October is a magical month; Samhain will happen and bring us as close to magic as possible. What better way to prepare for it than having author Deborah Cooke stop by to talk about her dragons! Welcome Deborah!
Lexi: You write a paranormal young adult series (The Dragon Diaries) about dragons. You also write a paranormal romance series (Dragonfire) about dragons. You might say you have a thing for dragons?
Deborah: Haha! Yes, I do. I’ve always thought dragons were amazing creatures - meeting one was one of my dreams as a kid. (I looked, but never found one. I became convinced that this was because I didn’t live in England or Europe. We have bears and deer in Canada, but not so many dragons.)
The Dragon Diaries is actually a spin-off from Dragonfire. It tells the story of Zoë’s coming of age. In the world of Dragonfire, there is only ever one female dragon shape shifter at a time. She’s called the Wyvern and has special powers. Well, in KISS OF FATE (Dragonfire #3) the current Wyvern died (you’ll have to read the book to find out how and why) and the child conceived in that book was a girl instead of a boy. Her father, Eric, is leader of the Pyr and believed then that she would be the next Wyvern. The male dragons come into their powers at puberty, so it’s the same for Zoë. The Dragon Diaries tells of her mastering her powers without really having any reference as to how to master them or clear idea what they are. She also has to keep these new powers secret from her best friend, bring the young male dragons together to battle a new threat that the older dragon shifters don’t take seriously, decide whether she’s crazy to be so wild for the unpredictable Jared (who knows more about dragons than she does) and pass math.
Lexi: I have loved stories about dragons every since I was young, Dealing With Dragons was the book that hooked me. Do you remember the first book that introduced you to dragon lore?
Deborah: Smaug in The Lord of the Rings - which I read as a teenager - was the first dragon to really steal my heart. There were other dragons in other stories when I was younger, but Smaug’s character was more developed. Tolkien wasn’t very fond of dragons, and I thought even then that they were misunderstood in his world.
(oooh, great dragon choice!)
Lexi: The books that got us sucked into the genre are a far cry from the sexy shape shifting dragons and their mates you write about. The pull between two mates is very strong, did you have fun coming up with the emotions and power that go into a mated couple?
Deborah: Dragons are so passionate and powerful that it made sense to me that a dragon in love would be an irresistible force of nature. That my dragons become gorgeous men by choice makes them the best kind of heroes possible! I wanted the experience to be overwhelming for the woman in question, like the usual feeling of being in love but magnified a thousand times. The firestorm that the dragon and his mate experience is all that and more - sparks fly, their desires ignite, the passion burns hotter and hotter until it’s satisfied. It doesn’t hurt that they’re usually fighting bad dragons and trying to solve a puzzle together - and after the firestorm is satisfied, there’s a more enduring fire that burns between them, one that will keep love alive all their lives. Dragons aren’t compromising creatures in my view and they’re not indecisive. I thought that determination and reliability would make them great heroes.
Lexi: From lab workers, to reporters, in Las Vegas to Hawaii, your characters are from all walks of life. Can you give us a hint about the connection between marine biologist Liz and surfer Brandon who are your H/H in Ember’s Kiss?
Deborah: Brandon is the second of my “outsider” dragon shifters. The first was Lorenzo in FLASHFIRE in January - Lorenzo didn’t want to be Pyr anymore, even though he knew pretty much everything about it. He thought dragons were barbaric, so he located an ancient spell that would (theoretically) turn him into a normal mortal man. He thought this would be ideal, but his firestorm with Cassie changed his mind about the upside of being a dragon shifter. (That’s not really a spoiler. You’ll have to read the book to find out how and why his thinking changed.) Brandon similarly doesn’t want any part of being a dragon shifter, except that he doesn’t know anything about it much. His parents divorced when he was a kid and he blames his dad for that, as well as for his ability to become a dragon. He doesn’t want to have any common ground with his dad. He’s been building his own future, aiming to become a pro surfer. He’s on the cusp of his big chance to go pro and everything is going well --- except that he’s been targeted by Chen, an evil Slayer, who intends to enslave him, steal his energy and then kill him. Chen chose Brandon as a victim precisely because of his ignorance of his powers and the fact that he’s not allied with the other Pyr. He has his firestorm with Liz in that moment, which complicates things even further. Liz is a marine biologist and totally focused on logic and science that I wondered about her from the outset. It turns out that she has a secret past of her own. Liz is the first heroine in Dragonfire to have paranormal powers of her own. She doesn’t want them either, and has put them aside, she thinks forever - until she sees the trap that is closing around Brandon and knows that she has to help him. The connection between these two is really strong and I like how they formed such an amazing team. Their partnership truly makes the most of their strengths.
Lexi: Speaking of hot connections, your covers for this series are great! Half clothed men with dragons on their skin. Just looking at the covers must give you some inspiration! Any idea how far you want to take this series?
Deborah: I love the Dragonfire covers, too! Each one is distinct but they’re all awesome - and they obviously belong together. NAL has done a great job with them. As for the series, I know exactly how it’s going to proceed from here. There will be a trio of novellas in early 2013, featuring Drake and the Dragon’s Tooth Warriors. You might remember that they claimed the third darkfire crystal in FLASHFIRE and disappeared. Well, they’ve been having some adventures of their own, and we’re going to find out about that. The three novellas will be digital-first releases, then will be collected into an anthology for digital and print release. As for what happens after that, you’ll have to check back on my blog on November 1. I have a post queued up there called The Future of Dragonfire. The blog is at http://www.delacroix.net/blog so be sure to check there for the Dragonfire update on November 1.
Lexi: Good luck with Ember’s Kiss and all your future releases. Thank you Deborah for stopping by and talking dragons with us!
Deborah: Thanks so much for inviting me to visit!
Deborah is giving away one paperback copy of EMBER'S KISS to one winner at each tour stop, which means you can score your own copy here! (This will be coming straight from the publisher so it's US and Canada winners only.) To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below and leave Deborah a comment about her series, or a dragon book you read that got you hooked.
There is a Grand Prize drawing of an autographed set of the DRAGONFIRE series, (that's all 8 Dragonfire novels) over on Deborah's blog.
Deborah Cooke's Blog Tour for Ember's Kiss
Tour runs from September 24 - October 10
9/24 - RCJReZine Blog - http://rcjrezineblog.blogspot.com/
9/25 - Vampires, Werewolves & Fairies Oh My - http://vampireswerewolvesfairiesohmy.blogspot.com/
9/26 - Books-n-Kisses - http://www.books-n-kisses.com/
The Reading Café - - http://thereadingcafe.com/
9/27 - All The Fun Starts After Dark - http://allthefunstartsafterdark.blogspot.com/
9/28 - Riverina Romantics - http://riverinaromantics.blogspot.com/
9/29 - Reading Between The Wines - http://readingbetweenthewinesbookclub.blogspot.com/
9/30 - Book Lovin' Mamas - http://booklovinmamas.blogspot.com//
10/1 - My Keeper Shelf - http://mykeepershelf.blogspot.com/
10/2 - United By Books (Interview) - http://unitedbybooks.blogspot.com/
10/3 - Under The Covers (Interview) - http://underthecoversbookblog.blogspot.ca
10/4 - Book Monster / Literal Addiction -
Book Monster - http://bookmonsterreviews.blogspot.com/
Literal Addiction - http://www.literaladdiction.com/
10/5 - The Book Nympho - http://thebooknympho.blogspot.com/
10/6 - Book Reader Addicts - http://bookreaderaddictsgiveaways.blogspot.com/
10/7 - Cocktails & Books - http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com/
10/8 - Paranormal Haven - - http://www.paranormalhaven.com/
10/9 - Grave Tells - http://gravetells.com/
10/10 - I Smell Sheep - http://www.ismellsheep.com/