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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

ℚ♫ Mark of the Dragon: Urban Dragon [1] - J.W. Troemner

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Mark of the Dragon (, J.W. Troemner, 81 pages), a Urban Fantasy, book one of the Urban Dragon series.

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


A very warm welcome to J.W. Troemner; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

To begin, J.W. Troemner has shared with us her music playlist for Mark of the Dragon - enjoy!


How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"There’s a lot of me here. I’m the kind of person who wants to take everybody I know and hug them and wrap them up in a blanket—and then take a baseball bat to the people who hurt them. Rosario gets a lot of the former part of me, and Arkay gets most of the latter.

Rosario also shares my body type; I don’t see nearly enough heavy-set female protagonists, especially in action or horror stories, so almost everything related to her weight is based on my own experiences. Picking up your skinny friend and carrying them around? Totally something I do just for fun. Climbing a rope or a chain link fence? Not even remotely possible.

I also pull a lot from the ways other people interact with me as a heavy woman. There’s one scene early on in the first book where the dialogue is almost completely comprised of direct quotes from street harassment I’ve received over the years."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Mark of the Dragon - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"My cover is by Deranged Doctor Designs, and they did an amazing job. One of the things I’ve always hated about urban fantasy covers is how many of them feature a scantily clad woman in a sexy pose. Not because there’s anything wrong with it by itself, but because so very many of them feature that same design, and honestly, it doesn’t really work with any of the themes in this story.

Darkness and industrial settings keep coming back throughout the series, so there’s lots of sharp edges and rusty textures against dark backgrounds. The city featured on the front cover is Indianapolis itself, which is the setting that the first half of the series orbits around."
Why should we read Mark of the Dragon and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I feel like I break one of the cardinal rules of urban fantasy by not including a love triangle. There is romance in the series, but it takes a pretty heavy backseat to platonic relationships throughout. Friendships can be worth killing for and dying for, and they can be the driving force behind your redemption. Just because somebody’s not your One True Love doesn’t mean you don’t love them truly."
Can you tell us something quirky about Mark of the Dragon, its story and characters?
"Shadow and Steel opens with our heroes in a thrift store, where Arkay has fallen in love with the world’s ugliest armchair.

That is entirely the doing of my friend Tane. For as long as I’ve been telling her about these characters, she’s been drawing them and sending me pictures, and one day she started posing Arkay on an enormous arm chair. It was so electric pink that it made your eyes bleed, it completely clashed with the color scheme, and Arkay looked so very comfortable on it.


As soon as I laid eyes on it, Arkay-in-my-head started talking. “I want that chair. No. I need it. No. It’s mine now. I’ve gotta have it. Give it to me.”

Who am I to refuse her a character quirk? "
Who would you recommend Mark of the Dragon to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This is definitely not a children’s book series. It’s aimed squarely at adults, and there’s enough language, gore and sexuality to get me banned from half the high school libraries in the Midwest.

There’s also some themes that get dark. The books handle subjects of suicide, homelessness, racism, religious extremism, sexual assault—and that’s just stuff that’s in the periphery. I do want my readers to have the chance to know what they’re getting into before they start, so I’ve got a list of content warnings posted on my blog."
If you could / wished to turn Mark of the Dragon and the Urban Dragon series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"My series was written to mirror the structure of a TV show, so I’d really love to have it translated as a TV show, with the creative teams that made Stranger Things or Penny Dreadful – crews that are great about using great characters while taking advantage of all the little background details that really give a setting its own personality."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I play with a lot of different genres. This one was urban fantasy, but I’ve also done a good deal of writing with post-apocalyptic, high fantasy, and steampunk. The big thing is that I can’t really do realistic contemporary fiction. There’s got to be some sci-fi or fantasy element that breaks it from reality.

As much as my genres shift, though, I’ve noticed that certain themes and character types keep cropping up. If you keep an eye out, you might start to notice them."
What is your writing process?
"My writing process was a bit wonky with this series. The original publisher wanted each book to be between 18,000 and 25,000 words, which is not a lot of space to work with. I started out with a sketchy outline of the whole series, and then make a smaller outline for each book that was as detailed and specific as I could manage. Then I’d divide that smaller outline into two or three acts, and write them up in separate documents on Scrivener. It made keeping a constant eye on my word count a lot more manageable, but I still had to pare down some of the books to fit within my allotted word count."
What is in store next?
"On October 29th, The Forest of the Damned comes out, and this is the book where everything changes.

Before this point, the series has been very local, and all the conflicts have been relatively small in scale, and for a reason. Arkay and Rosario were always limited by where they could walk (or where they could get by bus while still affording rent). After the events of Potnia Theron, we swan dive out of comfort and familiarity and into a whole new world that’s a lot bigger and more complicated than anything our heroes have seen before now. Much of what was hinted at in the first half of the series will take center stage, and life will get a whole lot more complicated. "
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Here’s a pair of selfies with my two dogs. The hundred-pound lapdog sprawled across my chest is Baldur, and the passenger with no sense of personal space is Freya. Usually when I’m writing they can be found keeping my feet warm while they’re snoozing under my desk."
Working dogs; excellent! ;-)
Hello Baldur and Freya! Lots of head scratches from us at BooksChatter!
Thank you for sharing them with us :-)

Mark of the Dragon
Available NOW!

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3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me here today! And thank you for sending me such amazing questions. They were a real treat to answer.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer, thank you, we loved having you and your lovely fur-babies around! :-) loved the playlist and all the bits you sent us :-)

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