Independent Press Award winner releases anticipated Book 2
Farmington, CT – Emergency Room physician-turned-fantasy writer D.A. Mucci returns with the highly anticipated second book in his YA fantasy series: “Ignatius and The Battle at Dinas Affaraon” (September 2022, St. Bart’s Publishing). Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts heralded this fantasy adventure series as “just terrific,” and reviewers have praised the breathtaking detail of a “magical world full of fantastic beasts, some of which are not what you typically expect.”
The first book in the series, “Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw”, won an Independent Press Award and was well-received by YA fantasy fans. Now in the second installment of this acclaimed series, Iggy forges a sword from a meteorite–but will it be the weapon to save them?
As the obsessive Emperor Mallak plans to kill Iggy for his crystal amulet, Iggy remains entirely focused on becoming a master smith. Well, almost entirely–he is distracted by his crush, Raraesa, and can’t help but hope that she notices his newfound fighting skills (and fighting physique). There’s just one problem: a dark wizard, a Death Knight, and five thousand soldiers have been tasked with hunting him down.
Where will he hide? The mysteries of the Nostaw Warrior still haunt Iggy. There must be a repiceason he was given the sword, and he prays it will help him return to his place and time in Pennsylvania–but right now, home seems farther away than ever. Will he find he answers he’s seeking on the Island of Cambria? He doesn’t have much time to figure it out–an battle is looming, and it will change Iggy’s life.
Fans of coming-of-age YA fantasy with relatable teen protagonists, fantastic beasts, mysterious powers and incredible worldbuilding will love Iggy’s story. In Mucci’s newest novel, readers will meet exciting new characters, dive deeper into the rich world of Skye, and hold on tight as twists and turns abound.
“Ignatius and the Battle at Dinas Affaraon”
D.A. Mucci | September 2022 | Fantasy | St. Barts Publishing
Paperback | 978-1-7372778-4-2| $9.99
Ebook | 978-1-7372778-5-9 | $4.99
About the author:
After 40 years as an Emergency Room physician, D.A. Mucci turned to writing fantasy fiction in his spare time as an enjoyable escape from the pandemic stress. Mucci’s two adult children inspired his love of the fantasy genre during their younger years. His first book in the IgnatiusTM series was well received,winning an Independent Press award, that he now spends most of his time writing and only part-time with patients in the Emergency Room.
Mucci calls both Connecticut and Florida home, and with his wife Jeanne by his side, he’s constantly dreaming up new, fantastical creatures, daring escapades, and witty one-liners. He looks forward to writing more adventures for Iggy in this series, and hopes they provide readers the same delightful escape it brought him during the pandemic when Iggy’s adventures began. Learn more about the author and get excited for more adventures at damucci.com.
Follow D.A. Mucci on social media
Facebook: @D.A.Mucci | Instagram: @d.a.mucci
In an interview, D.A. Mucci can discuss:
- How he expanded on the world he originally created in Book One and fleshed out Dinas Affaraon for the epic battle
- How he relates to Iggy’s coming of age story, and how he hopes the character inspires readers
Building the fantastical Kingdom of Skye and companion map to the book
- Creating new languages for the book’s nearly 50 characters residing in different lands
- His lifelong passion for literature, having helped young school kids publish their own stories over the years
- What the writing process looks like for a series, and what makes it harder than writing stand alone books
Praise for the Ignatius Series
“He has written a YA fantasy adventure novel that is just terrific” –Robin Roberts, Good Morning America
“D.A. Mucci does such a great job of creating a universe that is entirely fantastical yet believable and relatable. Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw has an almost Harry Potter-ness to it in that we are guided into this world through the eyes of a character who is learning of it the same as the reader and who is a character very similar to its target audience. But, it is also entirely different in a good way. I have honestly not taken to a fantasy novel as much as this one in quite a long time. The author is an excellent storyteller and writer.” –Kate Leboff, Cornell Press
“Right from the start this story is breathtaking in how much detail surrounds the kingdom of Skye… a once luscious and beautiful place that had been filled with animals and people. Now it’s a kingdom with no beating heart. In desperation for a hero, a teen named Iggy finds himself becoming the hero these people need. Mastering a set of growing magic skills is a challenge but mastering the skills in handling the towering secrets that are claiming Skye is something else altogether. A wondrous journey in a finely painted world. Highly recommended.” –Lori, Goodreads review
“The author managed to create a quite intriguing magical world full of fantastic beasts, some of which are not what you typically expect from beasts – they are mighty warriors, living in seclusion, whose abilities in battles are legendary. The world building is really nice and takes your imagination to amazing places. Combine this with an awkward, introvert and insecure boy who gets swallowed into the greatest adventure of his life, one which is too big for him to understand at a time, but he grows and shows his worth and true power. Definitely recommend this book.” –Lia, Goodreads Review
An Interview with D.A. Mucci
How did you go about expanding the world you created in Book One?
Though the four lands within my fantasy world remain, as the plot and characters expand in Book 2, more locations within the Kingdom of Skye and Dinas Affaraon are revealed to the readers.
What was the process like in writing the sequel? Did you take a break in writing or are you just continuously writing the next one?
I took a break writing after Book One, just long enough to engage with my new readers on social media and in person. Then, I moved right along to continuing Iggy’s adventures in Book Two. This is my first time writing a sequel. When writing a second book I had to make sure that readers new to the series would find the adventure exciting and could relate to the characters previously introduced. I have a new appreciation for authors that write sequels so seamlessly.
Though Iggy is the star, you’ve also created new languages and nearly 50 different characters. Which are some of your favorites?
I love the Madam Trinity character. She doesn’t appear to have it all together, but underneath the crazy facade you know she is an extremely capable, intelligent and formidable person to have on your side.
I wanted a very diverse set of characters so readers of all ages had someone to relate to. Iggy is the geeky character, while rebellious Lecque fights for what he feels is right. Ansel is the strong mentor Iggy needs. Kylian is one of the strongest male characters, holding true to his principles while being imprisoned for years. Allistair is the most powerful man in Matreach and has a physical disability.
And there are strong female characters along with Madam Trinity, each strong in their own unique way: Raraesa is physically a strong sword fighter with a soft side she doesn’t often show. Trafalga has a bohemian carefree look with a gift that will help save many and guide Iggy. Nyreada is the strong, brave personality who is typically quiet unless she sees unethical practices. And Scathatch is known for being the best warrior that oversees all, helping in a stealthy critical manner.
I wanted to include different languages to highlight Iggy’s special ability to learn them, to showcase his intelligence. While this intelligence was ridiculed in a typical middle school and high school setting, language is one of Iggy’s strengths, and he will use it along the way to accomplish his quests.
What advice would you give to writers who feel like their time to write a book has expired?
At 68 years old I’m writing a story that caters to Young Adults. There is no age limit for using your creativity and imagination.
Without giving spoilers, can you give readers any sneak peek into the rest of the planned series? Will we meet new characters, visit new places, etc.?
In Book 3, the Resistance group’s efforts strengthen as many in the Kingdom of Skye work to curb Mallak’s growing power. Madam Trinity has to face decisions made in her past, leaving her to fulfill a task she dreads. Iggy continues on to another quest to help him gain the power and knowledge he needs to help himself get back to the place and time he calls home. While the Kingdom of Skye, Matreach and Dinas Affaron will still be featured, we learn more about Cambria in Book 3.
What was your experience working full-time in an emergency room during the height of the pandemic and writing the first book?
As a physician for almost 40 years, most of them in an Emergency Room setting, you see all kinds of ailments, accidents and death. While no two cases are exactly the same, experience and knowledge helps you decide quickly what action you’ll take to save a life or manage an urgent health condition. Then a pandemic hits that you don’t have a set of experiences to rely on to truly help you manage patients, and treating patients becomes a whole new level of stress as you make your best guess and read the latest medical news to help you treat those patients suffering significantly. All as you are praying none of your protective gear reeks so you don’t bring exposure home to the family you love.
These stressful circumstances pushed me to bring this fantasy world to fruition. Most of us binge watched shows during the pandemic, and I simply needed a different outlet after a while to feel like I was doing something to help others escape and relax for their stress. What started as a stress outlet has turned into a passion, helping others escape into a book as they need to.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.