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Where It All Started:My Early Writing Life
Seeing as the topic of this guest post was left open, I found myself wanting to share a little about my early writing life and what led me to finally self-publish ‘Daughter of the Drackan’.
Being a ‘published author’ has really always been the ultimate goal for me. I started writing when I was ten, and once I discovered the glorious power of words within my tiny fingertips, I never really stopped. By the time I was twelve, I’d written over two hundred Word document pages of a novel about fairies (which I never finished and will most likely never pick back up), and having that much under my belt really got me going. I’d spent a lot of time starting new novels, getting a few chapters in, or attempting short stories but never actually finishing them.
When I was a freshman in high school, I started writing ‘Daughter of the Drackan’. For two years I kept at it, scribbling away in notebooks during class (fortunately for me, all my teachers thought I was a diligent note-taker), transcribing it all into my laptop once I got home, and sitting at my desk for hours on end during the weekends, typing away. I found myself almost constantly in “the zone” of writing, where time didn’t exist anymore, right along with the feeling of hunger or wanting to ever go to sleep. There are still scenes in both ‘Daughter of the Drackan’ and its sequel that, to this day, I don’t remember writing.
I do remember vividly the night I wrote this novel’s final words—New Year’s Eve of 2007, and I was seventeen. Three different friends of mine had called me and asked if I wanted to join them for New Year’s Eve parties, and I had to turn them all down. I’d promised myself that I would finish the darn thing before the new year. As it turned out, I wrote the ending at 11:52 pm before jumping from my desk, hooting and hollering in my bedroom, and doing my own version of the happy dance while the ball dropped (no, I won’t go into the embarrassing details of my dancing techniques).
Then, I wondered what came next. How did I go about trying to get this amazing story out there and into the hands of Fantasy-lovers just like me? Pretty soon, the distraction of starting college loomed over me and took the forefront for a while. I made it into the Creative Writing—Fiction program at CU Boulder for my Bachelor’s, which opened a whole new world of writing (with deadlines), editing with fellow writers, and submitting to publishers (my finals consisted of turning in a stack of rejection letters).
At that time, I’d come to find how much easier—and quicker—it was to write completed short stories, and while I’d started a few different novels, I hadn’t felt comfortable sticking with another large work. I wanted to get ‘Daughter of the Drackan’ out there, published and ‘off the lot’, before I could focus on another novel. I spent two years editing, revising, and querying literary agents and traditional publishers, hoping that someone on the giant list would find the brilliance in my work. I ordered the newest versions of ‘The Writer’s Market’ each year, sending out tons of emails at a time to anyone who might be even remotely interested.
I currently have a hilariously large folder with all my rejection letters, but I store them with pride as a testament to all the time and energy I put into, what I called, ‘exhausting my resources’. Just last summer, I decided I was finally going to self-publish ‘Daughter of the Drackan’, because more than anything else, I wanted to make it available to the lovers of Fantasy and avid readers out there.
Becoming an Indie Author was one of the best choices I’ve ever made, and has delivered me into one of the most inspiring, encouraging, and eye-opening communities out there. ‘Daughter of the Drackan’ is finally out—and Keelin’s ferocious, harrowing tale with it. Its sequel will be out in the next two months, followed shortly thereafter by my new Dystopian Sci-Fi, ‘Sleepwater Beat’, and I have two more novels in the works to follow.
The most important thing I’ve learned from this novel’s long, exhaustive lifespan, from beginning to end, is that perseverance and dedication have a lot more power than luck. I am a published author now, as I’ve always wanted to be, and the response I’ve received from readers has been overwhelmingly and flatteringly positive.
I’m so excited to be able to share my book here with you today, and I hope you love Keelin’s tale of self-discovery, revenge, and badass prowess as much as I loved putting it to words. Leave a comment, ask questions. I’d love to chat with you!
Keelin is the only human fledgling, weaned by the drackans of the High Hills and given their instincts, ferocious strength, and fierce hatred for humankind. But even the drackans closest to her cannot explain why she has violent blackouts from which she wakens covered in blood.
A desperate, reckless search for the source of this secret brings her face to face with the human world and memories from a locked-away past, long forgotten. Keelin becomes a terrifying legend among human assassins while she hunts for answers, and the human realm’s High King is murdered.
While a sickly steward hides within crumbling walls, commanding her every move with a magic he should not possess, Keelin’s journey to track him down threatens her loyalty to the drackans who raised her. The rogue who crosses her path hides familiar secrets, echoing her own terrifying bloodlust and forcing her to consider that there may be something human about her, after all.
Igetheyr stood unmoving, and E’Kahlyn gently unfurled her red-brown wings. The child sat atop the drackan’s scaly back, legs huddled up to her chest. She too stared at Igetheyr, eyes glowing from beneath the shock of tangled hair.
The others snorted and growled at the human, their hatred and bloodlust already thick in the air. The drackans’ centuries-old feud with the scale-less race ran deep within their blood. Seeing one now in their home stirred timeless memories of the war, so long ago, that had started their hatred in the first place, and memories of the last human fledgling who had turned astray.
Igetheyr shifted his eyes toward the child, expressionless until he chose to speak. E’Kahlyn shot her mind-voice in a direct, shielded stream to the child, hoping to reach it before Igetheyr did. ‘Have you heard our discussion?’
A light, purple-gray blotch found its way slowly to her mind with the feeble words, ‘I did.’
‘Then go to him, young one.’
The child slid to the ground, gazing at the drackan with pleading eyes. E’Kahlyn nudged her forward with her snout. The child stumbled toward Igetheyr’s great figure and placed her hands behind her back. Her narrow chest stuck out vulnerably, head held high, and she met eyes with the black drackan. Fear did not exist in the child, as if it never had. She was part of the new world around her now and still so disconnected.
Igetheyr snorted, seemingly entrapped by her boldness. E’Kahlyn opened her mind to just the two of them, eagerly awaiting the important exchange, the final word.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kathrin Hutson has been writing fiction for fifteen years, editing for five, and plunging in and out of reality since she first became aware of the concept. Kathrin specializes in Dark Fantasy and Sci-fi, and the second novel in this series, Mother of the Drackan, will be released this February.
Kathrin runs her own independent editing company, KLH CreateWorks, for Indie Authors of all genres. She also serves as Story Coordinator and Chief Editor for Collaborative Writing Challenge, and Editing Director for Rambunctious Rambling Publications, Inc. Needless to say, she doesn’t have time to do anything she doesn’t enjoy.
You can grab your copy of Daughter of the Drackan, in print or as an ebook, on Amazon here: mybook.to/daughterdrackan