PressKit: Dragon Skin I The Goddess Reborn

If you’re tired of seeing female fantasy characters reduced to targets of male aggression (GoT), but are fascinated by morally bankrupt deities (Hall of Smoke), you’ll love my epic fantasy: Dragon Skin I The Goddess Reborn. (102k words/ 426 pages)

If you’re looking for helpless damsels with handspan waists and impractical costumes, you’re in the wrong place.

If you’re a fan of strong women with personal agency and their own agendas, welcome to my worlds…

Fantastical whispers thread through the festival crowd. Are the rumours true? Southern deserts turned to glass? Northern cattle herds snap frozen?

The unthinkable is compounded by the impossible. Unbeliever Annie Weaver is ambushed by slave traders and rescued by a telepathic dragon who claims Annie is an incarnation of the missing Creator Goddess.

Annie risks more than her sanity if she cannot restore the real Goddess to her duties.

Creation will unravel and Annie will lose all she loves.

To enjoy a fast-paced action fantasy populated with authentic characters and unique creatures, check out Dragon Skin I The Goddess Reborn.

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Meet Author Sam Woodgarth

Sam Woodgarth, a retired teacher, spends her days wrangling cats and talking to her imaginary friends. No, you didn’t misread that. But don’t worry, she’s not crazy, just a creative soul who grew up immersed in storybooks.

Sam was devastated when she realised reality didn’t match the fictional worlds she read about. So, she did what any sane person would: she created her own worlds where the good guys always win, and the bad guys get their just desserts. Flambé style.

She’s all about courage, honour, and wisdom, and she refuses to accept a world where fear, selfishness, and idiocy rule the day. Sam writes stories that speak to the unloved and dispossessed. Social justice is the lifeblood of her work. She’s all about belonging and compassion, and she believes that we’re one step closer to creating a better world if we can imagine a place where gender, religion, ethnicity, and age are accepted without question.

Originally from rainy Manchester, UK, Sam moved to Cairns, Far North Queensland, in search of her tribe.  She found them in her writers’ group, where she champions fellow authors and helps them find their authentic voices.

Suggested Q&A

Who are your favourite authors, and who has influenced your work?

I love Candice Fox and her Crimson Lake series, set here in Cairns. She brings strong women to life and never wastes a word. I bow to Scott Lynch and his Gentlemen Bastards. His world building is sheer genius.

Are you a new writer?

I’ve sold a dozen or so short stories internationally, in print and on line, but DragonSkin I The Goddess Reborn is my first novel. It’s one thing to craft a short story, it’s a different endeavour to create a 426 page /102k word epic. DragonSkin has my heart and soul.

Do you create characters based on people you know?

No. Never. That would be wrong. I might borrow traits from friends and acquaintances and I might have had someone in when Annie immolates a character who committed heinous crimes, but no one should recognise themselves.

If they do, I’ll deny it.

The representation of women in contemporary literature has undergone a significant shift. Is this also important in fantasy novels.

Absolutely. Fantasy has been traditionally dominated by men, but women are finally stepping forward and claiming space. Ursula K. Le Guin stormed the fantasy citadel, and authors such as N K Jemisin are reforming fantasy terrain. I want to show real women, with powerful agency and just a touch of fire driving their actions.

Annie assumes the role of Goddess but converts the temples to hospitals and schools. Why?

Annie will tell you to be kind and she believes it. But if someone deserves fire, she doesn’t hold back. If someone needs help, they receive an abundance. Gods don’t need temples, but people need schools and hospitals.

You make much of strong independent women, but the book culminates with a wedding. Does that not contradict your ethos?

Can you not love and also be strong? One of the themes is belonging. Most people have friends and family, groups we are born into, and groups we create. Needing to belong is a human characteristic. Annie makes sure her public responsibilities are attended to, before she addresses her private needs. Being a strong woman does not mean not liking men or having no need for companionship.

Do you have plans to publish more books?

Yes. Dragon Skin I The Goddess Reborn is just the beginning. Dragon Skin II Restoration will follow mid year, and Isle of The Immortals before Christmas. Two stand alone novels, The Children of Solra and The Chains of Argendarria are scheduled for release in 2024.