I’m pleased to have romance author, Michelle Young, as a guest. She is the fabulous author of Dragonstone.
Lady Katerina is the independent, headstrong heir to the Latharian throne; the one to fulfill the prophecy and defeat Black Magic. When betrayal and a violent Awakening transform her own magical Dragonstone Black, she vanquishes it, rendering her virtually powerless. Now, after a three-year sojourn, she returns to claim her crown and discovers sinister forces are working against her. Though able to handle a weapon as well as any man, Katerina reluctantly agrees to a peronal guard. Amongst the candidates, one man emerges; the handsome but infuriating knight, Sir Logan Shepherd. Can she trust him with her secrets?
Logan harbors secrets of his own. He needs to break through Katerina’s defenses and earn her trust. Katerina, however, is proving to be maddening, as well as captivating. Can he fulfill his duty and keep his heart?
Unless the prophecy is fulfilled, Latharia will be destroyed.
To fulfill the prophecy, the truth must be revealed.
Revealing the truth could destroy everything.
Tell us about yourself:
In my ‘other life’ I work as a speech pathologist. Writing started out as a hobby and blossomed into something I never expected-a second career. I still work part time as an SLP, for now. Who knows what the future holds? I am blessed with an incredibly supportive family. My husband is beyond supportive and has helped write some scenes (yes, he allows people to assume he helped with “those” scenes), but in truth, he was really helpful in writing the battle/sword fighting scenes. He also is great to bounce story ideas off of. My kids are great too-although they are too young to read Dragonstone. I have told them they cannot read it until they are eighteen.
When/how did the story and characters for Dragonstone come to you?
It sounds corny to say I was inspired, but it is true. Some of the basics for the story and some of the scenes were in my mind for a long time. One day, I was simply compelled to write it down. And then I just kept writing. One scene just flowed into another. Not that it was perfect the first time around. After I wrote the story out, my husband and a friend read it. They offered suggestions on expanding, adding, etc. In fact, from the first draft to final product, the story doubled in length.
How long was Dragonstone in production before publication was realized? And what were the steps that took you there?
It took me a total of six months to write Dragonstone. Soon after it was completed, I met Rhonda Penders; one of the owners of The Wild Rose Press. I pitched my story to her and she told me to submit. After a bit more work on the manuscript, I submitted to the Senior Editor of the Faery Rose division of The Wild Rose Press, sending a query letter and synopsis. A few months later, a partial (first three chapters) was requested. Another two month wait (or so), my editor, Sarah, wrote and asked for the full manuscript. Another wait (I don’t remember how long), she offered me a contract. After 5 months of editing with Sarah, it was ready for publication. This was in May of 2008. The e-book release date was Nov. 15, 2008 and it was released in print Feb. 15, 2009.
What about this story grips your heart?
It is a story about survival, overcoming the past and learning to trust and love again. The characters are likeable, yet human; each having their own faults. Ultimately, it is a “love conquers all” story. The strong, self-reliant heroine learns that she does not have to face impossible tasks alone.
For me, personally, I have been blessed by the fact that I married my best friend. We live in the belief that, together, we can handle anything. Although that is not what was on my mind when I wrote Dragonstone, as I look back on it, that message is definitely at the heart of the story.
Why have you chosen the paranormal romance genre for your writing endeavors?
I love dragons, magic, fantasy, mythical creatures and creating new worlds. I am a sucker for handsome knights, bad-boy heroes, strong heroines and happy endings. Paranormal romance allows me to write about all of my favorite things.
I also love writing in the medieval period, which is when Dragonstone is set. There is something very magical and romantic about that time period. But Dragonstone is more than a love story; it includes elements of a basic epic fantasy; mythical races (i.e.,elves, dragons), a quest, plot twists, good vs. evil, etc.
In one of the major battle scenes, the fight combines magic along with medieval warfare, which creates, I think, an incredible and exciting climax.
Do you belong to any writing or other professional organizations and how have they helped you along your career path?
I belong to the Romance Writers of America and as well as my local chapter (Central Florida Romance Writers). I can honestly say I would not have gotten published without the CFRW. I learned SO much about writing, publishing, etc. from the ladies in that group-I owe them a great debt.
What’s next for you?
The sequel to Dragonstone, entitled, “The Dragon’s Heart” has been contracted and will probably be released early 2011. It is the next generation, so to speak, with the heroine being the daughter of the couple in Dragonstone. It has some of the same characters as well as several new ones. Like Dragonstone, it is filled with unexpected plot twists and is far more than just a love story. The Dragon race is much more predominant in this story, with a few of the main characters being Dragons who can take human form.
“The Dragon’s Heart” took me longer to write (over a year),but I am very happy with the way the story turned out. It stays true to the medieval fantasy, with a splash of Greek Mythology thrown in.
Any inspiring words for aspiring authors?
Write the story that is in your head-or heart. Don’t stress about what will sell or what meets whose criteria. Write the story and the rest will follow. The important thing is to write if you enjoy writing. When it stops being fun, it is time for a break. If it is fun, then keep writing. If the words are not perfect the first time, that is really OK. To quote Nora Roberts: “You can’t fix a blank page.”
Thank you, Michelle, for visiting today. I’d like everyone to know that Michelle Young’s first novel, “DRAGONSTONE,” has received all 5-star reviews and won “Top Pick of the Year” (Readers and Writers of Distinctive Fiction). For more information or to read the reviews, visit her website Michelle Young.org or become a fan on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Author-Michelle-Young/119120791436799
“Dragonstone” is available from The Wild Rose Press in paperback or e-book formats. It is available at Borders bookstores in Central Florida. It can be ordered at most bookstores (Borders, Barnes & Noble, locally owed stores), through online bookstores (i.e. Amazon) or directly from the publisher: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/dragonstone-paperback-p-3360.html
Coming Soon from Michelle Young:
|Stay tuned for more information on a release date! |