Nov 24, 2011

Author Interview: D.C. Grace

D.C. Grace is the author of The Sacred Oath & Season of Destruction in the Guardians series. Her newest book is the first in the Amethyst Dragon series which is available in e-book format TODAY, Dragon Wings. (The book will be available in paperback on December 1, 2011)

Where did you come up with your character names?Names are a funny thing for me, hahaha! When I start with a story idea, I have names I just kind of favor - Shelby, for example. It was the perfect name for the character. But then I'll research what I'm planning to write, too, and great names pop in research, too. For Dade, I found it in a list of old Gaelic names. I lengthened it to Dademond to give it a regal edge. Raedself was in a list of "elven" names, believe it or not. After I get a feel for the "culture", though, some names just pop into my head for no apparent reason - hence Tryamon. I totally made it up. I'm not sure why, but I do have a flair for creating unusual character names!

Where did the concept of Dragon Fae come from? It's so different from your other work.Wow, where do I begin? Lol, yes, it is very different than TGS, but I wanted it to be. I didn't want to be a cookie-cutter author. I actually have a set of oracle cards that have these gorgeous pictures of fairies and dragons on them. I was looking at the cards one day and thought, "Wow, some of these would make great characters." That set it all in motion. Within a few hours, I'd come up with the idea of merging the faery and the dragon to have the rare "dragon fae" - no one has written these kinds of creatures before - and I had a plot, character names, personalities... and the rest is history. ;)

What's an advantage to writing a New Adult book compared to a Young Adult book?Well, basically there are two areas where it's a plus: language and "sexual content." Basically, they're YA books that are a little more adult. You have the freedom to use more explicit language, and show the reader a little more of what may be "implied" relationship wise in YA. But there's still a responsibility there, at least for me, even if it's only self-imposed. I like being able to show more, but that doesn't mean it has to be gross. I try to stay tasteful and dignified. Just because you can drop the F-bomb doesn't mean you have to. But if my characters would do it, I have the freedom to write it.

Was writing the 'love' scenes awkward or difficult?Hahaha! Well, um... yes! These were my first attempts at love scenes, and I will admit at first it was a struggle. But I wrote most of them from Dade's POV. Readers don't get to hear the guy's perspective on that subject very often, and I wanted to bring it. And it didn't hurt that Dade is more... 18th Century minded. It was easier to keep the beauty of the moment and not get lost in smut. Which has its place, but not in Dade's world. ;)

I know this is going to be hard, but if you had to choose one character as your favorite, who would it be & why?Oh man, yeah, that's hard! I love all the characters because they're all so different and colorful, but if I had to pick just one, it'd be... Dade. He has my heart. I tried to create the perfect romantic hero in him. He's strong, courageous, caring, romantic, family-oriented, blah blah blah, but he's flawed, too. But I think Dade brings a lot to the table as a romantic hero, and it's hard not to love him.

Writing battle scenes, especially sword fighting, is that difficult - to try & make it as realistic as possible?This was another first for me! I had to do lots of research - it's hard not to lock yourself into just a few key words and elements when you haven't experienced it yourself. And I actually had an expert put a sword in my hand and teach me a little, too, but don't ask to see my swordsmanship, hahaha! Once I was in the flow of the scene, it got easier, but if the readers saw me fake sword-fighting in front of the computer as I wrote, they might think I was in need of some... help. ;) Hahahaha!

Authors enjoy messing with the readers emotions, espeically making them cry, can you tell me what it does for you when a reader says a certain scene made them want to hurt a specific character or how they cried during a specific scene?Yes, we do, don't we? <evil grin> It makes my day to hear those comments, it really does. Especially hearing someone cried during a scene that brought me to tears when I wrote it. It means I touched you on a personal level, and that is the greatest compliment I could ever receive!

Let's talk about your other series, The Guardians, where did this idea come from?Totally switching gears here! Well, The Guardians came from a conversation my daughters had one bored summer afternoon of watching too many superheroes on tv! They were saying they wished they had super powers, etc. Of course, I couldn't give them those things in reality, but I knew I could create a world where they could be whatever they wanted. It started as a story to entertain them. The heroine and her sister are my girls - I gave them the "powers" they wanted. The werewolves are my adaptation of the legend of the Beast of Bray Road in the Dells, where my story is set.

Is it difficult going back & forth writing YA to NA?It can be. I think the hardest part is writing Dade and Shelby's romance, then switching to Dasan and Angelina's. Since Dasan and Angel are YA, their relationship is moving much... slower than Dade and Shelby's. I have to remember to tone it down.

How is it participating in NaNo? Do you prefer writing on your own time or under pressure with something like this?For control freaks like myself, NaNo makes me nutty, hahaha! I have to be above the daily suggested word count, or it drives me insane. But this isn't the way I usually write, so then it makes me even crazier. I write in spurts. I may not write for a couple of days, then I'll sit up and write non-stop for two or three. Did I answer the question...?

Do you like one of these series you’re writing better than the other or do they hold a special place in your heart for different reasons?Oh man, that's a loaded question! Wow. Well, obviously TGS will always be my baby. Dasan and Angelina were my first characters, the Guardians were my first heroes, so they will always be near and dear to my heart. But Amethyst Dragon is fresh and new, dragon fae have never been done before, so I'm incredibly proud of it, too. I think in this new series my growth as an author is more obvious - it has allowed me to really stretch my wings. I'll always write each chapter of every book I ever write from a different character's POV, that'll never change, but the stories will. All things considered, I can't pick a fave. They're both too different and too special to me.

What can we expect to see coming up in the both The Guardians series & The Amethyst Dragon series?Wow, how much can I give up here? Okay, here's a big hint for Last Shadow Cast: Pay attention to Lilith's final words to Angelina in Season of Destruction - they are a big clue as to what lies ahead... literally! ;) Other than that, you'll see lots of new surprises and new characters, Rosie will step up as a key character in this one, and Jake may have "bitten" off more than he can chew this time.

In Amethyst Dragon, you'll see all your favorite characters again, and a couple of new ones. While Dragon Wings was set largely in Shelbyville, this installment of the series takes place predominantly in Avalon, so if you loved the mystical, magical flavor of Dragon Wings, there's a whole lot more where that came from!

Thank you so much D.C. for taking the time with us today! Now here is a sneak peek into Dragon Wings!
Walking through the classroom door, I stopped dead in my tracks. It was him. But it couldn't be. The new guy was in my English class. It was gorgeous candle guy! And he was sitting at the desk right beside mine! My feet didn't want to move as I gazed at him. He was wearing tight-fitting black jeans, tucked inside black motorcycle boots. His white t-shirt was partially hidden underneath a worn, black denim jacket that was covered in patches like bumper stickers on a beater. He turned his head, and those violet eyes sparked with what I thought was recognition as he looked at me. My throat closed, and my palms started sweating. Diane was staring at me like I had two heads.

The bell rang, and everybody rushed to their seats. I stood frozen, rooted to the floor, still gaping at gorgeous candle guy. Mrs. Fisk cleared her throat.

"Are you going to take your seat, Miss Mercy, or shall I bring it to you?"

The classroom filled with snickers, and I looked up at Mrs. Fisk. The bell had rung, and I was still standing there like an idiot in front of the whole class. I felt my cheeks flush, and I slunk over to my desk. Diane poked me as I sat down.

"What the heck, Shelby?"

I leaned closer to her. "It's gorgeous candle guy," I whispered.

Diane just stared at me, confused.

"You know, from the store yesterday," I continued.

"Shelby Mercy, if you're finished with your chat," Mrs. Fisk began, "I'd like to introduce our new student to the class."

My face burned with embarrassment. Why was I such a flustered mess? Forcing myself to be quiet, I sat up straight and gave Mrs. Fisk my best I-Won’t-Be-A-Problem smile.

Mrs. Fisk really put gorgeous candle guy under a microscope for the whole class, like we were back in elementary school or something. I could tell he was uncomfortable, but his gaze didn't waver. He stared straight ahead at Mrs. Fisk.

"Can you tell the class your name?" she prompted.

Gorgeous candle guy cleared his throat. "It's Dade," he said, that silky voice like a caress over the room. "Dade Blue-Therror."

“I’m sorry, did you say Terror?” Mrs. Fisk seemed startled. It was a strange name.

“Yes,” he replied. “With a th instead of a t. It’s a family name.”

His accent had nearly every girl in the class melting, including Mrs. Fisk. She smiled sweetly.

“And where are you from, Dade?”


His accent didn’t sound Italian, but what did I know? I’d never been to Italy. The cadence of his voice reminded me of a lot of places; France, England, Ireland, and yeah, I guess Italy, too. Maybe the guy moved around a lot. One thing was for sure, I’d humiliated myself in front of him for the second time in less than twenty-four hours. So not a good start!

We were reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream in English. Mrs. Fisk had us reading stanzas aloud, and she’d given Dade her copy of the book to read from. I couldn’t have cared less about Shakespeare at that moment. All I could focus on was Dade’s lips, moving in silence as he read along with the rest of us. He glanced at me a couple of times, and I always pretended to be looking past him to the person reading aloud. It worked real well for awhile, until Mrs. Frisk called on Dade to read the next section. I had every right to gawk while he read aloud to the class, and I planned to take full advantage. Me, and about a dozen other girls. Dade cleared his throat before he began.

“When his love doth he espy, let her shine as gloriously, as the Venus of the sky. When thou wak’st, if she be by, beg of her for remedy.” The melody of Dade’s voice held me entranced. He raised his eyes from the page, reciting the next stanza as if from memory, his eyes burning into mine.

“Captain of our faerie band, Helena is here at hand, and the youth mistook by me, pleading for a lover’s fee. Shall we their fond pageant see? Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

Dade held my gaze a moment longer. Everything seemed misty and hazy, like the world was tilting, and my heart raced wildly. It felt like we were the only two people in the world. The sound of Diane’s voice continuing the verse snapped me from my reverie. Dade’s eyes went back to his book, and I swallowed hard before forcing myself to turn away. Only then did the world seem to right itself. Dear Lord, what was happening to me?


  1. Great interview! :) The idea of dragon fae definitely does sound unique, haha. I like that bit about authors and their evil, torturing ways... CRUEL sometimes, huh? But ahhh, I love them anywayssss <3 Thanks for the interview and excerpt!

  2. An interesting interview. I'm sure it will be a great book!

  3. I've had the pleasure of reading Dragon Wings and trust me when I say this is an excellent's a must on any bookshelf. If your a lover of books you're bookshelf won't be complete without it. She won't disappoint you! Thanks D.C. great job on both series!

  4. @Sonia! Absolutely. Authors are so cruel. And yet...we keep going back for more. We readers really must be crazy ;)

    You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's a great book, highly recommended. Author is super nice, as well ;)


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