The Making of Dragon Shield by Dianne Gardner

Making a novel come to life is a thrilling experience. And when a team of talented people joined me to create a trailer for my fantasy story, pouring their hearts into the project, I just can’t express the thrill!

Dragon coverIn The Ian’s Realm Saga (a middle grade/YA fantasy adventure, of which The Dragon Shield is book II), the Northwind sings. Its melodies are prophecies and laments that guide the people of the Realm, the magical land on the other side of Ian’s computer.

I wrote the songs as poetry but I dreamed about putting the poems to music. What better place for the music than the trailer? One of the songs in the book informs our hero about events that happened during his absence, and what needs to be done to save the people he grew to love in book I, Deception Peak. This song proved to be a perfect ballad for the trailer.

I asked videographer Alex Chandler, the young man who’s been filming my trailers, if he knew of a vocalist that might be able to write some music for me. He immediately thought of his friend Lexa Rose. Lexa, a young college student from Tacoma, was so excited to be a part of our project that she had a four part harmony written and recorded for me the day after I send her the lyrics.

The Ballad of the Dragon Shield was born. Lexa and I have since recorded an album with all the songs of the trilogy.

It was a wet rainy day when I met Alex and actors Stuart Odekirk (Ian) and his father (Alex) Robert Odekirk at Point No Point Washington. I searched a few days prior for a beach that actually had some waves. Most of the waters along the Puget Sound are calm, but up at the northern most tip of our peninsula you will find some breakers. A long gray beach and a forest nearby made the Point a perfect place to film.

I’ve been friends with the Odekirks for a few years. They’ve modeled in costumes and period clothing for me and my other artist friends. Robert makes his own armor. He made the shield you see in the trailer to the book’s specifications. You can imagine how excited I was to see that come to life!!

Robert is a horseman having appeared in several movies as a stunt man and trainer. Stuart, his son studied drama and works closely with his father—a perfect team to portray father-son in the novel. They bring a wonderful creative energy to the project! And Stuart really did hit that doll with his arrow spot on! The bow he used is a beautiful Hungarian Longbow.

My grandson Isaiah came with us to play the part of Daryl, the mysterious lost child. I think for a twelve year old, he did really well, and of course, Alex was an excellent director and works well with the kids.

You can see in the film how much fun the girls had as the Kaempern dancers. They were thrilled to be in the movie and can’t wait for the next one. These are my granddaughters Jade and Autumn Gaube, Memory Hernandez, and their friends Montana and Dakota Carver.

It wasn’t just the trailer that came to life during the writing of the book. If you haven’t read the story, the natives in the Realm live in yurts. Robert and his wife Crystal have an authentic Mongolian yurt. When I went to visit them on their lovely property in Preston Wa, they insisted on setting up this traditional hand made shelter for me and my husband to see. I took photographs and you can visit my blog to see the step-by-step process of erecting a yurt. http://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/p/the-dragon-shield-wip.html

Here is Crystal in her Mongolion garb next to the yurt, which by the way is completely hand made.







Since the three books of the Ian’s Realm Saga are illustrated, the actors also modeled for the illustrations.



Arrow photo






So there you have the making of a trailer of a fantasy story. I hope you enjoyed the journey! I sure did!

And the third book was even more fun researching as I got to sail on a tall ship! But we’ll talk about that another time!


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