Sunday, August 13, 2017

Some Updates...

Just popping in here for a few minutes to let you all know what's going on with the Companion Dragons Tales series. In spite of my rather sparse blog updates, work still goes on with this very beloved series of books for kids of all ages—even the ones that never grew up.




Today I finished working on the final story of the rough draft for next year's Waxy Dragon anthology. The book has three stories that were original concepts by co-writer Roger Stegman and I just took those ideas and flew with them. Roger has already seen the first two: Waxy In Atlantis and Waxy And The Bad Cookies, and approved them; and co-writer/editor Lee Houston Junior has been over them for me. Once I get Waxy And The Closet Monster in at least a semi-polished state I will pass it on to the guys and get their feedback on that as well. Then we can put the book together. For an anthology title I am leaning toward Mystical Magical Waxy. You're going to love reading about what misadventures everyone's favorite little rainbow striped dragon gets herself in and out of in this collection.

UPDATE: The Waxy anthology is finished and has been sent off to the publisher.




I have not heard yet anything about this year's proposed CDT anthology, Lazlo At Home being near to release, but I have had one other Pro Se Press anthology come out recently (see my other blog, WRITING FROM HOME for details on that) so I am hopeful still that we might see it before the end of the year. That CDT anthology contains four brand new stories of what happens when a witch who lives in a magical old house brings home a small blue dragon companion who just doesn't quite understand what he is supposed to do. Lazlo certainly gets into his share of mischief, but he has a talent for getting out of it too.

UPDATE: The Lazlo anthology has been moved up to early next year.




And remember, the first three Companion Dragons Tales books are still available, so if you haven't read any of them, please do because they are so much fun! These are books that the entire family can enjoy, easy enough for all but the youngest children to understand (and still plenty of fun anyway) and yet sophisticated enough to keep any adult entertained. You can find them on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com in paperback and E-reader, and Smashwords in many electronic formats.




School is about to begin in most places, and your children, nieces & nephews, or grandchildren will be encouraged to read more, which is becoming a lost practice in this age of gaming on every electronic device or site. Why not give the kids in your life something they can enjoy and maybe even learn something from? Nothing fosters imagination quite like a good book—especially if you can use that electronic savvy to enjoy it. These little dragons will take them to places they never dreamed of, and at the same time they'll get to watch them learn about how to live in their world the same way human children do. I guarantee you won't regret it.

~NANCY
PS: I am now on Twitter, so if you'd like to follow me I'm @Nancy_H_Author
On Facebook I am simply Nancy Hansen but you should recognize the background as covers of some of my books. On Google+ I am also Nancy Hansen. Come on, lets be friendly! 


Saturday, May 20, 2017

How About A Little Catchup?

 Ok, bad joke and silly pun, but that's what we're known for here in the CDT, so let's get caught up already!

First off, I hope you all have been enjoying COPPER'S CHOICE. The feedback I've gotten on the story has been very positive. Please if you've read it, A FAMILIAR NAME, or FINDING WAXY, take a moment and tell us what you think. We have room for comments here on the blog, and all three authors (Your's Truly Nancy Hansen, Roger Stegman, and Lee Houston Jr.) have FACEBOOK pages. Or you can always give a short review via the booksellers (like Amazon) or maybe on a reader's site like GOODREADS. Not only does that tell us what you liked and didn't like about the series, but it at least lets us know we're being read. Down here at the author level we don't get a lot of feedback that doesn't come directly from the readers. A few words is all it takes. The more you tell us, the more we know what you like and dislike and the easier other folks will be able to find our books. You are our readers, you're the reason we do what we do. Thank you for buying our books, but please, make your voices heard so that our publishers also know they've invested wisely in choosing our work for their catalog.


Now as far as what comes next...


I'm hoping to see LAZLO AT HOME, an anthology of Lazlo Dragon stories, come out some point this year. I haven't recently spoken with the publisher but that is what is next in the CDT queue. That little blue dragon with the big heart sure can get himself into some interesting situations! The manuscript and all other pertinent information that goes along with this one was turned over to Pro Se a year ago in early January, but I have yet to see a galley draft so I have no idea when it will be out. Trust me, I'll post as soon as I know something.

I've been talking lately with CDT series coauthor Lee Houston Jr. about where he is in the KIRI DRAGON origination tale. Lee's a bit swamped with other deadline projects right now, so Kiri had to take a bit of a back seat. It likely won't get finished let alone edited and turned into Pro Se this year, which it would have to be for a potential 2018 publishing slot. Don't worry, we will get Kiri into the series as soon as can be managed. In the meantime, we have plenty of other material to work with, so I told Lee to go ahead and do what he has to do to clear his writing calendar. We'll find an interesting substitute that will fill his slot. What I've seen of his story for Kiri looks amazing though, so I know that when the time comes, we're going to have something you'll all enjoy.

So I've been thinking about how best to fill that open slot, and since I already have a Lazlo Anthology in the wings, (Yeah that was a pretty good pun!) Waxy is due for one next. Fortunately there is a ton of written material to work with, since Waxy was the first of the Companion Dragons and her creator Roger Stegman wrote a whole bunch of story ideas involving her adventures. Pro Se headman Tommy Hancock has been hinting around for a while that he really wants to see one called 'WAXY AND THE BAD COOKIES' and so that will definitely become a central part of the anthology. I'm going to select a few more stories from Roger's stock of them and we'll work together getting them updated and ready for print. Waxy is such a fun character in that she has that universal sassy little girl attitude, but she really only sees herself as being misunderstood. She has adventures that most of us only dream about. I'm sure we'll come up with a stellar collection.


I hope that you'll all be patient with us here at CDT Headquarters while we keep doing what we love most—creating comical yet thoughtful action/adventure tales for kids of all ages. The best part of these stories is that they can be safely handed around the family. You're never too old for a daring enterprise in some strange location, amazing feats of magic, some goofiness, a little really scary stuff, and all the bad puns you can shake a stick at. Hang in there folks, there's more of that on the way!


 ~NANCY


Thursday, July 7, 2016

COPPER'S CHOICE has been released!

So excited to see this out at last! Don't you just love that gorgeous cover? Wait until you read what's inside! This is a fun book, and it has a message, but plenty of action and adventure too. As with all the COMPANION DRAGONS TALES, it's absolutely appropriate for kids, but something adults will find entertaining as well. 



You can find out all about it, including where to get the copy that best suits your reading style, by clicking right HERE.

And please don't be shy, leave a review. Sometimes that's the only way us authors know we have reached an audience.

More dragon goodness is on tap for next year, with everybody's favorite little blue dragon Lazlo (from A FAMILIAR NAME), featured in an anthology of 4 short stories. You should see the things he gets himself into and out of while learning how to survive in a magical household nestled within a hidden neighborhood populated by the creatures and beings of myths and fairytales. Somehow Lazlo always manages to bumble through.

I've been chatting about the series with co-authors Roger Stegman and Lee Houston Jr., and believe me, there are many more interesting tales ahead. So hang in there folks, we're getting them to you as fast as we can turn them out and the publisher can get them into print.

They're well worth waiting for.
~NANCY


Friday, March 25, 2016

Just a quick little post...

I haven't had a whole lot to share lately because we are still awaiting the release of COPPER'S CHOICE, and I've heard no further news on it. I still hope to see it in print sometime this year. 



However I did want to let you all know that I have turned in to Pro Se Press a Lazlo Dragon anthology titled LAZLO AT HOME. That is a collection of four short stories featuring everyone's favorite pepperoni-scarfing little blue dragon Lazlo and his adventures in the big green house near the woods in a place protected by magic. It was fun to put together too. Two of the stories were previously written but never published, the third one was based on a cartoon script I created for Lazlo—though unfortunately that project didn't come to pass. The fourth is brand-spanking new. All of them deal with Lazlo having to adjust to his new home surroundings while he learns the duties of a witch's familiar. He has to deal with many troubling and sometimes dangerous situations on his own. Fortunately, he always manages to muddle through somehow.



I have targeted the Lazlo anthology for a 2017 release, but beyond turning the finished manuscript in with all the necessary material (back cover copy and cover art directions) I have no control what the publisher can or will do with it. It still has to go through an editing process, with my my approval on the galley, and cover art has to be done. So my projected release year is strictly my wish; nothing has been promised to me. I will keep you updated on that as well as the release of COPPER'S CHOICE as soon as I get word of it becoming available in print.



Regardless of the publishing end of the situation, those of us who write COMPANION DRAGONS TALES are still very much hard at work planning out future volumes. One way or another, we'll make sure you get your fill of little dragons with big ideas and even bigger adventures. 
~Nancy

Friday, January 8, 2016

Finally, There Is Some Dragon News!

I know it has been a long time since I updated this blog. Sadly, that's because I haven't had much to tell you. The writing goes on, but we of the CDT team haven't had much to share.



COPPER'S CHOICE was not released last year as I had hoped, but that is part of the vagaries of small publishing. I have recently seen a sketch of the cover art for it, so I know it is heading for the launch pad at some point in 2016. I'll let you know as soon as I have something more definitive to say about that.

Lee Houston Jr., who is one of my cowriters on the series, had turned in an idea for a Kiri dragon tale that would introduce her to the audience. I really like what he came up with, and gave him the go-ahead, but unfortunately life had other plans. He's been a very busy writer lately. Between trying to get one novel finished and another underway, he's been offered several writing and editing stints on anthologies. Not one to stand in the way of anyone's career, I decided to shift gears and make something else besides Kiri the next CDT release after Copper's Choice.


Co-writer Roger Stegman has also been swamped with his day job and family responsibilities. So the ball is in my court, which means I've got to put together something fast to secure a possible 2017 publication slot. To me, that means Lazlo Dragon, because I have several short stories of his written that only need a quick going over and they'd be fine. The bigger issue is story length and timeline vs space in the book.

And that's where this gets interesting...

The book size has to be at least 30,000 words and not much over that. I had two short pieces well under 10,000 words and one that was over 23,000. I thought at first I could match up one of the shorter ones with the longer tale, and I'd be done. Ah... no, that would be too easy. The longer story takes place last of all the short pieces I had available. I can't make it work without some serious rewriting somewhere, and of course, the submission time clock is ticking. Stall too long trying to redo something and I'll likely miss my shot at a 2017 release. Don't want to do that!

I deliberated on this for a day or so, and then decided I had to use the two consecutive short pieces and then come up with a third story that would fit. I need something roughly 11,500 words long. I spent a frustrated afternoon trying to figure out what exactly to write, and then going through files looking for Lazlo story starts to jump off on. I finally decided to take a nap, and as I was drifting off, the answer came to me in one of those forehead slapping moments.

A year or two back I had been asked to write a script for Lazlo to appear in his own cartoon. I'd never done that before, but I did some quick studying and got the gist of what cartoon scripts look like. I was very excited about the project and came up with a brand new storyline that could fit into his early tales just about anywhere. Unfortunately the project didn't pan out, and so it got shelved. But I still have that script!

Long story short, I pulled it out of mothballs and got to work putting it in prose. Scripts have lots of descriptions and directions that you don't see in a story. Unfortunately it's rather short, and so while I am rewriting it, I'm also adding on. Still, I am somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 done, and it hasn't hit 4,000 words yet. I need over 11,000. So I'm not sure what's going to happen here. Either I make this story large enough that it will finish the Lazlo Dragon anthology, or I'll have to write yet another short piece. Which all takes time.

And it's not like I don't have other deadlines outside of CDT to meet. I do, and I have been working on some stuff for them already. It's just that I have a strong commitment to this series, as it's something that is accessible to all ages, and a lot of fun to write as well. I have to admit to busting out laughing several times while rereading those older tales. Each one has sort of a message to it for the younger readers and those who love them. Yet they're given gently, so that kids learn something positive while Lazlo bumbles his way through one situation after another. We have readers of all ages for the CDTs and I don't want to let them down. 


So that's what's going on right now, as far as Companion Dragons Tales are concerned. I hope most of the loyal fans of the series are still with us, and will stay that way. One way or another, we will get these books out, though it is frustrating at times to only have a single release per year at best, when we have so many stories to share. In spite of that, the work goes on behind the scenes, and you will be hearing from Lazlo, Waxy, Copper, Kiri, and all their little friends again. 

They're dragons after all. They wouldn't have it any other way.
~Nancy


Sunday, March 29, 2015

GOT DRAGONS?



Sheesh it's been a long time since I updated this blog.  



It's not that I haven't been writing or planning new COMPANION DRAGON TALES stories, just general busyness on my part. Since we only put out one issue of CDT a year, there often isn't a lot to tell. Somehow the behind-the-scenes work of writing a series just doesn't seem so glamorous. One of my co-writers is overwhelmed with lots of non-writing, time-eating demands, and the other is hard at work trying to push out novels and short stories. We do communicate regularly, and so here's what is going on...



First of all, as I have said before, I turned in COPPER'S CHOICE last fall, with the idea that it will be out sometime this year. I have been assured this is so, and both cover art directions as well as back cover copy were requested earlier this month. All that info had to be written up, and as of the 14th (March 2015) has been turned in. I would say we are on target for a release sometime later this year. 



I think you'll really enjoy this story, which introduces both a new little dragon and her would-be companion, who just happens to be both a well-known and very successful action/adventure writer as well as a wizard. Part of the story takes place in the premiere chocolate producing otherworld of Bulgosia, and the rest happens in that magical resort land, Atlantis. Oh yeah, it's that Atlantis, which you can only get to through a magical portal, or maybe by purposely hanging around in the Bermuda Triangle. You might even find all your missing keys and cell phones down there. I think that's where the Lost Sock Fairy pawns them.



These stories are so much fun to write! We never leave a bad pun unused. 

Now I have been talking with Lee regularly about writing an introductory Kiri Dragon tale for our 2016 release. He's been pretty busy working on his second Alpha novel, while offers for short stories that publishers want him to write/edit have steadily trickled in. Lee assures me he will get to Kiri later on this year. We will be working closely, because I have a timeline in my head and want to launch the main Companion Dragons over the next several years. 



Besides Lazlo, Waxy, Copper, and Kiri, I owe everyone an Ambrose tale. If you've read A FAMILIAR NAME, you know Ambrose is the very well trained and impeccably mannered white frost dragon who is the companion of Countess Gina Jardini√®re-Duval von Stuart. Like his mistress, he is just about perfect. Well... maybe Ambrose is not totally flawless. These little dragon familiars all seem to have their quirks. His story is a possible 2017 release.



Another thing we three have been discussing is when and how to get some of the short stories into print. With one novella-size release a year, that's going to be hard to do, and believe me, we have plenty of material to mine. That is something I'll have to get back to you about, because once I have a solid idea of how to handle this, I have to propose that to our publisher. The more stories I can get into your hands, the better. Response to this series has been very positive. 



So here is what you can do for us... You can tell me or express to COMPANION DRAGONS TALES' publisher (Pro Se Press) how much you enjoy this series, and that you'd like to see more of it. That kind of fan feedback is vital, because it lets all of us know what we need to focus on. You can post in comments here on the blog, on my Facebook or G+ pages, or click the email symbol in the upper right hand corner on the Pro Se Press site and tell them directly. Please do, because the more you ask for, the more you get—plus you're keeping three writers busy and out of mischief. And boy, can we get into a lot of mischief when we're not busy!



Remember, this series is aimed at kids of all ages, and the grown-ups who love them. If your little ones enjoy Harry Potter, and can follow the story, they're ready for this. Some of the most ardent CDT fans are adults, BTW. You won't be bored reading this to the young ones—in fact you're liable to bust out laughing here and there. Nothing is more precious than sharing entertainment with a child. A book is a portal to places never visited before.



Some of those places actually have chocolate!

Read On,
~NANCY




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WAXY DRAGON HAS HATCHED!


I have the press release below, with all the information on how you can get your own copy. Kudos and congratulations go to co-author Roger Stegman for creating our little rainbow striped gal, and for his first time having his name on a cover. This is a dream for both of us that was long imagined, and now it's finally coming to life. 



~NANCY 





MISCHIEF AND MAYHEM BECOME FAMILIAR AGAIN!
COMPANION DRAGONS TALES VOLUME TWO: FINDING WAXY DEBUTS!


Known as an innovator in Genre Fiction and New Pulp, Pro Se Productions gladly announces the release of the next chapter in its debut line from its YOUNGPULP! imprint. Authors Roger Stegman and Nancy A. Hansen’s Companion Dragons Tales Volume Two: Finding Waxy! 

“This series,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief and Partner in Pro Se Productions, “is just straight up fun. This isn’t just a bunch of tales about cute dragons and the heroics they do or the humans around them. This series is a passion for the authors involved in it, a project that they not only have put years of work into since the early days of the internet, but one that has made them close friends. Finding Waxy is the tale that basically started it all and now readers can see why Roger, Nancy, and Lee Houston, Jr. all fell in love with this world, these tales enough to create even more of them that readers will get to enjoy in coming years. Although Companion Dragons Tales: Finding Waxy definitely is aimed at young readers, do not believe for a second that there aren’t enough thrills to excite adults as well. Find out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.”

Roger 'Rusty' Rustman is a very secretive fellow—and with good reason. He's not only an untrained wizard who uses forms of magic that are frowned upon, and trades in enchanted items that aren't exactly approved of; but he travels to dangerous places that other magical people avoid, and then writes about them anonymously.

From his questionable recreational hobbies he has built a tidy second income along with a stockpile of magical resources. Over the years Rusty has gained a reputation as a shady character who operates on the fringes of the Wizards and Witches Council code of ethics while flaunting Wordsmith Guild regulations; but he's really just a quiet and modest writer mage who enjoys a bit of adventure now and then.

The last thing Rusty needs is a small but very noticeable companion tagging along. Unfortunately, while on his latest trip out to the magical otherworlds, he finds a very large abandoned egg that decides to hatch unexpectedly in his vacation cabin. That begins an entirely bizarre and mystifying set of events that only the cooperation of a spunky and intelligent little rainbow colored dragon can get him out of safely.

Pro Se Productions proudly presents Companion Dragons Tales Volume Two: Finding Waxy by Roger Stegman and Nancy A. Hansen, a series in Pro Se’s YoungPulp! imprint. This imaginative adventure expands the world of dragon familiars and their humans introduced in the first volume and brings a new voice into the storytelling. Hansen and Stegman weave words like the best wordsmiths they have created, making Companion Dragons Tales Volume Two: Finding Waxy a pure joy for all ages.

Featuring a wonderfully whimsical cover by Kathryn Frizzell and cover design and print formatting by Sean Ali, Companion Dragons Tales Volume Two: Finding Waxy is available via Amazon and in Pro Se’s own store at http://tinyurl.com/m8scuv7 for $9.00. EBook versions of this entertaining action packed tale will be available very soon as well.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies for review, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go towww.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.