The Drakon books are out, and they are climbing the ranks at Amazon. Book I is at
#7308 (#6863 May 5th) at Kindle Paid Store, one minute ago, but that is ahead of so many masterpieces that I cannot complain, given that I just started marketing one month ago and it is self-pub.
You can find the books here:
Drakon Book I: The Sieve
Drakon Book II: Uncarved
Ok, this is reverse marketing 101 but is also very useful advice. It can save you time and money. I am going to give you seven reasons (always seven) not to read the books.
Reason #1: I feed on blood (in this case yours)
This is actually true. It will take you about 24 hours to read all four books of the series at a speed of 250 words per minute. For every 25,000 readers I am consuming (their time) the equivalent of a human life. Guilty as hell. And I am still thirsty—well, I am nowhere close to 25,000 yet. I am at 1/10th that, give or take. What’s next? Might I ask for a whole classroom of college students? A small village? Might I even dare ask for a town? I can’t drink Mumbai or Mexico City, not even my favorite Providence, RI. Such great feats are reserved for candy smashing apps and reality TV. So if I demand a human life (and many more) I better have a great book. That is the one fear that drives me. That and an insatiable thirst.
Reason #2: You are under 18
The publishing world is after the young-adult market and few things (your 5-star reviews mostly) give me as much pride as my eleven-year-old daughter asking me to preorder the next book of a young-adult fantasy series. But Drakon is not young-adult. Not. No, no. She will have to wait seven years. Drakon Book I: The Sieve starts with twelve-year-olds, so I put a big warning on the back cover that says “Do not be fooled. Your children should not read it until they are children no more.” There is a lot of violence, and explicit language, and nudity, etc. but the main issue is the questions that the book asks. You don’t want to torture a fourteen year-οld with these questions. All things in due course. If you read young-adult ten years ago and you’ve grown up—by more than ten years preferably—read Drakon. Not before. It is also the writing, I think, I hope. YA reads differently.
Reason #3: Violence and “Violence”
There is violence and “violence.” Keeping it visual, Hardhome and 300 are “violence.” Saving Private Ryan and Red Wedding are violence. There is a lot of violence in Drakon. We humans have a very good instinct for what is true violence. It’s imprinted in the amygdala, deep, deep inside the brain. Amygdala means almond in Greek, but that’s completely irrelevant, I am just trying to show off, given that I never learned French or other languages.
Reason 3.5 You don’t know what is Hardhome or Red Wedding and you are on this page by mistake.
Reason #4: I lack imagination
I am cheating here trying to come up with exactly seven reasons. I lack imagination, that’s why a lot of the violence in Drakon feels real; because it is inspired by history books, not video games. Also unlike most famous fantasy books that rely a lot on Medieval Western Europe for themes, Drakon relies more on Medieval Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It just so happens that no matter what one thinks of Western Europe, the other two areas tend to be more violent. Always. It may have to do with the extreme heat. Or the extreme cold. Or something.
Animal cruelty? Barbarians wouldn’t call it that. Child cruelty? Barbarians wouldn’t call “child” a fifteen-year-old who can wield a sword just because fifteen centuries later we would be sending her to middle school and piano lessons. You will need a strong stomach. It is history after all, not fictional psychos.
Reason #5: Monsters and Magic and Dragons
There is none of that in Drakon. I lack imagination part deux. Maybe it has to do with serving in the army for a brief period of time, which is the most serious and ridiculous thing one could do. It teaches you that your imagination will never match reality when it comes to satire and brutality. So when I went to the library—the most brutal of jungles—looking for the fiercest monsters a human could face, I had to scratch a lot of things with wings, fangs and bad breath off the list. I settled for racial hatred, militaristic upbringing, nihilism, populist leaders with charisma, religious fanaticism, etc.. There is one monster in the book, it is ancient and gave birth to all the others. The human being. I added a lot of tales and myths as well, even attempted some dreams in Neil Gaiman fashion, about other monsters but they are all tales. To entertain humans. Humans never get tired of mythical monsters. They are very useful as ethical camouflage especially when you try to raise your young ones. Imagine if they identified the real monsters. The proximity.
“Are you telling me there are no Dragons in Drakon?” Well, there is a dragon story at the very end of Book III, and it is a very real one. I think it explains a lot about how people came up dreaming of scary dragons. Not completely original, it is well documented in comparative mythology books. And if you make it to the end of the last book you’ll find the true etymology of the word drakon. So there are some dragons. They don’t fly much. They do fall in love.
Reason #6: I am a four-year-old
That’s actually a valid one.
I haven’t been serious about writing until four years ago. A terrible thing to admit, the only thing that would be worse is to lie. Didn’t read much (I have to catch up with all those 10,000 page a series fantasy writers, and yet I tend to prefer Dickens and Proust which makes it impossible), didn’t write at all for a long, long time. I had another job, another dream. I wrote a novel when I was a college student; it was published back in Greece by a prestigious publisher. Got some great reviews from people who didn’t matter but they found it entertaining. I wrote Drakon in Greek three years ago (a much smaller, more pompous version of the English one). I rewrote it in English (translated is not the right word) last year. I have been writing in English only for two years. But writing is serious business, that’s why it holds the #1 place for failed attempts among coffee and tea drinkers with a laptop. I didn’t study anything remotely related to literature in college. Manufacturing Engineering. Japanese continuous improvement techniques. That’s my motto now in writing. Improve 1% every day (night). Improve 50% year over year every year (I don’t work every night). Keep doing it. Never stop.
Reason #7: It is always 7
I can’t think of one, but I am sure you can. Let me know. Maybe a sentence in this blog post that doesn’t sound right. Anyway, the social media guys say that 7 is a magic number and you always have to put “7 of these things that do this and that.” Of course, the social media guys also advised me not to publish this article. But I always live by “If you are afraid, go back to sleep.” This actually rhymes in Greek. “Opios fovate, pai ke kimate.”
In case none of the seven reasons above applies to you or fazes you, congratulations, you can find the books here:
Drakon Book I: The Sieve
Drakon Book II: Uncarved
Drakon Book III: Firstblade (June 2017, now at 99%)
Drakon Book IV: Butterfly (October 2017, now at 85%)
So, that’s probably reason #7 this is not a series that will keep you in anticipation for the next ten years, I’ll complete everything this year.
And that’s the end of the story, 360K words, a day of life on planet Earth.