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31 Facts About Sand Dancer

Can you believe its been one whole month since Sand Dancer came out in the world? Me neither! If you’ve read the book, I hope you enjoyed it and consider leaving a review! If you’ve yet to read it, then maybe I can convince you to bump it to the top of your TBR pile.

There’s so much about the world of Sandair I want to share with you guys. To celebrate Sand Dancer’s first month, I’ve pulled together some facts about Sand Dancer’s development, including a behind-the-scenes look at the world and characters! This is intended as a companion for people who are either currently reading the book or have already read it and want a little bit extra. And if you don’t own the book yet, buy it now! Don’t worry, I’ll keep these facts spoiler-free for the main story.

Here are 31 facts about Sand Dancer; one fact for each day of the books release:

1. Mina Wasn’t Always Mina

That’s right. The main character wasn’t always called Tamina “Mina” Hawker; she was once Gail Hawkley. In all my old drafts, Mina was known as Gail, named after the goddess of nature, Gai. Mina grew up within the Temple of Gai for the first years of her life and Gail is a given name for orphaned girls, as Gaius is for boys. However many of my beta readers couldn’t connect with the name and felt it didn’t fit within the world, despite my reasonings. I spent a few weeks agonising over the perfect name. Once I heard Mina, it fit perfectly, and now I can’t imagine her as anyone else.

Similarly, once I changed Gail to Mina, I also had to change her fake name. In the story, Mina chooses to name herself after Malik the Merciless, a legendary hero of her tribe. But Malik was once Galam the Great!

I did consider Malik the Magnificent. I’m quite glad I decided against it.

2. Sandair was once Sandaria

Similar to the main character’s name change, Sandair was once simply known as Sandaria. I changed it to fit with the name scheme I used for other names and locations. I pronounce Sandair like Altair: San-Die-Air.

I imagine the other nations, such as Hartnor, refer to Sandair as Sandaria.

There were a few other name changes I made to other characters and locations. Here are a few of them:

  • Khalbad was once Karood.
  • King Khaled was once Kaleb.
  • Raj was once Kamran.
  • Prince Rais was once Relan.
  • The Bright Solaran was one known as the Bright Socha.
  • Gareth the Hartnord was once known as Vincent Cairn. A truly awful name now I think about it…
  • House Myrbond was once House Teybond, and the city was Teyrn instead of Myryn.
  • Sand dancing was once called sun dancing.
  • And Sand Dancer was once called Whirlwind of the Sands, but that title is a bit of a mouthful.

3. Sand Dancer was Split in Half

When I wrote the first draft to Sand Dancer back in 2012, it was an epic adventure which began in Mina’s childhood in Khalbad. The same storyline still happened; Mina is adopted by Talin, is raised in a noble House, and enters the Academy disguised as a boy. In the first drafts, she merely wanted to study there and wasn’t seeking revenge against the Prince, but the two of them become rivals and eventual enemies. This early version introduced the Hartnords and had them fight in the tournament as a combatant that Mina faces. A tragic accident leads to war between the nations of Sandair and Hartnor, and the story carried on with Mina fighting in this war until its devastating end.

As you can imagine, this resulted in a very big book. One of the first decisions I made when re-writing the story was to cut the war sections and relegate that for a sequel. So now you know what to look forward to!

4. Fire Magic Didn’t Exist

The very first draft of Sand Dancer didn’t have any fire magic! Instead, the story focussed more on Mina’s desire to be a warrior and her rivalry with the Prince. As I re-wrote the story, I felt like it was missing something…. that my fantasy story didn’t have enough fantasy. Even in those early drafts, I described the Sandarian’s as having fire in their blood, so I decided to make it quite literal, and now I can’t imagine this book without the Fire Walkers.

The blood magic, blood bonds, and fire magic are all linked and I literally came up with them whilst in a cute little Italian coffee shop.

5. Arlent

Arlent is Mina’s home, or the home she comes to love. I’m not sure where the name of Arlent came from, but once I heard it, it stuck. I imagine Arlent is built into a mountain and spiralling up to the skies. Here is some amazing art I came across during my early research which helped create Arlent. Just picture a mountain behind it, and the rider is wearing purple, not red!

Source: Late to a Meeting by Spader7

6. The Theme of Threes

You may have noticed, but there is an ongoing pattern of threes in this book;

  • The three nations of Sandair, Hartnor, and Neu Bosa.
  • The three regions of the Duslands, the Solands, and Gaisland and their three wardens.
  • The three gods of Rahn, Lune, and Gai.
  • The three seasons of Rahn’s Dawn, Lune’s Shadow, and Gai’s Seed.
  • The three members of House Arlbond; Talin, Iman, and Jonan.
  • The three friends; Mina, Alistar, and Raj.
  • The three royals; Ravel, Rais, and Princess Aniya.

And probably more I can’t actually remember! I always intended for this series to be a trilogy, but splitting up book one has ruined this. Doh!

7. My Original Idea for Sand Dancer…

I grew up on books by Tamora Pierce and loved the story of Alanna; a girl who disguised herself as a boy to become a knight. I wanted to write my own story of a woman who disguised herself as a man and became legendary for it, so legendary, she is captured by the enemy kingdom and forced to reveal her secret – only to fall in love with the enemy king. I’m sorry to say that Sand Dancer no longer reflects this original idea at all! Early drafts did have Mina travel to the enemy kingdom (Hartnor in this case) and become the sorran (guardian) to the Hartnord king only to slowly fall in love but realise it could never be. I always planned for this to be the path of the sequel, and then the third book, and to have the first book as the origin story for Mina’s character. But as the story evolved over its development, Mina’s character took shape and she didn’t like what I had planned for her. I also wanted to avoid certain tropes.

Mina will still travel to Hartnor in the third book and help out the Hartnord king as originally intended, and there will be a love story there, but not how I once planned it…

8. Mina’s Theme Song

I’ve shared my Sand Dancer playlist and explained how I used video game music to inspire the world and characters. One thing I didn’t mention in my playlist; I’m a massive fan of Depeche Mode! I own all the albums and B sides, and it’s literally all I listen to. As a result, I have theme songs for the characters all from Depeche Mode songs.

Instead of boring you all with a playlist of Depeche Mode music, I want to share what I believe is Mina’s personal theme song as taken from the album Ultra.

9. Fez the Fennec Fox

Just as the Fire Walkers didn’t exist in early drafts, neither did Fez! He was a recent addition the story and, I gotta say, trying to fit an animal companion into your scenes is both fun and frustrating. I always have to try and remember where Fez is and what he’s up to. He’s going to cause a bit of trouble in the sequel. I did have a great time during my research for Fez which involved visiting a local zoo to watch them in person. And I can guarantee that Fez will have a happy ending! You’d all hate me if he didn’t.

There will be different types of foxes in future books, including red foxes and arctic foxes! In book one, Alistar mentions how foxes are considered lucky in Neu Bosa. One day Mina will travel to Neu Bosa and see why…

10. The Travelling Circus of Neu Bosa

So the very first drafts of Sand Dancer began with Mina running into the desert, only to stumble upon a mysterious travelling circus run by the Neu Bosan and their cruel circus master. Mina is taken in by a sword-dancing woman with silver hair called Furi, and it’s Furi who encourages Mina to disguise herself a boy and learn sword dancing. I honestly really loved these chapters because it gave Mina a chance to bond with another woman/a mother figure, and it included some fun circus acts and travel through the desert on camel-laden wagons. I still have all of these chapters saved, so here is a deleted extract just for you:

Camels pulled movable homes, trailers of equipment and cages full of exotic animals, all twinkling with lamp-light. Bosan men sat atop horses and rode beside the caravan to keep each wagon in one smooth line. The travelling circus became a living, breathing thing. A single creature sliding a path through the dunes. Commands and chatter followed the line, orders and idle gossip passed between each wagon and its driver. Most of it spoken in their sharp Neu Bosan language, but Gail caught the odd Sandarian word. Braying camels, trampling hooves and the soft melody of wind chimes joined the desert wind — a clamour so noisy it woke Lune from her slumber. Lune’s light joined the stars to guide their way.

Beta readers loved Furi as a character as she was a feminine, tall, sword-dancing woman that mothered Mina. However, as I needed to make cuts to the book, these chapters shrank… and shrank… until I couldn’t justify keeping them any longer. I tried really hard to keep Furi in the book, but once she was cut, I couldn’t think of a way to bring her back, and she was replaced, in essence, by the character of Leila. Many of Mina’s old interactions with Furi became interactions with Iman instead.

You know what they say; kill your darlings.

Furi will make an appearance in the sequels although her role will obviously be different. And a travelling Neu Bosan circus will definitely make an appearance!

11. Iman was once a Man!

For many drafts, Iman was actually a male character called Mani. He was still the same character; strict with Mina, but a lovable oaf that loved to cook and drink wine. As I edited the book and cut out a certain circus sword dancer (see above!) I realised book one was rather bereft of female characters and Mina needed some female companionship and a new role model. So I gender-swapped Mani and he became Iman, a Queen Latifah-type character that grew into her own woman. I can’t imagine her as anything else.

As the series progresses, we will meet more female characters, don’t worry! Mina will gain friends her own age.

12. Sandair was Inspired by Persian Aesthetics

Sand Dancer is set in its own second-world which doesn’t rely on real-world culture, history, or mythology. However, as I designed the world, I did base each of the nations on the style and aesthetics of people and places from the real world. Sandair was thus inspired by Persian and Moroccan locations, clothing, and food, and its people could be classed as a mix of middle-eastern and South Asian countries. I researched those areas for my initial world building, but the people of Sandair took on their own life and became their own thing. The customs and religions of my world are not based on any in the real world.

Similarly, the Hartnords are inspired by Scandinavian countries, and their accent sounds German to me. Their kingdom is more traditionally European with stone castles and snow. Yep, Mina will get to experience snow.

The Neu Bosan were initially inspired by South-East Asia but took on a steam-punk vibe which you’ll see more of in later books. Neu Bosa is split between three isles (that theme of three again), and their culture is divided between traditional fishing villages with ancient forests, and steam-powered cities with canals and modern plumbing.

And an extra fact for you; each of the three nations are represented by a god. Sandair is the aspect of Rahn, Hartnor is the aspect of Lune, and Neu Bosa is the aspect of Gai.

13. Sword Dancing

I make no secret that the fighting style of Sand Dancer was inspired by the video game Soul Calibur. In fact, this video is exactly how I imagine Mina’s fighting style:

And for a special bonus, here is Mina herself created using the Soul Calibur character engine:

14. The Blood Bond

Blood bonds are an important part of the world and story. There are three bonds in all, but the most important is the House bond.

Mina chooses to join House Arlbond, and in doing so she binds herself permanently to her new family. The bond is an intelligent thing and works based on emotion and feeling. By bonding with someone, you can feel their life essence; the scents, sensations, and feelings that represent a person’s soul. For example, Iman’s essence feels like a warm afternoon, and tastes/smells like red fruits and wine. When someone joined by a family bond is nearby, you can feel their essence. The bond transmits emotions, such as if someone is sad or scared. If a person is injured or in danger, the bond will share that too. But the bond doesn’t share everything. The more people who share a House bond, the more diluted it becomes, and so larger Houses don’t feel everything so deeply because that would be overwhelming. Instead, it’s more of a faint buzzing. For House Arlbond, the bond is strong and more intimate.

There are times when Mina feels her family’s emotions and they are able to “manipulate” the bond to command her, or at least that’s what it feels like to her. But really, these are emotions which are felt so strongly that Mina acts on them as if they were her own. Mina herself is a very emotional person, and so her emotions tend to shout through the bond, which is one reason why she gets away with so much trouble!

15. The Theme of Birds

There is a slight theme of birds in the book. Mina is named Hawker, for her Lunei family’s old role in rearing and training hawks to hunt. In old drafts, Mina owned some hawk feathers as a keepsake from her father. She also names her sword Hawk – which coincidentally, is also what her mother named her sword. The Hawker family carry this motif in the sequel when we meet Mina’s long-lost uncle who happens to own a pet hawk.

I haven’t got a name for this pet hawk yet, so feel free to suggest one!

In the sequels, Mina gains two new swords which she also names after birds. Her next sword is called Kite!

When developing Mina’s character, I tried to picture her as a Hawk; a bird of prey with sharp eyes and quick attacks. Mina also values her freedom and dreams of flying free.

16. Cut Characters

There have been many side characters throughout the older drafts of Sand Dancer, and not all of them made the cut, pun intended. In order to streamline the book, I chose to cut certain characters, merge some together, or relegate them for the sequel. I’ve already mentioned Furi, but here are some other cut characters and my reasoning for snapping them out of existence:

  • Saeed: There were once another bully who harassed Mina in the Academy. Cyrus had a friend called Saeed. He wasn’t much different from Cyrus, so I merged them together and re-used Saeed’s name for another character in the sequel.
  • Hran: Salasar once had his own sorran, a handsome Gaislander and older brother to Raj. Hran was the complete opposite to Salasar and helped run the Academy training sessions. Mina had a crush on him in the early drafts, but I cut his character when I realised he existed literally to be eye-candy. I’ve since re-purposed his name.
  • Siona: Lady Siona was a young noble woman the same age as Mina who flirted with the boys of the Academy. Mina was initially jealous of Siona’s interactions with Alistar, and then Mina herself was forced to flirt with Siona in order to convince people of her male disguise. Siona was cut when I realised these were terrible tropes and did nothing for the story or characters.
  • Darian: In older drafts, Mina joined Arlent’s town watch and apprenticed under a lanky teenage boy called Darian. His purpose was to show her the ropes and also explain Talin’s past. However, these town watch chapters were cut, and Talin’s past moved to later on, this leaving no room for poor Darian.

17. Sand Wraiths

Despite being a fantasy story, there aren’t any magical creatures in the world of Sandair, but there are a few scary monsters. The sand wraiths are introduced and explained in book one, and these are creatures which will make a frequent appearance in the world, and not just in the desert. Sand wraiths are considered to be a tale to frighten children as they very rarely appear in civilized society. The Dusland tribes know they are real! They fear sandstorms because at the heart of them could be a sand wraith.

Wraiths are ethereal, but can take on a physical form by making a body out of any available material near by. In the desert, there’s a lot of sand, hence why sand wraiths are their most common form. But take a wraith out of the desert and they’ll make a body from literally anything.

Some forms we’ll see in later books include wraiths made from soil and weeds, wraiths made from ice and rock, and a wraith made from the weapons of a downed army.

18. It’s a Whole New World

You may or may not have noticed, but Sand Dancer contains a couple of references to my favourite Disney film, Aladdin! I adored this film when I was a kid, and I count it among one of the bigger influences for Sand Dancer. Ignoring the obvious desert-based setting, I refer to the orphans on Khalbad street’s as street rats, and I have a couple of lines which blatantly reference Aladdin. Here is the most obvious one from when Mina first arrives at the capital city of Solus:

Iman was right. This was a whole new world.

And here is a less obvious one during Mina’s tournament match against the lovely Farzad:

Rage flushed his face. “You’re nothing.” His sword whooshed close. “You’ll die as nothing.” Its edge kissed the hairs on her neck. “And not even the gnats will mourn you.”

Should I try and fit more in the sequel?

19. Fun Facts about the Characters

Here’s a couple of quick fun facts about Mina and her friends/enemies:

  • Mina hates swimming and boats and suffers from seasickness. This will be a problem in the sequels…
  • Alistar has six older brothers and sisters, making him the seventh and youngest. He feels neglected and got his three silver star tattoos to annoy his father.
  • Raj’s father died in the last war seventeen years ago, so he doesn’t remember him. His mother Hana rules their House as the only female Houseman on the Council.
  • Prince Ravel was named after the founder of the Academy because the King wanted his son to grow up wise.
  • Prince Rais has a very close relationship with his twin sister, Aniya. After his accident, he only trusted Aniya to look after him.
  • Princess Aniya was named after her aunt, the late King Khaled’s twin sister, who died before Aniya and Rais were born.
  • Cyrus killed a thief when he was fourteen years old.
  • Zavar enjoys the finer things in life, like good food and wine. He secretly hates fighting, but he’s utterly devoted to his cousin, Prince Ravel.
  • Salasar’s daughter will appear in the sequel and she shares a few things in common with Mina… the two of them will become good friends!
  • Malik the Merciless was a real person who existed hundreds and hundreds of years ago! We’ll learn about him in the sequels too.

20. The Noble Houses

There are thirteen noble Houses of Sandair, but not all of them get mentioned in the book. Mina joins House Arlbond, the youngest and smallest of the Houses. Only noble born boys belonging to a House can enter the Academy at Solus, a college in Sandair. Each man must wear their House colours as a sahn, a sash across their shoulder. Noble girls also display their colours in other ways. Other than the royal family, the oldest Houses are House Baibond in the Duslands, and House Grebond in Gaisland, who have historically owned the title of Protector of the Path and Guardian of Gai. The largest of the Houses is House Sarabond who own the title of Sword of Solus.

The thirteen Houses meet often within the King’s Council to discuss and vote on matters of state. You’ll get to see them in action in the sequel!

Learn more about the Noble Houses and take a quiz to see which House you would belong to.

21. The Map of Sandair

The map of Sandair has evolved over the years. I’m no artist, and so my attempts at making a map of the world have been less than spectacular, shall we say. Here is my first real attempt at a map, stylised in the shape of a sword:

Yeah, I know it looks more like a shoe. I thought my attempted was great! But really, leave map design to the pros. Here is Sandair as designed by legendary cartographer Soraya Corcoran:

22. Losing a Hand

In some of the early drafts of Sand Dancer, Mina lost her sword hand. As in it was literally cut off. Ouch, right?

Book one ended with Mina fighting against a Fire Walker and receiving a serious burn to her sword hand in the process, which then had to be amputated against her wishes. The main reason I went down this dark path to begin with is that I took the “character must lose something they can’t live without” advice for writing a bit too literally. Mina values her ability to sword fight, so hey, let’s chop of her hand. The sequel was then going to focus on her being trained to fight left-handed by Talin as war raged on.

I realised after writing this version that including this wasn’t working for a few reasons. For one, it completely changed the tone of the story, and for two, I didn’t feel like I was the right person to write a story with an amputee main character, even after doing research. I feel these stories should be represented properly. So I cut this from the book. Pun not intended.

I also learned not to take writing advice so literally. Mina will definitely lose things she cares about, but these are more in theme with the story.

23. Sand Dancer Memes

As well as sneaking some Aladdin references in Sand Dancer, my editor did pick up on this meme and somehow let it slide. Iman gets annoyed when she travels to Solus and learns of what trouble Mina and Talin have been getting up to:

It’s an older meme, but it checks out.

One of my favourite ways to procrastinate is to imagine what the side characters are doing or feeling during certain scenes. Sand Dancer is written from Mina’s perspective, so we only see the story from her eyes. For example, she really REALLY hates Prince Ravel. To her, he’s a monster. To everyone else, he’s quite charming.

For example, it’s canon that the King and Talin sit around drinking wine in the King’s private study whilst discussing how hard it is to raise teenagers.

Mina is undoubtedly a brat at times, and so this conversation totally happened in the background:

Jonan: Your daughter is a brat and is going to enter the tournament. You should probably stop her.

Talin: Nah, she’s a good kid, she’d never do that.

Jonan: She keeps arguing with everyone.

Talin: Nah, she’s just settling in, she’s doing great!

Jonan: …

Jonan: Talin’s daughter is a brat and she’s going to get us all killed.

Iman: But she’s OUR brat.

Jonan: …

Jonan: We’re all going to die.

I’m not saying Talin is a terrible parent… for more fun, check out Sand Dancer in GIF form!

24. The History of Solus

The city of Solus is built on an island known as Bloodstone Island and is the capital city of Sandair. It’s well known for its large temples, busy bazaars, Neu Bosan canals, and as the home of the royal family.

Long ago, the island was a haven for pirates and smugglers who used the rocky bay to hide their ships. The pirates built underground tunnels in the island which were once full of precious bloodstone ores, and they used these tunnels to hide their treasures. It was the first Sandarian king, King Solus, who drove out the pirates and mined the ores, using his newfound wealth to build a city. Over time, the city grew to incorporate Bloodstone Keep and the King used the bay’s natural defences to protect his family and grow an empire. After his death, his sons continued to expand the city by building the north and south bridge that span the bay, connecting the island to the rest of Sandair. They named the city in honour of their father.

Solus is well defended, and whilst there have been many attempts to invade and besiege the city, it has yet to fall…

25. A Possible Prequel??

One day I hope to write a prequel which explores the background of House Arlbond from when Talin and Iman left their Dusland tribe and established their House. The prequel would be written from Talin’s point of view and also feature Iman, Jonan, and other adult character who appear in Sand Dancer! It would also cover the war that took place seventeen years before Mina’s birth.

If you’ve read Sand Dancer already, then you’ll know it’ll have a tragic ending…

26. The Secrets of House Arlbond

There are many secrets in House Arlbond, most of which will be revealed in the sequels, but here are a few minor secrets:

  • Talin once stole Iman’s freshly baked pies and blamed it on a camel. He’s vowed to take this secret beyond death.
  • Iman flirted with Salasar in the Academy when they were younger so that Salasar would sneak her into lessons, but she was basically using this to punish him for his ego. When Salasar realised this, he was hurt, and the two fell out, but eventually became friends again. It’s something neither of them talk about.
  • Jonan grew up on the streets of Solus and was forced to beg for scraps before he found work. He hated the rats and would capture and cook them with his bare hands for food.
  • When Jonan became Talin’s sorran, Talin really did send him to the far side of Gaisland. He ordered Jonan to buy wine, and he came back wounded and dishevelled, but with the finest Gaisland wine. Talin gave the wine to Iman and felt so guilty, he offered to release Jonan as his sorran, but Jonan refused and has served ever since.
  • Iman laid traps around the mansion to stop Fez from raiding her kitchen as she thought he was stealing food. But after Jonan revealed the source of the theft was rats, Iman felt guilty and allowed Fez inside to hunt them. She never told Mina this.
  • Talin bought Mina’s horse Luna from an expensive Nasiri breeder in the Solands. The horse cost quite a pretty penny, but he lied to Iman about the true cost so that Iman wouldn’t get angry at him for spoiling Mina.
  • Jonan has a fez hat which is what Mina’s fennec fox was named after. Jonan carries this hat with him as a keepsake and reminder of an old friend…
  • There are two secret members of House Arlbond. One is revealed in book one, and the other is mentioned in book two. Talin also invited someone else to join their House, but he declined.

27. Sand Dancer Word Cloud

Word clouds are a fun way of looking at the most frequent words used within your story. This was generated from the entirety of Sand Dancer. As you can see, this book is a bout fire, blood, swords, and princes!

28. Fire Magic

As highlighted above, fire magic is an integral part of Mina’s story, and the first book explores her own feelings on what it means to be a Fire Walker. As the series progresses, we’ll learn more about the Fire Walkers and their troubled past. But here are a few facts on fire magic and how it works.

Fire magic in Sandair is powered by blood. This means that as fire is cast, a Fire Walker’s blood is burned up. Use too much magic, and the caster will suffer the symptoms of blood loss which can lead to unconsciousness and even death. Suffering a wound acts like a ‘leak’ in someone’s magic, which can reduce the effectiveness of fire magic or halt it completely. This also has some interesting effects depending on the physical fitness, size, and gender of the Fire Walker. For example, a person with poor circulation may struggle to summon their fire magic. A larger person potentially has more blood, and therefore more magic to spare. Fire magic itself can be triggered by emotions, such as fear or anger, but too much magic all at once, or too much stress all at once, can put a strain on the heart. A person with high blood pressure may burn through their magic quicker!

Women typically have greater control over their fire magic than men because, culturally speaking, they have greater control of their emotions. Men are too quick to anger, and therefore quick to flare. Of course, women’s bodies affects fire magic in different ways. Menstruation acts like a wound and can weaken fire magic. Pregnancy also blocks fire magic altogether so that a woman cannot summon or use fire magic at all during pregnancy. This is another reason why there are more male Fire Walkers than female.

Children generally don’t show signs of fire magic until they reach puberty, which is nature’s way of ensuring kids don’t go around setting fire to things.

29. If Mina Played Video Games

Have you ever wondered what video games the characters would play if they lived in the modern world? Well wonder no more! These are the games Mina and her friends would play:

  • Mina would love games which got her moving. Naturally, she would be an expert at Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance. She’d also enjoy games with motion controls, such as Wii Sports. Then she’d spend her nights winding down with some beat ’em ups like Street Fighter, Tekken or Smash Bros. Who would be her main? Marth, Link, or Sheik.
  • Alistar is pretty chill bro that would likely play games just to relax and socialise. He’d play Fifa when he’s feeling lazy, but would also be into competitive online games like Overwatch and Fortnite.
  • Raj loves to read and loves his lore, so obviously he would be a massive RPG fan! In fact, he’d probably spend most of his spare time indoors playing MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy. He’d take it pretty seriously, too.
  • Prince Ravel is a control freak, so he’d like RTS games and god games such as Civilization. Anything where he can be in charge and rule the world.
  • Prince Rais would be an anime fan and probably spend more time watching anime and YouTube than playing games. He’d enjoy JRPG’s like Persona, and interactive story games like Life is Strange.

But what would Sand Dancer be like if the book was a video game? Here are my ideas!

30. The Old Book Cover

As I mentioned above, I am no artist, but here was my attempt at designing a placeholder cover for Sand Dancer. I tried to use Arlent’s purple. On reflection, I’m not sure purple and orange really work together:

Yeah, that looks pretty amateur, right? I’m sure you’ll agree the finished product looks much better:

This cover was designed by Edouard Noisette! Visit his website for more amazing art.

31. A Look at the Sequels

Sand Dancer is the first of a four-book quartet. I’m currently hard at work on the sequel! As explained above, the original draft of Sand Dancer was split in half, and the sequel represents the other half and war against the Hartnords. Things are much more serious in the sequel as Mina meets a Hartnord Prince who she hates just as much as Prince Ravel, and she’s forced to step up in order to protect the Fire Walkers from threats old and new. There’s more blood, fire, and death as Mina finally gets to grips with her devastating fire magic. And there’s kissing. Did I mention the kissing?

Later on in the series, Mina will travel to the cold kingdom of Hartnor for some ghost-hunting, and will also set sail for the isles of Neu Bosa.

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