Hiya guys! We have Matthew Lang visiting today with the tour for his upcoming amazing release Dragonslayer, we have a brilliant guest post from Matthew where he shares the story of Dragonslayer beginning, we have a wonderful exclusive excerpt and there’s also a fantastic giveaway. So guys, check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Kill the dragon, marry the princess, and rule the kingdom. It’s a fantasy come true… if you’re straight.
Adam is a chemistry student and martial artist, active in his local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism. But none of that prepares him to be the savior of a faraway land locked in perpetual dusk.
In a world of shape-shifters, necromancy, and religious politics, Adam is fated to slay the golden dragon, Khalivibra, and defeat its mind-controlling sorcery to help Princess Esmeralda of Aergon retake her city. Tradition dictates he’ll rule by her side—but Adam is much more interested in Duin, a warrior who changes to beast form in the light of the sun… or fire.
Adam hopes he and Duin might end up together when their ordeal ends. But first, the reluctant hero, the spell-casting heir to the throne, the beast-shifting object of Adam’s desire, a six-legged cave lizard, and any allies they can gather must do the impossible… and live to celebrate their victory.
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The Beginning by Matthew Lang
The Origin of Stories
Matthew stepped through the open doors and headed into the airy shop, its wide aisles lit by the midday sun. The books on the shelves were glossy and the hardcovers looked perfect, untouched with their glossy dust jackets free of oily fingerprints. There were a fair number of people in the store, mostly older white women, some with younger children in tow. However, for once, he wasn’t here for the books. Instead, he headed into the adjoining café and started looking under all the seats for a power point where he’d be able to plug in his laptop when it inevitably ran out of battery, the ways that laptops inevitably do long before you’re done using them. It’s a fundamental rule of portable computer ownership that you’ll run out of battery just in the middle of the most crucial sentence of whatever it is you’re working on if you don’t have a charger, power point or both, regardless of what you were told of the battery life of the lump of inert metal now at your fingertips. Apparently, it has something to do with the charging properties of lithium batteries. Or the discharging properties. Or just how inconvenient it makes your day.
It was early October, and Matthew was in Richmond, an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, Australia, which was at the junction of the sporting and music cultures and the rapid gentrification of the area was at odds with the live music venues, student life at the nearby university campus, and a concentration of people often described as “homeless junkies” by politicians looking to score points—and votes. And, as unlikely as it sounded, he was here to meet a girl.
In keeping with the antipodean spring, Rachel wore a long white sundress and a floppy straw sunhat, even though she wasn’t a natural redhead. It was, she said later, because it was autumn back home in the UK and she was going to enjoy the sunshine while she was in a position to experience it, dammit. They greeted each other like old friends, in spite of it being their first meeting, and as she pulled out a pen and paper notepad, they got down to business.
“What are you writing this year?” Rachel asked, as she scribbled worldbuilding notes onto the lined pages of her book.
“I don’t know,” Matthew sighed. “I don’t… I’m kind of out of ideas. It’s why I’m here actually.”
Rachel had posted on the National Novel Writing Month forum about meeting up for a pre-NaNo plotting session, and Matthew had jumped at the chance. As much as “No Plot, No Problem” was one of the mottos of the month-long writing event, it wasn’t something he was very comfortable with himself. He’d tried that some years prior and the results hadn’t been pretty. Or publishable. Which wasn’t the point for most people, but it was for him.
“If you could write anything, what would it be?”
“I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy epic,” Matthew said with a grin. “Something with dragons.”
“What, rescue the princess and all that?”
“Yeah, but you know, that doesn’t really work when you write gay fiction.”
“You could always make it a prince?”
“Yeah, but everyone does that,” Matthew grumped as he took a sip from his latte. “I can’t help but feel it’s cheating in a way. Especially when people then pretend that a traditional Anglo Celtic medieval society would have been okay with a gay prince. Or a gay king. You know, openly gay and without the arranged marriage thing that would really have happened.”
“So don’t write that,” Rachel suggested. “Why can’t you write one where you don’t gloss over that?”
“Because in order to critique it using our modern sensibilities I’d have to write it with a modern gay man as the protagonist, somehow ending up in that situation.”
Rachel smiled. “And?”
So really, Rachel, this is entirely your fault. You are amazing and thank you.
It probably wasn’t exactly like that. What you’ve just read is a streamlined version of the conversation, filtered through the vagaries of human memory and edited for narrative style. But in a very real sense, that single conversation is the reason I spent years drafting and redrafting a story about a man in the wrong world trying to process the idea that dragons are real and what it means for a squishy, tiny human to go up against a giant flying tyrannosaurus rex. That breathes fire. Seriously, dragons are scary. If you don’t believe me just ask Adam. He should be out of therapy soon. Well, maybe in a few years. Eventually anyway.
Thanks for reading and coming to the first stop on my blog tour. You can find me next at Sue Brown Stories on the 20th of September. As part of the launch celebration, I’m giving away an ebook from my backlist here. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below and tell me about a time when a random conversation with one of your friends helped you make an important decision. One random commenter will win a book here—and keep following the tour for more chances to win.
“I never expected a princess to be so skilled,” Adam said at one point during their ride.
“When you say ‘skilled,’ I assume you are referring to practical survival skills, rather than singing or embroidery?” Esmeralda asked.
Esmeralda shrugged. “I am the only child of a dying king who rules a shrinking kingdom,” she said. “I understand that once a princess’ tasks were limited to chatter about gowns and hairstyles or some similar nonsense, but there is no neighbouring prince waiting to wed me and lead my people. As far as we know, there are no other kingdoms left free from the dragon’s tyranny.”
“So… you’re doing this in part to find a suitable husband?”
Esmeralda looked at him for a long, unsettling moment before bursting into peals of laughter. “You know,” she said, “that is a very good way to put it.”
“And why can’t you just rule Aergon yourself?” Adam asked.
“I am just a woman, Sir Adam.”
“So?” Adam said. “Wait, was that a ‘I’m just a woman so I can’t rule a kingdom,’ or ‘I’m just a woman and men won’t let me rule a kingdom’?”
“Is there a difference?” Esmeralda asked. “I am precluded from ruling by my sex, and I do not have the skills or training required to rule.”
“And some man whose claim to greatness is wielding a magic sword to kill a dragon is?”
“He would command respect.”
“And you can’t?”
“Not as immediately, no.”
“Well… that’s stupid.”
Esmeralda laughed again. “You are a delightful man, Adam. Is it truly like that where you are from? A woman can do anything a man can?”
“Pretty much,” Adam said. “There’s still some things women generally choose not to do, but it’s more their choice than them being barred from it.”
“It sounds like a very nice place,” Esmeralda said, her tone thoughtful.
“Well, I like it,” Adam said. “Of course, it could be said that I’m biased.”
Matthew Lang likes being on the run. Sometimes for health, but more often to see another country or culture. Preferably in person, but more frequently in his mind’s eye through the written word. Matthew likes his men hot and spunky, his focaccia more Italian than British, and his vampires to combust when exposed to sunlight. His nurses say that rumours of him escaping his straightjacket are absolute nonsense and he definitely hasn’t been let loose amongst the population of Melbourne, Australia, no matter what the internet says.
Win an ebook backlist title!
Visit each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Each stop has it’s own giveaway.
Check out the other blogs on the
20th September Sue Brown Stories – Why Fantasy?
25th September Nicki J Markus – The Offering
26th September Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words – Catch up with Matthew Lang
27th September Love Bytes – How to Cook Tarantula in 7 easy steps
28th September My Fiction Nook – The Winged Traveller Guide to Aer Goragon
1st October DSP Blog – Do Haerunwoln Have Pouches?