perceptions of them often get better over time.
  9. Avoid comparisons. Whatever you may think of someone else’s life, particularly as viewed through the phony, filtered lens of social media, it’s almost certainly messier than you imagine. It’s easier to embrace and learn to love your own imperfections, if you don’t conjure up myths about how perfect everyone else’s lives seem.
  10. Build and maintain close relationships. Having a small number of tight, meaningful relationships is one of the highest predictors of happiness.  (Pets are wonderful companions too!)

We all lose sight of some of the happiness priorities, so don’t feel bad if you do.  In this world we battle on a daily basis the relentless marketing and expectations of society that attempt to lead us down paths to happiness that lie somewhere else.   We don’t need to over-complicate things.  It’s the simple things in life that matter most.  Live each moment with purpose and intent – live each moment as if it were your last and enjoy the people around you.  You have one life – so live each minute to the fullest!

“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable.  Happiness is not about making it to the peak of the mountain nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain;  happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.”

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

Dragomeir Series – Prequel Book – Part Two is now Here!

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the Prequel books to the Dragomeir Series –

  • Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky

AND NOW AVAILABLE –

  • Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project

Follow the journey of  the daughter of the Dark Lord on the Provinces of Hell, Katherine Pendragon,  from a baby to a young adult as she struggles to discover who she really is and make a difference in the world around her.

In Part Two – The Alberra Project, she unwittingly learns the truth about her father, the Dark Lord of the Provinces, revealing the reality she has long dreaded.  With the beloved dragon, Exxa, by her side Katherine makes an incredible and frightening discovery that leads to an uncertain future, both for herself and those she would free from this vile world.  She must somehow survive, prove her worth and save the people of the Provinces before it is too late.

You will find this book and many others at solitaireparke.com.

If you love dragons and other amazing creatures check out the Dragomeir Series.

Solitaire

 

 

Forthcoming Novel – Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project

Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project is finished.  The last six months have been chaotic, as the holidays and life in general seemed to hijack my writing time.   But The Alberra Project has progressed into editing mode and will be available in eBook and paperback very soon. The first book, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, has been out for a while now and is available at a variety of locations – all of which can be reached from my website www.solitaireparke.com.

The Daughter of the Dark Lord books are prequels to my previously published Dragomeir Series –  a must read for anyone who loves dragons and other wonderful creatures. I’ve always been intrigued by dragons.  They are magnificent creatures who interact in the most unique ways with their riders and fellow beings and have characteristics that are remarkably like humans at times.  They’re quite brilliant and good-natured, contrary to all the bad press they’ve been given over the centuries.

Part Two continues Katherine Pendragon’s journey as she comes of age on the Provinces of Hell, a dark and often unnerving place in which to grow up.  She unwittingly learns the truth about her father, a reality she has long dreaded.  With her beloved dragon by her side, Katherine faces her biggest challenge yet as she struggles with the knowledge of her father and an uncertain future, both for herself and those she would free from this vile world.

Stay tuned for the forthcoming endeavors of Katherine Pendragon in

Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project.

My other books are available, along with “Extras,” at –

www.solitaireparke.com

 Happy reading!

Solitaire

33 Fiction Writing Tips

Writing fiction can be complex and multifaceted.  There are countless details to consider throughout the process.  There’s the initial brainstorming, the outlining, the countless hours of research, the actual writing, and the inevitable revising.  As if that wasn’t enough, you still have the editing process, a monumental task of its own.  All this to create what you hope will be an amazing work of fiction that readers will fall in love with.  Not much to ask, right?

In doing this research, I’ve gathered an immeasurable amount of ideas concerning fiction writing.  These writing tips, from countless sources, might be helpful to other writers tackling a novel by offering different viewpoints and by providing food for the creative process.

Hopefully, the tips below will help make writing that novel a little easier.

Writing Tips

  1. Read more fiction than you write.
  2. Don’t lock yourself into one genre (in reading or writing). Even if you have a favorite genre, step outside of it occasionally.
  3. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
  4. Dissect and analyze stories you love from books, movies, and television to find out what works in storytelling and what doesn’t.
  5. Don’t write for the market. Tell the story that’s in your heart. You can make an outline before, during, or after you finish your rough draft. It will provide you with a road map, which is a powerful tool to have at your disposal.
  6. Some of the best fiction comes from real life. Jot down stories that interest you whether you hear them from a friend or read them in a news article.
  7. Real life is also a great source of inspiration for characters. Look around at your friends, family, and coworkers. Magnify and mix the strongest aspects of their personalities, and you’re on your way to crafting a cast of believable characters.
  8. Make your characters real through details rather than lengthy head-to-toe physical descriptions.
  9. The most realistic and relatable characters are flawed. Find something good about your villain and something dark in your hero’s past.
  10. Avoid telling readers too much about the characters. Instead, show the characters’ personalities through their actions and interactions.
  11. Give your characters difficult obstacles to overcome. Make them suffer. That way, when they triumph, it will be even more rewarding.
  12. Cultivate a distinct voice. Your narrator should not sound warm and friendly in the first few chapters and then objective and aloof in later chapters. The voice should be consistent, and its tone should complement the content of your book.
  13. Give careful consideration to the narrative point of view. Is the story best told in first person or third person? If you’re not sure, write a few pages in each narrative point of view to see what works best.
  14. Is your story moving too fast for readers or are they yawning through every paragraph? Are the love scenes too short? Are the fight scenes too long? Do you go into three pages of detail as your characters walk from point A to point B and then fly through an action sequence in a couple of short paragraphs? Pay attention to pacing!
  15. Infuse your story with rich themes to give it a humanistic quality. Examples of themes include sacrifice, redemption, rebirth, life and death, faith, destiny, etc. These are the big shadows that hover over your story.
  16. Make sure you understand that every story needs a beginning, middle, and an end.
  17. Use symbols and imagery to create continuity throughout your story. Think about how the White Rabbit kept popping up when Alice was adventuring through Wonderland or how the color red was used in the film American Beauty. These are subtle details that give your story great power.
  18. Every great story includes transformation. The characters change, the world changes, and hopefully, the reader will change too.
  19. Enrich your main plot with subplots. In real life, there’s a lot happening at once.
  20. There is a difference between a sub-plot and a tangent. Don’t go off on too many tangents.
  21. If you write in a genre, don’t be afraid to blur the lines. A horror story can have funny moments and a thriller can have a bit of romance.
  22. Make sure your setting is vivid and realistic even if you made it up.
  23. If you didn’t make up your setting, then do your best to get to the location and see it for yourself before you finish your manuscript. If that’s not possible, get busy researching.
  24. Give the readers room to think. You don’t have to tell your story in minute detail, including each minute of the plot’s timeline or all of the characters’ thoughts. Provide enough dots, and trust that the reader will be able to connect them when your story makes time jumps.
  25. Let the readers use their imaginations with your story’s descriptions as well. Provide a few choice details and let the readers fill in the rest of the canvas with their own colors.
  26. Don’t focus exclusively on storytelling at the expense of compelling language.
  27. Appeal to readers’ senses. Use descriptive words that engage the readers’ senses of taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell.
  28. Apply poetry techniques to breathe life into your prose. Use alliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphor, and other literary devices to make your sentences sing and dance.
  29. When rewriting, check for the following: plot holes, character inconsistencies, missing scenes, extraneous scenes, accuracy in research, and of course, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  30. As you revise, ask yourself whether every paragraph, sentence, and word is essential to your story. If it’s not, you know where the delete button is.
  31. Before your final revisions and before you send your manuscript out to any agents or editors, find your beta readers: join a writing group, take a fiction workshop, or hire a pro.
  32. Do not send out your rough draft. Go through the revision process at least three times before handing it out to your beta readers. The stronger it is when you bring in editors, the stronger those editors will be able to make it.
  33. Have fun. If you’re not enjoying writing, then maybe it’s not for you. If you’re not enjoying fiction writing, try something else, like poetry, blogging, or screenwriting. Be willing to experiment and you’ll find your way.

Were these writing tips helpful? Got any tips to add? Leave a comment!

Check on the website for my “Dragomeir Series” (for dragon lovers) and various other genres,

    And updates on my latest series – “Daughter of the Dark Lord.”  Interesting EXTRAS available too!

    Solitaire

    www.solitaireparke.com

    New Novel on the Horizon

     

    It’s about time for another novel, this time Part Two of the Daughter of the Dark Lord Series.  The first book, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, has been out for a while now, and is available at a variety of locations – all of which can be reached from my website www.solitaireparke.com.

    I am very anxious for you to read the Daughter of the Dark Lord books as they are the prequels to my previously published Dragomeir Series –  a must read for anyone who loves dragons and other wonderful creatures – also available at my website.  I’ve always been intrigued by dragons.  They are magnificent creatures who interact in the most extraordinary ways with their riders and fellow beings, and have characteristics that are remarkably like humans at times.  They’re really quite wonderful, contrary to all the bad press they’ve been given so much of the time.

    The second book in the series, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project, is almost finished, I am happy to say.  These last few months have been a bit crazy, as life and the consequent stress of other projects seemed to take over from time to time, but I am hard at work on Book Two and it has progressed quite nicely.  So, before long it will move forward into editing mode, there will be a cover reveal, and it should be out before year’s end.
    In the meantime, check out my other books at www.solitaireparke.com.

    Solitaire

    Happy Summer Reading!

     

     

     

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    Celebrating the Fourth – Independence Day *************

    The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

    In tribute to our country – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LSarhZpnM

    Have a great holiday!

    Solitaire

    The Dragomeir Series and all other books are now available on ebay!

    You can go directly to ebay

    or check out my website for all other available locations in various formats.

    www.solitaireparke.com

     

     

     

     

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    In Honor of Fathers –

    Father’s day is just a few days away.  It’s a time of honoring your father and his contributions to your life.  This day is dedicated to all the fathers in the world who have given many sacrifices in bringing up their children and molding them into better people.

    Here are some of the famous quotes for special fathers. 

     

    • “A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.”

     

    • “A father is a fellow who has replaced the currency in his wallet with the snapshots of his kids and family.”

     

    • “It is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.”

     

    • “Father!—to God himself we cannot give a holier name!” – William Wordsworth

     

    • “The imprint of a father remains forever on the life of the child.” – Roy Lessin

     

    • “We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.” – Henry Ward Beecher

     

    • “My father gave me my dreams. Thanks to him, I could see a future.” – Liza Minnelli

     

    • “The greatest mark of a father is how he treats his children when no one is looking.” – Dan Pearce

     

    • “A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely. In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and even though he may be unable to assist us, his mere presence serves to comfort and strengthen us.” – Émile Gaboriau

     

    • “Good fathers do three things: they provide, they nurture and they guide.” – Roland Warren

     

    • “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham

     

    • “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” – Ruth E. Renkel

     

    •  “One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – George Herbert

     

    • “Real fatherhood means love and commitment and sacrifice and a willingness to share responsibility, and not walking away from one’s children.” – William Bennett

     

    • Fatherhood is a very natural thing; it’s not something that shakes up my life but rather it enriches it.” – Andrea Bocelli

     

    To all of you who have been lucky enough to have a wonderful father, or those of you who are working hard at being a great father – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

     

    Solitaire –

    www.solitaireparke.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    May We Always Remember . . .

    Once again it is Memorial Day, and for many it is a long weekend for camping, parties, lots of sales, and even Memorial Day cruises.  There are many reasons why this day is notable.  But let’s not forget the real reason – the important reason.  It was set aside to remember and honor all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the military service of America . . . Those who died fighting to preserve our lives and our freedom.  They won’t be here to celebrate with us because they gave up everything for us.  So amidst our celebrations, let’s pause and take time to remember the thousands of men and women whose lives were cut short so that we could live, and be with those we love to enjoy our freedoms.

    God help us to remember the cost of our blessings and to remain worthy of that cost.

     

    Solitaire

    http://www.solitaireparke.com

    DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Creature Feature – Bubalos

    BUBALOS-

    An animal that is similar to what we know as a bison or buffalo; they roamed on the Provinces of Hell and were the main food source for dragons, and also on the menu for the citizens.  They were bulky oversized animals, not terribly intelligent and often cranky, but extremely useful.  Large fields were cultivated outside the Palace, and as the bubalos were procured, pens were built for the massive number of creatures.  They migrated twice a year from the more barren lands of the Provinces to the northwestern edge of Hell proper, where they fed on the grasslands produced during that time of year.  The Dark Lord’s daughter, Katherine, even had bubalos brought in to feed the Hell hounds living within the city.  Being such large creatures, they were often bridled and used for transporting supplies from place to place when needed.   The hide from a bubalos could be tanned and used for various articles of clothing or types of baggage.

    Read more about life on the Provinces in the following book –

    DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – The Burning Sky

    A prequel book to the Dragomeir Series

     Find this book and many more at

    www.solitaireparke.com

    Solitaire

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