In this Author Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing J.S. Burke, author of The Dragon Dreamer, a Fantasy, SciFi, YA, Adventure.
What is your book about?
GENRE: The Dragon Dreamer is a YA Science Fantasy Adventure for all ages.
SYNOPSIS: The Dragon Dreamer is a fast-paced adventure with flying dragons, an undersea world, and unexpected friendship. It's a young adult science fantasy layered for ages 9 to 99+.
Arak is different, a worthless dreamer, bullied by other young dragons. Determined to prove himself, he leaves the clan and flies far over the sea on a dangerous quest. He's caught in a fierce storm and crashes, suffering serious injuries and the loss of his trance-stone. A fearless, shape-shifting octopus named Scree finds and heals him, and an unexpected friendship begins. Arak returns to the Winter Festival, where dragons carve glaciers with fire and toss lightning bolts in the clouds. When an undersea volcano erupts, it triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. Can Arak use his secret gift to save the dragons?
What inspired you to write this book?
It all started with a bowl. I was looking at my ocean-blue ceramic bowl with its lumpy crystal, and suddenly I knew this was a dragon’s nest. Then I imagined dragon life and legends. I started writing a book about the dragon world, and Arak was born. He crashed at sea. I was surprised when an octopus shape-shifter came to save him! My marine science background flowed into the book.
Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?
Scree, an undersea shape-shifter octopus, is one of my favorite characters. She’s a Healer, and a fearless misfit in her octopus pod. Karoon is a dragon bully, but he begins to change near the end.
What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
Science Fiction/Fantasy is my favorite genre to read and write. I love the world-building possibilities and the scope for emotions with alien characters. There is so much room for creativity and philosophy. I’m an artist, so I love to imagine alien art…and describe this.
Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
Dragon Lightning is Book 2 in The Dragon Dreamer series and will, hopefully, be out before Christmas. Arak, Scree, and others sail north to seek the legendary ice dragons. I’ve started writing Book 3 in the series.
Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
I’ve worked as an author, artist, chemist, and marine biologist, diving on coral reefs and studying creatures of the dark abyss. Living on a ship far from shore, I learned to walk with the sea. I live in Georgia with my family and rescue pets.
I’ve written all my life, but The Dragon Dreamer is my first published novel. I love books! I suspect that most books I’ve read have influenced me in some way. Characters are the most important part of a book. I’m fascinated by people. Facets of the people I’ve known or read about enter my fantasy characters. Naturally, the story and world-building also matter.
I’m a scientist. I love the scientific, alien fantasy worlds that Alan Dean Foster has in his books. Much of my fantasy has a base in fact; the facts are well researched or from my own experiences. This helps make the world more real.
Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
It’s hard to choose just one. I love Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, The Velveteen Rabbit, Dune.
Have you written other books we should know about?
Crystal Geometry, Crystal Colors, and Fantasy Snowflakes Activities are only in stores, not on Amazon...yet. Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book may be published this year, with the snowflake mandalas my dragons grow in the clouds.
If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
Don’t give up! Most well-known authors started out completely unknown.
Where can we find your book?
Amazon US on sale for 99c : The Dragon Dreamer
Where can we find out more about you?
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