Well readers we are once again back to Firestorm of Dragons today Karina and Vern are joining us. You all may say but didn’t you just do an interview with Karina? I did but that was about the anthology she edited and wrote for titled Leaps of Faith. Today we are talking about an entirely different anthology and you get to meet Vern, the Dragon PI as well.
Warning this is a mainstream Dragon anthology so not my usual reading but like I mentioned before I couldn’t pass up Vern and some good fantasy.
Now on to my conversation with Karina and Vern:
Discworld, but only as an observer. Maybe I could hang around with Death. He’s always good for laughs. Terry Pratchett has such a magnificent imagination.
2. Describe the setting and meal/food you would request if there were no limitations and someone was throwing a celebration in your honor?
I’d go back to one of my two favorite places: an Italian restaurant in San Vito or the French restaurant in Misawa, Japan. Both made the best food! The Italian restaurant would be best for a big party, though. Other than that, I don’t really care what they serve meâ€”it’s all good!
I love both French and Italian dishes myself. Sounds like a great party either way. I’m guessing the authentic French restaurants would be a bit tight no matter where you are. When I was in Paris in College all the places I visited were rather tiny compared to the number of people in them in fact you were lucky to find any path to the door at all sometimes because they were so packed.
3. What is your favorite book/author and what about that book or author especially appeals to you?
Like I said before, Terry Pratchett has humor and imagination that I adore. I’m also a big fan of Jim Butcher, because of his incredible skill in making the everyday extraordinary. I love how he animated Tyrannosaurus Sue! It’s my hope that someday the DragonEye PI novels will be dubbed “Jim Butcher meets Terry Pratchett!”
4. Who has been your biggest advocate/encourager and how in your publishing journey?
My husband Rob. He not only supports me, lets me bounce ideas off him and inevitably has the right work, fact or situation to fit my story’s needs, but he supports us financially. Whenever I think of going back to “work” he tells me, “You can if you want, but you love writing and we don’t need the money.”
5. Can readers expect to see more of Vern beyond just this story and the novel featuring him that is in process?
Absolutely! I have many novels and short stories in mind, plus a blog and a newsletter. Vern has his own website. If you register on the website, you can get a free story, the newsletter, and offers on other DragonEye, PI stories.
Readers I’ve already checked out DragonEyePI.net and if you don’t go visit you’re missing out on quite a treat. And Vern’s Blog is one of my favorites to read. He is quite the character and shares some pretty cool and fun “stupid human” (mundanes as he calls us) stories. When you visit the blog you’ll see what I mean.
6. Is Vernâ€™s character modeled off a human or combination of humans and if so can you tell us a bit about how they influenced the development of this character?
Vern’s a little Sam Spade and a little Colin Mackery, some Harry Dresdenâ€”and a little of me on the wild, snarky side. I came up with the idea for Vern while watching a film noir-style skit on Whose Line is It, Anyway? Colin Mackery and Ryan Styles are a riot. Vern is cynical yet fiercely protective of what he considers his, logical but impatient with those who aren’t, faithful to God yet full of flaws, and funny even when he doesn’t mean to be. He’s great fun to write.
He’s also a blast to read. Even if you don’t like dragons and fantasy I’d suggest checking out the blog and links at DragonEyePI.net and then if you’ve fallen in love with Vern like I did and think you will grab a copy of Firestorm just to read his story and you just might find a couple other stories to tickle your fancy at the same time.
7. What first gave you the idea for Vern and his Dragon Eye PI stories and books?
Firestorm of Dragons, as a matter of fact. I loved the idea of an anthology for dragons and wanted to write for it. After hours of unsuccessful brainstorming on a different take on dragons, I gave up and went to watch Whose Line Is It Anyway? The skit gave me the idea. From there, I needed a reason for him to be down and out, so he got bespelled by St George and put under a geas to regain all his former glory by serving God and His creatures, and stuck him on the wrong side of the Interdimensional Gap.
Later, I decided he needed a partner, and Sister Grace came on the scene. She’s been a mellowing influence for him.
8. What else would you like to share with readers about yourself, Vern or his story in FSOD?
ME: while Vern is my favorite universe to play in, it’s not my only one. I also write science fiction and fantasy of other kinds. I have two sci-fi books out: Infinite Space, Infinite God (www.isigsf.com) and Leaps of Fatih (www.leapsoffaithsf.com). I’m working on a sci-fi novel now, Discovery.
VERN: Vern is an immortal being, but that doesn’t mean he’s unchanging. He’s done a lot of growing in his years working with humans, especially with the Mundanes (non-magical dimension.) He even gets to experience humanity personally, a few times, as he takes on human form for one case or another.
The story in Firestorm of Dragons: This was my first DragonEye PI story, so Vern is a little rougher around the edges than in later stories. Grace, as I said, mellows him out. You’ll see Galinda and Galendor in the first DragonEye, PI novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. MM&M comes out in February from Swimming Kangaroo.
9. Whatâ€™s one of the most outrageous situations youâ€™ve put a character in and was it based off an actual event or entirely imaginative?
In my second DragonEye, PI novel, Live and Let Fly, Vern, Grace, Charlie and Heather are in a maniacal toy museum. They get chased by animatronic monsters into a life-sized game board for Munchy Munchy Moles. The game starts and they need to fight mechanical beasts from velociraptors to cuddly bears, dodge six-foot marbles, and avoid the sharp teeth of the monster-sized moles. Plus the board tilts. It doesnâ€™t go well for them, but it was a blast to write!
Sounds like it’ll be a blast to read too. Can’t wait till Feb to get my hands on a copy of Magic Mensa and Mayhem.
10. If Vern were to carry a book or books with him in his PI travels for reading purposes, what would he choose and why?
Vern likes e-books because he’s a fast reader. He likes science fiction, especially cyberpunk, because it’s a genre the Faerie don’t have. He’s also been reading up on computer technology, for work. He’s one of the team that keeps up the virtueguards on the Interdimensional Internetâ€”and the more protections they put up, the more people want to circumvent them. He knows he should probably read up on Mundane history, but he has a hard time with that. He’s lived Faerie history, and it drives him nuts when something he lives gets distorted in a history book because some guy heard it from some guy who had an opinion based on what some other guy wrote….
I hear him on history and it seems that’s not the only thing we manage to twist with our own opinions in the Mundane world. I prefer historical fiction because then it’s a fun story to read and I can still learn a bit about the characters who are placed into the period of the novel and perhaps a bit of background without wondering what the author’s agenda is since I know the story is fiction and don’t expect all the historical facts to be perfect.
11. Has Vernâ€™s journey been shaped by growth patterns or concepts you were coming to understand more deeply yourself when he was being created, did his journey present new ideas and concepts to you that were a learning experience as youâ€™ve been writing about his adventures or both? What are a few of these concepts/ideas and how do they affect Vern and/or you?
The DragonEye, PI, books and stories are about tossing legends into a blender and adding a dash of mystery. You donâ€™t see that as much in the Firestorm of Dragons story, but others use a lot of mythology and magic. Sister Grace, being a Church mage, has made me think about what Christianity would be like in a world where magic was real, demons are something you could pick out in a line-up, and the forces of Good have their own magic to wield. It’s been interesting to see as the books progress and the social/political connection between Mundane and Faerie grows, how the two worlds interactâ€”or don’t interact. The Faerie Church is very protective of its peopleâ€”and rightly soâ€”which creates some friction later. I don’t know yet how that will turn out.
12. Did Vern take over and direct the Dragon Eye PI stories and books once you started writing them or have they been pretty close to what you first expected when the idea occurred to you?
Vern and company always take over the stories. I tend to know the beginning and the end and may have a vague idea of the middle, but I can’t plan them. A good example is Live and Let Fly. I planned Heather to be the plucky sidekick who got stuff done when the rest bumbled about. Instead, she became the classic damsel in distress. Can’t fight the clichÃ©.
13. Whatâ€™s your favorite character/scene from the Dragon Eye PI stories/books (so far)?
Oh, I can’t decide! Each story has something great. The scene that touches me the most, though, is when Vern takes on the form of a human man. He and Grace care about each other a lot, which makes things a little awkward when he’s a drop-dead gorgeous guy, but there’s this scene where they’ve shared a moment and she’s smiling at him. He marvels at how fully humans can feel love. “I could have stood there with her smiling at me like that all day,” he thinks.
14. Do you have any teasers you can share for the upcoming novel featuring Vern and his Dragon Eye PI buddies?
Check out my blog. Either scroll down or search “novel’s journey”. I chronicled the adventures of writing Live and Let Fly, complete with snippets of the rough draft. I plan on doing the same thing in January with Magic, Mensa and Mayhem as a trip down memory lane
15. Are there any closing remarks youâ€™d like to share?
I may write my novels on my own, but I don’t create the stories and books alone. Rob gives me ideas and support, my kids and godchildren are first to hear the stories (and put up with my editing comments), and I always have a slew of readers who find my typos, suggest new phrases, or point out where something doesn’t work. Then, too, are the publishers who help me share the stories with readers. My thanks go to them all!
Thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about yourself and Vern and his role in FSOD and upcoming stories and books. What a fun visit and I look forward to reading more of Vern and Grace’s adventures soon.
You can check out more info on the book by clicking the bookcover and also at the Firestorm of Dragons site. Be sure to get a copy for your Dragon fix using the bookcover link or links at the book site. And don’t forget to visit Karina’s website and Vern’s site. Check out my review of Firestorm, my interview with Kim Richards and come back tomorrow for my interview with Sandra Ulbrich (another FSOD author).