Sovadron is a new epic fantasy graphic novel series from Christina Marie, set in a world based on post-colonial America.
Lt. Shakairra Romazi isn’t sure who will kill her first: the enemy’s soldiers, or her own.
Her money is on the latter.
After barely surviving their country’s last war, Shakairra and her soldiers are pulled into another. Goblins have been kidnapping citizens and selling them into slavery. But when a foreign noble arrives to investigate the death of his sister, Shakairra learns that the greater threat is within her own ranks.
As the body count climbs and her allies diminish, Shakairra must place her trust–never in abundant supply–into four strangers to save her country. But they soon realize this conflict is greater than that. And before this is over, even the blood of gods will be spilled.
Sovadron is illustrated by the extraordinary, oh-my-god-how-are-you-this-talented-you-absolute-jerk John Hawkins. My name is Christina “DZA” Marie, and I’m the writer. I also run the blog Dragons, Zombies & Aliens, so called because I love all things fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. I’ve been writing since I was twelve and publishing since I was twenty—which, at the time of my writing this, was a mere three years ago. And I can’t tell if being broke is a writer thing or a mid-twenties thing. I guess we’ll find out in a decade.
Because John is an amazing, masterful artist who moves at the speed of a glacier, the pre-order link for Sovadron is not up yet. However, $10+ patrons on my Patreon page get free copies of everything I write, while other patrons get sneak peaks and first access to giveaways.
You can become a patron here.
A Bite of... Christina Marie
Q1: How much of you is in your hero/villain?
Well, Sovadron is actually loosely inspired by my family’s Dungeons & Dragons adventures, so there’s quite a lot of my personality in “my” characters Shakairra and Rain (both of whom you meet in November). My brother played a priest named Gundar—you meet him later—and had a sword-mage named Quarrel-Karn, who got reconfigured into the geeky Kyne—you meet him in chapter two. My dad was the dungeon master, and also played the fifth member of our party Elkvein, the sorceress.
I basically just took those characters, tinkered with them a little bit, and dropped them in my own world.
As for the villain…well, there are a lot of them. The main villain is the evil goddess Sovadron who enslaved the world of Eoroe thousands of years ago and, after being defeated by all the other gods, was cursed to sleep in a coffin beneath the earth for all eternity. Because that kind of punishment never goes wrong.
So she’s a cranky, ambitious woman who always sleeps and, when it is a good time to get up and take over the world, ends up sleeping some more. I’d say she and I are very similar.
Q2: Is it important to include all shades of belief and sexual orientation in a book?
Absolutely. And not just religion and sexual orientation, but also gender, ethnicity, and disability.
Now obviously, you can’t fit every minority demographic in everything you write, especially if it’s something like a stand-alone novel or something shorter. Otherwise you just end up with flat, two-dimensional tokens that hurt the story, while insulting the communities you’re trying to represent.
But for something as long and expansive as Sovadron is going to be? There’s no excuse not to be inclusive, even if the main setting of your epic fantasy world is based off of a predominantly white society. It’s fantasy, and if there are a hundred characters with major speaking roles, there should be at least fifty who are POCs and more than one gay guy who ultimately gets killed off for drama. (Looking at you, George R. R. Martin.)
Of the five main characters we’ll meet in Sovadron, they all have different views on the gods and religion, two of them are in the LGBTQ+ community, there are three women, three people of color, and one person with autism. And in book two we’ll be meeting a transgender elf who is a military commander with the ultimate goal to be president one day. And he’s a crack shot with a rifle, because, you know, elf.
Q3: What time of day do you write best?
When it is least convenient for me. Seriously, in the middle of the work day, when I’m at my job, my fingers will be itching to write, and my brain will be so full of characters and concepts and ideas that I get a headache. But as soon as I’m home with hours before bed…nothing.
But usually I can fix that with a little walk and some YouTube videos on writing.
Thank you so much for letting me take over your website for the day. This was awesome!