I am super excited to announce that my middle-grade book, Black Dragon is now out in ebook format.
Twelve-year-old Weldon is a gifted artist, but when his drawings of fairies and dragons come to life, he finds himself caught between some deadly criminals and the jewels they want. Only his dedication and imagination can save him and his friends.
This is a book that is really dear to my heart. For years now I've had in my bio on my website the mention that I love dragons and fairies. This is the first book where I was able to combine both of my loves and really bring the fairies to life.
In a few months I'll have a second fairy book out, Fairy Tome, which is a YA fairy story with a lot more powerful and intense fairies. In contrast, Black Dragon is middle grade and has pixie type fairies who still manage to get into their share of trouble.
Black Dragon is targeted for the 9- to 12-year-old children whose reading has advanced beyond chapter books, those children who are ready for a little bit longer and more compelling stories. It's still not too long though, shorter in fact than my Dragon Codex books. So it should be a quick and fun read.
Black Dragon's main protagonist, Weldon, is African-American, so it took me months and months of research to attempt to produce a book that would reflect the culture and language in a hopefully correct and positive light.
One of the things I try to do with all my books is learn about cultures other than my own and help convey the beauty and diversity that they add to the world. In Heroin Guns I got to learn about the Afghan culture and religion. In Crystal Coffin I learned about Korean and Chinese cultures. In the Smartboys Club series, the main characters come from an array of different backgrounds. Even one of the main themes in Red Dragon Codex is racial diversity and how all races have something good to offer to the world.
I think, of all the books, Black Dragon was the most intimidating to write, because of the pervading feeling that a white person can not fully know what it is to be African-American. I can't argue with that. That is why the purpose of Black Dragon is not to explore what it means to be African-American, though I enjoyed all the research I did for the book. The main purpose of Black Dragon is to tell a fun and entertaining story that children will want to read. I hope the book will be taken in that light, and that I will be forgiven for any cultural or linguistic mistakes I might have made.
I love this story, and I love the characters--humans, fairies, and dragons. Hope you all enjoy it too.