Monday, February 15, 2016

Guest post with D.P. Prior

How I Write

by D.P. Prior

From time to time I take a break from writing and try to evaluate where I’m at in terms of my skill set. I like to reflect upon some of the key elements that go into the creation of a novel, because one thing I’ve disillusioned myself about over the years is that inspiration has very little to do with it. Nevertheless, when inspiration strikes, it can bind all the crafty mechanical elements into a compelling story.

Here are my current thoughts.


Some writers like to plan out their stories in great detail and then make the characters perform the actions required by the plot. When I first started writing novels, this is what I did, and the result was two-dimensional talking-heads characters whose sole purpose was to get the story from A to B.

These days, I know how the story starts, how (sometimes roughly) it needs to end, and a few key things that need to happen along the way. I then take my characters and insert them into the story, make sure there are obstacles (internal and external) that make it difficult for them to get from A to B, and then allow them to solve the problems during the first draft. Once the characters start to live and breathe, and once they enter into relationships with other characters, things happen which affect the course of the narrative, often in unexpected ways.

During this stage, I tend to revise my plot notes and sometimes change things drastically. Occasionally, I don’t even know who is going to live or die until the first draft is well underway.

Once I’ve completed the first draft, I read through the story and make comments in the margins. I look for themes and work at developing them. I look at issues of pace, action, down time, the balance of dialogue, exposition, humor, combat etc, and revise the draft where needed. If I’m uncertain about the balance of action and downtime, I plot out a graph and look at the relation of peaks to troughs.

Most of the time I end up faithful to my initial plot outline, albeit traveling from A to B in a surprising or circuitous way.

Plot needs to follow a basic structure, which for my genre typically involves a plateau, a succession of troughs and an eventual peak. There’s a set up (character’s normal life is changed by an unusual event, or the start of a quest), a series of obstacles to be overcome, and different degrees of defeat before an eventual triumph (I tend to write Heroic Fantasy rather than Grimdark!). Due to the importance of relationships in my books, the triumph is more often than not dependent upon cooperation between characters, particularly those who have experienced conflict throughout the story.

Character is by far the most important element of my storytelling these days, so much so that I have sometimes started stories with no more than a situation into which I insert characters and see what happens next. Things can always be tightened up during later drafts.

With my latest books, Carnifex and Geas of the Black Axe, I thought the process was going to be different. These stories are prequels to my earlier book The Nameless Dwarf: The Complete Chronicles, and so I assumed I wouldn’t have much room to maneuver. That was one of the reasons I put off writing them for so long.

But when I started, I was surprised at just how much my grasp of the craft of writing had improved, mostly through producing a lot of novels, but in part due to the sheer number of content edits I’d undertaken over the past five years.

It became quickly apparent that the writing wasn’t going to be about simply getting the plot points down and creating a bridge to the Complete Chronicles, and from there to the other new book, Return of the Dwarf Lords. Instead, this was an opportunity to fully explore the character relationships that had only really been told as backstory before. In doing so, I found myself getting more and more immersed in the head of my protagonist, which affected how he interacted with events, others, and his environment. This deep level of immersion began to suggest even more plot elements, until the story started to surprise me in a very good way.

I think what ultimately happened here was that I had been writing continuously for months on Return of the Dwarf Lords, and then I’d been signed by an agent who wanted the entire story arc so should could begin pitching to publishers. So, when I started work on Carnifex, I was in the middle of a sort of purple-patch of writing, where everything came easily.

It’s rare that this happens for me. The odd scene, maybe, but never before for an entire book.

Without writing all the previous novels, though, and without reflecting on content during editing commissions, writing reviews, and studying critical analysis in my undergraduate days, I doubt everything would have been in place for inspiration to take hold so effectively.

So, with plot, I would say it’s 95% craft—learning structure and dramatic technique. Whatever some writers might tell you, there are definite skills and conventions to be learnt, even if you later end up abandoning them out of conscious choice. Once you have a good degree of familiarity with the mechanics of plot, be alert and pray that inspiration strikes, and be thankful when it does.


To be fully fleshed-out, characters must have room to grow. As well as the essential external conflicts they must encounter during the story, it helps if they have their own inner conflicts. It may be that they are striving to make amends for past deeds; perhaps a coward seeks to do something heroic but keeps failing; an alcoholic might be making progress giving up the drink ... but then falls off the wagon.

The other important thing to remember is that people are mostly defined by their relationships. Even a “lone wolf” character needs interaction with other characters to be engaging and believable. Elric needs his Moonglum, Conan needs Valeria or any of his other sidekicks; Batman needs Robin (although that could be stretching it). I won’t go so far as to say Captain America needs Bucky.

It is essential that the reader has something to identify with, which may be why epic fantasy is so popular (farm boy meets wise old man, goes on a quest, gains new powers and triumphs over evil). G.K. Chesterton believed the reader best identified with an ordinary protagonist entering an extraordinary world (C.S. Lewis clearly agreed with him).

If, however, we opt for extraordinary characters, the task is to give them recognizable human traits, foibles, flaws, limitations that the reader can recognize and latch on to. Just imagine how tedious Superman would be without his Clark Kent persona, or the Hulk without Bruce Banner.

If your character is a mighty warrior who tends to go around smiting foes with a big axe, think carefully about his/her vulnerabilities (and they don’t necessarily have to be physical).

Characters also need to interact with the environment (see below). If they are crossing an icy wasteland, how does it affect them? What are the consequences of traveling through the desert with insufficient water? How do they deal with crowds? Isolation?

Another way to open up a character is to pay attention to how they speak. Listen to how real people speak, take note of the contractions, the incomplete sentences, the inflections. Are there particular words or phrases your character uses? Sometimes just a single phrase or word can give you a clue as to that character’s idiom, and once you have it the dialogue tends to write itself. In my Revenge of the Lich, the wannabe thief Nils Fargin is a master of the double negative, Nameless calls everyone “laddie”, Targ prefers “son”, and Silas Thrall loves to impress with big words and tight constructions.

And remember, dialogue isn’t there just to explain things to the reader. It can create depth in the relationships, provide humor, snippets of information, and can even drive the plot forward. Don’t be afraid to allow the characters room to talk. Let them run with the dialogue and see what happens. You can always trim it back in subsequent drafts.

World Building:

Creating worlds for your characters to inhabit, and in which your plot will unfold, can seem daunting. With my Shader books, I began with the world of Urddynoor in the distant future after an apocalyptic event known as the Reckoning. Urddynoor is linked to the world of Aethir, which was dreamed by a mad “god”, who himself was the child of two powerful beings from another universe beyond the Void. The essential dynamic of the Shader world is the interplay between ancient science, magic, and religion.

The post-apocalyptic elements provide lots of hidden layers—origin stories for certain races, archaeological finds that profoundly affect the story, old scores that need to be settled. The mythos of the Demiurgos and the Abyss provides the sinister backdrop against which current events are played out.

When developing individual towns and cities, I don’t try to do it all at once. I draw out the world map and define territories. I make rough notes about the inhabitants and the international conflicts. I then focus on one or two geographic areas, those that feature in the story I am writing at the time.

Each location needs its own conflicts, its own unique characteristics. In the course of writing the first draft, characters may refer to other locations (perhaps their home town) which gives me reason to flesh those areas out a bit more, with a view to using them at a later date.

It helps if the locations are new to at least one of the point of view characters, who can then become the reader’s eyes. If not, and you show a location that is well known to the POV character, you run the risk of diluting point of view for the sake of showing things to the reader that the character would probably be too familiar with to notice. It can be done, but to do it well requires a good deal of skill, sensitivity, and subtlety.

The worlds I developed for Shader are the same worlds in which Legends of the Nameless Dwarf are set. They have been slowly developing for over ten years. Maps have been drawn and then embellished numerous times. There are whole notebooks filled with information, an entire mythology, a history of the worlds spanning thousands of years. Each time I write a story, more detail is added to a location, and the worlds become fuller, more believable. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

My advice to a new writer would be to keep it simple at first. Have a rough sketch of the land you are writing about. Get your basic political powers in place, sketch a map with basic topography, and then focus on a specific place. This is ancient advice that can be found in Aristotle’s Poetics. It’s fine if you want to spend years developing your world in Tolkienesque detail, but the danger is you may end up too afraid to write due to the complexity of the monster you’ve created.

I like to think of Ridley Scott’s approach when filming Alien. Having commissioned a phenomenally detailed set, he chose not to draw undue attention to it, and left it very much in the background so that the story, the tension, and the characters could be the focus (rather than “look at my stunning new set”).

Something that really helps to give a sense of reality to the world building is to have your characters travel. It’s far better than telling the reader about the treacherous seas off of whatever land to have your characters take an ocean voyage as part of the story. Don’t talk about the danger of a shipwreck, have their ship wrecked, or at least have a near escape.

If they cross the desert, show how it affects them in terms of thirst, fatigue, hopelessness, sunburn, getting lost.

And don’t forget the weather. Not only does it add to the realism, but it can also work thematically, mirroring or contrasting with a character’s mood or foreshadowing what is to come.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t get bogged down with irrelevant detail. Keep it simple, keep it real. When you enter a new town, you don’t count every leaf on every tree, every blade of grass in a garden. You don’t read every sign, comment on the appearance of every person. Attention is wavering—we focus in and out, and miss a lot. Just show what your point of view character sees. Later, you can use a different point of view character to show things from another perspective, perhaps picking up on things the previous character failed to notice. The reader doesn’t need to know everything in your extensive worldbuilding notebook, only what’s necessary for the story.

And everybody knows that story trumps everything, and that entertainment is far more important than impressive details, verbosity, and general cleverness.

You can get in touch with me by emailing namelessdwarf[at]

To find out more about me and my books, please visit:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Guest post with Terry Ervin II

Is Reading Necessary?

In some variation it’s often said: An author needs to be a reader.

Most writers are pressed for time, especially if one considers career and family responsibilities. Even writers who are full-time authors feel there is never enough time. And every minute with a nose stuck in a book is a minute that isn’t spent writing, editing, revising, researching, marketing, and a myriad of other tasks essential for an author to maintain both success and productivity.

So, on balance, is the time spent reading worth the potential payoff?

For me the answer to this question came into focus during an email exchange with a former crit partner. With a husband and children, work, and moving, she had a lot on her plate. Plus, she’s been revising and editing a handful of novels. My former crit partner didn’t feel she had the time to read. But, during the course of our discussion, she indicated that she’d finally sat down and began reading Flank Hawk, and admitted it’s the first novel she’d read in almost two years.

We discussed use of description, including what’s ‘in favor’ on two writing forums where we’re both active members. While reading my novel, she recognized that the ‘consensus’ on the forums of what works didn’t line up with the way I implemented the use of detail within the story’s narrative. Going back and looking at her latest revision effort, she recognized what was missing and how to make it better.

That’s one thing reading does. It offers new ideas and methods, and reminds a writer of what works. Thoughtful reading encourages a writer to avoid writing with blinders on. Reading offers a bulwark against getting caught up in ‘group think,’ at writer forums or in writing groups.

Reading and re-reading, and studying how a successful author crafted—tells a story—helps me immensely. When I’m unsure, trying something new, or get stuck on some aspect of storytelling, I go back and read and study, seeing how successful authors like Steven Brust, Roger Zelazny and Kevin Hearne (to name several of my ‘go to’ authors) did it. Then I apply what I learned to my current work in progress and my writing style.

For example, that method enabled me to refine the frame story structure in Relic Tech and create the chapter starts in Flank Hawk. The method provided insight into the techniques to write series sequels (Blood Sword, Soul Forge, and Relic Hunted) that are also able to stand alone. The result is that a reader can start with any novel in my First Civilization’s Legacy Series or my Crax War Chronicles and fully enjoy that novel (story), yet those who’ve already read a novel earlier in the series can equally enjoy all novels in the series that follow.

Another reason to read is to spark ideas while recharging one’s imagination. Re-reading and thinking about Zelazny’s Guns of Avalon and Harry Turtledove’s World War Series triggered the thought: How might a dragon fare in aerial combat against a WW II aircraft? That occurrence of pondering resulted in Flank Hawk, the first novel in my fantasy series.

Reading also invigorates critical observation of the storytelling process, and offers insight and uncovers new twists that a writer might use, improving the available array of writing and storytelling skills.

Would anyone expect engineers that design and build cars to refrain from riding in automobiles and note what customers who purchase such vehicles tend to enjoy? Would it make sense for engineers to avoid immersing themselves in the driving experience, where such activities might offer insight into what could be implemented in their next automotive design?

Finally, I find that reading allows me to discuss novels and authors with fellow readers of fantasy and science fiction. This is especially useful at conventions and book signing events. It enables me to both make a connection with potential readers, and to determine if what I write might be of interest to them. And if none of my works are a good match, through reading, I have a plethora of suggestions that might be relevant to the readers’ interest.

Time is a finite commodity. There is no argument on that, but it’s a commodity worth spending with a good book or two…or three.


Terry W. Ervin II is an English and science teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His First Civilization’s Legacy Series (fantasy), Crax War Chronicles (SF), and short story collection, Genre Shotgun, are available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at and his blog, Up Around the Corner at

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Review - Westly: A Spider's Tale by Bryan Beus

This is tale of a caterpillar named Westly who is destined to be a Monarch butterfly and the next king of the butterfly kingdom. But sometimes things don't turn out the way we plan. When Westly emerges from his cocoon he is nothing like he expected. As a spider he must rediscover who he is. Adopted by the "dirt eaters," Westly is determined to make a difference. He is determined to belong, to be loved, and most importantly, to become who he was born to be.

4 stars

Westly is a book for younger readers.  It has a bit of an Ugly Duckling feel with a member of a society being vastly different than everyone around him.  In this case Westly is a slightly different caterpillar that comes out of his cocoon vastly different than all of his peers.  

The book has a strong message about alienation and self-worth, Westly is actually his greatest enemy.  His butterfly family could have been quicker to accept him, but he left them before they even really got a chance to adapt to the new situation.  He also feels worthless to the gardener society on the ground, even though he proves his worth after a short time.  

The pictures are mostly small, but do a good job of conveying enough imagery to give the reader an idea of what is going on while still allowing plenty of room for imagination.  

This book was an enjoyable read and something I look forward to reading to my daughter soon.  I also hope that she will read this book herself when she is a bit older.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review - Fires of Invention (Mysteries of Cove) by J. Scott Savage

Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and invention is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on and quite possibly their very lives.

3 stars

Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage is a dystopian story for young adults.  Trenton is a brilliant boy who is cursed with an imagination and a desire to build and tinker with machines.  Those are normally good traits, but when you live inside a mountain with a people who fled the world and consider invention and innovation high crimes it doesn't go well.  

This is the first book in a new series and it felt a bit slow to me.  There is a lot of information that needs to be communicated to truly set the stage for the world that Mr. Savage has created.  This leads to a gradual build of the story and the characters.  Kallista is by far the most interesting character and I'm very curious to see where the series takes her.  

I'm very interested in seeing where the rest of the books in this series go and especially what kind of mischief Kallista and Trenton get themselves into.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Review - Heroes of the Dustbin (Janitors 5) by Tyler Whitesides

Although their enemies are powerful, their allies few, Spencer and his team of Rebels are not giving up! But what chance do a handful of kids and one rescued janitor have against the combined evil of the Founding Witches and the Sweepers? Can the Rebels close the source of all Glop and stop the Toxites once and for all-or is the world doomed to fall under the control of the sinister Bureau of Educational Maintenance? This explosive series finale is a gripping ride through conflicted loyalties and daring escapes, unexpected alliances and betrayals, and an ending you will never forget!

4.5 stars

Heroes of the Dustbin is the fifth and final book in the Janitors series by Tyler Whitesides.  The Rebels are not faring well in the battle for the future of education, the kids are still fighting, but things are getting more and more hopeless.  It is difficult to really describe anything that is going on, due to not wanting to include spoilers for any of the books in the series.

Tyler once again did an excellent job writing a book that is accessible for a wide audience.  My young daughter (almost 5) enjoys the series, so does my wife (age redacted).  This book had some pretty interesting twists and the ending was not what I was expecting.  I really liked the way each chapter seemed to have a hook that pulled the reader in, making it difficult to stop reading.

There is honestly not a lot more to say about a book this far into the series.  If you have enjoyed the books so far this will not disappoint you, if you have not read any of them yet, pick up a copy of Janitors and give the series a try.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal - J. Scott Savage

STEAMPUNK! Plus Dragons! Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and "invention" is a curse word. Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion-an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they've ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on-and quite possibly their very lives.

Author Note:
Like many of my books, the inspiration for my new series Fires of Invention came from the collision of two ideas. The first time the story occurred to me was while I was watching the musical Wicked with my wife. The moment I walked into the theater and saw the huge mechanical dragon above the stage, I thought, Wow! I have to write a story about that! A few weeks later, I was talking with my nephew, who is probably the most creative kid I know, but whose inventiveness often gets him into trouble, and I thought, What if a kid who had the talents of my nephew lived in a world where creativity was against the law? What if the kids were building . . . a steam-powered dragon? Bam! I had my story.

Powered by great feedback from my agent, Michael Bourret, my good friend and author James Dashner, my publisher, Chris Schoebinger, and the song “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons, I wrote the entire first draft of the first volume in the series, Mysteries of Cove in four weeks. This book is unlike anything I have ever written. There are elements of City of Ember, Dragon Riders, and Hugo in it all mashed up together in a world I fell in love with from the moment I started writing.

I think what’s most exciting to me about this book is that it’s about giving yourself the freedom to imagine. To take chances. Too often we limit ourselves by only trying things we’re confident we can succeed at when what we need to do is give ourselves permission to fail. Often it is when we attempt things with no idea of how we can possibly pull them off that we achieve our greatest successes.

J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.

Find out more information using J. Scott Savage's social media links:

Friday, May 1, 2015

Excerpt - Kitty Hawk and the Curse of Yukon Gold


The Arctic Trails Have Their Secret Tales 

By the dancing dim light of the campfire, the group of men surrounding me looked demonic—light and shadow played off their features and made their faces seem lopsided and horrifically deformed. In such light every scene appears monochromatic, with every detail rendered in shades of only black and orange. True colors are sucked away, and objects are repainted in a hellish tint that makes every face look like a jack-o-lantern and the world look like something out of Dante's Inferno. 

"There you go again," the little voice inside my head nagged. "Always making comparisons to books that you've never read." 

"Shut up," I told myself. "This is hardly the time to be criticizing my choice of literary references." 

Besides, Dante was writing about hell, wasn't he? And the situation that I found myself in was surely the closest thing to hell that I could possibly imagine. 

The tallest one of the group walked over to get a better look at me. As he leaned in close, some dark shadows flickered hideously across his face and eyes and caused me to pull away in terror. I tried to push myself backward away from him, but it was difficult, considering that I was sitting on the ground and my hands were bound tightly behind my back. Every move that I made only pulled the binding tighter and made my wrists scream in agony as the wire cut painfully into the skin. 

"I never should have come out here," I told myself as the tall one stood up again and continued pacing back and forth, trying to figure out what to do with me. How could I have been so stupid? What had I been thinking, hiking around a deserted ghost town from the Yukon Gold Rush in the middle of the night? 

What made me even stupider was the fact that ever since I had first set off on my foolish quest, I'd felt a heavy, dark blackness filling every pore of the landscape. But instead of turning back and going home, I had stubbornly dismissed it as merely the dark shadow of the suffering and death that had occurred here so long ago, when thousands of souls had passed through on their way to the empty dreams of the Klondike gold fields. How many of those greedy fools had died chasing after those empty dreams? 

"I am no better than them," I thought. I was just as stubborn and foolish as they had been, and now I was paying the price for it. 

"I hate to say that I told you so," the little voice in my head said. 

"Yes, you did," I agreed. "But right now, that isn't helping. Right now we have to figure out how to get out of here, because these guys are a bunch of greedy fools just like the rest of them, and who knows how far they'll go to protect the secret of their gold." 

"What are we going to do with her?" the man with dark blonde hair asked the tall one, who was apparently their leader. The tall one thought about this for a moment, and there was a long silence, broken only by the crackle of the nearby campfire. My fear of his answer made my heart pound faster and faster. 

"There's only one thing we can do with her," he said slowly and deliberately, his voice ice cold and emotionless. 

I was terrified of what that meant, and as they continued to discuss my fate among themselves, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and my breathing becoming shallower and faster with every passing second. 

"I promise not to tell anyone," I thought, feeling completely helpless and considering the option of begging them to let me go. "I will promise not to go to the police if you just let me go free." 

"Don't be crazy," the little voice in my head scolded. "They aren't stupid. You discovered their secret! You know about their stolen gold!" 

I remembered a line from a poem that I'd learned back in high school—a poem about the Klondike Gold Rush and the lengths that men were driven to by their greed and lust for gold. 

"The Arctic trails have their secret tales," the poem had said. "That would make your blood run cold." 

That was exactly how I felt at that moment—as though my blood was running cold. I had discovered the secret tale that these men had tried to keep hidden, and now they had no other choice. They couldn't just let me go. They couldn't trust me to keep their secret. And now they had to deal with it. And that was the part that terrified me. 

The men continued their discussion, and a sudden outburst from the tall one broke my train of thought. The discussion had grown quite heated, and he'd finally put an end to it by holding up his palm and cutting off the blonde one in mid-sentence. 

"There's no other way," the tall one said simply.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5). Each book can be read as a standalone. 

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to

About the Author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. 

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to:

Connect with Iain on Twitter and Goodreads.