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Do you enjoy adventure, fantasy, magic spells, dwarves, fairies, nymphs… and Dragons?

This is the post excerpt.

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The Tales of Draco is a new fantasy adventure series. It’s an epic story about dragons, dwarves, and other creatures you may or may not have heard of. This website features news and information about The Tales of Draco. You can find updates on upcoming sequels or where the author, Jordan B. Jolley will be visiting.

Join Jacob Draco, Clipper, and the rest of the characters as they battle hideous monsters, travel to familiar and strange regions alike, and defeat the advancing forces of evil. The first book in the series is Rise of the Dragon. When you read this tale, you will find magic and adventure in this world and the world of Elsov, the mystical continent far away.

 

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Fairy Tales, Fables & Other Short Stories

If you are ever interested in reading Fairy Tales, Fables & Other Short Stories, prepare yourself with an open mind and a witty spirit, because these stories, though they may be short, are broad and strange.

As I’ve said in my last post, I have two new books out; one being the new version of Rise of the Dragon, and the other being Fairy Tales, Fables & Other Short Stories. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the fairy tales and what you may expect.

There are ten complete stories in this book, each independent from the another. Some have tie-ins with the Tales of Draco, but they can be read and understood without having to read the novel. Now when you think of “fairy tales”, you may think of Mother Goose, the Brothers Grimm, or Hans Christian Anderson. I have read many of their works and studied the structure of their tales. Like their stories, my stories contain high fantasy, quirky styles, and weird characters. Some of my stories are about nymphs and unicorns while others are about talking animals and angry farmers. You must keep in mind that these stories have no direct relation with the classic fairy tales. You won’t find an updated version of Snow White, or what happens to the other mermaids after the Little Mermaid had turned into sea-foam. The stories and characters in Fairy Tales, Fables & Other Short Stories are original; and possibly because of this, the stories in this book may seem a little different from what the common fairy tale is viewed as. Some of the stories take place in a medieval/renaissance world while others have a more modern setting. One thing that you need to remember is that fairy tales are usually not set in a specific time. If you read something like Hansel and Gretel, try to determine what century it takes place. You may notice that it could take place at any time in history. Now I did say that some of my stories have more modern settings, but they still have no specific time; they can range from now to a hundred years ago. Think about Hansel and Gretel again. The Brothers Grimm version, which we most often think of, was written in 1812; and the story can seem like it takes place in 1812, or 1712, or 1212, or 512. The Brothers Grimm were writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I’m a writer of the twenty-first century, which means I have two hundred extra years to work with. Besides, we often think of fairy tales taking place “once upon a time”. All this means is that it happened long ago and not in a specific time period.

I enjoy reading a good short story every now and again. I think they offer a good break from the long, epic novels we love so very much. If you ever want to take yourself to a magical world for the next five or ten minutes, a fairy tale may be just for you. And don’t get fooled into thinking that all fairy tales are happy little children’s stories. Some of them can be pretty dark and adult-themed (just read the book Grimm’s Grimmest). If you are ever interested in reading Fairy Tales, Fables & Other Short Stories, prepare yourself with an open mind and a witty spirit, because these stories, though they may be short, are broad and strange. If you are interested in getting a book, click here to request one (instructions will follow). If ever you get around to reading these stories, I hope you immerse yourself in them as I had when writing them.

Two New Books Are Now Out!

The new Tales of Draco: Rise of the Dragon and Fairy Tales, Fables & Other Short Stories are both now available!

And here it is, the next edition of The Tales of Draco: Rise of the Dragon. It had just been released this last week and is now available online (Amazon). This new edition has better editing and better quality. Some scenes have been altered to be more aligned with future books in the series, and some unnecessary scenes have been omitted. For the most part, it’s the same story, but with new and better details that will foreshadow future events in the series and in other works by Jordan B. Jolley.

But wait! This blog says two new books are out. Also now available by Jordan B. Jolley is Fairy Tales, Fables, & Other Short Stories. These stories are original, but reflect the same manner of famous tales written by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and other great works of literature. These stories are not part of The Tales of Draco, but some of them give reference to it. There are stories of wood nymphs, foxes, raccoons, talking trees, unicorns, spirits, witches, and much more. (visit Contact on this site if you are interested in a copy)

So there you have it. The new Tales of Draco: Rise of the Dragon and Fairy Tales, Fables & Other Short Stories are both now available!

 

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The Fox and the Hound Effect…

What started off as a story from an author’s imagination has become completely different to the point that he is no longer credited as the creator… That is what I call The Fox and the Hound Effect.

I’ve really wanted to write about this for a while. It took me quite some time to ponder about this subject, and I think I’m ready to explain it. First of all, I want to ask you a few questions:

What comes to your mind when you hear about Mary Poppins? Bambi? or 101 Dalmatians? What do these stories have in common? Who is credited for such titles? You’re probably thinking that these are Disney movies. That’s correct. We often see these loving classics brought to life by Walt Disney. We like to praise Disney’s amazing storytelling. But what else comes to mind other than the movie? Small storybooks? Other merchandise? Is there anything else?

You may or may not have been aware of this, but these three stories were originally children’s books and novels of their own. Mary Poppins was written by P.L. Travers, Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Felix Salten, and 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. How many of you have read these books? The example I like to use for this effect is The Fox and the Hound. We all know and love the whimsical, emotional movie. I think it’s a great movie myself. But after reading the original novel by Daniel P. Mannix, I found that I enjoyed the book even more. It may not be a happy fairy tale (in fact it’s pretty dark and very sad), but it was an interesting book to read. Some people may have heard about the novel, but many haven’t read it. What started off as a story from the author’s imagination has become completely different to the point that he is no longer credited as the creator. We credit the Walt Disney Company for The Fox and the Hound, not Daniel P. Mannix. That is what I call The Fox and the Hound Effect.

Again, I’m not criticizing the movie adaptations of these stories, but I feel that the original stories are sadly underrated and deserve to get more credit, respect, and realization. I was once at Disneyland, waiting to rendezvous with my group. I was in one of the shops in the Downtown center. In there I saw a t-shirt with an image of Tod on it. It got me to thinking that hundreds of thousands of people probably see these shirts for sale, and connect the character of Tod to Disney. There was nothing about Mannix’s work, and I felt bad. He probably liked seeing his book get turned into a movie, and if I knew for sure that he liked it I would feel a lot better. P.L. Travers didn’t like the adaptation of her work, and now the adaptation gets far more attention and respect than what was really her’s!

Now does every adaptation of an original work; be it a comic to a book, a movie to a toy line, or a card game to a TV show, fall under the category of The Fox and the Hound Effect? Of course not. Most of us know the film franchise Jurassic Park, and we may have read the novel by Michael Crichton, too. But Universal Studios had the film rights even before the book was published. Technically, the book was meant to be a movie in the first place. Michael Crichton even produced the first film. Sometimes adaptations can do the opposite of The Fox and the Hound Effect. It can draw more people to the original work. When Dracula was first published in 1897, it wasn’t very popular. It was the movies and western culture that brought people to Bram Stoker’s novel. Think of Redwall by Brian Jacques. Most of us who know about Redwall know the book series. There was an animated series based off it, but it did not draw people away from the books, it drew people to the books!

In the end, whatever version of the story we know or love; be it the book, the movie, the traditional oral story, or something else; it doesn’t matter. Stories have been passed down from generation to generation. And over time, these stories change to fit with the changing culture. That’s the nature of storytelling. But the books I have mentioned above are not old stories like Snow White or Cinderella. These were recent works written by fresh minds, and I feel bad for the authors who have had their work become something that is not theirs anymore; not like they had given it away, but as if it was stolen. That’s The Fox and the Hound Effect: not given away, but stolen, and most often unintentionally. I’ve been asked many times if I would like to see The Tales of Draco make it to Hollywood or TV. First of all, the chances of that happening are very slim. Second, I think an adaptation to my books would be great, but I don’t want to give out my work only to have it get swiped from my hands. I wrote The Tales of Draco. I don’t want it to become a media frenzy. I just want it to be a book series; a book series that people know and love.

It isn’t bad to adapt books to film. It’s a good thing. But let’s give credit where credit is due. Not everyone are avid readers, but we can know where these stories have come from and respect that.

(You can check out some of these books below.)

The Fox and the Hound

Bambi, a Life in the Woods

Mary Poppins

101 Dalmatians

Jurassic Park and The Lost World

Dracula

Redwall

My True Feelings Towards iUniverse

“What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?”

Ecclesiastes 1:3

Where will I begin with this? I’ve had both good and bad experiences with iUniverse. Do I recommend this service to new authors? Is it a great place to self-publish your work, or is it another one of those vanity presses?

In case you are wondering what a vanity press is, it’s similar to a self-publishing company. Many people use these terms interchangeably; especially if they are critical to self-publishing in general. First, you must understand the definition of “vanity”. Vanity means “in vain” or “worthless”. Vanity presses are just that: the book is published at the author’s expense. Technically, any self-publishing method will often be at the author’s expense, but if the author is good with bringing his or her work out (and if the story is good in the first place), there will be great success. Some self-publishing companies will try to take advantage of you, though, and you must be careful so you don’t spend all what you have for nothing. They may offer you all these different marketing deals such as press releases and entries to book festivals. You pay for a particular service, only to find out that nothing has really happened. That is my definition of a vanity press, one that takes advantage of you.

So do I consider iUniverse a vanity press? Sadly, yes. When I first published through them, my main plan to get my book out to the public was to do most of the marketing myself. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it. During all this time, I would often get e-mails from iUniverse, telling me about their extraordinary deals for press releases at a discounted price. Many of them said the price was discounted by 10% or 20%. Can you see the marketing strategy they’re using here? I must say that I did sign up for one of their press releases one time. I payed about $300 for it, and the press release hardly did anything. Keep in mind that iUniverse has fast-tongued salesmen that want you to think that if you go through their services, it’s the easy way to success. But in reality, you’ll spend far more than you’ll make. Do you see the vanity in this? After my foolish decision, I have only presented my book personally. That has been much more effective.  If you have been published through iUniverse, or are planning to, look closely and study their marketing methods before you do anything. You don’t want to waste money, do you?

Now, do I recommend iUniverse to aspiring authors? Well, that depends. If you consider self-publishing your manuscript, look around and do your research. I know there are a lot of authors who hate iUniverse, claiming that they are a scamming industry. That goes with many different self-publishing companies (especially the ones owned by Author Solutions). MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING INTO! That’s very important. You wouldn’t like to get ripped off or scammed. Also, make sure your choices of marketing your book will get you success. Many authors say they don’t write for money (like me, for instance), but you won’t be getting anywhere if you buy something for nothing. If you do plan to go through iUniverse, I don’t recommend using their marketing programs. Do all that yourself.

As for the future of The Tales of Draco, I do plan to self-publish the next edition. I’m not ruling out traditional publishing completely or anything like that. If I get a deal from a traditional publisher, that’ll be great. But the main reason why I write stories is because I want them to be, go figure, stories! I’m not looking for fame or fortune or starting a media frenzy with movies, toys, and amusement park rides. I want The Tales of Draco to be seen as a book series. I make good enough money and I’m doing what I love. Whether you self-publish or publish traditionally, don’t do it in vain. Do what you love and make the decision that you find best.

Why Republish?

Before the iUniverse edition of Rise of the Dragon was released, I had intended to republish the book. I made that decision while revising the manuscript for the fist time; I knew there were many things I needed to learn in the writing field. I wanted the book’s first publication to be sort of a “practice” novel. I wanted to see my writing in print so I could see my strengths and weaknesses, and how I could turn my weaknesses into strengths. Besides, I was fifteen-years-old when I wrote Rise of the Dragon; and as a 9th grader, I knew I was inexperienced in the literary field. I still have many things to learn even today, but now I feel I have enough experience to head in the direction of serious publication.

Overall, I was satisfied with the iUniverse edition. There are a few printing errors in it that I really wish were not present, but I don’t worry about them much. (Printing is Not Perfect) Most of the changes in the newer version are fixes in grammar and word usage.

During this next step in republishing Rise of the Dragon, I’m also editing the next book in The Tales of Draco series. If all goes well, it may be released soon after Rise of the Dragon. I’m also working on a secret project as of now.

In my next blog, I will talk about my experience with iUniverse and give my honest opinion about them.

The Continuing Journey

It’s been months since I last wrote in this blog. I’m sorry I haven’t done so, but that is because I’ve been quite busy lately. I’m excited to announce that Rise of the Dragon will be re-published! This has been a long process, and now it’s finally underway! I’ll soon be talking about this process and the reason why Rise of the Dragon will be re-published.

The First Sentence…

“Once upon a time, during a dark and stormy night…”

The first sentence of any story is important. It is what makes the reader want to read more. It draws him into the story and lets him know what kind of world he is about to enter.

The most effective thing the first sentence should do is set the tone of the story. If you are writing a horror story, you can create the imagery for something scary: “A black mist crept through the forest…” You can also create some action: “The warning came immediately after the monster was sighted…”

It is also important to use a particular sentence correctly. The phrase “Once Upon a Time…” is well-known in first sentences, but it can only work in the right stories. It may work with a short fairy tale, but it won’t work as well in something like a novel. You don’t want to overuse a particular phrase. That will just bore the reader. You must also remember not to overdo the first sentence. There’s little need to make it big and complex because that can bore the reader as well. It takes something simple yet effective to draw him in. Take a look in a book that you like and read the first sentence. It is usually a simple sentence (though a comma or two isn’t bad). Very rare will you see a big, complex sentence that begins a book.

It may sound difficult to write a good “first sentence” by keeping it simple yet powerful, but it is not too hard. When you write your first sentence, just read it over and ask yourself, “Does this make me want to read more?” If it does, have a friend read it. It is good to see if an outside mind is drawn into the story as well. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to make a good first sentence. Just remember that it should make your reader want to keep reading. It is the usher to your world.