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Author Q&A ft Marc Secchia & DRAGONFRIEND | Silver Dagger Book Tours Presents Epic Fantasy | #YA

DRAGONFRIEND by Marc Secchia (young adult epic fantasy) is on virtual book tour and stops here today! Check out my interview with Marc belo...

DRAGONFRIEND by Marc Secchia (young adult epic fantasy) is on virtual book tour and stops here today! Check out my interview with Marc below.

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win the giveaway and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).


    1. Where were you born/grew up at?

I’m a South African-born author who lives and works in Ethiopia. I’ve a Batchelors degree in English and Philosophy, which led me to a career in Information Technology, naturally. Now I’m back with my first love, writing. My memories and experiences of growing up in South Africa under the apartheid system often underpin my writing–I write about diverse characters and cultures (such as Pygmies and Ethiopia) and themes of racism, division and diversity often come up in my writing.

Cape Town is the inspiration for my IsleSong series, but my love of dragons came from Anne McCaffrey’s books.

    1. If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

With my family. I love them to bits!

    1. What book do you think everyone should read?

Tough one. Sticking to the fantasy genre, I’d say the Lord of the Rings. Its portrayal of the brooding power of evil reaching out into the world and the few that choose to stand against it is incomparable.

    1. What kind of world ruler would you be?

I would be enlightened and benevolent monarch. I’d let people get on with most decisions under a democratic process, but when that just gets convoluted and expensive or ties itself up in knots, I’d want the power to set a direction – because sometimes, any direction is better than no direction at all. I would set my heart on eradicating poverty.

    1. Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

I love the character of Sam Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings. At first you think he’s a simple soul, but then he starts to develop in all sorts of unexpected ways. He always loves to fill his tum with good things, but he follows Frodo into the very heart of darkness and his faithfulness and friendship is the rock upon which their quest is built and ultimately succeeds. Frodo would be nothing without Sam.

    1. Describe your writing style.

Rich and lyrical, laced with flashes of snarky humour. I love old and unusual words and I’m not afraid to throw them into my prose, which drives some readers crazy and makes others salivate. I adore fantastical landscapes, the better to fly dragons across, through or under them, and my characters must be fully fleshed out and capable of mistakes, honesty, learning, foolishness and glory.
I also love to invent. My dragons blast into space, travel beneath the crust of their world, develop in-flight cinema and achieve supersonic flight. They’re full characters in their own right. However, I also like my stories to be grounded in real physics for example, and there are realistic themes of evil, racism, bullying, intercultural issues and so on. I don’t subscribe to “white European” or male-dominated fantasy tropes. Most of my main characters are heroines, ranging from a quiet Island girl to a princess to a Pygmy warrior.

    1. What makes a good story?

My goodness, how long do you have? Love. Conflict. Suffering. Good triumphing over evil. A journey which exposes the core of a character, that lets us get to know them in every way, that lets us live and breathe and cry with them, and be glued to the pages until 3am. The heart of a good story uplifts the spirit and allows us to know ourselves better, to be moved and transported and transformed.
Here are a few key points that I feel make for good stories:
  1. An evil or challenge to overcome
  2. A gripping setting, preferably with dragons
  3. Someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed
  4. There must be flashes of light or humour to alleviate the darkness, but bad things can and must happen. Some of my characters o thorough awful circumstances before they are able to triumph.
  5. Sometimes I joke that Fantasy requires a fast start and a slam-bang final battle. What happens in between doesn’t matter so much – but it must be well-written and, for heavens’ sake, well edited!

Dragonfriend Series Book 1
by Marc Secchia
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

Gold Award winner - 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards

Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die.

Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price.

This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend.

Series Note
Dragonfriend is a YA fantasy novel set in the same world of the bestselling dragon adventure series Shapeshifter Dragons and Shapeshifter Dragon Legends. It can be read in any order alongside Aranya, Shadow Dragon and The Pygmy Dragon. Awesome dragons, epic stories and deep dragon lore abound in this unique series set in a world of volcanic islands above the clouds.

Marc is a South African-born dragon masquerading as an author, who loves writing about dragons and Africa, preferably both at the same time. He's the author of 23 fantasy books in 3 languages (2 more languages coming this year - watch this space!), including 8 rip-roaring dragon fantasy bestsellers. Dragonfriend won a Gold Award for Fantasy in the 2016 IPPY Book Awards. 

When he's not writing about Africa or dragons Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there's nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


  1. Thanks for doing the interview Marc. The book cover looks amazing! Who designed it? I am planning to read Lord of the Rings in December. Best of luck with your book and the book tour.

  2. I agree with the points for a good story. I'd add that the plot shouldn't overshadow the characters and their relationships (the worldbuilding can be very intricate and the plot full of twists, but if I cannot connect with the characters I won't care)

  3. How old were you when you decided you wanted to be an author and also, who is an author you look up to.

  4. I like the cover, but I always wonder how the rider can stay perched on that slippery back. Falling off a horse hurts. Falling off a flying dragon? That's probably fatal.


Get carried away with love!