A quick shout-out to Night Owl Reviews for the awesomeness that is their five-star review
of Elysian Fields. And stay tuned for the 12th for some huge-ish news on our pals in Penton as well.
Today, please join me in welcoming author Nancy Lee Badger to Preternatura. Nancy has stopped by today to talk about one of our favorite subjects: dragons! Nancy’s latest release is DRAGON Bites, which was published on September 6th. And she has a ginormous giveaway for you…seriously. Ginormous! You’re gonna love it.
Nancy loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina, where she writes full time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. You can learn more about Nancy by visiting her website, on facebook, following her on twitter or by checking out her blog.
ABOUT DRAGON BITES: This book is a collection of three similarly themed novellas previously published as individual ebooks by Nancy Lee Badger. DRAGON’S CURSE, set on the Scottish island of Staffa in the late 16th century, features a young man cursed to transform into a dragon at inopportune times. SOUTHERN FRIED DRAGON pairs a Scottish dragon-turned-woman and a federal soldier at Ft. Sumter on the eve of Civil War. DRAGON IN THE MIST is a contemporary love story on the shores of Loch Ness. This short story won 1st Place in its category in the 2012 Self-Published Stars Contest.
And now, let’s hear from Nancy…
When Dragons Attack & GIVEAWAY
by Nancy Lee Badger
I am glad to be here today. While thinking up a subject connected to shape-shifting dragons in order to interest y’all (I was born in New York, raised a family in New Hampshire, and now trying to fit in, in the south) I looked up the word ‘preturnatura’ and the closest word I could come up with was ‘preternatural’. Guess what? I write novels that are in that category: stories where my characters exceed what is normal in nature and are supernatural or uncanny.
I love dragons. The odder, the better. Asian dragons are well known, but European beasts turn me on! Dragons the world over are considered powerful yet graceful. Many countries use a dragon form in their currency, art, flags, or literature. Have you ever noticed this phenomenon?
When I sat down to write a book about a Scottish villager cursed to transform into a dragon at inopportune times, I had only read a few books that dealt with dragons as shape-shifting heroes. Most of the stories I have heard showed the dragon in a poor light. The dragon was the antagonist; the villain; the force to kill in order for a happy ever after. I decided to turn the tables and make my creatures more human.
I also like witches. I steer away from any religious aspect and head more toward the healers of ancient Scotland. Usually, these were village women with a knack for growing, preserving, and using dried herbs, berries, flowers and the like. I made several of my characters witches, such as Haven MacKay, Iona Mackenzie, Skye Gunn, and Dorcas Swann in the books of my Highland Games Through Times series.
In DRAGON Bites, a collection of three Scottish dragon tales, I needed to research supposed habitats where one might find a dragon. I looked for a cave in Scotland because let’s face it…what is more creepy than a damp, dark cave? Dragon’s Curse, one of the stories in my latest release, uses a real cave found on the island of Staffa. Then, I wrote a story involving the mysterious creature people think lives in Loch Ness. I use a fiction writer’s ability to twist history my way to create Dragon In The Mist, my award-winning short story, is also part of DRAGON Bites.
A trip to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina prompted a ‘what if?’ moment for me. What if my dragon left Scotland because another dragon threatened her? What if she took over the body of a recently deceased woman, worked at her job, lived in her home, and made a new life? What if a federal soldier saved her and they fell in love? The research was easy since I was in Charleston, and the paranormal aspect twisted into something I called Southern Fried Dragon, which is the third story in DRAGON Bites. (all three stories are also available individually in ebooks, but DRAGON Bites is available in ebook AND print)
When dealing with paranormal creatures instead of actual wildlife, the writer has a certain freedom. Research shows that dragons have certain traits: scales, talons, wings, fangs, spiked tails, etc. As a fiction writer, I can make my creature wingless, purple, or able to shape-shift. I can make it speak, fall in love, or live forever. I enjoy the freedom.
Research is the key. Use history books, art, the internet, or read fiction by authors who write the way you would like to write for ideas, twists, and romantic ideas. Here are a few internet sites you can use to research the paranormal side of dragons:
and the book DRAGONS by Jonathan Evans.
WIN BOOKS! Since my birthday is in November AND this blog loves things that go bump in the night, I dug through my pile of print books, wrapped them in scary bubble wrap, and will give away 8 books to one lucky reader! This gift includes several autographed books. Please leave a comment about what mythical creature in the paranormal world scares you.
*an international winner will receive a collection of ebooks by Nancy Lee Badger
Thanks, Nancy! Hm….okay, zombies squick me out. I just can’t do a zombie romance. Ghosts? Vampires? Bring ’em on. (A Scottish dragon? You betcha!) No zombies for this girl, though.