I’d like to welcome our guest today, Donna MacQuigg. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.
I understand you have a new release out called The Dragon’s Secret. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
It’s my first fantasy romance set in 975. I think the advance praise or blurb given by my dear friend and critique partner, and a member of the Desert Rose chapter, Kathryne Kennedy bests describes it. “A beautiful tale of predestined love and the power of a dragon’s tears.”
The Dragon’s Secret is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
There are several secrets revealed throughout the story and one of the most important is known by the spirit of the old dragon that ‘haunts’ the castle.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I have to give Kathryne credit again. Kathryne is a well known fantasy historical author. She read the first draft of Dragon, which was a straight historical at the time and suggested that I add a little magic. She gave me some ideas which were fairly easy to incorporate into the story and waalaa, I created a fantasy full of sorceresses, mystical dragons, and an evil wizard.
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
I love medieval times and also stories about Druids, their culture and the various tribes of ancient Wales.
What are your favorite fantasy research books, and why?
I love books and usually end up buying them rather than checking them out of the library. I have quite a selection, but the three that influenced this story were The Sacred World of the CELTS, by Nigel Pennick, Myths and Legends of the Middle Ages, by H.A. Guerber, and lastly I picked up a “Living History” book entitled The Vikings. Although “Living History” books are geared for young readers, they are full of pictures and descriptive text that I find very useful. I highly recommend them.
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
Gosh, that’s a hard one. I love to write about villains, but I guess I’d have to say my heroine, Sayrid is my best character. In the story, her powers as a sorceress are just beginning to unfold. It was lots of fun writing about her reaction to the changes she’s going through.
Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and world affect your character development?
I don’t use charts. I usually jot down descriptions and personality traits on a steno pad on my desk. I often go back and tweak my characters as the story unfolds.
How do you go about building your world? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?
Since I use real places, I use history books and the internet to help me with descriptions and locations. After I’ve chosen my location, and looked though as many pictures of the area I can find, I let my imagination take over. In Dragon, I wanted the castle to vaguely resemble a dragon’s head, yet still have towers and walls to incase the out buildings.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Well, at the risk of repeating myself, Kathryne Kennedy was and is my biggest influence.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
I like to do library mailings, bookmarks and sending out ARC’s for reviews.
What do we have to look forward next?
I have several things on the burner, but nothing that I can say at the moment. I ask that my readers stay tuned for previews of next week’s show!
To celebrate her book release, Donna is offering a free book of The Dragon’s Secret to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see who won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)
She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
Bio..Donna MacQuigg has previously published six historical romances and one contemporary western romance. The Dragon’s Secret is her first in a series of fantasy books.
Check out author’s website at www.donnamacquigg.com