2011 Outskirts Press ForeWord Book of the Year Award Winners

In April, we introduced you to our ForeWord Book of the Year Award finalists. Four lucky (and talented) Outskirts Press authors have been honored by the ForeWord Award committee. They are (in alphabetical order by title):

Back to Normal by Debbie Boucher
Back to Normal by Debbie Boucher
Honorable Mention in Fiction – Romance
Command Influence by Robert A. Shaines
Command Influence by Robert A. Shaines
Gold in True Crime
The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree by Paul H Deepan
The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree by Paul H Deepan
Bronze in Fiction – Fantasy
No Hope for Gomez! by Graham Parke
No Hope for Gomez! by Graham Parke
Gold in Fiction – General


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Self-Publishing Virtual Book Tour: The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree by: Paul H Deepan

As an author in this economy, you have to come up with creative ways to market your self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.

Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Paul H Deepan, who is taking his latest book, The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. He will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about him and his book.

Luckily for us, Paul was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree.

The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree book cover

OP: Tell us a little bit about The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree. What is it about?

PHD: As the story opens, seventeen-year-old Jake Patel’s mother is dying of cancer. Jake is furious at his father David for accepting this fact, and bargains with the universe to save his mother’s life, “no matter who has to die.” Assisted by his schoolmate Jenny Blackwood, a well-intentioned but inexperienced witch, Jake is transported to the world of Tiramonde, a world which, like himself, is on the brink of catastrophe.

Guided upon his arrival by the witch Ureth, Jake learns that the only thing that can save his mother’s life is the fruit of the Dendragon Tree, a tree that has not bloomed in living memory. But legend holds that plucking the Dendragon fruit will release the dragon Kildraig from his thousand-year imprisonment, and Kildraig was imprisoned for very good reasons. Worse, when David also arrives in Tiramonde, looking for his son, both Ureth’s and Jake’s choices become excruciating. For Ureth must choose the true liberator of Tiramonde. And Jake must choose which parent, in the end, he will save.

Vibrant with magic both light and dark, and alive with centaurs, elves, werewolves and vampires (not to mention a deliciously evil dragon), The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree speaks to our fear of inevitable death, and to our hope for continued life. It is a story of premature loss and repaired love, of learning that there are worse things than dying, and that cancers, both real and metaphorical, usually require poisons to defeat them.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

PHD: I love the worlds created by C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Frank Herbert, and Ursula K. Le Guin, and I also had an interest in portraying diverse and conflicting moral and spiritual perspectives in my work. I think a magical fantasy can help one do that without seeming “preachy.” Also, having grown up with Narnia, in particular, I wanted to ‘raise the stakes” somewhat in my own writing. What if Digory Kirk in The Magician’s Nephew faced the choices Jake did in Dendragon? What if the price of “success” was much steeper? So, in many ways The Fruit Of The Dendragon Tree is Narnia for adults.

OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?

PHD: I truly think my book has wide appeal. Older Young Adult readers (8th Grade and above) will appreciate the coming of age elements, and adults will appreciate the story lines that touch upon the challenges of being a parent. The story has all the classic ingredients necessary to satisfy fantasy lovers, and certainly on the surface Dendragon is a fantasy quest novel. But many non-fantasy readers have told me they really like the story too, due to the underlying spiritual themes, which was exactly the outcome I wanted.

OP: What is special about your book?  What differentiates it from other books in the same category?

PHD: Certainly the feedback I have received about the story and the quality of the writing has been very positive (and reviews on Amazon and my website support this). However, for me the difference in this particular work goes even further.

Does life imitate art? For me it certainly did. Shortly after I had finished the first draft, the fiction that I had created in many ways became reality. One month after my son, whose middle name is Jacob (Jake), turned 17 (the same age as Jake in my story) my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. That is one of the reasons that I am donating a portion of all sales of The Fruit of The Dendragon Tree to Cancer Research.

OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?

PHD: The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree is my first novel. I am currently writing a sequel, The King of Tiramonde. I am also planning a prequel, set almost entirely in our own world, and having to do with a haunted house in Trinidad, where I spent my early years. The working title of that project is 30 Queen’s Park West, the address of the house, now a government office building in Port of Spain.

OP: Thanks for your time, Paul! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!

The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree Author Paul H DeepanABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Paul H Deepan was born in Port-of-Spain Trinidad, and was educated in England, Trinidad, and Canada. He spent most of his career in the pharmaceutical industry before becoming a writer.

He currently lives with his family near Nashville, Tennessee, and volunteers as a reading mentor in the Metropolitan Nashville school system via the PENCIL organization. The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree, which won an Editor’s Choice Award at the San Diego State University Writer’s Conference, is his first novel.

For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/fruitofthedendragontree

This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road”.  Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.

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