About The Book
Title: Dragon Called
Author: Melissa Christopherson
About The Book: Liliana's life is perfectly normal. A young woman who has grown up in the kingdom of Kalvia, she knows all too well the importance of secrets. As a member of nobility, she is even expected to have a few of her own!
When her parents take her to a ball, Liliana expects her life to go on as normal after it's conclusion. Instead, she finds herself swept into a betrothal with a man whom all of the whisperers say is crazy.
As the evidence builds up, Liliana must make the choice to stay in a nation where secrets are the currency...or step out of her human-ruled kingdom into a world so much bigger than she ever imagined.
"A hand came to rest on her shoulder, and Liliana looked up; her father had stood, and was watching someone approach with a pale face. His palm on her shoulder seemed unsteady, but surely that couldn’t be the case! Her father was unshakable. She turned her eyes forward again, and saw that it was King Rannak himself. She tried to rise, but her father’s hand on her shoulder prohibited such action.
“Cedric, Jenine.” King Rannak’s voice was pleasant enough, despite some of the rumors. Many things might be said about the king, but no one could ever fairly say he was ugly. Normal in appearance, perhaps, but never ugly. “I’ve made my decision. Bring her.”
The pressure on her shoulder released, and Liliana’s father offered her his hand. “Come, my dear.”
To Liliana, it felt as though the world was spinning. What was going on? The look on her father’s face was resigned, as if he had no choice in whatever was going on here. Her mother’s smile reached her eyes.
“I’m sorry, my Liliana. I have no choice.” Her father whispered, just loud enough for her to hear. Those words, in that tone, in the place they currently were, made Liliana even more certain: something dreadful was about to happen.
Coming to a stop before the dais, a new hand presented itself to Liliana, and she took it daintily. “Stand beside me.” It was an order directly from the King.
Liliana obeyed, and turned to face everyone else present in the room. Her stomach sank even more, seeing open relief on the faces of everyone but her father.
“I present to you all my newly betrothed, Liliana Kunzel. May we share a long and happy life.”
Can you give us a brief overview of your book?
Dragon Called is the first book in the Remnants of the Past saga, and takes place in an ancient world. The first several chapters take place in a nation - or realm, as they're often called, in the book - called Kalvia. Our main character, Liliana, has found herself in a bit of a predicament: she's been unexpectedly betrothed to King Rannak, a man everyone says is insane. But is he? Secrets are currency in Kalvia, and as this is one of the most common 'secrets'....well, can any secret be trusted? As Liliana discovers the truth behind King Rannak's insanity - or lack thereof - she must make a choice: remain, and become King Rannak's second wife...or leave Kalvia, to discover that there is far more to her world than was ever imagined.
What gave you the inspiration to write the book?
I've always been a lover of fantasy - in fact, one of my favorite authors is a fantasy author, and has been a large influence on my life since I was a fourth grader. Anything involving creatures that don't exist in the real world...and you can pretty much count me in! With the exception of most types of horror, however. So I've always kind of known that if I was going to write anything, of course it would be fantasy!
Which is why it's kind of funny - Dragon Called was my second book. When I had sat down to write my first book, The Balancer, I had decided to 'pants' it - or write it without any planning whatsoever. I had loads of grand ideas...there would be dragons, and magic, and all kinds of magical creatures... By the time I had finished The Balancer's first draft...I knew it wasn't the book I had set out to write. Instead of being epic fantasy, it was mind-bender sci-fi! But I went ahead and finished it over the course of several years, and published it.
By the time I was done with The Balancer, I had really come to long for fantasy to be flowing from my fingertips. Not that I hadn't enjoyed writing The Balancer - but fantasy was where my heart was at. So when I finally handed it off, I took a few days to really think about it. As with most of my big story ideas, the original base concept for Dragon Called came to me in a dream. I had already decided I wasn't going to 'pants' this next book for NaNoWriMo, so when I got up the next day, I sat down and started planning it out! NaNoWriMo started a few days later. A year and a half (or so) later, Dragon Called released.
Who are your favorite authors?
My all time favorite author is Tamora Pierce. Her worlds have been an integral part of my life since I was a fourth grader, and I discovered them while going to a Girl Scout quilting class.
Some of my other favorites include: Piers Antony, James Patterson, Anne McCaffery, Lewis Carroll, Jeff Wheeler, Sean Platt, and Johnny B. Truant. There are many other authors I enjoy - but if I talked about each and every one of them, we'd be here for way too long!
Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite character is actually Jeanine Kunzel, one of the minor characters in the book. There are a lot of things I love about Jeanine - but a lot of scenes involving her didn't make the cut into the final draft of the book. I don't want to spoil too much by talking about her role in the book - but just know there's a lot more to her as a person than what the book is able to get across.
I had the rough draft of Dragon Called done in 30 days. I actually had the dream that inspired it just a few days before NaNoWriMo began, and took the time to plan it before NaNo began. When NaNoWriMo began I started writing - and had it done a day or two before the last day of NaNo. The revisions and re-writing took a while longer before I could send it off for editing, but after that it was just a matter of waiting for the cover!
About The Author
Melissa Christopherson is an avid reader, passionate writer, and lover of everything literary. She serves as an AmeriCorps Service Member in the Iowa Reading Corps and is proud to help kids enhance their literary abilities. She served two years as a Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo in the Iowa area to help other authors grow in both ability and confidence.
She was born in Mason City, Iowa, and has spent most of her life reading books and spent most of her younger years daydreaming. While in high school, she participated in Academic Decathlon for four years, and credits the reading assignments for the club for further expanding her literary horizons. She is currently pursuing a degree in English, with a client-centered distributive minor.