Series: Dragonian #1
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
» Buy on Amazon
» Buy on Barnes & Noble
For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn’t know it. Before entering Paegeia Elena was not special, she wasn’t even average until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia. Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. There, in the shadowy ruins he plots his revenge to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword. When the sword is stolen without a trace Elena doesn’t think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home.
Interview with Author Adrienne Woods
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
It’s about Elena Watkins (16) that discovered her father’s secret on the night a dragon killed him. Now she has to deal with dragons, magic and fighting with weapons in order to survive in a world, called Paegeia.
The plot thickens when the formidable King of Lion sword gets stolen. Without it, Paegeia’s safety is on the line. The sword is thousands of years old and has the ability to slain any evil, no matter what form it takes. Getting it back turned into a quest, where she learns who her true friends are, and how strong and brave she really is.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
I always love dragons, but this isn’t my first novel. I’ve written a paranormal NA first that’s about half vampire/werewolf breed. When I wanted to get it published, I discovered just how full the market is and decided to start writing the Dragonian Series. The idea just came to me. One week I had the entire story and three weeks later the entire series.
What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?
There are a lot of messages hidden in this one. One being that your parents are not always doosh bags and that they actually do say no for a reason. The other one is that anyone can become great at something, it’s in all of us. You just need to find your strength. And last is that true friendships are really powerful.
How long did it take to write the book?
The first one, three years. But I had a lot of things going on in my life and I didn’t write on a regular basis. I had about nine drafts in total, cutting and adding scenes as the novel and ideas got better. But if I really sit down and write, it could take me three months to have a complete finished novel ready for my editor.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
I like all my characters, they are like my children. If I have to choose, I love Elena, I’m in her head the whole time, and her two friends, Becky and Sammy. They are completely opposite of one another, but they are the type of friends everyone should have. Blake is another one of my favorites to write about.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
I don’t do outlines like most authors do. I do everything in my head. So I would go and day dream about everything for weeks, work out scenes and dialogue in my head and when I figured everything out, I started with chapter one. That way I don’t get writers block.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
Story line, nothing. I know some people feel that Lucian and Elena’s relationship isn’t strong, but I love the way they ended up together. It was love at first sight for him, for Elena, it wasn’t but she grew fond of him as he started talking to her on a regular basis. I think that is why the readers don’t feel that she belongs with him, because they are in her head. If they felt what Lucian felt, they would feel differently. Everything in my novel happens for a reason. I’m pretty proud of this one.
How did you come up with the cover?
Isn’t it amazing? Her name is Mary Park and she is so talented. The first cover was half Elena’s face and half a dragon’s face cut in the middle with the King Of Lion sword. I changed it as I want to do a Mandarin edition, and I needed a different cover for that. My publisher fell in love with the new cover and she decided to do a second edition for Firebolt. My covers are the exact same way as my novels. They need to tell some sort of a story. I’ll go think about what they should look like for months and if I have the picture in my mind, I describe it to Mary. It always ended up better that what was in my head.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was thirteen I told my mom I want to write a book one day, but it only become a reality at the age of 29. Now, stories are just pouring in. I get inspiration from everything around me.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
My paranormal story of the Aswangs (half vampire/werewolf)
What are your favourite books and authors?
I have so many. Most of them turned into Block busters. I love the Neverending story and I had a soft spot for Jane Eyre. Romeo and Juliette is a favourite and anything that can take me away from reality. If a book does that, it usually goes on to my favourite list.
What are you working on next?
At the moment, I’m working on three novels. The second one of the Dragonian Series called Thunderlight. Riptide is book one of the Pregnancy diaries. It’s a woman’s fiction and I’m also writing book 2 called Turning the Tides. I’m going to publish those under Isabella White as it’s a different genre and more for an adult audience.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Everyone always say never give up. That is the most important one. But there is more advice to give. As a debut author I had to deal with so many things I wasn’t prepared for. First are reviews. Not everyone will love your book. You can’t please all of the readers, so don’t be broken if you get that first negative review. All the authors have them. Go look at Harry Potter’s reviews. You’ll be shocked how many people didn’t love it. Another thing is, get an editor. They are so important to clean up your manuscript. Don’t publish anything if you don’t feel that it’s the best it can be. I’m going to stop there for now otherwise this interview will get very long.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
It is really hard but I’m used to four/five hours of sleep per day. Family always comes first. I have two small girls staying at home with me and a husband that needs my attention too. I write late at night when my family goes to bed and read novels early in the morning before they wake up. If I feel that I really need a good rest, I’ll take a break. But it’s a routine I’m sticking with, it works for me.
A girl singing her heart out about a miracle boomed inside my ear. A miracle would get me what I needed: a chance at a semi-normal life.
The bedroom door hitting the wall expelled the thought from my mind. With his hand tangled up in his copper hair and with huge brown eyes, Dad’s figure filled the entire doorway. “Pack your bags.” He had that set to his jaw, the one that meant there was no way out of this. He bolted out of the room just as suddenly as he had appeared.
My teeth ground hard against each other, and the sharp pain behind my eyes, I guessed from the lack of sleep, grew stronger. Every fiber of my being wanted to explode.
Ever since I could remember my name, Dad and I had been on the run. From what? Beats me.
For the last two weeks, I’d been pacing up and down through the house, struggling to fall asleep at night, waiting for this day.
For the love of blueberries, no sixteen-year old should live this way!
I climbed off my bed, and the first step I took left my toe tangled in the wide leg of my jeans. I tried to regain my balance as the closet inched closer, but with wildly flailing arms, I came crashing down. The thud reverberated across the wooden floor, and it sounded as if I’d broken something.
Dad darted back into my room. “Are you okay?” He lifted me back onto my feet as if I weighed nothing.
Tears lurked in the corners of my eyes, threatening to burst, as I stared up at him.
“Don’t give me that look, Elena. Please, we need to hurry.” He pulled my suitcase from the top shelf and chucked it haphazardly onto my bed. “We need to go. Now.”
He started to grab my clothes from the shelf and tossed them messily inside my small suitcase. Then he paused, sighed, and looked up with soft eyes. He stroked the side of my cheek with his hand gently. “This wasn’t the right place, Bear. Please, you’ve got to trust me.”
His hand reached back to pull everything off my shelf, while my hands curled up into balls of fury. My heart pounded fast as those two words bounced inside my skull.
“Trust you, Dad?”
“Elena, we don’t have much time,” he yelled. “Pack your bags! You can ask questions later.” He left, and the hollow “doof” sound from his stomping footsteps rang loudly as he made his way into the hall.
Ask questions? Yeah right! I’ll only get answers that don’t reveal why we are on the run for the gazillionth time. “Trust me” and “I’ll tell you when the time is right” were the only two answers Dad gave. Guess the time with him will never be right.
It was no use arguing with him anyway. Once, he threw me over his shoulder and carried me out without any of my things.
So I grabbed the stuff I needed: my mp3 player, a photo of Mom that Dad didn’t know I had, and my journal from underneath my bed. I tossed them into my backpack. It wasn’t much, but it was the stuff that made my miserable life feel less pathetic. I zipped up my suitcase and took a deep breath. Looking around my bedroom for the last time, I said goodbye to my sixtieth-something room.
Dad almost ran me over in the hall with his army bag slung over his shoulder. He grumbled, which I assumed was an apology, took my suitcase, and ran down the stairs. He always rented these huge old houses, pre-furnished and near the countryside, and we always left after three months.
The pickup’s horn honked as I shut the front door. I closed my eyes and took another deep breath. Just two more years, then I’ll be eighteen and free from this freak show. Huge raindrops fell hard onto the ground. The smell of wet dirt filled the air. It was my favorite smell.
The water that pooled on the ground covered all the gaps in the driveway, forcing me to hopscotch around all of them. My shoe got caught in one of the gaps and I smacked down hard in a huge puddle. By the time I reached the truck, my jeans and shoes dripped with water.
Warm heat from the vents inside the truck hit me full blast as I jumped in; a million goose pimples erupted across my skin. As soon as I shut the rusty door, Dad floored the gas pedal. Tires screeched and the truck spun away as if the Devil was chasing us. My lower lip quivered softly as he swerved onto the road. The streetlights flew by in a blur, and I plugged in my earphones. The same stupid song about a miracle boomed from my mp3, drowning the sound of the engine and the hard dribbles on the roof, a percussion that became the perpetual soundtrack to my misery.
A feeling of utter loneliness consumed my heart while I stared out the window. Homes with white picket fences and a convenience store whizzed by in a flash. A tear rolled down my cheek. Saying a silent goodbye, releasing my breath created a foggy condensation on the glass. Reaching out with my index finger, I drew a small heart. These were the reasons why Mom had left. She couldn’t handle his paranoia, but why she’d left her two year old daughter to deal with it was a mystery. Dad constantly reminded me of the latter; that was the only time he ever spoke of her. If he ever discovered I had that picture, he would kill me. That was how much he hated her for leaving us.
The lights of a vehicle in the upcoming lane shone directly into my face. I shut my eyes, waiting for it to disappear. When I was little, I used to watch Dad as we drove away from yet another house. He would glare into his rearview mirror every five seconds, every muscle in his face clenched, and his knuckles white on the steering wheel. I hadn’t been able to force myself to peek out the window then, as it used to scare the living crap out of me to consider the possible reasons why he was fleeing, or who might be following us. Now, I didn’t look at him or care much about what he was going through. He created this problem. With me becoming the luggage. It was a ritual I endured every three months, and nothing over the past sixteen years had ever changed that.
The “Interstate 40” sign flew by in a whirl, and the pickup slowly moved onto the turnoff lane.
My eyes started to burn as I stared at the rain running down my window. Each rivet resembled another town, another place I could never again call home. Exhaustion consumed me and my eyelids felt heavy. I laid my head against the window and struggled to stay awake.
Suddenly, a huge figure flew past me. Dad swerved to the left, which made me crash into his side. My entire body pumped with adrenaline. I jumped straight in my seat and wrenched the seatbelt over my shoulder to buckle myself in. I tore out my earphones as I tried to process what had just happened.
“What was that?” I looked at Dad.