Sunday, June 24, 2012

An (Almost) Tale-Less Dragon

I was pleasantly surprised to learn A Dragon’s Seduction received the coveted Night Owl Top Pick Reviews stamp and a rating of (gasp) 5 stars from Night Owl Reviews. First, I’d like to give a HUGE thank-you shout out to Angibabi4 for the wonderful review of my novella. You can read it here if you like.

Now, this story is the one I like to think of as the (almost) Tale-less Dragon. It has had a bit of a journey before finding a home with Steel Magnolia Press. I’ve always enjoyed writing and reading paranormal novels. I’ve written a few short stories with shifters before and quite enjoyed the process. Werewolves and jaguars, I understood. But this story is a little different. The idea came after an editor (from another publisher I was submitting to a few years ago before I signed on with Steel Magnolia Press) mentioned she want to see dragons in her paranormal series. Of course, my first thought was, “Okay ... there’s a call for submissions, get after it before someone else does.”

Then my second thought was “Dragons? Huh? Are you kidding me?" You see, I’d never read (and actually still haven’t) a dragonshifter story before, and really, let’s face it, a dragon is a reptile. Ewww … scales and claws and just … eww!

My next thought was, “How in the world does one make a reptile sexy, loveable and perfect for the heroine?” Not very easily I found out.

Now, I’m one of those who’ll try (almost) anything once, so I began plotting. Thus, the Gatekeepers were born. Honorable, ultra-sexy, and very worthy of their heroines' love. And yes, at times a bit scaly. But hey, what man doesn’t have his flaws? The first novella, A Dragon’s Seduction, came easily enough. The hero is a water dragon and what better way to put his extraordinary skills to use than to make him a hot fireman? Of course, his heroine has a few skills of her own. One of which will kill him if he’s not careful.

During the time I was writing this story and contemplating making it a series, there was a medical emergency in my family, so the story, completed only in its first draft, sat on my hard drive collecting dust for the next two years or so. Writing was placed on the backburner, so to speak, as my family dealt with the situation at hand. The Gatekeepers series became a distant memory and the opportunity to “get after it before someone else did” passed. Edits were not finished. The story was not tightened and polished, and it did not get submitted as I had planned. My water dragon’s story was … well, dead in the water I supposed, and I just assumed my dragonshifter would be without a tale.

After joining Steel Magnolia Press, I began to work on my contemporary romance and really didn’t give much thought to the little novella still collecting dust on my hard drive until Jennifer Blake mentioned releasing her backlist. Hmmm … that gave me an idea. I had a nice, completed novella ready to edit and polish. But, was there still a market for it? Would readers even be interested? Who, if anybody, reads dragonshifter romances? So I tossed the idea of releasing the finished story around with the other Magnolias and, after a bit of encouragement from the other authors, I decided to go for it. Being the logical girl that I am, I thought, “What have I got to lose? The story is finished. If it doesn’t sell or there isn’t a market for the genre anymore then that would be okay too.” No harm, no foul.

At the time I still hadn’t decided to finish the other three Gatekeepers' stories. After all, I didn’t even know if there would be any interest in the first one. But, after seeing some very lovely reviews from readers and since several readers have asked when the next Gatekeeper story is coming out, I decided it was time to give each of my other dragonshifters a tale as well.

So to answer the readers' question, I’m hoping to release the second Gatekeeper story by August or September 2012.

Now that you’ve heard the trials my first Gatekeeper novella went through before publication, I’m sure you can see why the 5-star review and Night Owl Top Pick stamp is very special to me. After all, A Dragon’s Seduction was nearly a Tale-less Dragon.

Tamelia Tumlin has worked with several online publishers, but is now writing exclusively for Steel Magnolia Press. Juggling motherhood, teaching and writing is a challenge, but one she welcomes to pursue her passion. Her romance novels range from sweet and sassy to dark and dangerous.


Landra said...

Congrats on the awesome win! I have this story, but haven't had a chance to start reading yet. This little post definitely has reminded me that I have some reading to do. :)

Also, I love how SMP and this release is spawning the rest of the series.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Hehe. Dragon spawn. I think I love you, Landra :o). (I hope you're also reminded you have some writing to do, too!)

Trudy Edgeworth said...

That's a pretty amazing story. It's always nice to know that even if you think it's not something that would get published, you should try anyway.

Tamelia Tumlin said...

Thank you Landra. :) It was a nice surprise. Trudy, I agree (now) that you may as well give it a shot. You never know what might click with readers. My next release is an inpirational intrigue. Not sure how that's going to go over either, but it doesn't hurt to try. I like the fact that by publishing with SMP I am free to move away from my comfort zone and try new genres. Sometimes with traditional (print) publishers, you aren't able to do that since they buy a "brand/voice" rather than a story and pretty much expect your next releases to fall into a specific category. With SMP we can all try new things and move back into our favorite genre as needed. Phoenix I love the dragon spawn comment as well. LOL!