Long ago, war broke the bond of peace between dragons and humans. Now, something greater threatens their very existence, and one girl must reunite old foes to fight it off, all while keeping in mind where the true enemy lies: within.
Sounds like an intriguing story, doesn’t it? Today I am excited to introduce author Melody Jackson and have her here for an interview. Melody just published her first novel, The Dragon Within. Besides answering a few questions, she is also giving away a free ebook copy of the book, so make sure to enter at the end of the interview!
1. What inspired you to write The Dragon Within?
Well, I'd wanted to write a novel with dragons in it for several years, but never had a good idea. Then one night three years ago I had a dream about a girl in a fantasy world where dragons fought against each other, but she was trying to get them to make peace. Although "The Dragon Within" turned out quite different from that original dream, it sparked the idea I needed to start it. I think it's kind of funny because a dream is what gave me the idea for the second book as well, which I'm currently working on. I give God all the credit for it, because I know He's the one who gave me the dreams, so He must've wanted me to write these books, and that means no matter how successful or unsuccessful they are, it's all in His hands.
2. Which of your characters would you most love to spend the day with?
Ooh, tough questions! I'd love to spend the day with all (well, almost all) of my characters, but if I had to choose, it'd probably be Toran. He's a much deeper character than I think is even displayed in the book, and I'd love to spend a day with him riding dragons and probably listening to him crack lame jokes, haha.
3. Creating and working with characters is my favorite part of writing. What is yours?
I think I'd have to agree with you; my favorite part is what I call the "discovery" stage. Learning who the characters are, and what their stories will turn out to be often excites me more than writing it. :) That's actually the stage I'm at with the second book, and it's been so intriguing learning my characters and what makes them so unique. It's like they're real people living in my head who I'm just now getting to know, and it's definitely my favorite part of the whole process.
4. I love it when I can find just the right “casting” choice for my characters because it helps clarify them in my mind. Do you have any casting choices for your characters? If so, who are some of the main ones?
I didn't do this much with my first book, as I didn't have Pinterest then, but now I definitely like to find pictures to support or inspire my images of the characters. I do have a couple pins and boards of characters from "The Dragon Within", and I'm using it a lot more for inspiration for my second book.
As far as casting roles, like for a movie, I haven't truly delved into that much because I am not familiar with a ton of actors and have a hard time picturing who could play what role. I'll probably get caught up in it sooner or later though, haha.
5. For me, actually getting my stories written is the hardest part of writing. Planning, rewriting, and editing are much easier. What is your least favorite or hardest part of the writing process?
Formatting the book. Don't even get me started on the horrors Microsoft Word inflicted on my precious document. It took about a week after the document was "finished" to work out and then fix all the terrible formatting Word insisted my novel needed. But I found this wonderful program called Scrivener which made it so much easier to format; instead of a week, it only took a day!
6. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress or what’s next for your writing and publishing plans?
I'm really excited because I'm in my favorite stage of writing the second book: forming the characters and plot. The book is technically a sequel to "The Dragon Within", but although there will be connections, both books will stand alone. I think readers will enjoy the connections between the two, though. I have several a couple others planned for the series, and then 40+ book ideas to choose from for a new project. I only hope I can write them all, haha.
7. What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
Playing guitar is one of my favorites, as well as singing, reading, and drawing. I'm a very creative type of gal.
8. What are some of your favorite books?
Ooh, another tricky question! I love so many books, though a couple of my I-could-read-this-100-times books would be the DragonKeeper Chronicles, the Frencolia Chronicles by Carolyn Ann Aish, the Hunger Games trilogy, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson, and pretty much anything by Ted Dekker. I have so many more, but these are the ones I can [and have!] read again and again because they're so good.
9. What are three random facts about you that most people probably wouldn’t know?
I really love to talk--though since I'm not huge on idle chatter, most people think I'm just very quiet. I have a very one track mind, so much so that my mom has sometimes had a long one-sided conversation with me that I didn't hear any part of because I was doing something else and she didn't get my attention. And I have a smashed penny collection; my family is very thrifty so it's my cheap, cool, and long-lasting souvenir from different places I visit.
10. And finally, what advice would you give other authors seeking to publish?
Write from your heart. It may sound cliché or something, but it's true. Write for yourself, and others will love it too. (And if they don't, that doesn't make you a bad author!)
Also, know the rules, but don't be afraid to break them if necessary. And don't ever give up! It took me three long and often frustrating years to publish "The Dragon Within", but I'm so glad I pushed through and finished it. It's a truly amazing feeling to become a published author, and worth every pain to get there. :)
Thanks so much for stopping by Melody! It’s always fun to get a look into the lives of other authors. :)
More about Melody
Melody Jackson lives in the unbearably hot state of Arizona, (well, at least it's a dry heat) and enjoys writing, singing, playing guitar, and, well, more writing. She lives with her crazy family, as well as a menagerie of animals, including her four siblings, cats, and one grumpy chinchilla.
More about The Dragon Within
Are dragons good...or evil?
Kaena Armae doesn’t really care either way. No one’s seen a dragon in over twenty years, so why should she even care?
But when she comes face to face with the shocking truth in the forest near her home, she is forced to choose sides in a feud that started centuries ago.
And the real war is just beginning.
Now, Kaena must convince opposing sides to join together to combat an ancient evil, or face the destruction of their whole world, forever.
But what if they’re fighting the wrong enemy?