Flight of the Chosen by Dustin Cowell front cover imageRisingshadow has an opportunity to feature a Q&A with Dustin Cowell, who is the author of Flight of the Chosen.

About Dustin Cowell:

Growing up in Indiana, Dustin Cowell spent most of his childhood outside. His parents believed in the idea that outdoor adventures made for the best stories. As much as it pains him to admit, they were right. He loves backpacking, is an avid SCUBA instructor, a personal trainer, and loves anything outdoors. All of his time spent outside being active and experiencing nature is what developed the adventurer’s mindset and inspired him to write the Dragon Scale Chronicles.

About Flight of the Chosen:

A new epic fantasy unfurls its wings in the first book of the Dragon Scale Chronicles. This book is ideal for fans of the book Eragon and the series The Wheel of Time.

When the Black Dragon decides again, a child of mixed race will be chosen, the White Dragone shall fall, and the Mancer will rise once more.

Once Renault finds himself standing before the Black Dragon gifted with the dragon’s power and Dragon Scale armor, he unintentionally sets into motion what could bring not just the end of all life in Caldavast, but the world. With a prophecy promising destruction at the hands of the Mancer backed by his army of Thrall, and a selfish king determined to eradicate him, Renault’s one option to save himself and everyone he cares for is to flee. Traveling with his three friends and ever-critical weapons master, they set off to do the only thing they can: find the Black Dragon. Their last hope is to convince the Black Dragon to put an end to a prophecy that can only be seen as a curse.

Q&A with Dustin Cowell

- Could you tell us something about yourself in your own words?

I am a lover of the outdoors. I have been backpacking on a deserted island where I saw wild horses and stepped on a cactus, resulting in me removing the cactus needles myself. I bruised my tailbone on my way to hunt lionfish to help the coral reef ecosystem in Belize. I have also received over one-hundred mosquito bites on my calves while carrying a canoe between portages on a five day canoeing trip. These may seem like peoples' worst ideas of a good time, but these are some of my most cherished memories. Not only because I got to do them with incredible people, but also because I continuously draw from my experiences of the outdoors to create fantastical worlds in my stories. By going backpacking with my dad, diving below the ocean waves with my friends, or simply sitting in a park and admiring the scenery, I am able to find inspiration for my ideas that are not too far off from the wonders of our own reality. If I need inspiration, all I do is step outside.

- What inspired you to become a speculative fiction author? Have you always been interested in speculative fiction?

I have always been passionate about speculative fiction, but I distinctly remember when I decided I wanted to write a book. I was in seventh grade and just finished reading Eragon. Christopher Paolini's captivating tale made me fall in love with how powerful written word could be in telling a story. No movie compared to what I could form in my mind while I read. Every time I picked up his book, I could escape from reality for a period and enjoy being in a realm where dragons were real and magic was a simple mystical word away. I went to visit my friend a few days later and declared to him I was going to write a book. At that point, I had no idea what it would be about or what the story would tell, but I knew I wanted to create the feelings I felt reading Eragon for someone else. It did not matter if it was ten million people or a single person, as long as I made someone see dragons, even just for a moment. Now, I was no child prodigy like Christopher Paolini, but after nearly two decades, many failed attempts, and countless edits, I can finally say I have accomplished my childhood dream. I have written a book. My hope now is it inspires someone else to maybe write the next story that will make me feel like a seventh grader reading Eragon for the first time again.

-  You're the author of Flight of the Chosen. What kind of a book is it? What can readers expect from it?

Flight of the Chosen is a Young Adult Fantasy with a similar feel to Eragon, Realm Breaker, and The Wheel of Time. It is the first book of the Dragon Scale Chronicles, which is currently set to be four books long. It is thrilling adventure of a young man named Renault who is forced to flee a cursed prophecy, and the only being he can turn to is the dragon that placed it on him. Readers can expect to find adventure, battles, dragons, hideous creatures, tough decisions, new friends, and heartbreaks as Renault journeys with his companions to undo a deadly prophecy that could spell the end for the realm of Caldavast.

- Is there anything you could tells us about the characters in this book?

The one thing I can tell you about the characters in this book is that they are flawed. None of them are perfect. There is no distinct black and white of what is right and what is wrong. They will not only battle the evil in the realm, but they too will battle the issues hidden inside themselves. Each character has something people will admire, but also something that a reader may not like about them, yet that is what makes the characters fun to read about.

- What is the target audience of your book?

The target audience for my book is anyone who is looking to go on an adventure in a new fantasy world. My writing is easy for anyone to follow along. I wanted to make a book that a new fantasy-curious reader or a seasoned fantasy-aficionado could both pick up and find something to fall in love with. Anyone should be able to enjoy a book, and that is exactly the type of book I tried to create.

- Is there anything you'd like to add?

Don't be ashamed of what you love. My biggest set back in writing was worrying about how the world viewed me. I was an athlete throughout my entire life all the way through college, and I was always under the impression that "athletes didn't like 'nerdy' things like writing epic fantasy novels." I didn't want to be laughed at or made fun of for my passion. It caused me to shy away from what I loved and I lost precious time in my life to do something that made me happy. Eventually I discovered people will find something wrong with whatever you do anyways, so you might as well enjoy it! Once I realized that and started to do things because I liked them, I found myself to be much happier. I also found out many people were supportive of what ever my dreams were, so do what you love!

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