Monday, November 10, 2014


Monday Musings
Tomorrow is Veterans Day
Thank you to all the brave men and women who have served America through the years.
God Bless!
Today I'd like to introduce you to Author Paul D Smith. Welcome, Paul. Tell us about your debut novel for young readers.
The creature hiding in the barn can’t exist. Fifteen-year-old Jason Hewes knows it’s impossible. A live dinosaur would be more believable; at least dinosaurs once roamed the land which is now the Hewes Montana farm. But this beast from legend? Quite impossible—although it doesn’t seem to be going away just because it shouldn’t exist.
Jason is about to reevaluate what is or isn’t possible. His discovery is very real, leathery wings and all. Nor is his new friend alone. Others of his kind are awakening from a centuries-long slumber. Realizing how traumatic contact between mythological beast and modern life could be, Jason and his impossible new ally devise a plan to integrate the newly awakened creatures into society through teenage interaction. What could possibly go wrong?
As the sound of giant wings becomes a common occurrence on the Hewes family farmstead, a malignant force senses his old enemies are flying again. Determined to end an eons-long war forever, this being turns his attention to a small rural Montana town, a family farm, and Jason Hewes.

The cover sure makes me want to learn more about these creatures.
Here's a short excerpt:
Jason sprinted into the house and grabbed the largest kitchen knife he could find. Then he took a second in his other hand. Then he put a meat mallet in his back pocket. And then, for some reason, he grabbed a carrot peeler, just for good measure. He ran back to the front of the house and burst out of the screen door into the yard as he shone the flashlight ahead of him and mumbled, “Stupid, stupid, stupid” all the way to the barn.

But in the short run to the old barn, the rain stopped. It was enough of a dramatic contrast that it made Jason pause in mid-run. He looked curiously into the sky and saw the clouds dissipating as stars became visible again. Had Jason been in any other state but sheer terror, he would have asked himself questions about the phenomenon, out loud, and probably made fun of weather forecasters again. But all he could do was keep going to the barn.

Arriving at the barn’s large doors, Jason swallowed hard, insulted his own common sense one more time, and then slowly pulled them open.

He saw nothing…mostly because it was night, and he hadn’t bothered flicking on the light switch yet. Jason always wondered why the previous owners had run power out to the red wooden structure. But he decided not to complain about it that night, and he groped along the wall until he found the switch and flicked the lights on.

And there it was.

Judging by its size, he could tell this was what had impacted the earth and had caused the tremor that he’d felt back at the house. It was over thirty feet long and resembled—Jason couldn’t believe he was thinking this—a dinosaur.

It had a long neck attached to a muscular body and narrowed to a very long tail. Its body was covered in scales that were colored shades of brown and gray. Spines ran along the length of its neck and the length of its tail as well, and each of its four legs ended in a three-toed foot, with each toe ending in a long, curved claw. Its head was oddly shaped; a large curved plate extended back from the creature’s eyes on either side, arcing upward into two points and vaguely resembling a plowshare. It had a short snout tapering off to a rounded tip, with two nostrils on the top just short of the tip.

But what made Jason realize that this was no dinosaur were the massive wings sprouting from either side of the creature. The wings were batlike, and Jason estimated the wingspan was close to sixty feet. Wings like those were not vestigial, like those of an ostrich or emu; this creature was made for flight. He noticed the membrane of one wing seemed damaged, burned away to form a hole with seared edges. He followed the lines of the wings back to the body and could see the creature’s chest expanding and contracting slowly and rhythmically. It was breathing; it was alive. Unconscious but alive.

Jason finally took notice of his own body; his breathing was shallow and rapid. He whispered to himself, “Get a grip, Hewes. You’ve played enough fantasy games to know what this is, as unbelievable as it seems. This is a dragon.”

Amazon (to purchase)




The author was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Enjoy.

Hi, Paul. Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

I was writing some fan fiction for years on a couple of different web sites and built up quite a following. I wrote three different stories in serial fashion. My last fan fiction was a superhero piece. I posted a chapter per week for three and a half years before the story was over. THAT was intense. So when it was all over, I decided that I wanted to write something that was A) completely original and B) I could read to my two boys. So Jason and the Draconauts came out of that.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Hmm. I think when I was really little I wanted to be an archaeologist, and then a herpetologist. In high school, I studied different computer technologies. Which led me to concluded I didn’t want to work with computers, so I went into psychology and human services in college.

Twitter your newest release in 140 characters or less.

Dragons interact with teenagers in the 21st century to solve the mystery of how the dragons came back. #goreadit!

How did you come up with the idea for your book and were there any glitches along the way?

I loved dragons as a kid and wanted to write something involving them, but in modern times. The movie Reign of Fire intrigued me for just this reason, but unfortunately the movie was awful. That was inspiration for the overall idea. I really wanted to use TSR/Wizards of the Coast society of dragons, and even wrote them asking for permission. I was met with a categorical NO. So I had to design my own dragon species and culture for the book.

You’re shipwrecked on a deserted island. What character from a book other than yours would you want to be stranded there with you? Why?

Aragorn from Lord of the Rings to help me survive. And if I could pick another, Superman to…you know…fly me out of there.

If we peeked inside your closet, what would we see?

Clothing hung with no real organization

Tell us your favorites:

Movie The Avengers

Actor Tom Hanks

Book The Hobbit

Singer or Group Michael W. Smith

Coffee or Tea

Decaf Chai Tea with Cinnabon Creamer

Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

Spring OR Fall. I like the transitional seasons

If you could have super powers what would you wish for?

You ask this question to a comic book geek. It is VERY hard to answer. I would have to say flight or super speed.

If you could choose to live in another time, would you prefer the past or the future?

I would like to live back in the 90’s when I was young, but only if I could have the wisdom and knowledge I have now.

What is something about you that no one knows?

I hate it when people smell me. It makes me freak out!

Are you working on any new books now? Tell us about them.

I am working on the sequel to Jason and the Draconauts. It is titled Jason and the Draconauts: The Council of Ancients. I can’t tell you much because of spoilers

Where can your fans learn more about you?





About the Author:

Paul Smith lives in upstate New York with his wife and two sons, where he works with emotionally disturbed and mentally ill children. He earned a master’s degree in social sciences from Binghamton University in 1999.

A lifelong love of science fiction, fantasy, and superhero stories influences Paul’s writing. His most recent work was a popular weekly online series that generated over 20,000 views. Jason and the Draconauts is his first novel.

Thank you for visiting with us today, Paul.


  1. Dragons are always cool!
    Dig the title.
    Congratulations, Paul.

    1. Yep, Alex. Kids and even adults like dragons.

  2. Thank you, Alex. I hope you get a chance to read it!

  3. Congratulation Paul most enjoyable to read.

  4. Thanks, Nashville! Let me know if you get a chance to read the book.

  5. Congrats to Paul! I love the novel's premise and especially love that he wrote the story for his kids. That's so sweet! Wishing Paul much success!! :)

    1. Writing for your kids is a good way to interest them in reading, Lexa. I think it's great too.