Series: Leland Dragon #3
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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The exciting conclusion of the Leland Dragon Series!
Leland Province remains in danger. The sinister Fordon Blackclaw has returned from the shadows to strike at the heart of neighboring Esra, killing its Venur and making clear his intentions to retake what was once his: Mount Gore, seat of the Leland Dragon Council.
All around, the land grows weaker and weaker. Leland, once thought saved by Kallon Redheart, is without purpose, and within its borders, Murk Forest, a place of mystery and danger, has driven its inhabitants to seek aid. Esra is in flames, and the Rage Desert grows. Dragon and human alike struggle to find their way, and the wizard Orman can sense that there may be more at stake than the affairs of dragons.
Hope remains, yet it is not without obstacles. In Esra, Sela, the daughter of Kallon and Riza, found the well, a source of life, and made herself whole again. But her homecoming is not what she had imagined.
Old wounds buried deep must reopen if life is to continue. Dragons, humans, wizards, and shape shifters are all at risk as the peace between dragon and human has finally been broken.
War is here.
Perhaps the whole world.
Interview with Author Jackie Gamber
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
My book, Reclamation, is the third and final book in the Leland Dragon Series. It’s a full-circle sort of conclusion, as Leland’s dragons and her people rediscover an identity together.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
I had a general concept of the book from the beginning of the series; I knew where I wanted the story to go. The writing of it was where I figured out how to get it there.
What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?
I don’t consciously insert messages into any of my stories. I know they get put in there, because I find all writers have something they want to say beyond just writing an entertaining tale. I do feel, though, that if readers take away a message of hope from my Leland Dragons trilogy? That would make me smile.
How long did it take to write the book?
It’s hard to pin down exactly how long it took to write Reclamation, because, in a way, I was head-writing it beginning with book one. I think it took me about 8 months or so, with editing and all the polishing work.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
Orman Thistleby, a curmudgeonly wizard, remains my most entertaining character to me. Layce Phelcher, a lovely and rather clumsy wizard, is also a treat. I loved putting them in scenes together; I never knew what would come out of their mouths, and I spent a lot of time quietly cackling at their conversations.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
I don’t outline in the traditional sense of the word. I know where I’m going and an idea of why, but then I develop as I go, sort of like groping through a familiar room in the dark. One unexpected turn in my trilogy was in Sela, book two, when Jastin Armitage has an experience leading to epiphany. That was supposed to happen in book three! But it felt right in a different place. And so that drastically shifted the story for Reclamation.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
I always feel as though there could be more tightening, tidying, of my storytelling. I could fiddle and shift sentences, and change adjectives endlessly, and never feel it’s really “finished”. I have to be willing to let go, and let the story stand on its own, at some point.
How did you come up with the cover?
My publisher, Seventh Star Press, has a pool of amazing artists who conceptualize the book covers. Matthew Perry did the cover art for all three books of the Leland Dragons series. I’m always amazed at how he can capture the essence of the book—for Reclamation it was no different. He chose to illustrate the moment in the book of true reclamation. Perfect!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Writing has always been a part of me, for as long as I can remember. I didn’t think of it as “writing”. I didn’t even know that not everyone pours out their heart onto paper the way I did so often as an angsty kid. I do remember realizing that behind every book was a person who wrote it, and that I wanted to be one of those people someday. I was young at the time. Seven or eight years old, maybe.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
I wrote stories all the time! In crayon or whatever. But my first, real stab at submitting a story was for a youth writing contest, and it was called Creature from Loki Swamp. I put it in a manila envelope and addressed it, and gave it to my mom to buy postage and put it in the mail for me. I never heard back; not even an acknowledgement it arrived. Years later, I was digging through an old box of stuff, and came across the story, still sealed in my hand-written envelope. No postage. My mom had never sent it in.
What are you favorite books and authors?
I have so many favorite authors, I could go on for ages. If I had to choose one author and one book: Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451. I also adore Charles Dickens, and Mary Shelley. And H. G. Wells. And John Wyndham. See? I could go on and on.
What are you working on next?
I have a completed historical/time travel novel finished, entitled “The Eye of Severe Truth”, and work into a steampunk fantasy novel. I also have written screenplay adaptations of several short stories, as well as working on my second full-length screenplay entitled “The Mark”.