Tuesday, July 22, 2008


DONITA K. PAUL'S "DRAGON LIGHT" is a fresh and often humorous cap to her very successful Dragon keeper Chronicles. The characters are engaging, though, in true High Fantasyese, many of the names are difficult to pronounce. I had not read her previous novels, but with the aid of the glossary in the back getting up to speed with the different races and terms was not difficult.

The novel is charming, presents some new twists on dragons and wizards I found interesting (especially Ms. Paul's further explanation on her "wizards" powers in the world she's created), and even better there was a very cool villian to face in the story. I highly recommend the novel and may find myself out obtaining the earlier novels as well.

Ms. Paul is also a part of the new MOTIV8 Christian Fantasy tour and here's a bit more from that site about Ms. Paul.

The author of The Dragon Keeper Chronicles answers some of our questions. Not all. She was hard to catch between her bouts of obsessive writing.

How did you begin writing?
I began my career as a writer because my mother was tired of my singing. Now you are probably envisioning some young thing vocalizing around the house in an off-tune manner as a June Cleaver-type mom tries to prepare dinner.
Not quite.
I was 46 and the one fixing dinner.
I had been a school teacher, and Mom was used to blessed quiet while I and my two teens spent most of the day away from the house. But I got this weird infection in my leg that disabled me and ended my life as a permanent first grader.
So I was home . . . singing . . . loudly . . . usually on pitch . . . very shaky on the lyrics, but no problem. I was perfectly willing to make up my own words.
And I liked to sing the same song over and over. Kind of a mindless background to whatever I was doing.
“Tomorrow” from Annie was, and is, one of my favorites.
Sweetly my mother said to me, “If you sing “Tomorrow” one more time, there may not be a tomorrow in your future.” And I got sent to my room.
Honestly. She said, “Go to your room and write a book.” So I did, and the rest is history.

Now, why do you have spiritual truths tucked in odd places in your books?

For the same reason a baseball enthusiast says he’s “batting 1000” when he does well on a job project. For the same reason a fisherman says he “landed a big one” when he’s talking about a sale he made at work. For the same reason an astronaut says “fly me to the moon,” when he asks for benefits with his pay package. For the same reason those guys hit a line drive, catch something hook, line, and sinker, or blast-off. It is their lingo. And after being a Christian for many, many years, and before that “thinking” I was a Christian from the cradle up, I just verbalize in terms of homeruns. I mean, I verbalize in terms of how God works in my life. It would be very difficult to hide my beliefs and not let them infiltrate my stories.

What do you hope to accomplish as a writer?

I assume you don’t want a crass answer like “bigger and more frequent paychecks.” I didn’t think so. It’s very hard for me to claim noble intent. I like to tell stories. I like to reveal things that God has revealed to me. I like to make people feel better. I like to offer hope. I love truth. I especially like to comfort people with the same comfort with which God has comforted me.
So, I want to reveal God’s Truth, inspire believers, persuade non-believers to give God a chance, and entertain the multitudes. The acronym for that is RIPE. When we offer someone fruit that is ripe, it is appealing and nutritious. I’m hoping the fruit my tree bears is ripe.

What excites you about this West Coast Fantasy Fiction Tour?
Sights and sounds I’ve never seen before. Scenic vistas. Long hours in a van. Strange hotel beds every evening. Restaurant food, morning, noon, and night. Maybe even communicable viruses. Who wouldn’t be excited?

8 fantasy writers from 8 different publishing houses visiting 8 cities in 8 days, motiv8ting readers to explore fantastic positive literature.

What about that statement makes you willing to face the viruses?
Two things.
First the unity of it. We’re working together without regard to the commercial aspect of who gets the biggest profit.
And what we’re working for is the second thing: Putting positive literature in front of readers, offering a delicious array of nurturing books, increasing their awareness of God, and strengthening their hold on the Truth.

I close with a true story called Grand Prize.
Thursday, June 17th, 2008, around eleven o’clock AM Mountain time, I received one of the Grand Prizes given out to writers.
The award was given at a book signing at Mardels. I had no idea God had orchestrated the presentation. I signed a book after a brief conversation with a shy and beautiful teen girl. She leaned over and whispered, “My friend and I have decided to keep our relationships pure like Kale and Bardon did in your books.” She picked up her autographed copy and skedaddled, unaware that tears had sprung to my eyes and I was hallelujahing all over the place in the privacy of spontaneous worship to our Lord.

The accolades of men are nice. An affirmation from God is GRAND PRIZE.


CherryBlossomMJ said...

It's definitely worth time and money to read the whole series through. :)

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

James, I am so glad you mentioned the West Coast fantasy tour. I meant to in my post today and plain forgot!