Dragon Blood Draco Sang Trilogy Book 1 by Mary Beesley Genre: YA Fantasy
Cal, a hungry sixteen-year-old sick of mining the sand, wants to fit in and make his ma proud, but instead, his violent tendencies bring shame. And the truth. He’s the son of a Draco Sang. Carriers of the Dragon’s blood, the Draco Sang transform into half human half beast as they mature into adults. And if Cal can't control the dark impulses of his dragon blood, he'll grow into a man-beast—and he'll be hunted.
Ferth, son of a Draco Sang chief and last of his class to grow claws, needs to prove his worth to his father, or he'll be sent to the slave house. Hiding his human heart, he joins the army headed south to conquer the fertile human lands.
Neither brother feels they belong. Cal is human, fighting against becoming a beastly Draco Sang, while Ferth is struggling to push back his humanity and transform into a worthy Draco warrior.
Before ever meeting in open battle, Ferth is sent to kill Cal. But when he learns they are brothers, he must decide which loyalty is stronger, blood or country. And whether to finally give in to his humanity.
Cal needed to kill something. He needed to eat.
He prowled the desert as if he were king of the sand—a far cry from the truth. His sweaty palm tightened on his hunting knife, his prized possession. Steps quiet, he neared the Sahana River. No animals, no tracks, no life. The dead bank glistened in the heat, taunting him. He glowered back.
Cal followed the curves north to where a jumble of rocks crossed the river, making it more secluded than the open banks. Water splashed ahead. He crouched behind a boulder, stomach clenching in the hope that he’d found prey. His tongue rasped over chapped lips.
Peeking through the slabs, Cal spied a girl digging for fiddlers. He swallowed his spit and ground his teeth. She would have scared any larger prey far away. Unhappy fingers twitched on his knife.
The girl was young, maybe nine or ten. She knelt in the languid water, twisting her hands into the riverbed. With a grunt of pain, she yanked her arm free. A palm-sized creature with a thorny shell and squiggly barbed legs clung to the flesh of her thumb. Teeth-tight, she levered a knife between the shells and pried them open, revealing one bite of meat.
Cal had zero skill at catching fiddlers. It took patience.
Lots of patience.
She tossed the prickly brown shell onto the sand and held up a glossy muscle tinged pink with her blood. Instead of putting the morsel in her mouth, as Cal would have done, she set the meat in a basket on the far riverbank. The inside of the wicker shone with the gleam of dozens of fiddlers.
Cal stared; saliva coated his tongue. There were enough for a real dinner. Enough to satisfy the ache in his belly. Enough to take some home to his ma.
He swallowed. He needed to get across the river and within arm’s reach of that basket.
He jerked behind the rock, squelching the thought of stealing. Cal wasn’t a thief. He focused on a black bug burrowing in the sand—all crunch and goo, no meat. Images of fiddlers sprang back to his mind. Stealing was wrong. And yet, his hunger was wrong too.
He craned his neck, peeking over the boulder. The girl yanked another fiddler from the earth. It dangled in her fingers, taunting him. He should join her in the hunt, dig for his own fiddlers. He’d managed to catch a few before, but tonight, the thought of doing the tedious work repulsed him.
His whole body hummed with impatience. He rolled to the balls of his feet as hunger took control.
He buried the tip of his hunting knife in the sand by his feet. His long tunic and leather sandals landed next to it. Wearing only his shorts, he stalked toward the water. Her back was to him, her focus on her work. He should turn around. Leave her alone. Stealing was severely punished by the Elders. He’d promised Ma he wouldn’t get into more trouble. He told himself to stop, but the meal beckoned.
Darkness rose in his breast, forcing him forward. As silent as a breeze, he waded across the slow water. His calloused palm shot forward and dug into the basket. Raw fiddlers squished in his grip.
The girl turned, her eyes wide. He was sixteen, much bigger and stronger than she. She shrank back as her focus flicked from his full fist to his bare chest to his hard-set jaw.
He told himself to give back her fiddlers, that this was wrong, but his body had come untethered from his mind. An invisible force seemed to control him as he brought the fiddlers to his mouth, but before the tenderness passed his lips, a rough palm gripped his shoulder and yanked him back.
Cal whirled. Fiddlers flew and disappeared under the brown surface of the water. “No!”
“What do you think you’re doing?” The deep voice was hard.
Rage replaced Cal’s hunger as he stared at the ripples in the water. A good meal, gone.
Hands on hips, a large man glared down at Cal. “I recognize you, Callidon Mirrason. It’s not the first time you’ve broken the pact. Wait until the Elders hear about you stealing from my daughter.”
Dread curled in Cal’s belly. Not another tribunal. He refused to stand before the Elders again and be told how he was a disgrace. How he was cursed.
Apologize and promise restitution, that’s what he needed to do, but the words wouldn’t come. The violent force growing within him seemed to flex and crackle to life. Cal’s fingers curled tight.
“I don’t think even your ma can convince them you aren’t cursed now.”
Cal swung for the man’s nose, but he ducked as if he’d been expecting it. He threw out a punch, slamming his fist into Cal’s stomach. Cal stumbled and fell, crashing into the river. The girl’s scream pierced the water as her father’s foot pinned Cal to the muddy bottom. Rocks sliced his back. Hot panic swirled through his chest as he fought the urge to inhale. He shifted left, and the foot shoved harder. His back
barked in pain. His lungs howled for breath, but his mind sharpened and calmed.
Water distorted the man’s voice as he yelled down at Cal under the surface. “Are you done fighting?”
Cal was just getting started. Gripping a small rock, he rammed it into a hairy calf. The water slowed the thrust, but he twisted it into the muscles. Red swirls inked the murk. The foot recoiled, and Cal wrenched free. He plowed to the surface. Panting and dripping, Cal spun to face his foe. He adjusted his grip on the stone and raked wet hair out of his eyes. Anger throbbed, commanding him to strike.
“Stop!” the girl cried.
Cal’s nerves hummed in anticipation. Initiating violence as he had done was forbidden in Siccum. For sixteen years, he’d tried to keep his head down, eating porridge and mining the burning sand for precious little gold to live by. Cal had been a servant of the greater good, weak and obedient. Not anymore, said a voice in his mind. A menacing growl issued from his belly.
The man swung, his fist aiming for Cal’s face. Cal ducked. Following through with the rock, he smashed the man’s elbow. The crack reverberated through Cal’s wrist. The man staggered back. Blood dripped down his forearm, which dangled awkwardly at his side.
The painful angle of the arm, or perhaps the girl’s symphony of screams, jarred Cal out of his one-track rage.
The bloodthirsty filter fell from his eyes. He blinked, and the scene refocused. He saw the cowering girl and the bleeding man. A father protecting his daughter. One of the families from his village who suffered through the same searing Siccum summers as he did.
The urge that had driven him to cruelty abandoned him, leaving him hollow and ashamed. The rock slipped from his fingers and buried itself in the slow current.
“I’m sorry.” Even his voice had lost its strength. What had he done?
He clambered up the rocks and snatched his belongings without pause. He ran north, away from his village. When sand burned his feet and sun scorched the scratches on his back, he put on his tunic and sandals. He trudged through barren desert, failing to find any prey, his mind preoccupied with the failures of the day. He knew stealing was wrong.
And attacking that man was worse. How could he face Ma and Grandpapi now, especially after he’d lashed out at them at dinner? Loneliness and shame twisted like a knife. Bile rose in his throat, but his stomach had nothing to expel.
He returned to the river, abandoned of all but discarded fiddler shells. He stripped and slid under the water. Regret rolled over him. Scrubbing at his limbs, he tried to wash his wrongs away. But as he plodded home, they clung to him, as painfully as his shirt stuck to the cuts on his back.
Like a beacon far across the sand, the lights of Siccum called. As the night settled in, the heat of the day lifted. A breeze ran cool fingers through his wet hair. Come summer, he wouldn’t have any relief. He seemed to struggle with the festering heat more than others.
He slunk around the north wall and entered the city gate near his two-bedroom home. Hunger gnawed. If only he’d been a second faster and gotten the fiddlers into his mouth …
He entered his small yard and locked the gate behind him, securing it against night predators. In front of the house, his ma and her father, Grandpapi, sat on rocking chairs in the sand. Unlit torches dotted the circular wall protecting their home. The family hen clucked and pecked at Cal’s toes.
“Cal, you’re home.” Relief softened Ma’s voice.
Grandpapi scowled in disappointed silence. Cal knelt before Ma’s chair, forcing his knees to bend and his head to bow.
“I’m sorry about before. I’m sorry I said your dinner wasn’t good enough. I’m sorry I spit on the table. I don’t know what came over me.” That was the truth. And Cal knew he’d better get control of his new impulses fast. People already thought him cursed. The curse of Prince Nogard, the Black Dragon, was a myth meant to scare people into submission. Despite the stories, naughty children did not
grow into monsters. “I lost my temper. I’m grateful to have food, any food. Please, forgive me.”
Night shaded Ma’s expression, but he felt tenderness in her fingers when she lifted his chin. “I’m sorry we don’t have more. I know how you go hungry.”
“No,” he lied. “You feed me well.” It wasn’t her fault porridge no longer satisfied. It wasn’t her fault greed had possessed him like a crazed beast.
“Shh. Just a minute.” Her thin robes, smelling of citrus and sage, rustled against his face as she stood. She slipped into the house and returned a moment later with a ceramic bowl. “It’s cold now.”
He took it with thanks, hunger snapping within him. “She wouldn’t let me eat it,” Grandpapi said. Starlight reflected off white hair.
Cal wolfed down his meager porridge. “I’m sorry, Grandpapi. I acted terribly at dinner.”
“You did.” Grandpapi’s tone cut like shards.
If only that were the only thing he had to confess. He sucked in a long breath and forced the next words out.
“Something happened down at the river.”
Ma and Grandpapi tensed as if expecting a blow.
“A girl was digging for fiddlers.” Cal gulped. “And I sort of tried to take them.” He stared at the flecks of gray sand to avoid their disappointed faces. “I didn’t see her father at first.”
Insects hissed and fluttered across the silence.
Head down, he whispered, “I attacked him when he stopped me from eating the fiddlers I’d taken.” His voice cracked. “I hurt him. Badly.” He roughly swiped at watery eyes as he waited for a response that didn’t come. “I will be summoned to tribunal. Again.” His previous offenses had been petty things, nothing like this. What would his punishment be? Working the giretorbie pits was the worst. The smell unbearable.
Eyes glittering with fear, Ma reached up and wrapped thin arms around his shoulders. “Everyone makes mistakes.” Her
voice lacked conviction.
He straightened his spine. “I’m going to apologize. Maybe I can talk them out of telling the Elders.”
Grandpapi’s raspy voice was hard. “Tomorrow you can see if that does any good. But it’s time to put this day to bed. You must rise better. Your heart must be stronger than your flesh. Do not give in to dark desires.” Grandpapi stretched out a wrinkled hand, and Cal lifted him easily from his seat.
“Too strong for your own good,” Grandpapi mumbled as the boy helped him into the house.
Cal brought the rocking chairs inside. They would need them for breakfast.
“I’m sorry,” Cal said, wishing he could erase the hurt he’d caused his family. Wishing he could start the day over and end up the conqueror instead of the accused.
“Good night, my love.” Ma’s voice was kind, but her eyes betrayed deep sadness. She looked so tired.
With regret wedging between his ribs, Cal slipped out the door and sucked in the cooling air. The curious hen waddled over to his feet.
“I don’t have food for you,” Cal said. “You’re supposed to have food for me. You look plump enough for a good meal.”
He plucked the bird off the ground. Tying the rope around the hen’s neck, while trying not to think about breaking it, he tethered her to the far wall. His family depended on the daily egg, and he had no right to kill his mother’s hen. Last year he’d saved his spending money for months, foregoing food and a new tunic to buy that bird for Ma. That was a long time ago. A different Cal. A good one.
Cal flung out his thin rug and spread it on the flat sand.
As he lay on his back and looked at the bright stars, hungry jaws snapped in his gut. Sleep. Tomorrow there would be porridge. He wrapped his arms around his belly, trying to squeeze out the sharp demands. It failed. Rolling to his feet, he paced, debating the fate of the chicken.
Near the house he heard their whispers.
The window rug was pulled back to let in the night air.
The hush of Ma and Grandpapi’s voices drifted through. Cal crouched below the window.
“Can’t prevent it,” Grandpapi said.
Ma’s sigh was heavy with despair. “It’s happening so quickly. I’m scared.”
Cal’s ears strained as his mind scrambled over the words.
“It’s time to go north,” Grandpapi said quietly.
Go north? Cal had begged to leave Siccum for years. He looked forward to the caravan’s rare appearances, not just for the treats and trading, but to ask the travelers’ questions about the wider world. Each time he built hope they could travel north with the caravan; each time Ma flatly refused.
“We can’t do this on our own anymore,” Grandpapi said.
“It’s time to find the Lion.”
The hairs on Cal’s arms rose at the weight of the whispered word, Lion. He risked a peek over the window sill.
His family huddled at the table.
“Oh, Papi, I’d hoped we could have escaped it. Fifteen years in this forsaken sandpit and still …” her voice dissolved.
She hated it here too? The realization rocked Cal. She’d always been so cheerful. Annoyingly peppy. Fake.
Ma’s head drooped in her hands as she sobbed. Her loose hair blanketed her arm, the golden hue so different from Cal’s dark brown. A trait he assumed he inherited from his father. He knew so little of the man.
Grandpapi’s withered fingers rubbed Ma’s back with tenderness. “Don’t despair for things you can’t control. You did your best, my dear. But the boy is changing. His father’s poisonous blood is ripening.” Unfamiliar rancor hardened Grandpapi’s voice.
Cal reeled, falling back on his heels. They were talking about him. His fingernails dug into the clay wall, anchoring him. The rare times Ma spoke of his father, she painted him a hero. A hardworking fisherman who died in the silver waters of the Scorpion Sea, aptly named for the sting in its waves. She lied.
Outrage spread through his skeleton. “I’m poisoned?”
Cal’s sharp accusation blasted across the room.
Ma and Grandpapi jerked their heads. Ma scrubbed at the salty streaks down her cheeks. “Cal. Honey. I thought you were asleep.”
Cal vaulted through the window. Ma recoiled. His temper cooled at her fright. He perched on his chair and rested his clasped hands gently on the table. Slow breath. “What are we escaping? What’s happening too fast? What about my father’s blood? You talk like the Elders—like I’m cursed.”
Ma cowered like the rats Cal trapped in his snares. He counted in his head to keep from lashing out with impatience. One. Two. Answer me. Three. Four.
Ma swallowed. “Your father did some terrible things.”
Grandpapi didn’t refute it. He speared Cal with distrustful eyes.
Cal’s jaw dropped. “You lied to me.”
“Yes.” Ma held his gaze, no longer quailing. “He’s dead.”
Her voice was cold. Remorseless.
“You’re glad.” His world shifted. He sucked in a dizzy breath.
Ma ignored the comment. “And so, I painted a new picture of him. I remade him into the honorable man I wanted you to become.”
And he’d failed. He couldn’t hold Ma’s stare. Or answer for the things he’d done. He’d caused her tears and pain.
And his father had been a bad man.
Apparently brown hair and broad shoulders weren’t the only things he’d inherited from the stranger. And Ma and Grandpapi hated him for it.
Cal stood. They didn’t move. “I’m sorry. I’ll do better.”
No reassuring replies. No words of encouragement.
He shuffled away. Forsaken silence followed him out the door. He crawled onto his mat. Questions bombarded. Who was his father really? What bad things had he done? Cal wanted the truth.
For hours he lay sleepless, searching the starry sky. No answers appeared there. When the moon slipped behind a lonely wisp of cloud, he rose and crept into the quiet house.
As if he were a shadow, he stalked into Ma’s bedroom. She kept her personal things in a tin box at the bottom of her trunk. He hesitated. He’d never dared invade her privacy before. It was wrong.
But, she’d disrespected him first. She lied to him. He undid the latch. She rolled over in her sleep. He shifted some cloth and lifted out a small box. Creeping from the room, he also stole one of their precious candles before drifting outside. Sitting on his mat, he opened the box. An amber ring glinted in the low light. How much food could this have bought them? Pushing that unhappy thought aside, he took
out a stack of papers. He skimmed dozens of letters from his aunt Elssa. Nothing of interest he didn’t already know. Cousins in Mitera. Gossip about strangers.
At the bottom was a stiffer piece of parchment. Block letters blazed across the page. He held the candle flame closer. The bottom of the note and the signature were gone, but he gobbled up the remaining words.
DEAREST MIRA, I’LL BEG YOU FOR THE LAST TIME. PLEASE COME HOME. I MISS YOU DESPERATELY. YOU’VE PROVED YOU WILL SACRIFICE EVERYTHING TO PROTECT YOUR SON. BUT YOU CAN’T PREVENT HIM FROM GROWING INTO A DRACO SANG. IT WILL HAPPEN-- EVEN IN SICCUM.
Cal rubbed his eyes. He squinted as he re-read the shocking words. What in the great skies?
YOU CAN’T PRETEND AWAY OR OUTRUN THE DRAGON’S BLOOD, MIRA—IKNOWTHIS. PLEASE FACE THE FACTS. PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU. ICANHELP HIM. I FAILED TO PROTECT YOU ONCE. I CAN NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF FOR YOUR SUFFERING. I WILL NOT LET HARM COME TO YOU AGAIN. NO ONE WILL HURT YOU. I SWEAR IT ON EIO. COME HOME. WE WILL PROTECT YOU. I’VE DEVOTED--
The paper was torn at the end of the line. Cal wheezed out the breath he’d been holding. I am Draco Sang.
Ma had taught him a little about the Draco Sang. Warlike, primitive, and vile, they constantly fought amongst themselves, the weak becoming slaves to the powerful. Ma had said their leader, Queen Mavras, had risen to power fourteen years ago by killing the king, her brother.
Apparently, that was a common tradition in their land. The Draco Sang lived in Skotar, the country just north of his kingdom of Elysium. The raging Rugit River separated their worlds.
The Draco Sang were the enemy.
Mary Beesley believes humans are born to create, and promotes creativity in all its beautiful forms. She's learning calligraphy and watercolor. She loves exploring our magnificent planet and finding all the best places to eat around the world. But nothing beats coming home and sharing a pot of slow-simmered minestrone and homemade sourdough with friends and family. If she's not in her writing chair, you'll probably find her hiking in the Utah mountains with her husband and four children.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
After trying just about everything: banking, sales, starting my own clothing business, cooking, science, marketing, counseling, finally at age 27, I was inspired to start writing fiction. That was 7 years ago, and I have never looked back. It’s been a TON of work, dedication, and self-discipline, and I’m grateful for all of it. After taking classes, going to conferences, and writing over a million words, I finally have my first novel published. I’m 34 and DRAGON BLOOD just came out. 34 isn’t old, but it isn’t 21 either. I’m grateful that I can start this career that I love at my age.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I had a profound difficulty learning to read and write. At a young age, teachers pushed me into math and science where I showed an early aptitude. I believed that I could never learn to be a good writer and so I didn’t try until I was nearly 30 years old. That’s a lot of years I could have been practicing writing and reading more, but I’m making up for lost time!
What are some of your pet peeves?
When people put their forks in the dishwasher tongs down—they do not get as clean!
When the toilet paper rolls under instead of over.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I started doodling and dripping pain in April 2020. We were deep in the dark trench of quarantine and I was struggling. I wouldn’t write (or laugh much). I was depressed. I’m grateful for the night I went to my mother’s and she pulled out her new calligraphy pens and for a little art therapy. From there I feel head over heels for painting, esp watercolor. This new hobby has been such a gift of peace and brightness.
How to find time to write as a parent?
My writing schedule usually mirrors my children’s school schedule. Assuming it’s a typical school day, I will write for 4 hours (Taking a break in the middle for a 30-minute yoga sanity break). I can’t focus or produce good sentences for much longer than about 4 hours in a day. Summer time and holidays aren’t very productive writing times. I try to make sure to get important drafts done before school lets out in June because editing is easier for me to do in the short spurts of writing time I get when the kids are home.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Organized, hard-working, strong-willed, sarcastic, and tired.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still struggle with imposter syndrome. It helps a lot to have books published, but in my heart, I knew I was a writer when I started my first novel 7 years ago. I had an idea come to me and a little voice inside that told me to write it down. I probably needed therapy, but instead I opened a word doc. Completing that first manuscript was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but what kept me going was the feeling I got while writing. I felt as if I’d found myself. Writing stories is it for me. It’s been a brutal road and I’ve collected hundreds of rejections, but I still want to do it. I still need to write.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
All of them. Whether other people can imagine them as movies, that’s a different question.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A falcon. I want to soar. Flying seems like such a cool way to see and experience the world.
What inspired you to write this book?
Probably better not to dive to deep into the weird folds of my brain for where these ideas come from.
What can we expect from you in the future?
LOTS OF BOOKS! I have 8 completed manuscripts and 3 work in progress manuscripts on my hard drive. They range from YA fantasy to women’s fiction.
Dragon Blood is book 1 in a YA fantasy trilogy. Book 2, Wolf Pack is scheduled to come out November 2021. TO UNITE A REALM, is an adult fantasy that is completely unrelated to Dragon Blood. I also have an adult romantic comedy, BETTING ON LOVE, that’s set to come out in 2021. It might be unconventional to write in so many different genres, but I love them all and I want to write what I love.
Can you tell us a little bit about Dragon Blood?
DRAGON BLOOD is a YA fantasy about twin brothers separated at birth and raised as enemies. They both carry the Dragon's blood, but one is struggling to conquer it and remain human while the other desperately wants to submit and rise in the ranks of the Draco Sang.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
For Dragon Blood, there was very little outside research before the writing started because I didn’t know what I didn’t know yet. I spent most of the prewriting time inside my brain instead of on google. I had an entire spiralbound filled with notes on plot, scene, character, world etc, that I’d dreamed up. It was later during drafting that I’d have to look up things like animal traits or fighting techniques.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
By drawing my own blood and splattering it on the wall and seeing what names appear.
Who designed your book covers?
Cammie Larsen with Monster Ivy Publishing. She’s great!
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
This is so hard from me, so I’m pulling this review from goodreads and I hope it’s convincing you to want to read my book:
“Dragon Blood is Beesley's debut novel. It's a YA fantasy following two brothers on opposite sides of a war. One embraces his kind and the other tries to hid what's in his blood. Both are faced with huge decisions.
This is the best thing I've read over the last couple months. Beesley has a rich writing style that really pulled her world and her characters together. She presented us with overwhelming joy and immense pain. I'm not ashamed to say I did shed a tear or two during a certain part of this book. The bonds between her characters were so good and they felt so alive. I would recommend every fantasy loving reader check out this book. It's sitting on my favourite shelf with Eragon, The Stormlight Archives, and other huge fantasy books because this little book deserves it. I am anxiously waiting for book two because the ending was just... what the heck? She knows how to write a book and make you beg for more.”
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
Leigh Bardugo, Robin McKinley, Naomi Novik, Sarah Maas, JK Rowling, Madeline Miller, Ken Follett, VE Schwab, Brent Weeks, Jane Austen, Brandon Sanderson…. I must stop, but it is so hard. There are so many great authors out there!
What is your writing process?
Every book has been a little different, just like humans, I think each of my books comes with a personality and unique challenges.
Dragon Blood is a trilogy, and I did more outlining on that project than any other because I needed to be very organized to plan three books ahead. But with Betting on Love that’s coming out in 2021, I saw in my mind a scene from it and just went with it with very few notes. With the book, To Unite a Realm, I saw an idea I wanted to explore. I wondered what it would be like to marry someone you hated and what kind of pressure would a person need to be under to accept that kind of marriage.
I have another manuscript that I’m working on that is an adult fantasy, and it’s the hardest draft I’ve ever worked on. This story is big and important and it’s really testing my patience and commitment and creativity. I’ve left it and come back to it three or four times now and I’m still not done with the first draft, but I think in the end it will be that much better for the work and effort.
Usually I like to buzz through the entire first draft start to finish within about three months. I live and breathe and sleep the story, and it’s so much easier for me to stay deep in it than to come in and out and try to keep finding the voice and narrative. Now that I have deadlines and edits due, it’s harder for me to carve out exclusive time to one book, but I’m learning and adjusting.
I will say that with each manuscript, I’ve had to see where I was going before I felt comfortable starting. I don’t usually have a full-fledged outline, but I know several important plot points I’m aiming for and that helps the draft flow. I usually have a notebook full of ideas and have spent months just thinking about the characters and the scenes before I ever start on the first draft.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
I have to spend a good bit of time with my main characters walking around my head before I start writing, but they are far from fully formed until after I start writing and truly seeing them act and come to life. Secondary characters get even less prewriting meditation time so it’s a lot of learning who my characters are as I write and they start to do this. It’s especially exciting when they start to do things on their own and unexpected and interesting things happen.
Do you see writing as a career?
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I read as much as I can. I think it is one of the best ways to improve craft and creativity. I read all the genres—except horror and erotica. My favorites are fantasy and historical fiction, but I love so much that it was hard for me to even narrow it down to those two.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Silence. Sometimes if I am really all over the place, I’ll put on some classical music to pull myself together, but I just like to really focus in silence. I very difficult for me to draft when my husband or kids are home making noise.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose? Harry Potter. Lol. Is there any other answer to that? But I also thought of the Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
That’s a range as wide as 5 months to 5 years.
Follow the tourHEREfor special content and a giveaway!