Tag Archives: Friendship

Review: Dragon Dreamer

Dragon Dreamer

by J. S. Burke

Reviewed by JMD Reid

 

B00K9DHTU2.01.LZZZZZZZ“But there had to be more to life than avoiding danger. Helping a friend was certainly more important…”

Arak is a young dragon on his first ever solo flight, a right of passage for his kind. He’s a dreamer, the odd dragon out always thinking and imagining, forever getting his head lost in the clouds. And this time it may cost him his life. He went out too far, hoping to be the dragon to find new copper mines for his race and an ice storm has caught up with him. Injured, he falls to the sea ice below, his wings hurt, his leg broken.

In the oceans below, Scree the octopus healer leaves the safety of her pod’s home on the reef to look for supplies. She’s an inquisitive and helpful octopus, with a caring heart. While collecting slug eggs near the surface, she is shocked when Arak crashes onto the ice. At first frightened by the massive dragon, her caring nature compels her to help poor Arak. And thus starts a friendship that will change the fortunes of both Arak’s dragons and Scree’s octopi.

Dragon Dreamer is the fascinating tale of two cultures meeting and growing better for their union. There is no great enemy to vanquish or dark prophecy to prevent. All that faces the dragons and the octopi are survival. From underwater volcanoes to sickness, Arak and Scree work together to help both their peoples prosper.

While Dragon Dreamer is clearly aimed at a younger, grade school audience, the story is both sweet and heartwarming and at times suspenseful. J.S. Burke has crafted a unique fantasy world unlike any I have ever read. Out of all the unlikely pairing in storys, a dragon and an octopus is the most out there, and yet J.S. Burke makes this story work. I would recommend this book for any child embarking into the wonderful world of books with great characters, stories, and values.

You can buy Dragon Dreamer from Amazon!

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Drawing On Your Own Experiences

When writing, drawing on your own experiences are important. I have been going through my rough draft of Above the Storm, organizing my notes and figuring out what the story needs when I start my rewrites, and I came across the scene where two friends fight and their friendship is ended, and I realized where this scene had come from.

When I was in the seventh grade, I wasn’t very popular. I read a lot and was picked on for being a nerd. Yes, I know, shocking. I had one friend at the time. We had met over the summer between elementary school and Junior High (my school district had K-6 elementary, 7-9 Junior High, and 10-12 High School). His younger brother and my younger brother where in cub scouts together and I was dragged to a meeting. He lived only ten blocks away and we became friends.

Up until the start of my ninth grade, I thought he was my best friend. We hung out must weekends, playing RPGs, D&D, Magic the Gathering, Warhammer. And while I had made other friends by the ninth grade, he was the one I was closest to. And then, out of the blue, he told me that he had never really liked me and he didn’t want to hang out with me anymore.

It was a bitter experience. Two years of friendship turned out to be a lie. After that, I didn’t really see him until my Senior year in High School where we shared a class and pretty much ignored each other. I never knew why he hung out with me so much.

I channeled this relationship into my novel without even realizing it. Writing is such an interesting exercises. You have to reach into your soul, pulling out the pain that’s been heaped on you and putting it down on paper, sharing it for the entire world to read. You dredge events you had hoped to forget, unbottling emotions long buried. I can still feel that hurt, bewildered day.

Experiences shapes you and you can draw on those experiences to shape your characters, to add conflict to their lives. Draw on your life for the colors you use to paint the canvas of your story. So don’t be afraid to dredge the good times and the bad from your life and used them to create something that moves your readers to joy, to sadness, to fear, to anger.

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