4 Benefits of Being Part of an Anthology

21 Resilient Women and Beyond the Smile Anthologies

There is a saying that sometimes you need to get your feet wet before you jump in the water.

Many writers who want to publish a book, take their first step by writing one chapter in a compilation of stories called an anthology.

What is an Anthology?

An anthology book is a collection of short fiction, poetry or nonfiction works (or excerpts) by a variety of authors. Typically, the book is organized around a particular subject, theme, writing style or genre.

One of the most successful anthology book series has been the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.

Each book in the series is a collection of inspirational stories targeted at various markets such as pet lovers, cancer patients, nurses, new moms, runners, gardeners—the list is exhaustive.

Participation in an anthology can be by invitation for free, for pay (share of royalties or flat fee) or pay to participate, meaning that authors pay to be included in the book. In the business arena, paid anthologies are common since authors use the opportunity to promote themselves. Some projects also require authors to purchase a certain number of books either in addition to any fee or in lieu of a fee.

Authors are provided with a list of guidelines for writing and submitting drafts for their segments of the book.

The compiler or publisher bears the costs of producing the book to include editing, graphic design, layout, proofing, publishing, printing, marketing, and distribution, and retains the right to reject any author’s submission or participation in the project.

4 Benefits of Being Part of an Anthology

Less effort: Self-publishing or getting published by a regular publishing house can be quite a project! An anthology only requires authors to submit a segment and leave those details to the editor and publisher. This allows authors to concentrate on creating their best work.

Less cost: Depending on the nature of the anthology agreement, a writer can purchase books instead of a fee or pay a small participation fee which is a fraction of the cost of self-publishing. The compiler of the anthology picks up the tab for editing, design, cover design, proofreading, distribution, and launch.

In good company: Some anthologies gather top authors and experts. So, being included with recognized writers can afford less famous writers the benefit of being considered on par with them.

Today’s business card. Being able to say, “I’m one of the authors of _____” can carry a lot of weight for writers who are seeking additional writing opportunities. The book becomes a great business card! It says that someone of note considered them and their work worthy to be included.

The contacts you make can lead to a larger marketing pool. The other authors are going to market the anthology to their readers. This essentially means you get free marketing to a different audience simply because your work is compiled in the same place. It also means you might be able to market a little less than you do for your singular works because several people will be sharing this information. (No need to overdo the marketing and make readers tired of the promo.)

Here are some recent Anthology Projects we managed.

Dawn James
Managing Director, Publish and Promote
1.888.767.8423

Recent Blog Posts

Sultans of String Launch New Weekly Online Interview & Music Series: BACKSTAGE

New weekly livestream kicks off Friday with new video/single! Sultans of String are excited to announce… BACKSTAGE! Their new online Interview & Music series features guests from their Refuge and Sanctuary albums. Join Sultans of String each Friday at Noon EST on Facebook as they dive into the lives and the music of these fascinating artists,Continue reading “Sultans of String Launch New Weekly Online Interview & Music Series: BACKSTAGE”

Too Close to Heaven: A Poem by Christine Bode for Those Suffering With Their Mental Health

Do you or someone you know feel as if you’re getting too close to heaven? Do you feel that life is unbearable on this crazy blue planet and that you don’t know how much longer you can live here? I have felt that way too, I assure you. Acutely aware that an innumerable amount ofContinue reading “Too Close to Heaven: A Poem by Christine Bode for Those Suffering With Their Mental Health”

Exclusive Review of Finny McConnell’s (The Mahones) Debut Solo Album, The Dark Streets of Love

I’m honoured to be the first person to review Finny McConnell’s (The Mahones) debut solo album, The Dark Streets of Love!

After 30 glorious years of leading worldwide, renowned Celtic punk rockers, The Mahones—who have shared stages and toured with the likes of Dropkick Murphys, Shane MacGowan (The Pogues), Stiff Little Fingers, Billy Bragg, The Buzzcocks, Sinead O’Connor, and The Damned to name a few—Finny McConnell decided that it was time to make an album for himself as he winds down and adjusts to his “Van Morrison years”, although I’m sure he has enough piss and vinegar left in him that he will not go quietly or gently into the night.

Fantasy Book Review and Author Interview: A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Book 1) by P.L. Stuart

Fantasy Book Review Title: A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Book 1)Author:  P.L. StuartPublisher: FriesenPressReleased: February 2, 2021Pages: 404ASIN: B08VS15WTRBook Reviewer: Christine BodeStars:  4 Othrun, son of King Atalan the Falcon, the Second Prince, and estranged half-brother to Erthal, the First Prince (sons of the pear-shaped island kingdom of Atalantyx), narrates this epic taleContinue reading “Fantasy Book Review and Author Interview: A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Book 1) by P.L. Stuart”

3x JUNO Nominees and Billboard Charting SULTANS OF STRING Commemorate the Anniversary of the 1988 OJHRI CAMP Disaster With New Video From Their REFUGE Project

WHEN: Video Premiere – Friday April 9, 2021 at 10:30 am ESTSONG: Ojhri Camp, from album Refuge Sultans of String, featuring Anwar Khurshid & Ravi Naimpally Go to the video on YouTube at this link https://youtu.be/L4TQs_WGbNI to SET REMINDER for the premiere. [Toronto ON] Sultans of String are releasing this song to coincide with the April 10 anniversaryContinue reading “3x JUNO Nominees and Billboard Charting SULTANS OF STRING Commemorate the Anniversary of the 1988 OJHRI CAMP Disaster With New Video From Their REFUGE Project”

Author Dawn James Cheated Death and Now Shares Profound Revelations in her New Book, Unveiled: Autobiography of an Awakened One

Toronto, Ontario, Canada —March 18, 2021— Author Dawn James wrote a spellbinding new autobiography, Unveiled: Autobiography of an Awakened One, set for release on March 20, 2021.  James, who conquered vision and hearing loss, being paralyzed and mute, shares her audacious story of how she cheated death and awoke to life-altering revelations.  This memoir highlights James’s spiritualContinue reading “Author Dawn James Cheated Death and Now Shares Profound Revelations in her New Book, Unveiled: Autobiography of an Awakened One”

Chris Sunfield’s Second Single “Predator” is an Abrupt About-Face Following His Sunshine Pop Debut!

“PREDATOR” by Chris Sunfield OUT NOW! 12 February 2020 (TORONTO) – Chris Sunfield’s second single “Predator” is an abrupt about-face following his sunshine pop debut “The Little Things”. Predator is a provocative poison pen letter to romantic predators, exposing their psychopathic and Machiavellian ways. The lyrics, with their reptilian metaphors, serve to validate anyone who’sContinue reading “Chris Sunfield’s Second Single “Predator” is an Abrupt About-Face Following His Sunshine Pop Debut!”

Award-winning Celebrity Skincare Entrepreneur Jean Pierre Releases Powerful New Memoir on the Uphill Climb to Personal & Professional Success

TORONTO – Feb. 3, 2021  — On February 27th, Jamaican-Canadian Icon and Skin Care Guru Jean Pierre is set to release a bold new memoir entitled Uphill Climb. The book details Pierre’s inspirational journey as a healthcare practitioner, entrepreneur, international public speaker and creator of the popular Obsidian Skincare line. Uphill Climb delves into Pierre’s deeply personal health struggles as aContinue reading “Award-winning Celebrity Skincare Entrepreneur Jean Pierre Releases Powerful New Memoir on the Uphill Climb to Personal & Professional Success”

“The Matrix” a Poem by Christine Bode

The Matrix by Christine Bode Everett,in the movie Paterson says, after pulling a fake gun on everyone in the bar, “Without love, what reason is there for anything?”I don’t know, Everett… nothing, not a fucking thing that matters anyway.Without love, every day is the same damn pandemic day.Wake up, walk the dog, make coffee, drink coffee, read a book,do housework, workContinue reading ““The Matrix” a Poem by Christine Bode”

Sultans of String Interactive Zoom Concert #5 – Lockdown Smackdown on January 23, 2021

Happy New Year friends, I don’t know about you, but this new lockdown is making us feel a little too isolated…Therefore announcing our Sultans of String Livestream January 23, 8:00 pm EST Livestream -Lockdown Smackdown Edition! Let’s super-spread some good live-streaming vibes and keep connected. Isolating doesn’t have to be lonely! And we can celebrate the inaugurationContinue reading “Sultans of String Interactive Zoom Concert #5 – Lockdown Smackdown on January 23, 2021”

New Book, And Still Champion, Introduces the World to a Group of Undisputed Champions

Bold Men Who Have Found Victory in Telling Their Most Personal Stories Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. ~ Muhammad Ali Atlanta, Ga. – Dec. 30, 2020  — New anthology And Still Champion: The Reality of What 7 Men Endured features the most revealing, provocative and personal stories of seven Black menContinue reading “New Book, And Still Champion, Introduces the World to a Group of Undisputed Champions”

New Book Captures the Courageous Untold Stories of 13 Women Who Have Triumphed Over Adversity

Atlanta, Ga. – Dec. 18, 2020 — Thirteen women reveal the hidden stories behind their smiles in a new anthology called, Beyond the Smile, released on Thanksgiving Day 2020 with a virtual launch event that took place on Cyber Monday, November 30th. Beyond the Smile contains 13 powerful stories of African American women who have beaten the odds and haveContinue reading “New Book Captures the Courageous Untold Stories of 13 Women Who Have Triumphed Over Adversity”

Anti-Labyrinths by Boris Glikman and Michael Cheval

Discover the Philosophical, Fantastical Fiction of Australian Writer Boris Glikman, and a Sneak Peek of His Upcoming Coffee Table Book, Anti-Labyrinths, with Art by Michael Cheval Over the years, I have published many of Australian author, Boris Glikman‘s short stories on my blog, because I’m a fan of his work. He is currently working onContinue reading “Anti-Labyrinths by Boris Glikman and Michael Cheval”

Mary’s Meals Canada celebrates Annie Lennox and “Universal Child” Gift

Mary’s Meals Canada Celebrates ANNIE LENNOX and“Universal Child” Gift TORONTO, Canada. Mary’s Meals Canada, the school feeding charity, celebrates Annie Lennox and the gift of her hit single, “Universal Child.” Recognized as one of the most successful, iconic, and revered pop artists, Ms. Lennox has sold over 86 million albums worldwide. “With deep gratitude, we areContinue reading “Mary’s Meals Canada celebrates Annie Lennox and “Universal Child” Gift”

Raise Your Vibration and Transform Your Life with Dawn James

Title: Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life: A Practical Guide for Attaining Better Health, Vitality and Inner PeaceAuthor: Dawn JamesPublisher: Lotus Moon PressReleased: 2010Pages: 158ISBN: 978-0-9865378-1-3Stars: 4 Title: How to Raise The Vibration Around You: Volume 1 – Working with the 4 Elements to Create Healthy and Harmonious Living SpacesAuthor: Dawn JamesPublisher: Lotus Moon PressReleased: 2014Pages: 171ISBN: 978-0-9865378-0-6Stars: 4Continue reading “Raise Your Vibration and Transform Your Life with Dawn James”

3x JUNO Nominees and Billboard Charting SULTANS OF STRING take their Global Grooves & Goodwill to hearts and homes with their Christmas Caravan & UNHCR Fundraising Zoom Concert!

SAT. DEC. 19, 2020 – 8:00pm EST (5:00 PST / 7:00pm CST) SPECIAL GUESTS: Rebecca Campbell, Tamar Ilana, Donné Roberts, Kristine St-Pierre & more TBA! ZOOM TICKETS: http://christmascaravan2020.eventbrite.caFACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/202730184800176 As winter crests and the mercury falls, everyone from your taxi driver to the music supervisor at the mall starts running timeless hits like “Jingle Bells” andContinue reading “3x JUNO Nominees and Billboard Charting SULTANS OF STRING take their Global Grooves & Goodwill to hearts and homes with their Christmas Caravan & UNHCR Fundraising Zoom Concert!”

21 Resilient Women: Stories of Courage, Growth, and Transformation

This autumn, I have been honoured to work as a copy editor on four books for PublishandPromote.ca and this book was the first of a trio of anthologies. This anthology contains stories by 21 different women who are sure to inspire you with their courage, growth, and transformation! The book was compiled by Canadian careerContinue reading “21 Resilient Women: Stories of Courage, Growth, and Transformation”

Debut Single by Chris Sunfield “The Little Things” Out Now!

Reinvented, former consultant teams up with Juno-Award winning producer for later-life debut single! “The Little Things” Chris SunfieldOUT NOW! 15 OCTOBER 2020 (TORONTO, ON) – “The Little Things” is the debut single by Chris Sunfield on Radar Love Records. The song, written by Sunfield, is a modern, sunshine pop song on steroids, with a wall-of-soundContinue reading “Debut Single by Chris Sunfield “The Little Things” Out Now!”

Canadian Singer-Songwriter David Leask Releases “Voyageur in Song”

Republished with permission from David Leask Today is the release of my new record, “Voyageur In Song”, songs written on and with the Six String Nation guitar, nick-named Voyageur.  This incredible instrument is made of 64 pieces of Canadian history and culture.  I have written songs about a group of those pieces and their inspiring stories.  There’s a reasonContinue reading “Canadian Singer-Songwriter David Leask Releases “Voyageur in Song””

Sultans of String featuring Béla Fleck and Robi Botos release “The Grand Bazaar” from the New Album REFUGE

Artist: Sultans of String Single: The Grand Bazaar, featuring Béla Fleck and Robi Botos From the new album REFUGE “Refuge is a fantastic, moving, dreamlike, epic, timely album.” ~ Ken Micallef (Jazz Times, Stereophile, Downbeat) New York, NY – Sultans of String release gorgeously evocative and powerful single The Grand Bazaar, featuring 15 time Grammy AwardContinue reading “Sultans of String featuring Béla Fleck and Robi Botos release “The Grand Bazaar” from the New Album REFUGE”

Reality and “Reality”: A New Perspective by Boris Glikman

Reality and “Reality”: A New Perspective by Boris Glikman   Part I Imagine if you had a friend who had the following characteristics and personality traits and behaved in the ways described below.  Suppose that this friend considered it his sacred duty to visit you daily at your home and make a report to youContinue reading “Reality and “Reality”: A New Perspective by Boris Glikman”

Book Review: Burt Reynolds on Screen by Wayne Byrne (Featuring Q&A with Author)

BOOK REVIEW Title: Burt Reynolds on Screen Author:  Wayne Byrne Publisher: McFarland & Company Inc. Released: December 19, 2019 Pages: 314 ISBN: 978-1476674988 Stars: 5 In 1972, Burt Reynolds became famous with his breakthrough role in Deliverance. The actor also posed as Cosmopolitan’s first-ever nude male centerfold in 1972, “marking a milestone in the sexualContinue reading “Book Review: Burt Reynolds on Screen by Wayne Byrne (Featuring Q&A with Author)”

Fantasy Book Review and Author Interview: A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Book 1) by P.L. Stuart

Fantasy Book Review


Title: A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Book 1)
Author:  P.L. Stuart
Publisher: FriesenPress
Released: February 2, 2021
Pages: 404
ASIN: B08VS15WTR
Book Reviewer: Christine Bode
Stars:  4

Othrun, son of King Atalan the Falcon, the Second Prince, and estranged half-brother to Erthal, the First Prince (sons of the pear-shaped island kingdom of Atalantyx), narrates this epic tale of a people who believe in “the one, true, Single God.”

Othrun is jealous of his brother and incensed when during a spy reconnaissance mission to the island of Acremia, in the Kingdom of Norsoon, in the lands of the Sanaavians, its ruler, King Mag gifts Erthal with his youngest daughter, the beautiful, tall, raven-haired heathen, Dira. It doesn’t take long for Erthal to forsake his knightly vows, and he spends the entire trip “rutting with” Dira and subsequently falling in love, while Erthal carries out their father’s mission for the trip to discover its troop sizes and defences of fortifications only to find no glory as the Second Prince upon their return to Atalantyx. They had been sent to Acremia to determine how they could conquer its pagan people, steal their land (although it was essentially only a massive pile of dirt occupied by pig farmers) and make them succumb to their belief in the one, true, Single God.

Erthal and Dira are bound to each other in a pagan handfasting ceremony, and he takes her back to Atalantyx and hides her in its main, western port city of Havenshur. This drives the chivalrous pragmatic knight, Othrun, mad, and he becomes more determined than ever to find a way to undermine the First Prince and claim the High-Chair and the Tri-Crown for himself. Having been all too aware that King Atalan has always favoured Erthal over Othrun even though both of their mothers died giving birth to them, Othrun, Second Prince, and Lord of Surtyx allows envy to get the best of him while vowing to become a warlord.

This is just the beginning of this epic tale about the destruction of a continent, through what was believed to be the wrath of the Single God for the pagans’ sacrifices of many human citizens of Atalantyx. Othrun and his 1,800 exiled followers are the last of the Atalanteans. They sail to Eltnia on the continent of Acremia, where Othrun begins what he believes is his life’s purpose, to eradicate paganism and rule all Acremia.

I am always in awe of writers who create fully realized unique worlds in which to tell their tales. P.L. Stuart has achieved this with his debut novel, A Drowned Kingdom. He made an interesting choice by making his protagonist a deeply flawed human who must evolve to survive. I had a hard time liking Othrun. He was arrogant, vain, self-righteous, and sanctimonious and at only nineteen years old thought he knew everything about what was best for his people.

I also found that the old-fashioned language Stuart used to narrate parts of the story was often tedious, but I am not a fan of thou, thee, and thus, and I certainly understand the intention behind its use.

Stuart describes in detail the world he has created, including Othrun’s favourite part of it, the Circle City, which would remind us Game of Thrones fans of the capital of Westeros.

Without giving too much of the story away, Othrun and the last of the Atalanteans embark on a tumultuous, dangerous journey with King Wely, King of Lynchun, and Hert, Crown Prince of Carthlughe, to lead their people to their new home in the Golden Valley of South Lynchun in Eltnia. Fraught with deceit and betrayal, they are bound together to form the strength needed to defeat their enemies as they are embroiled in battles for leadership and land ownership. This story ends with a cliff-hanger that will ensure that readers return for Book 2 in the series, The Last of The Atalanteans, which P.L. Stuart is currently writing.

In A Drowned Kingdom, Stuart has written a fantastical page-turner that includes some remarkable battle scenes interspersed with a lot of discussion about and planning for how the characters are going to get out of the predicament they find themselves in. It also recounts the history of the royal lineage of the main characters and sets the stage for what is undoubtedly more drama and adventure to come.

My only complaint was that there wasn’t enough sex or romance in this book to light my fire. However, I did love the character of Lysi, the Crown Princess of Nyrimia. A beautiful red-haired, powerful mage, and feared warrior, Lysi is the strong female character I was hoping for. She steals every scene she’s in and ads enough sexual tension between her and Othrun (who is married to his cousin Aliaz whom he loves) to make me want to know what’s going to happen between them next.

Fantasy fiction fans will want to take note of author P.L. Stuart whose work is bound to not only dazzle us but make us think about some of the most serious issues faced by humans throughout the ages in this book and his future work. As bestselling British author, Bernard Cornwell added A Drowned Kingdom to the Reading Club page on his website, you can be guaranteed that P.L. Stuart is a force to be reckoned with.

Interview With Author P.L. Stuart

What inspired you to write A Drowned Kingdom?

Three things inspired me to write A Drowned Kingdom.

First, I wanted to write an epic high fantasy, reminiscent of some of my favourite fantasy authors: J.R.R. Tolkien, G.R.R. Martin, T.H. White, Bernard Cornwell, N.K. Jemisin, John Gwynne, and others. That’s the kind of fantasy I love to read, and that’s what I always wanted to write.

Second, I wanted to write a book that had its origin story as my version of the legend of Atlantis.

Third, and perhaps most important, I wanted to write a book that examined various important and timely themes, like racism, misogyny, colonialism, and more. I wanted that kind of book centred around a person who came from privilege and prejudice and to examine how (if) such a person could change. To use the vernacular, “woke”. I wanted to explore the journey of someone becoming “woke”—that is to say, aware, alert, and engaged in social justice issues like racism, after being the opposite. What better context to look at this, than having the potentially “woke” person as a spoiled, privileged, obstinate nobleman, at the very pinnacle of society? Such a transformation would be engrossing to read about, in my opinion.  

I look at my book kind of like a hard-boiled egg. The shell is your very traditional epic high fantasy book, with all the trappings one has become used to when reading that type of book. The white of the egg, the big part of the egg, is the tale itself, which I think is an entertaining, engaging, and highly detailed story, including my version of the Atlantis myth. The yolk is about the difficult themes I spoke of. That’s the heart of the egg and the heart of why I wrote A Drowned Kingdom. Many of the bigoted, homophobic, sexist things Othrun says are things I have heard with my own ears. Those things have been angering, troubling, and hurtful. They have also been inspiring and motivating, and an opportunity for dialogue, and driving hope for change in the world.

So when you read any book in The Drowned Kingdom Saga, realize you’re not just reading a typical high fantasy book about queens, kings, princes, knights, mages, political intrigue, and battles. You can read it like that, and still enjoy it if you like. The book is yours, once you purchase it, and everyone’s interpretation and aspects that they enjoy will be subjective.

However, I would ask that you at least consider looking at my books as more than about my version of the Atlantis legend, cunning mages, or a flawed prince. There’s lots of deeper meaning there, for those who want to see it. So, I would request that, as the reader, you consider not just writing Othrun off as someone you can’t like, so therefore you can’t appreciate my book. I understand it may be hard to like a book if you don’t enjoy the flawed voice that narrates the book. The choice will always be yours, but I believe that if you give my series – and Othrun – a chance, in time, you may be pleased that you did. Othrun, and my books, I think, both have lots of redeeming qualities.   

Were you a big fantasy fiction fan before you decided to write this book?

Fantasy fiction was my first love in terms of preferred genre, and I pretty well read exclusively fantasy and science fiction at this point in my life. I went through a stage where I read predominantly thriller and police procedural fare. But I always kept coming back to fantasy as my go-to read. Now, being a fantasy author myself, it thrills me to read the incredible work of my fellow creatives. There are so many fabulous fantasy authors out there, both self and traditionally published. My “to-be-read” list is way too long because of this!! So many amazing books to read.

Did you have a fascination with the legend of Atlantis?

I am utterly fascinated by the legend of Atlantis. Obviously, I am far from the only one. I have written about that in one of my blogs, on my website, here:

https://www.plstuart.com/blog/is-a-drowned-kingdom-about-the-legend-of-atlantis

The original legend, created by Plato, has so many compelling elements. Former glorious empire, supreme military, and navy, that has become the metaphor for the ultimate Utopian society, eventually destroyed, sunk beneath the ocean, perhaps by its hubris, or the gods, or both? It’s a timeless story, and how many people might be out there, right now, believing Atlantis existed and trying to find out its location? Atlantis can become a bit of an obsession, and I completely understand it! I always loved reading books about Atlantis and planned one day to write one myself. Well, I’ve done it! 

Are you someone who played or plays games involving fictitious worlds?

When I was far younger I played a little Dungeons and Dragons. I had a family early in life and with a busy career, there wasn’t much time for that sort of thing. Maybe I will take up gaming in retirement! I know it can be lots of fun, and completely immersive!

Can you tell us a little bit about your life before you became a writer? What did you do for a living?

I currently work in Federal Law Enforcement. I am honoured and humbled to have the opportunity to protect Canada and know that I am blessed, every day I put on the uniform. My colleagues are a group of extremely dedicated, selfless people. The job is so intriguing—something different every day. I love my job, but I am winding down that career, and my writing career is now beginning. I would love to retire early from law enforcement and be able to write full-time. I’m working on it!

How did you go about creating the world in which the story is set?

My world-building is kind of backwards compared to many other writers. I build the world from the inside-out, rather than the outside-in. That is to say, I created a main character first. Then, because my narrative is first-person, and all about Othrun, I built the world he inhabits, the history of that world, the other characters, outward from Othrun. Because that is how it works in real life. Everyone’s perception of reality is individualized. So we see, hear, smell, touch what Othrun touches. We perceive what history is, based on his knowledge. We see others, based on his assessments of them. It’s limited, but it also fits the story for the purposes of which I wrote it. Since, consistently, readers have told me they find my world-building really inventive and absorbing, I guess I must be doing something right!

What kind of research did you do?

To be honest with you, minimal research was required to write A Drowned Kingdom. Most of my research involved ancient warfare, which I already felt I had a fairly good grasp of from many years of reading about it, and my educational background, which included history, and medieval literature. That’s the beauty of writing fantasy! It’s all made up! I have so much respect and admiration especially for my fellow authors who write in genres like historical fiction. So much research, and an emphasis on accuracy. Kudos to them!

Did you storyboard the settings?

I didn’t storyboard the settings except in my head. Certain chapters play out like movie scenes in my brain, and I write those scenes down on paper, as soon as they come to me. I tend to write the most difficult part of the books first—things like the ending, or big battle sequences.

Then I write the easier, more fun (for me) chapters. Again, out of order, but I’ve spoken to some fellow authors and apparently, I’m not alone in doing things this way! Some others do the same!

Did you create maps of the world before you wrote the story?

I created my maps of the world concurrently as I wrote the story. As I noted when asked about creating the world in which the story is set, I created the world around Othrun, rather than the other way around.

I am certainly not a great artist, but the professional artist more enhanced my original maps, rather than change them too dramatically. 

Did you write a series of characters and keep track of all their names and descriptions separately as you were writing?

Most of my characters had different names when I started writing A Drowned Kingdom. As I reflected on some of the names, sometimes there was that feeling that some of the names did not suit the characters. So I changed them accordingly.

I do have a system for creating names. I won’t get into it in detail, but suffice to say, i.e., the Atalanteans and Anibians have the posh-sounding, longer names, and the Acremians have the simpler names. After compiling all the names of the major and minor players, eventually, I came up with the list of names you see in the Appendix of the book. I have a much larger, more comprehensive appendix for my use, with all the characters that will appear in all seven books in the series.

I don’t have descriptions of them, because frankly, I have them all in my head. I know what they look like, how they talk, walk, what their tastes are, etc. That may sound daunting, but I have a crazy imagination and a fairly good memory for all that.

You wrote a wonderful fight scene in Chapter 18 between Othrun and Hor the Horrific. How did you prepare to create something both believable and exciting? I love the last sentence in the chapter: “Fools fall for tricks. Fools then fall.”

Thank you! A lot of readers seem to love that confrontation!

It’s weird, I never aspired or thought I would be praised for my battle scenes, but that seems to be consistent feedback from readers and reviewers. Everything I have read about fighting and ancient battle, and everything I have experienced in my law enforcement training, and my use of force encounters on the job, comes into play when I write battle scenes.

Fights are quick, brutal, messy. Seldom are the combatants able to sustain a fight for more than a minute, with all the exertion. A minute is an eternity in a fight. That would exhaust even the best-conditioned fighters, weighed down by armour and wielding heavy weapons. There are seldom many blows struck. Someone typically wins, and swiftly.

I have the fight scenes all mapped out in my head, and then I normally experiment a bit, live, where possible. For example, I enlisted my lovely wife for the fight scene between Hor and Othrun. I got to play “the good guy” (writer’s prerogative)! My wife played Hor (she certainly is NOT horrific, but she drew the short straw). We choreographed the fight moves as they would have happened, to ensure realism and accuracy. 

As for that last sentence, it’s very insightful you picked up on that one. That’s very much Othrun’s game. He’s a bit of a daredevil, can be cocky, and likes to thinks he’s smarter than others. He enjoys the feeling of outsmarting other people. He sees himself as a bit of a trickster. He doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does, but he is quite clever and skilled.  

Can you speak to the themes of religion, religious intolerance, and religious persecution throughout the story?

I consider myself spiritual first and foremost, rather than formally religious. My beloved mother is very religious, highly devout, and I was raised Anglican. I feel more confident in my faith than ever before in my life. But it’s so much more about my relationship with God, rather than attending mass, for me. One of the things that I am particularly sensitive to, through that relationship with God, and all my life experiences, is the need for acceptance of others. I have never been more sure that all of us in humankind need to be far more embracing and respectful of people who practice different faiths—or non-faiths—from our own.

Organized religion has been such a force for morality, charity, and hope in the world, throughout the ages. Humankind may not have survived and evolved to this point in the absence of organized religion. Conjointly, because religion is the human-made construct around faith, it can be subject to human flaws. Brutality, subjugation, persecution, torture, war, and many more atrocities have all been done in the name of organized religion. Being a religious person does not necessarily mean one is a morally upright person, nor does it provide a license to disdain the beliefs of others.

One of the most terrible things, I believe, we as humans can do, is condemn non-religious people, or people of different religions. Therefore, I wanted to send a message about this in The Drowned Kingdom Saga. I wanted to highlight that we need to look carefully at how we think about the religions (or denominations/sects) of others. Othrun believes his religion is the only correct one, and that has given him, and historically his society, free rein to be contemptuous of other faiths. Othrun thinks that forced conversion of those not of his faith is the greater good. This attitude is typical of most colonial imperialists, throughout history, pick your empire. Atalantyx was certainly one of those empires. Such civilizations always believe they have the right answers, and everyone who doesn’t agree with them is wrong and needs to be set right.

This is perhaps one of the most dangerous attitudes that can be encountered in the world today. Does such an attitude bring us closer to Godliness? Are we so confident in what we believe in, that our beliefs must necessarily invalidate the beliefs of others? Are we “doing good” by trying to convert others to our religion? Those are some of the questions I pose in the novel.     

What do you think Othrun’s greatest lesson is in Book 1?

Othrun’s greatest lesson in Book 1 is that the world he thought existed, based on his privileged upbringing and narrow-minded viewpoint, may be a fallacy. Othrun was raised to believe Atalantyx was essentially the centre of the known world, and that its culture, sophistication, religion, military, etc., were unmatched. He believed no one could be nobler, more intelligent, more powerful than the Atalanteans. His beliefs have been begun to be challenged in Book 1, by the people he meets in Acremia, and this will continue in Book 2, and throughout the series.

What will his greatest challenge involve in Book 2?

Othrun’s biggest challenge will be simply to survive in Book 2. He’s placed himself in grave danger. Those who’ve read Book 1, I’m sure, will agree. And since he’s the best hope for the Last of the Atalanteans to survive, he’s risking a lot when he risks his safety. It’s one of his more admirable traits, his courage, but so much is riding on Othrun for his people. If he fails, it might not be only his death, but the death of all he holds dear that may be the result. 

Is there anything you want readers to know that I haven’t asked you?

I hope my readers can appreciate that my protagonist, Othrun, will undergo a journey where he’ll evolve, and change. He’s not always likeable. He’s a snob, a bigot, patriarchal, etc. Overall, he’s flawed. But even ordinary flawed people can change. We’re all redeemable. I want that message to shine through my work. More than that, I want people to understand that all the speculation, fascination—even angst and horror, about Othrun and his prejudiced ways is by design, and integral to the story. Through creating such a character, I wanted to stimulate discussion about things like racism, homophobia, violence against women, sexism, classism, privilege, religious intolerance. We see all this, by looking at someone like Othrun.

Other than the global pandemic, we are in the middle of one of perhaps the most turbulent times in terms of these issues we have ever faced. Movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter did not arise out of nowhere. We confront systemic issues in society that we are confounded on how to address, and continually shocked and appalled at the depths of these issues. The one thing I have noted as both participant and observer in these unprecedented times is that we still struggle to even discuss these issues with any level of candour or clarity. Books like mine can potentially help, in that regard.

We are challenged to admit just how many Othruns live among us, how pervasive some of these attitudes and behaviours are, and that these Othruns are sometimes people who are close to us and that we care about: friends or even family. At the least, they are people who live right alongside us in the world. Do we simply write such people off? How do we communicate effectively with them about these concerns, attempt to influence them to open up their thinking, perhaps inspire them to think differently? Those are questions posed by my books. I don’t claim to have all the answers, yet I think the discussion is important, relevant, and timely.

Readers have commented on Othrun’s ability to reason and potentially be very open-minded and accepting, as the novel progresses. He doesn’t always consistently exhibit those positive traits, and it’s never a complete about-face from his core beliefs. That in itself is realistic. People typically don’t just change overnight. To paraphrase what one reader said to me about Othrun, “I don’t like him, but I have potential to like him because he has potential to be better. He has to do better before I can like him.”  But if there is a chance for someone like Othrun to change—even just a little bit—people in our modern era can change too.

Because, if we can’t move the needle on such change, we’ll still be plagued by the same problems in centuries to come. If Martin Luther King Jr., one of my icons, were alive today, I believe he would be troubled that, despite substantial progression made since his lifetime, many things have sadly stayed the same, about five decades later.

Where can readers find your book?

FriesenPress, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop.org, Chapters.Indigo, Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Nook, Apple Books, and Kobo, to name a few.

When do you plan to release Book 2?

The Last of the Atalanteans is scheduled for release in Spring 2022! All the books in The Drowned Kingdom Saga should be released approximately a year apart. With seven books planned in the saga, that will bring us to 2027 for the conclusion of the series!

Author Dawn James Cheated Death and Now Shares Profound Revelations in her New Book, Unveiled: Autobiography of an Awakened One

Unveiled by Dawn James

Toronto, Ontario, Canada —March 18, 2021— Author Dawn James wrote a spellbinding new autobiography, Unveiled: Autobiography of an Awakened One, set for release on March 20, 2021.  James, who conquered vision and hearing loss, being paralyzed and mute, shares her audacious story of how she cheated death and awoke to life-altering revelations.  This memoir highlights James’s spiritual awakening following traumatic events that could have ended her life.  Instead, she garnered beautiful bombshells about her resilience, unwavering faith, and lasting commitment to high vibration living.  Unveiled also celebrates her devotion to helping others to pursue their spiritual wellness while raising their vibrational frequency.   

A well-respected entrepreneur and owner of Publish and Promote, James is also a conscious living teacher and spiritual mentor.  This heart-centred international teacher published her first book, the best-selling Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life: A Practical Guide for Attaining Better Health Vitality and Inner Peace, in 2010, followed by six successful books.  In 2020, Dawn felt moved to write about her journey in Unveiled.  She hopes that it will offer a road map to millions of people who are waking up to a new world.  James explains, “This is my story of the lifting of veils, of revelations, and waking up to my own life.”

Following her life-changing experiences, James explains how she became a conscious observer of her life.  She expounds, “When I reflected on my past, from infancy, and started writing about my bumps in the road of life, something amazing began to unfold.  I began to see a pattern in my timeline.”  The knowledge that she gained, as a result, will help others awaken to their personal power.  Dawn discovered that her life tests were setting her up for triumphs and an empowering truth that she wants everyone to understand.

Unveiled celebrates James’s highest calling which is to show others that they are more than the skin they live in, and like her, were created to walk boldly in their spirit with an expectation to pursue happiness and health while coexisting in harmony with all living beings.  Unveiled will help readers redefine the current version of themselves to uncover a more generous design of their best self, highlighting Dawn’s message that at any time, anyone can awaken.

Unveiled: Autobiography of an Awakened One releases Saturday, March 20, 2021, on Amazon.com and IngramSparks outlets worldwide.  Register for the virtual book launch party here: Unveiled- Autobiography of an Awakened One | (dawnjames.ca/unveiled).

To learn more about Dawn James, please visit www.dawnjames.ca.