Tomahawks and Dragon Fire with Stanley Wheeler

You’ve heard of Sword and Sorcery? (That’s the Lord of the Rings stuff with semi-medieval settings and clashes of swords.) How about Flintlock Fantasy? That’s set in a slightly more modern world, maybe the late 1700s or so, where muskets and flintlocks exist and there are DRAGONS! (Sign me up.) One of the people writing in this genre is Stanley Wheeler, author of the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire series.

Stanley, tell us about the wonder that is you…

I could describe myself in very favorable terms, but there’s always someone ready with a second opinion. Born and raised in Idaho, I’ve climbed the pyramids of Mexico, rambled about the halls and grounds of Versailles, and mourned the honored dead at Normandy. I would like to return to visit that hallowed ground. Although writing has been a long-term affliction for me, I didn’t start publishing until 2012 when I published a western novel I had written ten years earlier. I now have about a dozen novels and a few published short stories available. I enjoy acting in the community theater and in old-time radio show plays. Writing novels surpasses the stage experience because I get to play all the characters—and I don’t have to memorize the lines. However, the kissing scenes are less satisfying. In my youth I discovered that I didn’t want a long-term relationship with crops and cows, so I sought an education that would take me abroad. Eventually, I graduated with a degree in Near Eastern Studies. I had an opportunity to go to Washington D.C. to complete the final round of testing for employment with a government agency. I passed on the chance and went into law instead. In a life built on one bad decision after another, I thought I should cap that pyramid by sharing my writing affliction with the public.

We’ve all decided to take our trauma out on readers. Tell us about your latest book and the series.

I recently completed writing Crisis in Fire and Snow, book 6 in my Tomahawks and Dragon Fire Series. Threading the Rude Eye is the first book in the series. In this alternate history fantasy, Alex is completing his study of the law. He plans to marry and go to England to become a barrister. However, when two peculiar men with a map to a cache of dangerous power arrive with The King’s Supreme Commander in pursuit, everything he loves is destroyed, and he is thrown into the maelstrom of the revolution and the quest for the cache of power. Magic, dragons, and many other fantastic creatures complicate the struggle for life on the hostile frontier and the battle for liberty in America. Each book in the series builds on what has gone before. The characters grow and change, and their understanding of the magic progresses as well. I love each installment, but book 5 in the series, Truth in Flames, touches me the most deeply.

Can you tell us about the magic system (that’s writer talk for world building and cool stuff)?

There are a few different forms of magic used in the series. The most powerful magic originates from the dragon stones, which, as you might expect, come from dragons. The stones give one enhanced abilities: the power to compel others to one’s will, to heal, and to form tangible objects like weapons, shields, cords, etc. Additionally, other stones used in conjunction with a dragon stone provide other powers. The idea for the story and the magic grew from thoughts I had entertained for a few years. Finally, during a hiking trip, I outlined the first three books. I thought I was only outlining the first book, but the story expanded in the telling. Fantasy and history are subjects I enjoy. It seemed natural to mesh them into a great tale. Alex has a great sense of right and justice. Events constantly challenge both his growing powers as well as his desire to fulfill his commission limited instructions on how to use the power. In one sense, he is like the young Arthur, striving to reach an ideal in a world beset with evil. Although he possesses the same power that the commander uses to manipulate and control, he must use it for good. It’s a learning process with which nearly everyone should be able to relate and to sympathize. Strange beasts provide another fascinating element of the series. American Indian legends and lore have provided inspiration for most of the creatures in the tale.

Who did this to you? What writers warped you this way?

A wide variety of subjects and authors appeal to me. Alexandre Dumas and Edgar Rice Burroughs scratch a certain itch. Louis L’Amour’s western stories are always a good escape, and Tolkien provides a slow train to adventure and contemplation. I should add Heinlein and Alan Dean Foster to my science fiction and fantasy favorites too. Both Tony Hillerman’s and Raymond Chandler’s mysteries whisk me to settings that I relish, and my novel Smoke, a 1940s noir mystery with a hearty helping of humor, reflects that influence.
As far as modern authors go, I find that David J. Butler and Brandon Sanderson create fantastic worlds. I’ve met and corresponded regularly with David Butler, and we have a lot in common. I like to say he’s a younger, taller, smarter, more successful version of me. In non-fiction, I’m drawn to history, biographies, and military accounts. In Jr. high school I started reading everything I could find about the Civil War. From there I discovered Napoleonic history, and now I’m immersed in the American Revolutionary Era. I’ve found Michael O. Logusz and John Ferling write valuable and rousing retellings of eventsfrom that period.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

Anyone can check out my books on my Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Stanley-Wheeler/author/B00FN5I7T8

Or on my website: http://stanleywheeler.com/books/

And sign up for my regular newsletter to keep track of my stories and travels: https://sendfox.com/flintlockfantasyStanley

I also blather weekly and interview other authors at www.stanleywheeler.blogspot.com

If you hate starting series that aren’t complete, consider starting the Johnny Lycan: Werewolf PI series. The grand finale, Johnny Lycan & the Last Witchfinder is available now on Amazon and from Black Rose Writing.

“I’ve been a fan of this series since the beginning, and while I’m slightly devastated that this is the end of it, I LOVED The Last Witchfinder.” S G Tasz

This final installment in Johnny’s saga is perhaps the weirdest, most baffling of all… Author Jill Hand



Published by

Wayne Turmel

Wayne Turmel is a writer, speaker, and co-founder of The Remote Leadership Institute. Originally from Canada, he recently moved from Chicago to Las Vegas with his wife, The Duchess. He tries to balance his fiction and non-fiction writing, and loves to hear from readers. You can find him on Twitter @Wturmel. His Amazon author page is at https://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Turmel/e/B00J5PGNWU/

One thought on “Tomahawks and Dragon Fire with Stanley Wheeler”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *