Find something that makes you want to write. For me, it was a beautiful, blue hardcover notebook that made me want to write The Enchanted Rose. For Robin: Lady of Legend, it was watching yet another Robin Hood movie that didn’t seem to add anything new to the existing mythology. Find something that gets your blood up, that makes you want to write and write, and then hold it close to your heart until your story is done—R. M. ArceJaeger, YA author of Robin: Lady of Legend, The Enchanted Rose
Keep writing, even if you are discouraged. Even if it feels like no one cares about your words, and even if they did, they suck like a herd of anteaters at an anthill buffet. (By the way—did you know a herd of anteaters is actually called an armory? Well, now you do. You’re welcome!) No one grows as a writer if they quit trying. And, yes, I’ve had to take my own advice. Often—S. J. Henderson, MG author of Daniel Camp-er.
And now for our author interview!
Here's a bit about Robert Blanchard:
Oh boy, here we go. (ha! ha!) My name is Robert Blanchard, and I am the youngest of eight children. I have never met or seen my siblings – my mother moved here from Thailand to marry my father. I was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, NY. I dropped out of high school at 17, but got my GED in 2008. I have two boys (15 and 9) and an 19-year-old autistic stepson whose life I have been in since he was three. They are my life and I love them dearly. My career in writing came to the forefront when I became sick with a vestibular condition in 2008. Too dizzy and lightheaded to do much else, I turned to my hobby of writing. The rest is history, as they say!
Why did you pick to write books for YA?
I write YA because I feel like I can write something kind of edgy, but educational about life. I believe if you write something for anyone other than adults, there has to be some kind of moral lesson or something to be learned. It doesn’t have to be preachy or anything like that, it can be very subtle. You can learn a life lesson from the smallest things sometimes.
What types of books do you like to read?
I like to read fantasy, autobiographies, mysteries, all types of stuff. My favorite series is Dragonlance, but I’ve also read the Resident Evil series (I was a big fan of the games), all of The Silence of the Lambs books, the Harry Potter series, and I’ve also read a lot of Sherrilyn Kenyon. I think she’s just great.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I take care of the four dogs that think they live here or something, I maintain the house and do as many chores as I can. Sometimes I read, play my Xbox, and I watch a lot of YouTube. Not much else – my life isn’t very exciting. Up until recently, I was making videos on YouTube as well.
Tell us about The Roar of a Dragon and how the story came to be.
Well, as stated earlier, I started writing much more frequently when I got sick and dizzy all the time. The Roar Of A Dragon was an on-and-off project for about eight years before that, and after I got sick, I finished the book in about three years. The Roar Of A Dragon follows a young farmer named Aidan as he follows his dream to become a knight of Delmar.
Here's a peek at The Roar of a Dragon:
Despite his poor background, his dream comes true following a chance encounter with a bully knight, and thrilled to now be a soldier, Aidan works hard and pushes towards his dream of becoming a knight.
Yet one day, Aidan pays the ultimate price after he saves a baby dragon as it is tormented by his fellow soldiers. For this, Aidan is exiled, and on his way out of the country, he is killed. But for Aidan, death was only the beginning.
Waking up three thousand years later, watched over by the very dragon he saved, Aidan is disturbed. With an altered appearance and unstable magical powers he didn’t have before, he is horrified to find that the world has been taken over by an ancient evil that started in Delmar not long after his death.
With the help of a time-traveling wizard apprentice and the dragon, Aidan must travel back in time to save the world from this harrowing evil.
But after his bitter exile, does he really want to?
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
Yes, I have! The sequel to The Roar Of A Dragon, The Treachery Of A Weasel, is written and I’m just waiting on the cover, which a good friend of mine is working on. Of course, the story continues after the events of The Roar Of A Dragon as Aidan and his friends continue on their quest to stop Sirak. Unfortunately, a missing companion grinds their plans to a halt and sends Aidan into a downward spiral.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I’m about halfway through a story called Hood, which follows a homeless teenager who attempts to fight crime in his city. I’ve also started a zombie apocalypse book where the outbreak is started by chemical warfare between countries. I wrote the bulk of it during NaNoWriMo last year. I love zombie apocalypse stuff, and I’m looking forward to finishing that one. If anyone would like to check out previews of The Roar of a Dragon, The Treachery Of A Weasel, or Hood, they can read the first three chapters of each on Other Worlds.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Don’t give up! That’s the main thing and the most important thing. Also, if you’re stuck on your book or a character or anything, try learning something new. Watch a documentary on the History Channel, learn a new skill, anything. I studied a lot about medieval farming when I was writing The Roar Of A Dragon, and I couldn’t believe how much more material it gave me to write about Aidan. It helped me flesh out his character a great deal. And one last thing—when you’re writing your story, be thinking about that story and what you want to do with it as much as humanly possible.
Anything else you want readers to know?
Absolutely! I want them to know that I appreciate all the love and support, especially those of my friends and family, who never gave up on me. I appreciate the ratings on Goodreads and Amazon, the reviews (both positive and negative)!
Where can readers find you and your books?
My website is Other Worlds, and you can buy The Roar Of A Dragon there, or you can buy it at Rowanvale Books or on Amazon! It’s available in paperback or ebook, and also now on audiobook at Amazon or ACX!
If you’d like to contact me, you can do so on my author page on Facebook, on my website, or on Twitter. You can also follow The Roar Of A Dragon and The Treachery Of A Weasel on Facebook! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work!