The heart of Terradin . . . is fading away, and it's only hope rests in the one person that Nachal has vowed to protect at all costs. Because to save her, is to save them all.
Nachal, foster son of the great Dragon-King Cerralys has the same dream night after night. In them, an elf named Auri lays dead, murdered by the Rebel Dragon's leader, Obsidian, on a massive plain of fire.
Racing against time, he sets out from Eldaria to prevent the prophetic dreams from coming true. To do this, he must avoid capture by the long reach of Obsidian's gathering army, and find a mystical land that has been lost for more than two decades. A land that is reputed to flow with breath-taking beauty and vitality.
But will what he finds there be what he needs? Or something that will haunt him for all eternity.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing my thoughts and feelings down in poem form since I was a little girl of about four or five, but had never really seriously considered writing a book until several years ago.
What’s your story about?
The series, ultimately, is about love and friendship, and the things in life that test those bonds. It's about a man that falls in love with an elven woman that he sees murdered night after night in his dreams by the leader of the Rebel Dragons. It's about a dwarf, trying to prove to his king that he's worthy of his daughter, and who finds friendship in a place not his own, and with people whom he least expected. It's about a fighter, a lethal elven fighter, sent away from his home and people, to a land that is dying so that he can search for a way to stop the end that everyone knows is coming. It's about a father and daughter, love and sacrifice, courage in the face of overwhelming odds, and learning to live up to the innate good and power that is in each of us. It's about moving forward and doing what you must when all you want to do is stay safely where you are. It's about fighting for what is right and good, and the necessary hard choices and sacrifice that comes with that.
What genre would you consider your book?
Hmm, well I currently have it categorized in Paranormal Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy, and High Fantasy. It's a little bit of all of those things.
Give me some insight into your main character.
I actually have three main characters. From the beginning of the book, I knew that that would be necessary in order to give each of the three their 'voice' in the story. Nachal, the human in the story, has had an unusual upbringing. He is technically a prince raised as a fosterling by the great Dragon-King Cerralys, and has been brought up to inherit the dragon crown at Cerralys's death. His whole life has been built around these dragons, and around Cerralys in particular. Not only has he been raised to inherit the crown, but he's also been taught and honed by the most elite dragons in existence to be a commander in what the dragon's have believed for two decades to be the coming final battle between dragon-kind. He is the ONLY human to have this upbringing, and it makes him singularly unique. He has a unique perspective on the world, and a unique way of looking at things.
Auri is an elven woman, raised among the courts of Adalan by a father not her own, but who loves her dearly. I can't say too much about her, because the series is essentially HER story, and I don't want to reveal too much about what she discovers about herself. Suffice it to say, by the end of the series, she finds herself to be so much more than the person she thinks she is, and so much more than anyone could expect or foresee. Her life in the books takes many sharp twists and turns, and she finds herself having to reinvent herself at every turn. As each piece of the puzzle comes, and it comes throughout the series, not just in Dragon Dreams, she is able to add a bit more to herself, until everything at the end fits nice and snug. It's as if she started the journey as only half a person, and by the end, she's found all of the pieces that make up who she is, and she's a much more powerful person because of it.
Liran . . . ah Liran. Liran is one of ten elves that were sent from the elven isle, El`ness Nahrral to find a way to stop the world of Terradin from dying. The elven queen graced him with many abilities before he left so that he would be strong enough, and intuitive enough, to find a path that might save all of their lives. But these graces . . . are painful. He feels the emotions and instincts of those around him--even the animals--and hears the thoughts that are uppermost in anyone who is sentient. He is stronger than most of his kind, swifter, essentially a super ninja on a case of Red Bull, but he suffers. The neverending voices and feelings from others constantly bombards him. He finds Auri, and convinces her to join him on his mission. Along their journey together, as Auri finds more and more pieces of who she is, he is deeply drawn to her, but for many reasons feels unworthy of her.
What makes your book different from others in its genre?
I try to make the emotions of the characters and the story able to be clearly felt. While I've come across many good books, my favourites are the ones that draw me in, and make me feel like I'm actually a part of the story. Life is about FEELING something, feeling many things, and I think that a good book, should make you a part of that. So much so that you cry when they cry, and cheer when they succeed.
What inspired you to write your book?
I thought about what I loved, what interested me, and I went from there. In my mind, I saw the prologue to Dragon Dreams very clearly. I felt Auri's emotions as she ran onto the plains of fire, and I felt Nachal's sense of helplessness. That scene, was so vibrant and real to me, that I built the rest of the books around it.
How did you come up with the title?
Well it was pretty much just always there lol. I can't remember a time when I thought, "Hmm, I wonder what I should name this book?" In many ways, the book and characters have seemed to come with a life all their own.
What’s your favorite part of it, without giving anything away of course?
The end, even though I haven't written it yet. :) I'm a sucker for endings that make you feel like laughing and cheering and crying all at the same time, and I can feel that end coming as I continue writing through the last book in the series, Dragon Light.
Tell me about your writing process?
Well, I know for some they're partial to music as they write, but for me, I need absolute quiet. I usually read through the most recent parts of what I've written to get back in the feel and flow of the story, and then I just write. I'm not a writer who has every little detail planned. As a matter of fact, in many cases, the story takes me by complete surprise as it unfolds. I like that. I like the freedom it gives. On the other hand, I know there are writers who've written page after page of notes, research and exhaustive details, and then go on to write books that literally leave my jaw hanging down to the middle of my chest. Personally, for me, having tried that once at the beginning, I found it stifling. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.
What do you find most difficult about writing?
Time. For me, and I think for most writers, our enemy is time. Mood has a lot to do with it too. There are times when it would come in really handy to have a drill sergeant prodding me along to get my work done on the days where I just feel blah. :)
Are you a full-time writer?
I'm a stay-at-home mom, I homeschool my kids, I write, and in the fall I'm going back to school to get my bachelors in Geography. Am I a full time writer? Yes . . . and no. :)
What are your writing ambitions?
I'd like to be able to create books that leave people thinking. That impact them in some way, whether it be great or small.
What do you do when you get writer’s block?
Cry and throw a hissy fit. Just kidding. I try to work around it, if I can. If I can't, I move to one of my other stories for a little while to give myself a break from that one, and then come back to it a little more fresh. That usually helps.
Do you outline and plot your book as you’re writing or does it go where it goes?
I did a lot of research and writing things down at the beginning in story journals, but after all that was done . . . no, I just go with the flow of the story, wherever it takes me.
What is your favorite book?
I have so many. I love the series that Brandon Sanderson is working on: The Stormlight Archive. It starts with The Way of Kings, and his second instalment, which just came out recently, is called Words of Radiance. I also love the Tiger's Curse series by Colleen Houck, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, the Fablehaven and Beyonders series respectively from author Brandon Mull, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Dangerous by Shannon Hale, The Nine Kingdoms series by Lynn Kurland, The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, the Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann, the Hourglass Door series by Lisa Mangum and the Gregor The Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. That's just a small taste of what's on my shelves lol. I love books and stories. It's a big part of why I became a writer.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
I'm dying to read the Cragbridge Hall series by Chad Morris. I'm also patiently (not so patiently) waiting for Brianna Merril's third book in her Tales of the Guardian series: Dawn of Destiny.
Are you self published or traditionally published? Do you wish you had gone about the process differently?
Self published. I actually am on the fence about it. For me, I really wish that I had another half a dozen pairs of eyes and hands helping to make the books I write as polished as they can be, but . . . I love that I have complete creative and artistic control of my stories, without paying a large cut to someone else. Personally, for me, I think I've realized that for my lifestyle, and for my needs, that if the right publisher and contract came along, I'd take it in a heartbeat.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Well, my first advice would be to read absolutely anything good you can get your hands on. A lot of your creativity comes from basking in others' creativity. And then I would say to start researching grammar and punctuation like a mad, crazy person, because it'll come back to bite you in the behind if you don't. Finally, my advice would be to write. Write as often as you can, stealing moments and hours as you can fit them in, and finish the work you set out to. It won't be an easy process. It's a lot of hard work. But in the end, when you hold your own story in your hands, and people start paying to read the thoughts and feelings that roll around inside your head, I think you'll find all the hard work well worth it.
If you could have dinner with any person dead or alive who would it be?
Wow that's a tough one, but I think it would probably be my kids at some nice beach-side cafe.
When you aren’t writing, what do you do for fun?
Ha! Fun! Well . . . I read and play video games with my son. I take my kids to the park and try to spend as much time with them, doing other things like movies and such, as often as I can. I like to garden. (Does that make me old?) My kids and I twirl. We've already decided that when we buy a house, we want a house big enough where we can have a twirl room. It will have music piped in, hardwood floors, mirrors on all the walls, and a ballet stretch bar along one wall. A place where we can be goofy, listen to music, and feel like we can fly. I also love the beach, but unfortunately don't get down there as often as I'd like.
What's your biggest fear?
Heights. Even seeing movies that have the camera panning around from a high elevation makes my palms slick.
Who is the most annoying character you've ever encountered in a book, on tv or in a movie?
Ha ha. Well, there's this I.R.S agent on I Dream of Jeannie that drives me absolutely bonkers . . .
If you were on death row, what would you choose for a final meal?
Hmm, nachos smothered in guacamole, cheese, chicken, home-made salsa, sour cream and refried beans. Added to that, I'd have one of my favourite creations from Cold Stone, a brownie, a Coke Zero, and a whole strawberry chocolate pie all to myself. Yum.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who lack compassion and think only of themselves. I also don't like to be lied to.
If you knew you could get away with anything without consequence, what would you do?
Without consequence? I'm shaking my head here. I don't know. 'Get away with' sounds clandestine. I think probably something funny. I once watched this episode of M*A*S*H* where B.J., one of the main characters, plays this elaborate, complicated prank on another main character, Hawkeye. By the end of the show, Hawkeye was a complete and total mess waiting for the bomb to drop. The funny thing was . . . it never did. So, I guess I'd choose a prank. I'm devious that way. :)
What is your biggest regret in life?
I'd like to be a better person. Often, I regret the stumbling steps that I take to learn something important.
If you had Doctor Who's TARDIS, what time would you travel to?
Five years from now.
Because I can't wait to see what happens next in my life! :)
What is the best present you ever received?
What's your secret guilty pleasure movie you don't want to admit you love?
Hmm, the Twilight movies.
What is your most prized material possession?
My scriptures . . . and probably my car and laptop.
If you could say anything to your readers, what would it be?
Thank you! Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking by me, and for giving me, a little nobody from nowhere, a chance to woo your heart and mind. It's a love affair falling in love with a book, and I'm so grateful for those that fall in love with mine. They're the reason I keep writing when I have the blah days, and the reason I want it to be the best possible story it can be.
Where can we find you?