The Half-Wyvern Trilogy
A Book Review by Kirsten J. Foster
If you’re like me, books are one of the best things to have taking up space in your house. You have them sitting on your shelves, on tabletops, in boxes, in bags, and even on your electronic devices (eBooks or audiobooks, anyone?)!
When you have this many books on your shelf (or book bank on your electronic devices), you’re always looking for the next great book to add to it. You’re looking for that next story that has you on the edge of your seat with bated breath as you watch the characters strive for their goals. You’re always looking for that next favorite author who writes stories that come alive in your mind or bring you to tears with his or her words.
Today, I would like to share an interview I had with author Drake Redwing as he talks about writing and his book coming out soon. Here’s a sneak peek:
(The Half-Wyvern Trilogy)
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, War
Synopsis: In the year 2160, in the remains of the United States of America, a young man named Trevor Ryder, thrust into a life-or-death situation, must lead a rebellion against his corrupt King. With the help of his dragon and his friends, they must battle the evil King Deranth and save their kingdom, but there are far greater things at work in the shadows. And through it all, can Trevor overcome his complacency and grow into a true man?
Interview with Drake Redwing
Kirsten: Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Drake: My name is Keith, known by my penname as Drake Redwing. I’m a 19-year-old author, avid nerd about just about everything, autistic fat kid and a college student. I live in Upstate New York with my parents and my two cats, Piccolo and Greyson—Greyson is also fat. I’m a proud American, follower of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior (to Whom I owe every breath), memer and all around goofball. I’ve been writing since I was the age of about 5—stories of Winnie-The-Pooh characters and whatnot getting into all sorts of mischief. I’ve written several full-length fanfictions first about How To Train Your Dragon and then later Zootopia. But it wasn’t until early last year (Winter-Spring of 2019) that I started taking my original writing very seriously. I planned out over the three years or so of writing my current project, The Half-Wyvern Trilogy, a grand universe spanning all of human history, from Ancient Egypt to mankind’s trevails among the stars.
Kirsten: What or who inspired you to write seriously? Judging by all of the projects you mentioned writing, you most certainly don’t just do it as a hobby.
Drake: I believe the first time I actually started to take my writing seriously was when I picked up a copy of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines and read the whole book in two days. Shortly after that, I picked up Wings of Fire and read most of the series in a period of about 6 months. I had written things before then, as I said earlier, but Half-Wyvern is my first original novel. The idea came to me in the midst of a HTTYD fanfic I was doing, and was originally just a generic fantasy thing that turned out to be like a terrible knockoff of LOTR but with HTTYD. I loved the idea of these characters but had no clue how to use them until I started thinking of changing the setting. Instead of having it be a stock fantasy world, why not have it be set in our world, long into the future after a great nuclear war? That was when I hit upon something I knew was going to be big—a post-apocalyptic fantasy story with elements of LOTR, HTTYD, Star Wars, Mortal Engines, Wings of Fire, Ranger’s Apprentice/Brotherband Chronicles, and Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet graphic novel series.
Kirsten: In your own words, what is your latest book, The Half-Wyvern, about?
Drake: The Half-Wyvern is the start of a trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic United States roughly 150 years from now. Humanity could not have risen to its position as of the story without the help of the dragons, who had been exiled deep underground over a thousand years ago, during the Middle Ages. After the nuclear war, the dragons discovered they were free to return to the surface world. When there, the two species helped each other out and slowly began to rebuild society. By the year 2160, humanity has begun to build itself back up again, with technology levels approaching the Wild West era.
Kirsten: What inspired this book idea?
Drake: Oooh, good question. I’ve read a lot of fantasy/sci-fi books over the years and have seen many more movies and TV shows. Some of the more broad inspirations I have are Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the videogames Portal and Portal 2, LEGO (specifically Power Miners, a LEGO theme from when I was about 9 years old that got me obsessed with LEGO), Jupiter Ascending, Ranger’s Apprentice, Wings of Fire and Mortal Engines. However, there are more specific inspirations for The Half-Wyvern Trilogy, specifically the latter two in the list above. Wings of Fire and How To Train Your Dragon were the chief inspirations for the sentient dragons in Half-Wyvern and their civilization; Mortal Engines, as well as a movie called War of the Worlds: Goliath, inspired the overall aesthetic of the world and a lot of the machinery. But more interestingly, a lot of these books actually are referenced in Half-Wyvern on a certain character’s bookshelf. The Rebellion in the story, called the Legion of Free Americans, or more simply the Dragonkeepers, are organizing a fight against the villainous King of Andethron (AKA the Eastern Seaboard), so that is obviously inspired by Star Wars. And the magic system and the existence of fantasy creatures like Dragons, Wizards, etc., is a concept from The Lord of the Rings. But most of the inspiration was my own ideas.
For example, some of the warfare concepts include an image I had in my head for a while of dragons with machine guns mounted on their armored helmets engaging in aerial dogfights with enemy aircraft and airships. Another was the idea of a Wizard enchanting a gun to never run out of ammunition in a firefight, and yet another was the idea of sentient dragons with their own culture, language and society. Some of the story elements, such as the complacent hero twist on the Hero’s Journey format, came from my own experiences in life. And still others, such as the idea to set a high fantasy story in the future in a ruined America, came from my desire to put a spin on fantasy that hasn’t been done all that often. I can count one hand the Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy stories that have been successful, among them Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember quartet, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman’s satire Good Omens. All of them are well-known and good books, but no one’s really tried a High Fantasy twist on post-apoc. Most of it is Mad Max, and that franchise is little more than a stereotype these days for post-apocalyptic fiction. I wanted to do something different with both the setting and the narrative to further distinguish myself from all the other J-level fantasy authors.
Another big inspiration was the music of Pink Floyd—who I would argue are the greatest band of the last century—and the overall vibe of old school music. There’s just something timeless about a select few artists from the 1960s to the 1990s that really makes me feel like I’m right there with my characters in the story. But Pink Floyd is the greatest of them all—their albums The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon and The Division Bell have given me more life to my inner thoughts about the stories themselves than anything I’ve ever heard before.
Kirsten: Who inspires you to write better?
Drake: A lot of people inspire me to write better, but often certain things in my life inspire me too. I look back at how far I’ve come with my writing to see what I can do to improve and what I can do differently. My father inspires me to write the best stories I can, and my mother does much the same—I think of what my friends and family would like to read and then I write it and in the process make it better than they could have ever imagined. And of course, through God’s world, His Word and His gifts, I strive to tell the best possible story I can.
Kirsten: What is your goal in writing The Half-Wyvern?
Drake: My goal with The Half-Wyvern is to, I pray, start a business for myself. I have enough material in my head for an entire mythos surrounding this trilogy, taking place both before and after. It spans genres, spans millennia, spans a galaxy, all connected by various threads and things introduced in this trilogy. This is a mere stepping stone to a larger world. My goal is to have this entire trilogy published by the end of the decade, along with various other multimedia projects well underway. I want to be able to create something that will be shared among my generation and beyond for potentially the rest of my life. I want to create something that will last in pop culture, like LOTR, Star Wars or Harry Potter. I want to bring glory to God with my efforts, and I want to bring to life a whole new world for kids and adults to enjoy in a way they never expected. I want to teach kids valuable lessons that they’re likely not going to get in our rather self-centered and toxic society—they need to learn what it means to be human. And that, I believe, is the best possible goal I could ever be a part of.
This book promises to be exciting and filled with action and adventure. According to the author, if all goes well, the book will be out over Memorial Day Weekend 2020, available as an eBook and in paperback.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment down below.
Signing off for now!