Roger, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your book, Dragonfriend.
Thank you, Stephanie. It was a very pleasant surprise to win the BRAG Medallion and I’m honored to be a recipient.
Dragonfriend is a middle-grade fantasy adventure novel set in the days of King Arthur. The twist is that it’s a side story to the main Arthurian legends and told through the eyes of a young page, Leonard, whose plan to help his knight get a seat at the Round Table goes horribly wrong. In an effort to set things right he goes on a dangerous quest, befriends a horde of cantankerous dragons, and does battle with a vile demon who has taken over Camelot.
What were some of the research involved?
I did a lot of online research about mythical creatures, Celtic/Welsh mythology, and Arthur and his knights. In general, I’ve always been fascinated by various western mythologies and the Arthurian legends – having read numerous books over the years – and so was able to draw on those topics to enrich the story.
Were there any challenges you faced while writing your story?
I think the biggest challenge was one that faces most authors; don’t let life get in the way of writing. Any author can tell you that it’s very easy to get distracted and find a million other things to do than sitting down at your computer and writing. Sometimes the biggest challenge for me is tricking myself into writing the first word of the day. Once I can do that, I’m good for at least a thousand words.
Who designed your book cover?
A graphic artist by the name of Mike Wykowski (mawmaw.net) designed my cover. I’m very happy with the job he did and have asked him to design the cover for my next book.
What book project do you have coming up next?
I’m hoping to have the sequel to Dragonfriend beta read, edited, and published by the end of next month. It’s called Giantkiller and follows Leonard on a wild adventure up in the Clouds.
What is your favorite literary genre?
I read fantasy and sci fi just about to the exclusion of everything else. I love to be taken places where impossible things happen.
What is the last truly great book you read?
The word “great” makes me think of titles like the Lord of the Rings by Tolkien or Dune by Frank Herbert both of which I’ve re-read a number of times over the years. Two excellent series I’ve read recently are The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry Hughart and The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer. Both series are masterfully written. A recent indie title that impressed me was Brood of Bones by AE Marling.
What were your most cherished books as a child?
Are You My Mother? and Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss were three of my early favorites. The Hobbit blew me away when I got a little older.
Is there a writer you consider to be a mentor in some way?
I would say the author that had the strongest influence on my writing is J.R.R. Tolkien, both in terms of flicking on the “fantasy switch” in my brain and making me want to tell exciting and uplifting adventure stories. Another one would be the great Douglas Adams. I learned from him that it was okay to blend speculative fiction with humor.
Of the books you have written, which is your favorite?
I have two traditionally published picture books that I like quite a bit, but I’d have to say my favorite book is Dragonfriend, my first novel. I loved being able to take my time and fully develop a story.
How did you discover BRAG?
Someone in an author group I belong to mentioned BRAG and it sounded interesting. I checked out the site and saw BRAG’s main standard for judging a book is whether or not the reader would recommend it to their best friend. That really appealed to me so I crossed my fingers, sent in Dragonfriend, and here I am!
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he now lives in California with his family and a crazy dog named Lizzy.Links:Blog: Roger Eschbacher Books and Other Writing: http://www.rogereschbacher.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RogerEschbacherBooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerEschbacherDragonfriend, a middle-grade fantasy adventure novel now available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.
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Interviewer/Promoter for IndieBRAG