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N. N. Light's Book Heaven presents Dan Rice #authorspotlight #yafantasy #teenlit #yalit #mustread



After reading Dune at eleven or twelve, I knew I wanted to become a writer. I was fascinated by how Frank Herbert created an engrossing world in such a slender volume, especially compared to the one-thousand-page speculative fiction works. Like many scribes, it took me years to produce anything publishable.

 

My first brush with becoming a writer came years earlier, while I was in third grade. My teacher decided I was an excellent candidate to attend The Young Writers' Conference (at least, I think that was the event's name). Attendees needed to produce a story to share at the conference. I had no idea what to write and viewed the entire affair as forcing me to do more schoolwork. Nevertheless, I produced a nonfiction work with diagrams about assembling a robot with my dad at a science fair.

 

Being rather shy, I did not look forward to sharing my book. My reticence was made worse by being the only boy in the room. Although my recollection is likely fogged by time, all the girls had stories about unicorns and fairies, and they looked at me like I was a space alien when I presented my factual tale about robotics. Still, my book ended up in my elementary school's library. For all I know, it's still there today.

 

I was out of college when I finally possessed the stick-to-tiveness to start banging out a novel. Those early works were downright awful, but I was lucky enough to find a critique group that I still belong to today. In my post-college years, I wanted to write epic fantasy reminiscent of George R.R. Martin's or Joe Abercrombie's works.

 

It wasn't until I started writing short stories after attending a talk by science-fiction author John Scalzi that I started making real progress on improving my writing. Soon, I had a few short story credits to my name and discovered that my authorial voice is more suited to young adult fantasy than adult fare.

 

I have over twenty short story credits and two published novels to date. Lately, most of my writing time is spent penning my award-winning young adult fantasy series, The Allison Lee Chronicles. According to Kirkus Reviews, the first novel, Dragons Walk Among Us, is "An inspirational and socially relevant fantasy." Kirkus says this about the sequel, The Blood of Faeries: "Fans of supernatural fiction will find this novel to be a wild, riveting ride." The third installment, The Wrath of Monsters, comes out on June 19, 2024, and I'm furiously banging out the fourth and final volume in the series.

 

While not pulling down the nine-to-five or writing, I can often be found chauffeuring my sons to their various activities or enjoying nature on a hike. I'm a card-carrying member of the soccer dad club. Both my sons play soccer, and my older son is exceptionally good. Anyone who has wondered how their genes contributed to a human with nearly supernatural athleticism and dedication knows that the more gifted the youth athlete, the bigger the time commitment for all involved. That's why I'm an early riser, so I have time to scribble down stories before other commitments come knocking!

 

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Title: Dragons Walk Among Us

Author: Dan Rice

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb:

 

Shutterbug Allison Lee is trying to survive high school while suffering the popular girl's abuse. Her life is often abysmal, but at least her green hair is savage. Her talent for photography is recognized by the school paper and the judges of a photo contest. While visiting her friend Joe, a homeless vet, Allison's life irrevocably changes after an attack leaves her blind. All her dreams as a photojournalist are dashed as she realizes she'll never see again. Despair sets in until she is offered an experimental procedure to restore her vision. But there are side effects, or are they hallucinations? She now sees dragons accompanying some of the people she meets. Can she trust her eyes, or has the procedure affected her more than she can see?

 

Excerpt

 

A big truck roars by just before the light changes, leaving the stench of diesel exhaust in its wake. I cross the intersection and scramble up the low retaining wall separating Tahoma University’s grounds from the sidewalk. I march across the dark swath of wet grass interspersed with towering Douglas fir toward the lamplight in the distance.

 

Obscured by the surrounding shrubbery next to the base of a conifer is a blue tarp. I press my free hand against the brown bag, feeling the warmth radiating from the container of broth. Good. I’d hate for the soup to be cold.

 

A gust of wind pushes me sideways. From somewhere overhead comes a loud crack like the bone of some gargantuan creature snapping. A widowmaker thumps to the earth. Gasping, I nearly drop the soup and freeze in place. Overhead, the trees sway in the wind, branches creaking and groaning. I scamper toward the encampment.

 

About half a dozen tents surround the base of the tall conifer. A wide man with hunched shoulders moves around the camp. I smile. It’s Joe.

 

I’m about to call out to him when I smell a strange mixture of eucalyptus and menthol and sweat on the wind. It’s the kind of odor I’d expect to roll off guys at a crowded dance club. I scan my surroundings for the source of the scent.

 

A figure stands behind me in the gloom.

 

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Title: The Blood of Faeries

Author: Dan Rice

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb:

 

Allison Lee wilts under the bright light of celebrity after being exposed as a shape-shifting monster. She'd rather be behind the camera than in front of it. Being under the tooth and claw of her monstrous mother is even less enjoyable. All she desires is for everything to go back to the way things were before she discovered her true nature. But, after she accidentally kills a mysterious man sent to kidnap her, she realizes piecing her old life back together is one gnarly jigsaw puzzle.

 

When Allison's sometimes boyfriend Haji goes missing, Allison and her squad suspect his unhealthy interest in magic led to his disappearance. Their quest to find Haji brings them face-to-face with beings thought long ago extinct whose agenda remains an enigma.

 

Excerpt

 

“I’ll shoot you in the leg.” He adjusts his aim.

 

“What if you hit my femoral artery? I’ll bleed out.” What did the gunman do to Dad? How in the world did he overcome Mother?

 

He frowns. “It doesn’t matter where I shoot you as long as it’s not immediately fatal. I know you heal fast. Now, stand up. Hands behind your head.”

 

I comply. “How do you plan to escape with me as a prisoner? Since you know I can heal quickly from a gunshot wound, you probably know I’m faster and stronger than you. Do you really think you can walk out of here, avoiding the security detail, with me in tow? Take your eyes off me for a second, I’ll disarm you and break your arm in the process.”

 

Sweat rolls down his brow. “Stifle it. Turn around. Keep your hands behind your head.”

 

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Title: The Wrath of Monster

Author: Dan Rice

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Book Blurb: 

 

Can Allison and her friends save the world without becoming monsters?

 

Allison hoped her life would be free of torment after escaping the faeries. No sooner than Allison and her friends return home, the government imprisons Bria and Haji on a military base where scientists experiment on them. Allison’s plan to rescue them backfires when she reveals Bria’s location to the faeries, who mount a raid to capture the faery child. With Bria’s blood, they can create more enthralled super magicians to wage war against humanity. The attack on the military base is just the beginning. When an electromagnetic pulse knocks out the power for the west coast of the United States, it is clear more powerful foes than the faeries are invading Earth.

 

Excerpt

 

I cross the room and flop down in my chair. Placing my elbows on the desk, I massage my temples and stare at the linear equations on the screen. My eyes lose focus, the numbers, letters, and mathematical symbols slithering into pen and ink faeries, dragons, and skaags. The creatures whorl into a true monster, a doctor with her face hidden behind a mask. Gasping, I slam the laptop shut. The sleeper ripples inside me, making my skin feel like it crawls from the inside out. The beast wants out to rend flesh from bones, but I can’t allow that. My half-skaag form, a cross between a super-sized alligator and a gargantuan eel, is small compared to a full-blooded skaag, but it is still large enough to destroy my room and probably bring the entire house down in the process.

 

 

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4 Comments


Daniel Rice
Daniel Rice
Jun 12

Thanks for hosting me!

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jun 12

Thank you, Dan, for sharing your writing journey and books with our readers!

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rherold2001
rherold2001
Jun 12

A great writer!! You're sure to enjoy his work!

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Daniel Rice
Daniel Rice
Jun 12
Replying to

Thanks!

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