Today I am so pleased to welcome Toshi Drake to Joyfully Jay. Toshi has come to talk to us about Lightning Dragon Strikes Out. Please join me in giving Toshi a big welcome!
Happy Labour Day everyone!
Hey there, I’m Toshi Drake and I am wicked excited to be here with you this morning.
I am a very new author. I published my debut shifter novel, Lightning Dragon Strikes Out (https://amzn.to/3ugBm2l), on August 17th and it’s been an interesting ride.
Just because I am a newly published author doesn’t mean I haven’t ever written. I have been writing since I was a child and it’s been a lot of fun. My first epic novel was fanfic based on George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl. I was 8.
I have written sagas devoted to Meat Loaf’s “On a Hot Summer Night”
There’s also revenge drabbles against teachers and fellow students that stil exist somewhere in my current home.
I discovered mm romance a long time ago when I went to my first convention at a tiny hotel in North Toronto. Subaru and Seishiro (X/1999 CLAMP) will hold my heart forever and no other enemy to lover will topple my devotion.
It was through manga websites and amateur fiction websites that I found my first author, Megan Derr, or as she was known then, Amasour.
Reading is a discovery of tropes and characters. It’s finding yourself and learning things about yourself that made you sit up and nod your head.
It’s through reading that you can find your tribe and your soul. It’s magical.
Every time you read a book, you discover more about yourself.
And it was through reading a book that I thought why not, let me try this writing gig.
Nick and Phin were born because I needed an outlet for my inner fandragon.
Dragons because I love them.
Cosplayers because they need to be showcased. They need their art to worshipped.
There aren’t a lot of books out there devoted to the cultural phenomenon that is cosplay at conventions. They are found on the peripherals of books but never really front and centre.
How could I express my adoration of these young artists in a channel that others would interest others?
Trying to weave a story with all of these elements was a difficult challenge. How can dragons, cosplaying and gay romance have a binding story? Dragons are powerful. They topple kingdoms. They collect hoards. They are so very scary.
As I type these words, I am imagining my sweet Phineas Lightning Dragon puffing his chest out in pride and his mate rolling on the ground laughing.
There can be normal everyday dragons. Not every dragon can be this epic monster of strength and power.
And this was the birth of a low angst adorable novel of dragons and their companions as they live their normal life. Phin likes to wear comfy clothes when he’s at home but woe to anyone who gets in the way of his sewing or his Nick.
Nick and Phin have a difficult journey of finding that other half of one’s soul while still remaining true to yourself.
One aspect of my book I enjoyed was choosing the characters Phin would cosplay. Finding the right cosplays is hard. You have to match what you like with a character you resonate with and sometimes how much skin you want to bare (and then as an Author, you have to make sure you choose characters that readers would be familiar with.) Sometimes choosing a character is just as hard as creating a character. Different elements are factored in and soon you find a different aspect of your own character you didn’t think about.
Phin cosplays as a fighter character and I chose that because the character is badass. But digging deep, I learned why he chose that character and those particular costumes and I learned why Nick didn’t like dresses.
I was fascinated.
Writing is a journey. Every day is a different path.
Making the journey from blank page to eBook, (Mobi or ePub) exciting. Who knows what deep and dark path the characters will lead me down? Or what light will they shine on me?
So to tie this into Jay’s Reading Challenge Month:
Venture outside of your favourite author bubble. Find someone you’ve glanced at and didn’t think you’d enjoy it because it’s not a known entity. Read that brand new author’s book. Read that classic that you shoved aside because it’s not shiny and pretty.
You may find a new genre that completely blindsided you. You may find a new friend for life.
Seriously get out of your comfort zone. There is so much out there that you probably didn’t know about.
Lightning Dragon Strikes Out is a MM dragon shifter book featuring two stubborn fools, second chances, cosplay and tender loving care!
Nick is a human who’s fed up with his dragon companion, Phin. He’s tired of being an afterthought. With the help of a friend, he leaves his life behind, hoping for a chance at happiness, at being <em>first</em>, even if it means being without his dragon.
Phin is a Lightning Dragon. His greatest treasure is a man who has inexplicably turned hostile. Chasing Nick to the human realm, Phin discovers the joy of being one’s true self. With this knowledge, he finds the love he never knew he had.
In this humorous tale of sunburns, outdoor naughty times, claimings gone awry, watch as two men find out what it means to be both treasures and mates.
I’m a book dragon, the staff of two furbutts and unapologetically Canadian.
I’m strangely obsessed with the colour blue. I try to deviate and yet.. everything seems to end up blue.
I’ve been a lover of books since I was a wee child. I’ve been working in some form of a library since grade 6. I’ve had stories written down since probably the same time. (I remember you, Cassandra, and your epically long adventure)
As a long time reader of yaoi, (Japanese gay romance comics, or boys love) I finally found the courage to step up and write the stories in my head.
I invite you to come along and enjoy the ride.