Published by CreateSpace on 5--2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
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A dragon has moved into the neighborhood of Keira's small, medieval village, unsettling the residents as they fear for their safety. All except Keira, who is captivated by the creature, both dangerous and beautiful. But when Aaron Drake decides to take up residence in his ancestral home of Storbrook Castle, set deep in the nearby mountains, Keira finds herself fascinated by the handsome stranger. But why did he decide to move to Storbrook, almost eighty years after it was last inhabited, and does the dragon really live in the caves below the castle?
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Interview With Linda Hopkins
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Set in a small medieval village, the story is about a young woman, a handsome stranger and a dragon that has taken up residence in the surrounding mountains. But what is the connection between the dragon and Aaron who has moved into his ancestral home deep in the mountains after it has stood empty for seventy years?
Where did you get the idea for the book?
The story developed around a single ‘what if’ question. ‘If this could happen, what would it look like?’
What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?
Sometimes we need to open our hearts to the difficult experiences to fully appreciate the joy life offers.
How long did it take to write the book?
About six months
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
The dragon is my favorite character. Imagining his physical characteristics as well as his personality gave me many hours of pleasure!
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
When I started the story, I had a vague idea of where I wanted to go, but didn’t know until I started writing exactly how it would turn out. I didn’t want to ‘sanitize’ the dragon, but until I got to that point in the story, I wasn’t completely sure how I would handle it.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
I haven’t really reached that point yet, although I’m sure in another year or so I will reread it and wish I had done something differently.
How did you come up with the cover?
I wanted a cover that showed interaction between Keira and the dragon. Working with a cover designer, we came up with a design that I believe communicates this, as well as some of the mystery of the story.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I have always wanted to be writer, but it has only been recently that I believed that maybe I could be!
What are you favorite books and authors?
I love the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and all Jane Austen books.
What are you working on next?
Sequel to Bound by a Dragon
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up on yourself. If you have a dream worth following, then don’t allow others to take your dream away.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
I am fortunate in that I have had a home based business for many years, and have been able to transition from that to writing quite easily. I really need a completely quiet environment to work in, which actually makes it easier to juggle family time. I work when the kids are at school, and after school hours and weekends are family time.
Keira watched as the great beast circled slowly through the sky, blocking the sunlight for a few seconds on each turn. Fire spewed occasionally from its mouth, dissipating in the cool air before it could set anything alight. All around her people were shouting, grabbing their children and running for their homes, slamming the doors shut behind them before barring them from the inside. Keira shook her head in amusement. A mere door wouldn’t stop a dragon – it could just burn the house down! Anna was tugging on her arm, shouting at her to come, but Keira shrugged her off.
The dragon had taken up residence in the mountains some six months back, and although it was regularly seen soaring above the village, it had yet to kidnap and devour a single innocent maiden. And there were no reports of girls snatched from the other villages, either. Keira knew the stories about the last dragon that had lived in the area. For many years it had peacefully inhabited its mountain lair, until one day it had suddenly turned on the village, burning down half the homes before being killed by some brave soul. But the only questionable thing this dragon had done was to take a few head of cattle and a couple of sheep. And since the dragon always left some form of payment for the animal taken – a small bag of gold, a few precious stones – the villagers didn’t complain too loudly. These payments always far exceeded the worth of the animal. But still, stories about dragons abounded, and the villagers were convinced that it was just a matter of time before the dragon set the village alight and snatched the village girls.
“Come on, Keira.” Anna’s words broke through Keira’s thoughts, reminding her that her parents shared the same fears as the other villagers. “Mother will be furious if we don’t get back to the house now!”
“Stop pulling me! I’m coming!” was Keira’s annoyed response. She glanced back at the sky one more time, admiring the way the scales of the dragon caught the light, throwing back a thousand rainbows against the sky. The dragon was heading away from the village, but before Keira looked away, it turned its head and seemed to look straight at her. Pulling her arm out of Anna’s, she drew herself upright and stared straight back, meeting the golden eye of the dragon before it turned its enormous body in a slow, fluid motion and lazily flew towards the mountains.