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Author Q&A ft by Dawn Dagger | Slave of the Sea Book Tour | High Fantasy Pirates

Slave of the Sea (The Chronicles of Salt and Blood Book 1) by Dawn Dagger is on virtual book tour. The high fantasy stops at Reade...

Slave of the Sea (The Chronicles of Salt and Blood Book 1) by Dawn Dagger is on virtual book tour.

The high fantasy stops at Readeropolis with an author interview.

Be sure 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).

How long have you been writing?
Like, 13 years.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
They come to me as I write, as I said before. They kind crop up and I’m like ‘okay cool welcome to the party’.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I had to find out all about pirates, pirate ships, and how people lived back then. I had so many books from the library, and so many computer tabs open for so long. 

Do you see writing as a career?
That’s the goal!

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
High fantasy or teenage post-apocalyptic for sure. 

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I have to have music and/or like a fan noise. If not, my brain gets crowded with too many thoughts and I lose what I’m doing. 

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
Multiple, as one can see. As I was editing Slave of the Sea I was writing Fragments of Time. As I’m editing Fragments of Time I’m writing My British Bear 2 and (accidentally) Empty Vessels

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
Rakifi for absolute certain. Guy is hot, Silva is a cute bean, but Rakifi. He’s so nice and brave and genuine and ugh. Ugh. Love him to death. Sort of insulted my bff doesn’t feel the same way.

What makes a good story?
Characters you care about (not relate to, care about), moments that make you physically feel pain or happiness, and good endings. If the endings aren’t good, then the book isn’t worth it. 

What are they currently reading?
Penny from Heaven. It’s super cute and I love it.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters
I am a PROUD pantser. I have an idea, and I tipidy-tpyidy until it is done. I’ve outlined twice and been highly unsatisfied. Like, sure I’ll have a goal, an end result, or a perfect ending, but its not usually planned. Chapters usually end themselves nicely, so I don’t have to force them.
I basically get an idea and run with it.
I like to read books with a similar character feel and voice sometimes, but most of the time when I’m writing, I listen to music and read books opposite of what I’m doing, so I can kind of feel out all the emotions I don’t want and hone in on the ones I do. 

What is your writing Kryptonite?
Timmeeeeeee omg. I do school full time and work 15-30 hours a week and help watch my siblings and drive two hours a day to and from work and school and also I have to sleep? So, definitely finding time.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Always try to be original. I write because I love writing, but also because I want to impact people the way writing impacted me. I want to show growth, true love, humanity, hope. I want to make people want to live the way writing made me want to live. I want to positively impact people, and I can only do that through originality.
I want my writing to be a sort of earworm. I want to write characters that people fall in love with, and when they truly fall in love, if its a bad relationship, they’ll have that earworm, and think ‘this isn’t what I wanted.’
If I delivered readers what they wanted, I would not have the intended impact. 
That’s not to say I don’t think about what I’m writing. Not at all. For example, my newest WIP, Empty Vessel, follows the journey into insanity of the prince of Keshnitte, up until he follows the ‘voice of the Gods’ in his head, telling him to “kill all of your darlings”. I’m really trying to consider what would make a reader put the book down and walk away, or be disturbed, and I’m trying to make sure I don’t do that.
But yeah. I take into account what people do and do not want, but I don’t write solely to please the masses and get sales.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Um… mostly what they smell like if you’re trying to be romantic. Like, she snuggled him and he smelt like… what? Rocks? Sun on the rocks sounds like a Yankee Candle scent, but, like, for realsies, what do guys smell like romantically without cologne?

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Ahhhh… Shoot. This took me five years because I forgot it existed. My British Bear took two years. I wrote the entirety of Fragments of Time in 30 days for NaNoWriMo. So, I’ll say… two years, give or take.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
I believe in a lack of time and that people allow themselves to become uninspired. You can always write something. 

What were some struggles you faced when writing this book?
I didn’t face many struggles, but two were glaring. Character descriptions, and no good basis in other pirate novels.
 The first one is hilariously silly.
Captain Guy is a very strong, powerful character who can hold his ground. He enjoys picking a fight (which is kind of the reason that he is a pirate captain and not, say, the prince of a kingdom or a farmer). When writing, I try not to have similar comparisons or plot points, so every piece of writing feels fresh. In a similar novel that I haven’t written, there is a pirate captain much older than Guy and later in the time period, Captain Udolf. 
I base Captain Udolf very heavily off of a wolf, and his name even means wolf in some gaelic language. The whole while I was trying to write Captain Guy, I kept trying to use wolf analogies. Baring his teeth, muscles rippling, etc. I literally had to write up his scenes, then go back and rewrite them using analogies to big cats, like panthers. So, Captain guy is more similar to a panther than a wolf.
The second one is the fact that there are not any really solid fiction based on the real going-ons of pirates. There’s like, fiction books, but they’re usually about teenage kids marooned on an island with a bunch of grumpy, drunk guys. That or the pirates’ activities are grossly inaccurate (*cough*piratesofthecaribean*cough*).
So, very first, I had to research a lot about pirates. Then I had to fit it into my fantasy world. Did you know pirates weren’t allowed to set actual bets gabling on ship? Did you know they had workman’s comp? They had rules and regulations! 
Even crazier, they voted for the pirate captains! Mutinies were basically voting in a new pirate president.
I incorporated these elements, and there was some hilarious miscommunication between my editor and I. She couldn’t believe that Captain Guy was fully in charge of the ship, with the fear of the Saints and Gods put into the men. I had to explain to her how pirate ships worked, and that most pirate media (*COUGH*piratesofthecarribean*COUGH*) were not accurate. 
Sorry, I have a bit of a cold.
But, besides those two things, this novel was fairly easy, and really really fun to write!

Slave of the Sea 
The Chronicles of Salt and Blood Book 1 
by Dawn Dagger 
Genre: High Fantasy, Pirates

Levanine’s life as a slave is insignificant. She has always been property; bound to her owner, content to serve quietly where no one can cause her harm. However, when her master sells her to pay a debt, her false safety is shattered, and she finds herself offered as a sex slave on the continent of Dreanis.Fearful and hopeless, Levanine expects the worst to happen. Nothing could prepare her to be suddenly swept onto a pirate ship by an infamous captain whose interests are a mystery to her. Forced to think on her feet, the silent girl must overcome a lifetime of servitude to survive on a ship where everything is trying to destroy her.As sea monsters, mutinies, and ghosts wreak havoc on the ship and its crew, Levanine realizes that she doesn’t have the luxury of simply surviving until they arrive at Avondella, her continent of redemption. Levanine must decide whether she will die the person she has always been, a meek nobody… or will she make a name for herself at sea? 

Dawn Dagger has had a passion for reading and writing ever since she could remember. When she was six she drew and wrote her very own book, and though it hardly makes sense now, she was so proud. She has written many books, short stories, and poems since then, and continues to do so. Dawn placed highly in her two middle school years of Power of the Pen and even has her short story 'The Haunting' published in an anthology, She admits she isn't good at anything physical (except some ballroom dancing), or video games, but she does enjoy a nice game of Mario Kart, a trip fishing, or just a walk in the woods. She has a knack for taking pictures of whatever catches her eye; especially brightly colored flowers. Dawn is a sucker for a good fantasy book, lives off of coffee, and loves her wonderful family and friends, and her dedicated boyfriend, Nevin, who is just like a romance novel character. 

Dawn has over 70 stories started (don't believe her? Just the other night she rattled off the 37 stories she's actually named and what they're about to Nevin because he wanted to know) and that doesn't include short stories or poems. She has lots of writing to do, and is excited for what's ahead! 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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