Author and business coach Drae Box is getting ready to release her new novel, Threat. To help spread the word and introduce more people to this friendly and professional fountain of information, I invited Drae to answer a few questions about herself, her business, and her books!
1) We’ll start with the basics. Who are you? Really, deep down.
I’m the girl who used to play with a racoon puppet for years, learning from playing with this puppet how to tell stories. I even did a puppet show with this puppet and a few others when I was in lower school. That girl then grew into someone who became pretty determined to find happiness in her career, follow her passions and help others with similar passions to achieve their dreams too. That’s me.
2) What pushed you down the road of wordsmithing?
I was given a bright red cassette recorder with multi-coloured buttons as an eight year old. I would create short stories on the spot, and created a good stack of these stories, including one about a racing car and another about a forest that ate children alive.
As my little brother grew older, I started to tell him stories when we played outside in the garden, as well as my youngest sister. I’d insert us into those stories, and we’d all be on an adventure like Indiana Jones.
The act of writing stories came later when I was fourteen – I was avoiding Chemistry homework and started to write about a teen girl who didn’t have a lot of experience in kicking butt, saving others, or even travelling to other settlements. When an artefact was stolen from her village, it was up to her to save everyone she knew. The story had me hooked and although I had no idea what I was doing, I learned on the go, studying what published authors recommended and tidying up my own process over the years since.
3) Writing isn’t the only way you spend your time. What other areas of the business have you hit to date and which are some of your favourite ones? Which areas are you most excited to develop further?
I mentor other serious fiction authors (pre and post-published) to start seeing the results they want. This means getting super-clear about what their aims are if they are planning on being published. The client and I will use my decade of research, experiments and analysis to grow their adaptive action plan to find their success. I get really fired up doing this and the experiments I’m running at the moment (like my current experiment, Does Getting Up Early to Write REALLY Work?).
I also run Writers’ Club, which I love doing so much (especially the free challenges)! Oo, and my podcast, Aim for More, which is for creative thinkers and writers.
Right now I’m super-excited to be working on a few ways to make my mentoring more accessible to other writers, which members of Writers’ Club will get to see first before I release these projects for everyone to try out.
4) What’s the premise for the series you’re working on now?
I’m actually working on three different series at the moment, although one is a high fantasy serial.
My main series is my oldest and dearest, called The Common Kingdoms Series. It’s this one that I’ve been working through my back catalogue with my team to get published. It’s about two characters’ struggles within a kingdom of gifted people, as terrorists start to take action against the kingdom’s rulers and its law enforcement. It’s primarily a YA fantasy series.
As the readers, we get to see the development of that same female character who started my writing journey from a hesitant girl to someone becoming more adept and kick-ass as she grows her experience and masters the skills she collects. We also get to see how their law enforcement evolves due to the challenges caused by the terrorists, which we see from her involvement with the male main character, and the actions he has to take and positions he is forced into. There is a little bit of romance, but that’s not the primary focus of the series, and doesn’t really start to kick in until book three, though the two main characters do start to date in the epilogue of the second book.
5) Where does the new book fit into it?
My new release is book two of The Common Kingdoms, Threat. It’s set a year after the first book, and returns us to watching over Aldora and Raneth. For those familiar with the series, the talking Prince of the Cats does make a minor appearance, but for the most part, we’re left with just the humans characters this time around.
Aldora has become the assistant villager leader of her home settlement and encounters a murderer one night on patrol. She’s stabbed and wakes up in hospital a day later to find Raneth and her father at her bedside. Raneth’s in the area because the same criminal that stabbed her is the one he’s assigned to arrest.
Things gets worse for the two friends when Raneth loses the king mid-assignment whilst helping to escort him to a Kingdoms Conference – a meetup of allied royals to his and Aldora’s kingdom.
It becomes up to them to find the king, and the criminal as quickly as possible.
6) Who is your favourite character from the series?
Definitely Raneth, even though my readers have voted him their least favourite (the sarcastic Prince of the Cats, Pedibastet, is the favourite at the time of writing this, with Aldora very close on his tail). I love Raneth’s journey through the series as an individual character; he has a lot of pressures and expectations on him, which cause him to gain and then lose everything dear to him as the series progresses. Writing how he keeps going is a really powerful experience, especially as his and Aldora’s lives are entwined together.
7) What’s your target audience? Who should read this series?
Right now, I’d say teen fantasy fans, who aren’t expecting politics, nitty-gritty settings or Patrick Rothfuss-styled writing. They’d probably enjoy quirky reads, love your wonderful Meratis Trilogy or the Abhorsen Quadrilogy by Garth Nix. There will be new versions of this series in the future for 9-12 year olds as well.
8) What’s your next project going to be?
Now this is the question! If we went with the next published book project, it will be the third book of The Common Kingdoms Series, called Shotput of Power, which I’m preparing for publication at the moment. If we head into the other areas of my life, it would be a large handful of guest appearances online or The 5000 Week Challenge for members of Writers’ Club.
On any one day, I tend to work on three or four different projects, which is why this question is a bit hard to answer without boring you all to death, haha.
9) If you could meet any author in the world who would it be and what would you ask them?
I’d meet Garth Nix and ask him the very same question.
10) Where can people find you?
I would love to gift your readers with a free copy of the first book in The Common Kingdoms Series, called The Royal Gift. They can head to this page just for them on Drae Box Books where they can join my Readers’ Club and get the book for free, as well as the first three chapters of Threat a few days later.
If they’re budding writers and they’re serious about becoming published authors or doing better than they are currently, they can head to this special page on Draebox.com for a free gift to help them find more time to write using two of my premium worksheets: The Reverse Why and Is Writing a Primary or Secondary Desire?