What’s Jordan’s Life Outside Writing?

When I budget my time, I can continue my schooling with ease without putting The Tales of Draco to the side. I still have plenty of time to write and edit. That is the reason why no matter what I do, I have dragons, dwarves, fairies, and other creatures flying around in my mind.

Every author has more to do than writing. For me, I spend as much time as I can writing and editing (I really need the editing) as possible. I avoid procrastination the best I can and try to make my work the best as it can be. My entire life is practically surrounded by dragons and magic. But I also have other obligations other than writing. I still go to school, work outdoors, and enjoy some leisure time. So what do I do and how do I get the time to do it? The best way to fit many aspects of life is time-budgeting. Here are a few things I do when I’m not writing…

  • School… As I have said before, I’m still in the process of education. I spend seven hours for five days a week in school, plus whatever homework I have. I love school. Learning is something that I have a passion for. If I was to say what my favorite subject is, I would say History or Fine Arts, with English and Science not far behind. As of 2016, I am attending West Side High School in Dayton, Idaho.
  • Theatre… For those who know me well, they may know I have a great love for theatre. I’ve been in many different stage productions since I was eight years old, from the magic mirror on the wall to General Genghis Khan Shmitz. I love the rehearsals, no matter if they are at three o’clock in the afternoon or six o’clock in the morning. It’s very exciting when I have to push myself to be in a stage performance. You’ll learn more about my life on the stage later, for I am going to be in another performance. As I enjoy writing and acting, maybe I could write a play someday?
  • Work… I live in Idaho, in a very “spread-out” town of less than 500 people. This is because its in a very agricultural part of the valley. I occasionally do farm work, but I mostly do yard or industrial work. One day I mow a pasture, the next I split and stack wood. It’s the life I live and I certainly don’t mind the work.
  • Walk/Run/Bike… With a very open region, I like to travel either on foot or on bike. Walking is very helpful if I every get writer’s block. The fresh air opens my mind. Sometimes I wander by the railroad tracks or up in the mountainous canyons. The paths throughout the Bannock Mountains are filled with a sense of adventure. What better way to get inspiration to write?
  • Basketball… I’m not a legend when it comes to this fine game, but this is still my favorite sport. I usually play for fun and not for competition. Basketball also runs through my family. My dad is 6’6” and could touch the top of the inner square of the backboard when he was in high school. My brother Christopher and I enjoy playing this game. I don’t play on any major teams though, but basketball is my favorite sport just the same.
  • Friends… I don’t really spend much time doing anything recreational, so doing things with friends every other week is something I always look forward to. My best friend and I occasionally play Minecraft or NBA ShootOut 98 if I find the time. Other times we ride bikes or bake something delicious.
  • Read… Being an author, reading is important. I usually read fantasy or science fiction or historical non-fiction. (Click here to see a few of my favorite authors…)

So these are a sample of things I do, but with another potential edition of Rise of the Dragon coming out, the sequel I’m currently editing, and the outline of the rest of the series, I cannot procrastinate. If you ever have a lot of things on your plate, budget your time. If you have to make sacrifices, so be it. I love theatre, but I usually perform about one production every year, maybe two. I don’t play on any major basketball teams, but I can still play on smaller organizations. When I budget my time, I can continue my schooling with ease without putting The Tales of Draco to the side. I still have plenty of time to write and edit. That is the reason why no matter what I do, I have dragons, dwarves, fairies, and other creatures flying around in my mind.

Point of View

When it comes to different scenes in The Tales of Draco and the point of view, it’s like watching a roller coaster versus riding it.

We all know the basics of “point of view” when it comes to writing. First-person means the narrator is one of the characters in the story. In contrast, third-person is when the narrator follows the characters around. In a third-person narrative, the narrator can be omniscient or limited. Third-Person omniscient means the narrator knows all. He knows the thoughts of every character and their emotions. Third-person limited means the narrator knows the thoughts of at most one character. In The Tales of Draco, the story is in first-person, set in Jacob’s point of view. You don’t really see the word “Jacob” unless in dialogue.

To be honest, I have made a few novice mistakes in the point of view. The biggest problem is that thoughts, emotions, and even out of scene dialogue are present when they are not supposed to be. One example is when a dwarf complains about Jacob’s presence when Jacob isn’t supposed to hear it. My point of view mistakes are being addressed in the next book and upcoming editions in Rise of the Dragon.

There is, however, one aspect in “point of view” that I intentionally do. These are the other scenes that Jacob is not present, for example when Monty is making plans of an ambush or when Sally searches for information to where her friends are. I’m perfectly fine with this aspect because it gives valuable information needed for the plot. For example, we now know Monty’s motivations for ambushing Jacob and Clipper. Other books series changes scenes like this all the time, especially in the Redwall series. Brian Jacques switches scenes perfectly. This is what keeps the reader into the book. It makes the reader want to know what is happening in both places at the same time.

So what is the logic behind the point of view in The Tales of Draco? The narrator is Jacob, yet he also narrates scenes where he is not present. This element explains itself in the prologue in Rise of the Dragon. Jacob tells the story to Yselliar. In fact, Jacob once said to Yselliar that he would “hear the adventures of others” (this phrase has been edited out though). This explains that even though Jacob did not know what was happening in other scenes, he is still able to tell them in the book.

When it comes to different scenes and the point of view, it’s like watching a roller coaster versus riding it. Which would you prefer?

 

(The photo at the top is a P.O.V. photo of The Boss at Six Flags St. Louis. I have ridden this roller coaster before. Though it was a rough ride, I enjoyed every moment of it.)

A Passion for Foxes

I started to think about the recent books I have read. I realized how many times I have read about foxes.

About two weeks before the signing at Conley’s Books and Music (Event Recap: Conley’s Books and Music with Christopher Paolini), I was reading The Fox and the Hound by Daniel P. Mannix. I discovered that the novel is very different from its Disney movie adaptation, and much sadder too. What really kept me reading the book was how well the author got into the characters’ minds. The story alters from Tod’s point of view and Copper’s. Unlike the movie, Tod and Copper are not anthropomorphic, meaning they have no human intellect. As I read how Tod is trying to outsmart his predators or learning how to spring the Man’s traps, I can get a clear mind what a real fox would be thinking; the same way how Copper is deciding if the scent he finds is really taking him to where he should go. I really loved how Mannix made you enter the world of a fox or bloodhound. You get a clear idea how other animals think in such a way I thought was impossible.

After I had finished reading The Fox and the Hound, my brother insisted that I should watch Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the book by Roald Dahl. After watching the movie, I started to think about the recent books I have read. I realized how many times I have read about foxes.

One book series I enjoyed reading was Brian Jacques’s Redwall series. The story focuses on anthropomorphic (again meaning humanized) mice, squirrels, rats, badgers, and of course… foxes. In fact, the foxes were my second favorite creatures in the series behind badgers.

There are several other books and movies that I have enjoyed that revolved around foxes. I still like Disney’s version of The Fox and the Hound. When I started to notice this pattern with foxes, I realized that I actually like foxes in general. I never had trouble with foxes getting into our family’s chicken coop (though I might if the situation ever happens), and I find their vocal calls interesting. So what can I say? I enjoy reading about foxes. Who knows? I may decide to mention foxes in The Tales of Draco.

If you are interested in some of the books or movies mentioned in this blog, you can search them online: The Fox and the Hound (just a reminder that this book has a very sad ending) and Mattimeo: A Tale from Redwall.

Where the series is going, cliff-hangers, and an update on the next tale…

Once again, there is adventure in our world and beyond, this time for different reasons.

If you have read Rise of the Dragon to the ending, you may have noticed that the book ends in a way that the story may continue. I did my best to avoid a cliff-hanger, but I want you as the reader to be excited about the next book. If you do find the ending to be a cliff-hanger, I apologize unless you prefer it to be that way.

There is a good reason why I didn’t want a cliff-hanger at the epilogue. For me, cliff-hangers need to be in the perfect spot in order for them to work. If it is at the end of the book, you are suddenly forced on a branch over the side of the cliff. As I read, I find it does build good intensity for sure, but my arms become tired as I wait for the next book… and so does the the excitement for what happens in the next book.

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I’m not saying that cliff-hangers are bad. When I’m reading and I come across a cliff-hanger at the end of a chapter, I really want to read the next. An end of a chapter or section is a better spot to put a cliff-hanger rather than the ending of the book.

…but that is my opinion. If you like cliff-hangers at the end of the book, go ahead and read the intense ending.

So what will happen to Jacob and Clipper after the events in Rise of the Dragon? That is a question that is not yet ready to be answered. However, I will give brief information on the next book. The next tale in the series is going to be called The Tales of Draco: The Six Pieces. Jacob finally discovers a way back to Elsov when he is given unexpected help. Jacob is anxious to return to help Treetop when she was taken by the ogres, find and reunite with his parents if they are still alive, and finally be home. Trying to find the way back, Jacob, Clipper, and their friends run into familiar and unfamiliar enemies alike. The quest back to Elsov is not easy. Also in the highly awaited sequel, Jacob’s true enemy is revealed and he will stop at nothing to educate Jacob that he has a great power not to be underestimated.

Many more questions about the strange world of Elsov will be answered and new creatures will be introduced. Once again, there is adventure in our world and beyond, this time for different reasons. The Six Pieces will not only be another adventure, it will be a new experience.

Some of my Favorite Authors…

This is a list of some of my favorite authors.

Here is a list of a few of my favorite authors. (This list is included at the beginning of Rise of the Dragon.)

  • Homer

Yes, the ancient poet. I first started reading his epic poems in my English classes over the Greek Mythology unit. I found The Odyssey very fun to read. This led me to read The Iliad.

If you have just little knowledge about the world of Elsov, you should have heard about nymphs. In an earlier blog, I have mentioned that Elsovian nymphs differ from those from Greek Mythology, but it was because of Homer and his poems that gave me the idea of nymphs. There are also other creatures I will later reveal that have Greek roots. (Have the Minotaur in mind.)

  • William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s work is loved and hated alike. Some people enjoy watching his plays while others cannot even manage to utter such foul language from the breath of thine heart. I am among those who enjoy Shakespeare’s work.

  • Edgar Allen Poe

Here is a name notorious for horror. As a matter of fact, I have mixed feelings for his work. I wouldn’t say The Black Cat and The Cask of Amontillado are scary, they are just disturbing and I wouldn’t say they are my favorite to read. So why is Poe on my grand list of influenced authors if I don’t really enjoy his stories? It’s the style of Poe’s writing that adds spice to the story. Just his choice of words create the eerie atmosphere.

  • Ted Geisel

This author is better known as Dr. Suess. These are wonderful stories that takes the reader to a new and odd world. And not only that, the reader loves this world. His stories flow with imagery and, of course, rhyme. What I like about Dr. Suess the most is the moral he has in each story. Not only do you cross a world of rhyme, you are taught a good lesson. You can find such morals in The SneetchesThe Butter Battle Book, and I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. A great story is one that has a moral.

  • Brian Jacques

No other book series has brought me to writing more than the author of Redwall. This series centers around a Medieval abbey inhabited by mice, squirrels, badgers, and other animals. This abbey is called Redwall. I had a great time reading about Matthias or Martin the Warrior battling against rats and weasels. Redwall is a big series, but once you finish a book, you’ll want to read the next.

Honorable Mention to J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, M.L. Foreman, Chris D’Lacey, and Daniel P. Mannix

Event Recap: Conley’s Books and Music with Christopher Paolini

There will be more events, book signings, and school/library visits. Visit The Tales of Draco facebook page for more information on future book events or visit my youtube channel to view past events.

This wasn’t my first book signing, but it was my most memorable. The event was at Conley’s Books and Music in the town of Livingston, Montana. This was going to be my first signing outside Southern Idaho or Northern Utah. Before the signing was scheduled, I was looking at different bookstores and libraries across the state of Montana. Our family tried to schedule events, whether it be a signing or presentation. We searched in Billings, Bozeman, White Hall, Dillon, and Livingston. I was rejected at every bookstore and library except for Conley’s Books and Music, who happily agreed to arrange a simple book signing. There it was, I finally had an event scheduled.

When our family arrived in Livingston, we had plenty of time for lunch and to set everything up for the event. We had a small table just outside the store. I thought that being outside was a great idea to grab attention. I had posters set up, a copy of my book on display, and my laptop was playing the music I often listened to while writing. The first few minutes of the signing was okay. I would sit on the bench and greet any passers-by with a friendly “How are you doing?” or “Good day.” I had coloring pages of Jacob and Reno that I would give to younger children. The illustrator for Rise of the Dragon’s cover (and my sister), Marissa Durfee would accompany me in an effort to attract more people. I managed to sell a few books at the very beginning, but most people would simply walk by with no interest.

Attendance to the signing grew when I was visited by Christopher Paolini, the author of The Inheritance Cycle. I was aware that he lived near Livingston and I had sent him a letter of invitation about a week before the signing. I was quite excited when he arrived. Like The Tales of DracoInheritance was a fantasy series involving dragons. Mr. Paolini was at the bookstore for nearly an hour. He gave me information about his experience when he wrote Eragon and valuable advice in writing and presenting. One good piece of advice that he gave me was my performance at the signing. I shouldn’t sit down and wait for people to come. I should attract them like a vendor for a game booth at a carnival. Mr. Paolini was very polite and he even purchased a signed copy of Rise of the Dragon. When he left, I decided to use his advice. I talked to any passer-by rather than expect them to talk to me. Many Inheritance fans purchased signed copies of Rise of the Dragon and appeared to be excited to read it. Though Mr. Paolini took much of my time, I would have not sold as many books had he not attended.

I am very grateful for all the support from Christopher Paolini and Conley’s Books and Music. This was my most successful book signing to date. I learned so much. My fresh advice to other new authors is to take the extra step to get people interested in your book.

There will be more events, book signings, and school/library visits. Visit The Tales of Draco facebook page for more information on future book events or visit my youtube channel to view past events.

          –   Jordan B. Jolley

Welcome to the official site for The Tales of Draco.

Pearl Forest . . .
“It was a quest I had to venture to know why I was loved here in this strange world. But it did not feel strange. It felt like I was home. As I began my adventure, I was all alone, but I did not mind. The meadows were so peaceful. Once in a while I would hold perfectly still and just listen to the birds singing and the nearby forest inhabitants scurrying through the underbrush. But the feeling of joy seemed to dissipate as I covered more ground. The peaceful ambience died away and silence engulfed the atmosphere.”

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.