My debut novel is Dragonfaerie, and is the first installment of a larger series about a young man from Iowa who finds himself taken into a strange world against his will. In Dragonfaerie, young William (Will for short) is kidnapped by something that is not supposed to exist: a goblin. In fact, this is the same creature he remembers from ten years before when his brother disappeared. Will finds himself in a strange new world called Enoch where magic is real, goblins are rampant, and nobody can be trusted. In order to return to his world, Will must seek out a strange being known as the Dragonfaerie who lies deep within a country whose leaders seem to want to do him harm.
He is not alone in his journey. He is partnered with Anlia, a capable girl his own age with a mysterious past, and McBride the magician’s apprentice who seems to have powers even he doesn’t understand. As they all travel north to the Dragonfaerie’s garden, they must survive not only enemy forces, but they must determine what each is willing to live, and die, for.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in Southwest Texas and graduated High School from Walnut Springs, TX…a very small school. After bouncing around the state for several years, with a brief stint in the Midwest, I finally packed up and headed Northeast to Connecticut, where I am today.
I began writing when I was six. My parents gave me a plastic typewriter for Christmas and I began to bang out page after page. I realized I had stories to tell, and they weren’t just about cats or flowers or anything like that. They were epic tales of science fiction or fantasy. My first book was The Land of the Its, and was about the creatures that lived in people’s closets and where they go during the day.
What inspired you to write this book?
A doodle. I was absentmindedly sketching one night and drew a figure that, for some reason, I captioned “Dragonfaerie”. I began to wonder what this creature was, where it lived, what its significance was, etc. I saw, very clearly, a picture in my head of several teens standing around this creature and I began to ask myself who they were. The rest, as they say, is history.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Rejections. Rejections. Frustrations and rejections. I just kept sending it out. I am nothing if not egotistical. It occurred to me on more than one occasion that I might try self-publishing, but my ego would take over and whisper, “You’re good enough to get published traditionally.”
Not that I have any problems with those who self-publish. I, like I said, just have a big ego.
Do you have any writing rituals?
For the novel, yes. I found that listening to classical music helped tremendously. Other than that…no rhyme or reason.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
McBride was named first mostly because I just liked the name. Anlia came along after tinkering. Will, honestly, was the last character to be christened.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
Mostly how much work goes in after the book is written. Anyone who thinks they’ll write a book and then sit back on their laurels is either mistaken or deluding themselves. I imagine Stephen King, after writing Carrie said to himself, “Holy ****…there’s more?”
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would write more than 104,000 words. I capped it because of some advice for new writers. I think the story could have gone on a bit more.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I read all genres. I don’t really have favorites. I read whatever looks interesting.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I’m currently working on Book 2 in the series. I can’t really say what’s going on without spoiling Dragonfaerie for those who haven’t read yet. Closer to release, though, I’ll give some tidbits on my website.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Read. Read. Read. Write some. Read some more. Take a creative writing class. Join a writing club. Read. Write some more. Read.
…and don’t give up on your dreams. Ever.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
I’ve found that the best readers are people at least 11 years or older. A lot of people have classified Dragonfaerie as “Young Adult”, but I think it is more than that. The subsequent books will be darker than the first. Any who like fantasy will enjoy the book. Those who like character stories will enjoy the book. Those who like sports books…will not.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
You can find me at www.christopheracooke.com. Dragonfaerie has its own Facebook account at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dragonfaerie/130083613704745.
You can also follow me on Twitter as kd0ape.
See you all there!