Lost to myth and legend, few believed that dragons were real, and still fewer believed they could ever return. When a covert operation resulted in their release, all the might and power of the world couldn’t hold them back. With the world on the brink of defeat, the few who remain must grapple against all odds to combat an enemy that nearly drove us to the brink of extinction once before – and which is about to do so again.
From bestselling author Mike Kraus (Final Dawn, Prip’Yat) comes a new, five-book series: Drake: An Oral History of the Dragon War. In what can be best described as “World War Z with dragons,” Drake portrays a realistic, scientific history of the emergence of the drakes, and humanity’s subsequent battle just to stay alive. The gripping 5-part series will take you around the world, examining the history of the war from all sides: political, military, civilian, scientific and more.
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An Interview With Mike Kraus, Author of Drake: Emergence and Final Dawn
Drake is a five-part series about the world’s response to an emergence of dragons that begin to spread across the globe. The first book, “Emergence” covers this initial portion of humanity’s war with the dragons, and details a variety of sides to the war, such as the politics between nations, military responses, civilian responses and more. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to add a good dose of realism to the book while incorporating some of the more popular and lesser known accounts of mythical dragons into the book to help give it a more authentic feel. The result, I think, is a story that hangs on the edge of creepy realism, where the line between what you know is real and what you know is myth starts to blur ever so slightly.
Back in 2012 when I was mulling over ideas for various books I wanted to write, I happened to re-read World War Z and some other books in the “oral history” genre and was reminded of how much I enjoyed the style. Instead of a main character or group, you get a series of vignettes that are all separate from each other, but when combined add up to an awesome story. As with most of my story ideas, the particulars of the story (writing about a “return” of dragons that threaten humanity) sprang up out of nowhere one day, and I spent a while mulling it over and refining it.
I really enjoy writing post-apocalyptic fiction, but Final Dawn ended up winning out over Drake for the series I started with, so Drake’s been sitting on the back burner ever since then. I went back to it several times in the last two years to do some design and outlining work, but didn’t start writing the first episode in earnest until the start of the year.
I’m not entirely sure that Drake is trying to teach any particular lesson… perhaps something about preparing ourselves for worse case scenarios, or something about the folly of humanity, or our ability to band together in the face of adversity? I don’t really think I have a lesson in mind that I’m trying to teach with Drake; it’s a book that’s more for fun, excitement and some thrills more than anything else. 🙂
I’ve always been writing in some capacity or another since I was a young child, when my father forced an assignment on me over one summer to “write one page per day of anything, as long as it’s at least a page long.” I didn’t enjoy that assignment at first, but it really helped grow my writing passion, and before long I couldn’t stop writing. I never really dreamed of becoming an author, and the success that I saw with Final Dawn still blows me away to this day.
Final Dawn and now Drake are both definitely post-apocalyptic, and while I’ve not read too many books in that genre, I do enjoy reading in genres that are close relatives. Thrillers or action/adventure books with an “end of the world” flavor to them are my favorites to read, and my history in reading those types of books definitely shows in my writing. I spent a lot of my childhood reading Michael Crichton, Preston & Child and Clive Cussler, so a lot of that has bled through into my writing style.
Not very much, unfortunately! In addition to my writing I also do programming, web design and a few other things, so the time I have for reading anything but research materials or programming APIs is fairly limited. One tab that I’ve had open for quite a while is Wikipedia’s history of the India/Pakistan conflict, since I’m trying my best to get the historical bits in Drake as accurate as possible.
Michael Crichton’s work has always held a special place in my heart. Sphere and Prey are the two books I think of whenever I think of a “favorite” book due to the way Crichton blended fiction and science together in a way that made the lines between the two seem very blurred. I think Prey is lesser known than his other works, but it was one of my biggest inspirations when I was writing Final Dawn, and a lot of the same themes that appeared in Prey were also present in Final Dawn. Another pair of authors are the Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child duo, whose Pendergast series mesmerized me and was a big inspiration for pieces of a lot of characters I developed for Final Dawn.
In addition to Drake, I’m working on a series of standalone novels that are best described as “a combination of Warehouse 13 and The Dresden Files ” as a reader once told me. I published a prequel of sorts in the form of Cold Springs, which sets the stage for the new universe and helps to introduce some of the key characters. The first “official” book in the Artifact Securement Agency universe will be called Summoning and should be out by the end of 2014.
Professionally trained as a Systems Engineer, Mike has been a writer his entire life, spending his summers as a child writing of daring adventures and epic science-fiction exploits in a college-ruled notebook instead of playing video games. That love of writing stayed with him until it finally burst forth in the form of “Final Dawn,” a thrilling post-apocalyptic series released in an episodic format that has sold over 70,000 copies and counting. Final Dawn was followed by two other stand-alone books, “Prip’Yat” and “Cold Springs,” and Mike’s latest work is a new five-part series titled “Drake: An Oral History of the Dragon War.” Mike currently lives in Mississippi with his wife and three children and spends his days writing (of course), programming and tinkering on his PC.
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