Thank you for the great interview, Tracee!

Tracee Ford

01_111413 (Large) Daven grew up reading Dr. Seuss, the Encyclopædia Brittanica and dinosaur books, never suspecting that one day all of those books would play crucial parts as inspiration for the Vampire Syndrome saga. The simple yet infallible wisdom of Theodore Geisel serving as the model for protagonist Jack Wendell. Encyclopædia research inspired Daven to craft unparalleled levels of back story detail, reconciling science and folklore in ways no “vampire novel” has ever done before. And if that large meteor had not impacted the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago, reptiles could easily have evolved into a humanoid form that would bear resemblance to the alien Pure Vampires of Daven’s saga.

Daven accepted the challenge to craft a saga featuring a brave, wise, dignified hero with special needs, which would reach an audience that would never dream of reading a novel like “Forrest Gump.” Like “Gump”, a story where a hero with…

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Dianne Gardner: Oil Paintings and Fantasy Sagas

Deception Peak: The Ian’s Realm Saga (Book 1) by Dianne Gardner. Available in Paperback, Amazon Kindle and Audiobook formats from PDMI Publishing LLC

Deception Peak Audiobook

Dragon Shield: The Ian’s Realm Saga (Book 2), coming May 2014 from PDMI Publishing LLC.

Dianne Gardner Ian's Realm II Dragon Shield

Dianne Gardner is an author and illustrator for PDMI Publishing LLC. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. She has written young adult fantasy novels as well as articles for national magazines and newspapers and is an award winning artist.

Having only been published since 2012, her books, art and productions are taking the dragon by the tail and making wind! Her trailer The Dragon Shield placed as a semi finalist in the Moondance International Film Festival and Dragon Shield is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC Ariana Award for children/YA fantasy.

Dianne is currently working with her prize-winning crew on a screenplay and movie of Cassandra’s Castle.


Good evening, Dianne! Here are my nine questions.

Good evening, Daven! What a pleasure. Thank you for the interview and space on your blog. I appreciate it!

1) What inspired you to write your first story?

As you know, I’m an artist. I have a studio filled to the brim with oil paintings. I sell quite a few, and mostly do commission work, having done quite a few book covers and inside illustrations as well. I always wanted to paint a dragon and I love to paint big. So when I painted Stenhjaert, the 4 ft X 9ft 3-panel oil painting, I knew I had to write about him and the young man, Ian, who tackles him.

Dragon Shield Ian art by Dianne Gardner

Ian Wilson, protagonist of Dianne Gardner’s Ian’s Realm Saga, released by PDMI Publishing LLC

2) Have any events in your stories been inspired by your real-life experiences, or real events which happened to your friends/family?

Many. I’ve lived in the desert, camped in the wilderness, participated in Hopi and Navajo ceremonies, had horses, drove wagons across the desert, climbed mountains and baked bread in a cast iron dutch oven on the coals and many many more. I hope to put all my experiences in my stories at some point!

3) Do you build your fantasy worlds before you begin writing, or do you make adjustments to the fantasy world as you are writing?

I have a pretty good idea what my worlds are going to look like before I start writing. In fact, it’s the worlds that I see that really do inspire my stories. I am always making adjustments though. For instance, in “Altered” Abree and her brother were originally from Socorro, New Mexico, but I needed to get them closer to the border and nearer to the Rio Grande, so I fabricated the town named Sunrise instead, changing the terrain a little and adding some mesquite and ironwood trees.

4) Which character in The Ian’s Realm Saga would you like to be best friends with?

They are all so dear to me, I’m not sure. Ian is like a son. I think the most amazing person is Amleth though. Amleth was designed to look like someone I knew many years ago. I always admired his calm and his sense of justice. He’s one of those characters, at the moment who seem perfect. I do remedy that later in the series when we see him from a different viewpoint in Diary of a Conjurer, book 5 (after Rubies and Robbers).

4) What popular songs capture the essence of your characters?

Every character has a different song. I listen to a lot of Il Divo for the Realm Saga. There isn’t any music that inspired Altered (I wrote it too fast, really) but Pouraka, the story I’m writing now the song Memory is perfect.

5) Which actors do you envision playing your characters?

It’s funny, but I don’t really see any one in particular. Mostly because by the time any of these stories came to being a movie the actors I’d choose now will have all grown up. Most of my main characters are young between 15 and 18. These child stars just grow too fast.

7) What has been the most insightful criticism of your work?

My concept editor Gwen Whiting is always there to tell me where I need more emotion. I have a habit of doing my drafts like a locomotive. I like intense and moving and I think I do it really well. Gwen makes me go back and add emotion and I’m really glad for it! I’m learning to do it on my own now.

8) What is the best compliment you have received about your work?

Oh there have been so many that bring tears to my eyes. The best compliment is when someone really gets the gist of the story…when they tell me the essence, the heart of my work. I’ve had some reviews that have done that and I think that has to be the best compliment for an author!

9) Is there a story you want to write, but haven’t yet?

I want to finish “Pouraka.” It’s a story about mermaids and dolphins and men, and their struggle to coexist in a changing world.

Daven Anderson is the author of the “Vampire Syndrome” saga, released by PDMI Publishing LLC.
Daven also works in PDMI’s marketing department, writing company promotional posts and assisting authors with their social media strategies.

Social Media, Book Signings & Why Neither Directly Impact Overall Sales

The best sales pitch has always been Word Of Mouth. Going viral is simply the newest variation on this age-old theme.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image via Rosaura Ochoa via Flikr Creative Commons Original image via Rosaura Ochoa via Flikr Creative Commons

One of my AWESOME on-line pals posted something troublesome on my Facebook page. Apparently there is a recent article in a major writing magazine that declares social media does not sell books and, in a nutshell, isn’t worth the effort.I’ll warn you guys ahead of time that I went hunting for the article—at the last remaining Barnes & Noble within a 25 mile radius of my home—and couldn’t find said article (and have asked Kim to get me the specific issue). But, since this type of commentary is prevalent enough in the blogosphere, I feel I can address the overall thesis accurately enough.

Social Media Was NEVER About Selling Books Directly—Who KNEW?

Image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Zoetnet. Image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Zoetnet.

I’ve been saying this for about ten years, because the idea of using social circles for sales is NOT new…

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Why Series are Becoming Hot, Hot, HOT! How Dragging Out the Pain is Good for Your Readers

I always love those little tidbits in a series that don’t “pay off” until the next book.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Battlestar Galactica Battlestar Galactica

Every setback is an opportunity for an even greater comeback. I love these words. No idea who said it, but it rocks. Life has a way of being awesome, amazing, fantastic…and a ROYAL @$$whipping, too. Not only is this quote great to hold close to our chests when life has us on the spin-cycle, this is a FABULOUS mantra for writing memorable, epic stories.

Hubby and I just finished a marathon session of gorging ourselves on Battlestar Galactica and are now careening through Caprica because it is backstory for BSG. I refuse to watch any show that doesn’t have at least four seasons complete, namely because, if I like a new show? Apparently it spells its DEATH for the new showThus, I don’t like getting too attached. I wait, then inhale an entire season a day.

Don’t judge. I know you do it too O_o.

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Drop Everything and Read This!

Peter Wells, the King of Characters!

Merry Christmas!

Your Vampire meme