Free Book and a Guest post on World Building by Donna Maree Hanson

Dragonwine Postcard (1)

Dragon Wine Book 1: Shatterwing by Donna Maree Hanson is free in e-book for a short time. As part of spreading the word about Shatterwing Donna is doing a blog tour and offering a give away of a hard copy of Shatterwing. Winners will be drawn from people who comment during the blog tour. So leave a comment to be in to win.


Dragon wine could save them. Or bring about their destruction.

Since the moon shattered, the once peaceful and plentiful world has become a desolate wasteland. Factions fight for ownership of the remaining resources as pieces of the broken moon rain down, bringing chaos, destruction and death.

The most precious of these resources is dragon wine – a life-giving drink made from the essence of dragons. But the making of the wine is perilous and so is undertaken by prisoners. Perhaps even more dangerous than the wine production is the Inspector, the sadistic ruler of the prison vineyard who plans to use the precious drink to rule the world.

There are only two people that stand in his way. Brill, a young royal rebel who seeks to bring about revolution, and Salinda, the prison’s best vintner and possessor of a powerful and ancient gift that she is only beginning to understand. To stop the Inspector, Salinda must learn to harness her power so that she and Brill can escape, and stop the dragon wine from falling into the wrong hands.

Dragon Wine Book 2 :Skywatcher, the follow on book is also available in ebook and print.

 World building

World building is an essential part of a novel creation, no matter the genre. If your novel is in a realistic contemporary setting you still need the physical attributes of the world, the rules, the clothing, the style, location etc. Think about a movie and those signals that let you know what kind of story it’s going to be.

For genre like SF and Fantasy there’s a bit more work to be done. Planning the world building is one of the most fun parts of writing for me. Sometimes I don’t do too much before I start because I have the story and a few ideas and I just go for it, but along the way I either have to stop and do world building or I get ideas that I incorporate and work on.

I also do some planning beforehand, depending on the story. For example, for the world building in Dragon Wine it was done in layers, by adding bits and pieces and weaving them all together. The more I delved into the world the more of the history and physicality of the place came into being. There was freedom in that process. I didn’t have a deadline so I enjoyed the planning and the thinking and the research I used to make the world work.

Now my way isn’t the only way. I know people who can spend years doing all the world building, drawing maps, documenting religions and history and the cosmos and everything. That works for them and the stuff they do is extraordinary!

The deal with writing is working out for yourself that there isn’t just one way that you have to do what works best for you. There are always cautionary tales about getting lost in the research and never writing the story. You can be an excellent researcher but not end up being a novelist!

The lesson for me is balance and the importance of story. I have a motto. Don’t let research get in the way of a good story. If I’m drafting and the story is coming I just go for it. I then research to make sure I can do what I’ve done. Sometimes I might have to tweak or change things but generally I’ve got enough background knowledge in my head to pull it off.

If your world building is a bit technical, then it is worth getting expert advice. I had a physicist advise me on Dragon Wine, particularly the moon stuff. That sort of science is interesting to me but the details do my head in. I’m not saying it’s all scientific. It’s not. I mean there are dragons and magic so no…not real life stuff there.

Best of luck!



Thank you Allan for  having me on your blog.


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