Welcome to Day 27 of Harper Teen's 28 Days of Winter! Be sure to visit the 28 Days website for a chance to win a copy of today's book.
You know you loved Carrie Vaughn's urban fantasy series featuring Kitty Norville so you know that you're guaranteed to fall for her new young adult novel Voices of Dragons.
The new book is a different kind of fantasy, one that links a twenty-first-century teen with a creature right from medieval legends.
Here's the publisher's summary:
On one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity's deepest fears: dragons.I can't wait for the release of this novel on March 16. In my opinion, any book with a dragon in it is one that I'm bound to love. I am so excited to be hosting an interview with Carrie Vaughn, who talks about. well, dragons! and her new novel, Voices of Dragons. Thanks so much to Harper Teen for putting together this great Q&A.
Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she's breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she'd rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship grows between them.
But suspicion and terror are the legacy of human and dragon interactions, and the fragile truce that has maintained peace between the species is unraveling. As tensions mount and battles begin, Kay and Artegal are caught in the middle. Can their friendship change the course of a war?
Harper Teen (HT): Why dragons? Why put them in the modern world instead of a fantasy world?
Carrie Vaughn (CV): Well, dragons are just cool, of course. Why the modern world? The whole thing started with an image of my main character flying on the back of a dragon around my local area (the foothills of Colorado around Boulder). She had a video camera and was filming a “dragon's eye view” of the flight. That specific scene never made it into the book, but the idea of putting dragons and modern technology in the same world really hooked me. I had to come up with how dragons might fit into the "real" world, how that would change history, and how people and dragons would relate to each other, especially when people have airplanes and weapons that match dragons' flight and fire-breathing. (The answer—not very well.)
HT: How was writing Voices of Dragons different from writing your previous novels in the Kitty series?
CV: In some ways it wasn't—I tend to follow the same process of brainstorming, outlining, writing, and revising. But Kay is a very different character than Kitty, with a different set of problems, and I had to keep those in mind. In some ways the story is also much bigger, dealing with wide-reaching politics and war, rather than the more local and slice-of-life stories in the Kitty books. I had to think a lot more about the history of the world.
HT: What are some of your favorite dragon stories?
CV: I went through a lot of literature looking for references to dragons—there are tons! There’s a dragon in Beowulf, I love the dragon in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (which is partly why I gave my dragon a name from The Faerie Queene), and Tolkien’s Smaug from The Hobbit is a most excellent dragon. I'm also a fan of Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon, which definitely has some echoes in Voices of Dragons. Robin McKinley is one of my favorite writers, and Maur, the dragon in The Hero and the Crown, is intensely scary. Another most excellent dragon. I'll also admit to liking the cheesy ’80s movie Dragonslayer. Oh, and then there's the dragon Maleficent turns into in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. You see? So many dragons to be inspired by!
HT: What would you do if you met a dragon?
CV: I’m not sure. It would depend on what kind of dragon, I think. If it was a big, angry, non-intelligent, eat-everything-in-sight dragon I would definitely hide and hope for the best. (If I ran, it might chase me, and chances are it’s much faster than I.) If it were a talking dragon, but malevolent, I would have to brush up my riddling and try to talk my way out of it. But I’d hope to meet a friendly talking dragon and ask it to tell stories.
HT: What's your preferred hot drink to curl up with when reading: tea, coffee, or cocoa?
CV: Hot cocoa.
Thanks again to Harper Teen and Carrie Vaughn for stopping by today. Don't forget to click on the "28 Days of Winter" button in my sidebar to enter for today's drawing.
Carrie Vaughn survived her air force brat childhood and managed to put down roots in Colorado. Her first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, launched a popular series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk-radio advice show. Ms. Vaughn has also written many short stories. This is her first work for young readers. Ms. Vaughn lives in Colorado.