What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Season of the Dragon?
I first began developing Season of the Dragon in 2016! Inspired by my longtime Feng Shui practice, I wanted to create a magic system that was roughly based on elements coupled with seasons. I noodled on the magic and mythology of the world for several years, but the story was going nowhere. Then, I spent a week in a writing retreat for a completely different story concept with writer, actor, screenwriter, and story consultant, James Bonnet. He kept asking me the question, “Why?” He pushed me to move beyond worldbuilding fun-time and dig deeper. Why does this story need to be told? What relevant question does it answer? My work with James helped me understand the emotional “spine” of a story.
I went back to the drawing board on what would become Season of the Dragon. The essential question I wanted to answer was what happens to a person when they deny their inner truth? I felt this was relevant as so many of us struggle to simply be ourselves. And how better to work through this story question than with a character who literally has two souls! Quen’s battle with her inner self forms the emotional spine of this fantastical, magical journey.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I most enjoy reading the kinds of things I want to write—Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I love smart, techno-mystery Sci-Fi, and fantasy with fantastical settings and well-developed magic and myth. Though I love amazing world-building, I lose interest in a story unless the characters and their relationships are well-developed. In my own writing, I’m inspired by Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, and N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
The Obelisk Gate (Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin; Fevered Star (Between Earth and Sky #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse; and the Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.
Of course I have a ton more! But these are the three I’m most looking forward to in the near future.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
The drunken, bawdy, tavern scene! After a trying day at work for the band of rogues and mages, it was fun to write a scene that allowed the characters to cut loose. And the scene leads to another of my favorites—one in which the sexual tension between Quen and Aldewin is heating up. Levity and romantic tension—my favorites!
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
My quirky writing habit is why I write with the door closed and the shades drawn. Calm down—it’s not what you’re thinking!
My writing process is, at times, like method acting. To get “into character,” I’ve been known to perform dialogue out loud; walk, dance, or perform hand gestures the way a character in my story would; make faces while looking in a mirror, and other odd things! So, if you see me in a café writing, don’t assume I’m gone off my nut! I’m probably contorting my face to match what my character is going through so I can more effectively write about it.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Never give up.
Not long before my mom passed, she gave me a silver book with that saying inscribed on it. I keep it on my writing desk always to remind me.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
She was always loved. Once you read it, you’ll know what I mean.
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