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Fort Macleod author publishes his first novel

Vincent Leepart of Fort Macleod has self-published his first novel, ‘Dragon’s Blood.’

A Fort Macleod man has nurtured an idea he had two decades ago into his first novel.
Vincent Leepart has self-published Dragons Blood: Odyssey to Dionysodoros, the story of Gamden and his companions Senusret, Akhom and Menkaure on their epic quest to retrieve dragon’s blood, which is infused with magic.
“It was exciting to actually hold my own book in my own hands,” Leepart said. “I’m hoping this is Part 1 of at least three to four. The characters, I hope, will continue on for a few more books.”
Leepart, who has lived at Fort Macleod for five years and works at Extra Foods, is intent on developing a career as a writer.
When he decided to sit down at his laptop and begin his first novel, Leepart had a ready idea.
Dragons Blood grew out of a short story Leepart wrote in a creative writing course while attending college at Prince George, B.C. and working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree.
“I developed a short story there almost 20 years ago and it stuck in my head and I finally expanded on it,” Leepart said.
The short story stayed with Leepart through the years and he would return to it in his mind, allowing it to grow.
Leepart was pleased to discover the words flowed when he set out to develop the short story into a book, working on his laptop in his living room in the company of his wife Elaine.
“I put down the first two lines and it just snowballed from there,” Leepart said.
Leepart has long had an interest in fantasy and Greek mythology, and ancient mediterranean civilizations in general.
“They flourished to be such great civilizations, and it captured my imagination,” said Leepart, who also read science fiction as a youth. “After college I started reading, and watching more documentaries about ancient Greece, and it just grew from there.”
Leepart spent about two hours every evening working and longer on weekends over a period of about two years. He liked to produce at least two pages of writing in those two-hour periods.
He found it important to maintain writing discipline and put in the time, even when the words were slow to come.
“You’ve got to sit and think and let yourself be creative,” said Leepart who always believed he could write a book. “I’ve always thought that I could and I just gave myself the challenge to do it.”
There were times over those two years when life tried to get in the way of his writing, but Leepart stuck to it until Dragons Blood was completed.
He found the process of writing surprinsgly therpeutic.
“I made myself sit down and do my work. When you lose yourself in your own imagination, things seemed to get better for me. All I would think about was the other world.”
Leepart intentionally wrote a fast-paced story, adding description and dialogue sparingly.
To supplement his own writing, Leepart researched Greek mythology through the work of ancient scholars Homer and Hesiod, but put his own touch on things in Dragons Blood.
Leepart envisioned in Dragons Blood the Bronze Age of Man taking place as the Ice Age ended and the mediteranian was mostly dry.
Leepart envisioned that Zeus grew tired of the Men of Bronze and their warfaring ways, collapsed the land bridge between the Rock of Gibraltor and North Africa and flooded everyone out.
“Zeus knew that even though constant warfare was good for the men, he had to start over again — not so war-like, intelligent.”
Leepart also researched publishing and decided he would self-publish his first novel, rather than trying to break in through a big publishing house.
“I thought if I want to try and break into it and make a success, I would take the big risk and do it myself.”
Dragons Blood is with Tellwell Publishing in Victoria, B.C., which offers several packages for authors who want to self publish.
The book is printed on demand and shipped when a reader places an order on-line through Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords and Apple Book Store.
Leepart has information about Dragons Blood on his Facebook page, where he has videos explaining the characters and plot.
Leepart estimates he is about three-eighths of the way through the second book in what he hopes will become a series.

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