Hands down, the hardest thing is finding time to write. As of the time I'm answering these questions, I'm in school for my BA full time. I'm also working full time, and looking at moving within the next month or so. In the next couple of weeks, there's also a few big family events too...and some of these I'm involved in the planning for! It makes it tricky to find a balance with when to write, and when to have to focus on the other stuff. If I had my way, I'd focus fully on writing! Unfortunately, that's just not yet in the cards for me. I look forward to the day where I can write primarily, though! The people who have reviewed have always had kind words to say about my books, and I don't like making any of you wait for the next one!
Can you give us a short synopsis of Dragon Called?
Dragon Called is about a young woman named Liliana, who has grown up as a noble in the kingdom of Kalvia. Kalvia is all about secrets - to the point of which secrets are considered the preferred currency! As a noble, Liliana thinks she has a good grasp on secrets. At least until she finds herself suddenly betrothed to a king the rumors say is mad! Liliana has to make the choice: risk marrying King Rannak and ending up like his first wife... Or accept the offer a dragon makes her...despite all of the risks.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I sat down to write my first book, The Balancer, I had set out to write a story with dragons and magic, and was excited to see how that world would play out! Unfortunately, I hadn't planned anything. Because of that, instead of turning out to be a fantasy novel, The Balancer turned out to be a borderline science fiction novel - I like to call it a mindbender.
I was overall pleased with it - except for a few things. No dragons. No unicorns. No magic...
It was actually a dream that inspired the rough draft of Dragon Called. But instead of sitting down after waking up and just plunking away at my keyboard... This time I was more careful. Instead of what I'd done before, I sat down and began plotting. I drew a couple rough maps - they'll probably never see the light of day. I wrote a couple of stories about the world's mythology. I planned each scene, writing short phrase onto a notecard, and pinning it to a board.
Finally, when I decided I'd done enough planning...I sat down and started to write. It took a while - and a very heavy re-write - but eventually, Dragon Called was born!
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
That varies per day. Like I said in one of my earlier answers, I have a lot of different stuff on my plate right now. I try to dedicate at least one or two hours to writing, but... It doesn't always work out that way. It'll be easier in a few weeks, once these big family events are out of the way - and once my move is over.
Name your top five favourite books?
Talk about hard questions! While I don't typically rank books in order of least favorite to favorite - I'd have to say that my current "favorites" are the following five titles.
1. Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce
2. In the Coils of the Snake by Clare B. Dunkle
3. The Void of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler
4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
5. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
What are you working on now?
I'm actually working on book three in the Remnants of the Past Saga, of which Dragon Called is book one. The title of book three will be Unicorn Saved. If all goes well, it should be coming out this fall! Book two, for anyone interested, is titled Gryphon Bound.
Title: Dragon Called
Author: Melissa Christopherson
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.
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.
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