12 July 2011

Synopsis: Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she's been told she's destined for great things. Zoë's the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she's sent to a Pyr boot camp.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.

Check out my review for
Flying Blind - HERE

How was the switch from being an adult paranormal romance writer to the YA genre for you and what obstacles, if any did you face throughout the process?

The main challenge for me was the chronological timeline of the new series. The Dragonfire series is rooted in real time – because firestorms are linked to eclipses – and Zoë was born in 2008. That meant she’d turn 16 in 2024. I had to think about what the world might be like by then for teenagers – I decided it would not be much different, but that they’d have more powerful gadgets for keeping track of each other, listening to music, etc. I also had to think about the Dragonfire world itself – in that world, the Pyr are locked into a final battle with the Slayers. That war will be over by 2024. I knew who would win (!) but the defeat of the Slayers meant that the Pyr – and Zoë – would need new enemies. Enter the Mages.

Being that your adult series is about dragons, did you know you always wanted to write a cross over of sorts for a younger audience? (NOTE there are some spoilers within Deborahs answer for her adult Dragonfire series, so proceed with caution!)

No. The Dragon Diaries (http://www.thedragondiaries.com/) grew organically out of my Dragonfire series (http://www.deborahcooke.com/). In my Dragonfire world, there is only ever one female dragon shape shifter – she’s called the Wyvern and has special powers. Well, I killed the existing Wyvern in Dragonfire #3 (KISS OF FATE) so the child conceived in that book was a girl (they’re usually boys). I assumed, along with the other Pyr, that Zoë would ultimately become the new Wyvern. It took me a few years to realize that she (like the guy dragon shifters) would come into her powers at puberty, but that (unlike the guy dragon shifters) she’d have no one to tell her what being the Wyvern meant, or even what all of the Wyvern’s powers might be. The last Wyvern is dead, after all. As soon as I thought of a 15 year old girl coming to terms with all of that, plus being in high school, I realized Zoë’s coming of age story would make a fun YA paranormal. Fortunately, my editor agreed.

From the subject of many of your books and also reading that you are fascinated with dragons, when did this start for you and what, originally, was the draw to them?

I think that my interest in dragons began with reading J.R.R. Tolkien. I always really liked Smaug and thought he got a bit of a bum rap.

Is there any other paranormal creature you’d like to write about someday?

I write about lots of paranormal creatures! I’ve written romances featuring other shape shifters – wolves and big cats – as well as a lot of stories featuring fairies. And I did a trilogy with fallen angel heroes, too. Most of these have been published under my pseudonym Claire Delacroix. I have written one vampire short story – “Coven of Mercy” – for an anthology, and if time permitted, I could see myself writing more in that series.

Can you share with us one word that best describes each of the main characters in Flying Blind?

I do think that it’s safe to say that all the dragon shifters are passionate.

Zoë – analytical. (I also think she’s funny.)
Garrett –loyal
Nick – impulsive
Liam – sympathetic
Isabelle – intuitive
Meagan - genius

Can you share with us a favorite line or two from Flying Blind?

I like that Zoë thinks about keeping an “Incinerate Next” list.

What was the hardest part in writing Flying Blind?

I loved writing this series. I think that the hardest part was the schedule, because the house really wanted to release the books at six month intervals. This is great visibility and it was great for the house to be so excited. It’s also terrific for readers because they don’t have to wait as long between books, but it has been a bit manic on my end. I’m going to take a little vacation and catch my breath!

Lastly, being that Flying Blind is part of a trilogy, will you be writing any other books for young adults in the future? And if so, can you tell us anything about it?

I don’t know. Nothing has been decided as yet, although my editor and I have bounced some ideas around. We won’t really talk about it until Zoë’s third book is completely done later this summer. It would be fun, though, so fingers crossed!

Deborah, Thanks so much for stopping by! It was great to have you here on the blog today. Feel free to stop in anytime!

Thanks for inviting me to visit!

The Second book in the Dragon Diaries - Winging It will be released December 6th, 2011 from NAL

Synopsis: Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It’s bad enough that she’s the target of the Mages’ plan to eliminate all shifters—she also has to hide her true nature from her best friend Megan, a human. For her sixteenth birthday, all Zoë wants is one normal day, including a tattoo and a chance to see hot rocker Jared.

Instead, the Pyr throw her a birthday party but ban Megan from attendance, putting Zoë in a tight spot. Things get even worse when Zoe is invited to the popular kids’ Halloween party and Megan’s left out. Zoë knows the party is a trap laid by the host, an apprentice Mage. When Megan gets a last-minute invite, Zoë must save the day—and her best friend—without revealing her fire-breathing secrets . . .

photo credit: Michelle Rowen

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  1. great interview!

    check out my new blog

  2. I read Flying Blind in one day. I was not expecting what I got - it was great. Thanks for the interview! This is the first I'm seeing of the new cover, and I'm super excited to read the new book. I'm really glad it is coming out (relatively) soon... but I could see how that could be a bit crazy for the author!


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