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Sunday, 2 August 2015

ℚ The Missing Prince: Amanda Moonstone [1] - Dan Wright

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Missing Prince (, Pandragon Publishing, 220 pages) a Young Adult Fantasy novel which is book one of Amanda Moonstone series.

Author Q&A | Trailer | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Tour Stops

A big welcome to Dan Wright, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for The Missing Prince?

"I’m a huge fan of Disney/Pixar films and have always wanted to do something in a similar vein to that.  I always loved the emotional content that Disney and Pixar films have (I still get choked up from the opening scene in Up).  Around early 2014, I heard a lot of people rave about Frozen, and that gave me an idea to write this book.  I actually watched a few Disney and Pixar movies to get inspiration for this story (which I saw as a good excuse to watch animated films!) and get ideas for the characters and such.

The good thing was I already had a setting for the book.  I have another fantasy series called Draconica, which is an Anime inspired Fantasy series.  I had already planned to create a “shared universe” with different characters and such, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  Naturally this book is a little more child friendly than my Draconica series – but I do plan on mixing the two together at some point in the future.

The one thing I wanted to do with this book is try to make it as realistic as possible.  I didn’t want to make it about a mystical quest to find a magic object – but rather make it more personal.  The idea for Amanda’s backstory (which I don’t wanna say too much for fear of spoilers) actually came from a really heart-wrenching article I read at work.  After that I had an idea to use that in my books sometime, but never got round to it.  Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince was a chance to show that off."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Mmmmmm.  To tell the truth I try to put in as little of me as possible.  I personally think that author’s should be careful not to put too much of themselves into their own stories – because that can come across as pretentious and even put off the reader.  That’s not to say that books can’t reflect an authors own views and beliefs – but they have to be subtle about it or else it can become what’s called and “Author’s Tract”.  No one reads a story to be preached to – at least not in my experience.  So I mostly stay away from putting myself into my stories – though occasionally I throw in the odd line that parodies pop culture references if I feel it’s needed."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Missing Prince - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"From the very beginning I wanted to have a Disney style theme to it – and the artist I got was just perfect at capturing that feel.  In fact, as well as the cover there is also interior art throughout.  The artist I have is Kirsten Moody – and she has been fantastic in her dedication to this project. You can check out her DA page on DeviantArt.

For the front cover, I wanted to go for a kinda Disney movie poster look – something that jumped out at the reader with colourful imagery and such.  I actually remember when I had a publisher for this book that my publisher wasn’t really into the cover as it seemed too “movie poster” – but I stood my ground with it.  I thought it captured the whimsical nature of the book and brings the characters to life."
Why should we read The Missing Prince and the Amanda Moonstone series, what sets it apart from the rest? 
"For one, it’s not a story about a mystical quest or slaying a monster.  Amanda Moonstone has a personal story to it – one that I think a few readers could relate to, or at least understand.  It’s a story about personal discovery, about redemption – whilst at the same time providing light entertainment and plenty of humour.  Plus it has a strong female protagonist that isn’t your typical damsel in distress.  Amanda Moonstone is a fun read for all the family, an adventure with a strong moral."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Missing Prince and Amanda Moonstone, its story and characters?
"The quirkiest thing actually happened by accident.  I’m a big fan of looking up the meaning of names and any interesting information about them (name meanings is a good one).  So just for laughs I looked up the names of all my characters.  I was quite shocked that when I saw the meanings behind my main characters, they all matched up EXACTLY with the personalities of said characters.

Examples include Amanda (which means “Worthy of love”), Daryl (“Loved one”) and Luthar (“Soldier of the people – modified from Luther).  This was actually totally coincidental, but it’s amazing how much it worked out!  Strangely, things like this often work out better when done by accident than when I try to do them."
Who would you recommend The Missing Prince and the Amanda Moonstone series to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I personally set the recommended reading age at 7 and upwards – but I’ve had friends who have read it to their three year old children and they enjoyed it.  There are some darker elements to the book, but I try to keep it family friendly as much as possible."
If you could / wished to turn The Missing Prince and the Amanda Moonstone series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"It would be my dream for this to be made into an animated film.  If that was the case I’d love Willa Holland (Thea from Arrow) to voice Amanda and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) to voice Kimera.  I’d also love Tom Hiddleston or Benedict Cumberbatch to do a voice in it as well.  There’s a particular character in there that I wrote with him in mind.  You’ll probably see why when you see the character."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Fantasy and Sci-Fi is probably what I write about the most – but I have been exploring other possibilities.  I’ve got an idea for a Dieselpunk style Noir story based around an alternative WWII history.  I did also write a short romance story one time for an anthology and also attempted to write a short horror story – so I do try to experiment with different stories.  In the past I have written a script for a romantic comedy and also had a superhero story published in a comic anthology.  I also have a parody Youtube series which is more comedic.

I’m pretty open to reading a lot of genres.  I used to be a reviewer so I read a lot of different types of books from different authors.  It actually got me into reading romance for a while – and I made friends with a couple of romance authors in the process.  At the end of the day, as long as it has a good story, strong characters and is fun to read, I’m pretty open to what books I will read."
What is your writing process?
"I don’t really have a “process” as such.  I just sit at the computer and type and hope what I come up with is good! XD.  Sometimes I like to listen to music when I write, that sometimes helps me capture the emotion of what I want to achieve . For example, if I’m writing a fight scene, I listen to a lot of adrenaline fuelled music to get me in the mood.  If it’s an emotional scene, I listen to sad music.  It really depends on my mood.

Sometimes I like to plan the outline of the story in advance – often I think up chapters in my head and how I will write them.  Other times I just go with the flow.  I do try and plan what I’m gonna write if I’m writing a chapter – but I also have to work editing and other things around it. It’s not easy – but I always try to find ways of writing somehow."
What is in store next?
"I plan four books on this series.  I haven’t said too much as I don’t want to spoil the surprise but I have a recurring theme in these books that will eventually come to a head.  And when it does, it will probably shock a few readers.

The next book will be out sometime next year and story may get a little darker – but still have the family friendly vibe to it.  I’m actually kinda excited about it – it will have a little more of a traditional Fantasy vibe to it, but with a few little twists.  It will be almost a cross between the films Maleficent, Wrath of Khan and Superman II (as in inspired by General Zod).  That will be out."
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 (this could be absolutely anything!)?  Could you please provide us with a picture of you with them / it?
"I love my cat! She can be a pain sometimes but she’s really therapeutic when I’m having a bad day. This is one of my fav pictures with her.

"My cat is also my part time editor – as quite often she’ll walk across my keyboard when I’m trying to write. Guess she’s trying to prevent me writing something that sucks! XD"
Brilliant!  Thank you for sharing so much with us - we look forward to reading the Amanda Moonstone series.  We hope you had a great tour!

The Missing Prince 
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1 comment:

Pandragon said...

Thanks for the fun little interview. I had a blast. My cat says thanks as well ;)