Saturday, May 17, 2014

Interview with Nicole Conway (Author of Fledgling) [blog tour stop 24]

This week, I am excited to welcome Nicole Conway, author of Fledgling, to the blog to answer some questions about her book and three things about her. Now onto my interview with Nicole Conway and the 24th stop on the blog tour. You can catch up on the previous tour stops -> here <- .="" p="">
About the Author:

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

 She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

In the past I have written and published paranormal romance novels, but my heart is in children's literature, specifically middle-grade fantasy. I'm currently working on a MG fantasy series titled THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, which is represented by Jennifer Mishler of Literary Council. from her website)

You can haunt Nicole Conway at-
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | FB | G+ |


Interview


1. In five words, introduce readers to Fledgling?

Dragonriders.
Elves.
War.
Conspiracy.
Adventure.

2. Can you tell us a little about Jaevid and his story? What did you enjoy most when it came to writing about him?

Picture a heroic, sword-wielding knight, dressed in gleaming armor, and riding a dragon valiantly into the flames of combat—well, Jaevid is pretty much the completely opposite of that at the beginning of Fledgling. He’s small, puny, shy, and usually unsure of himself. Even at 15, he’s still very much a child. Lucky for him, the wild dragon that chooses him as a rider can sense that there is much more to Jaevid than meets the eye. He has the potential for greatness, but only training in Blybrig Academy for Dragonriders can mold him into someone worthy of being called a hero. That’s what I love the most about this story, and what has been the most fun to work with while writing the series. Jaevid’s evolution from boyhood to manhood is very difficult for him. He wasn’t born to be brave, he was trained to be that way, and the readers get to witness that change in him as the story moves forward. He goes from cowering under the boots of his enemies, to standing fearlessly in their faces for the sake of his friends. It’s a beautiful thing, and I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I have.

3. Why dragons and dragonriders?

Why not? Dragons are awesome! Seriously, though, I have always wanted to write about both. Others have written plenty of literature about dragonriders, but I wanted my take on them to be different. I wanted it to be distinctly militaristic because that is their purpose in the book. They are a force for the king, trained for battle, and intended to be an elite core where only the strongest need apply. I find the notion of a dragonriding knight about as romantic as it can possibly get, and giving people the opportunity to see a side of a soldier’s struggle that isn’t usually revealed was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.

4. What chapter was the hardest to write in Fledging and why? Can you share with us a two sentence teaser from it?

“Get up, Jae.” Felix growled down at me. “I can’t take them all by myself.”

Chapter 10 is, by far, my favorite—but it was a challenge to write. Jaevid and Felix are the two most important characters not just in this book, but also in the whole series. Everything hinges on their relationship and their understanding of one another. In chapter 10, their friendship finally starts to truly take root as they get in their first real fight. They start trusting each other at this point, so it was critical to get it right.

When writing from a boy’s perspective, it was a delicate balancing act for me to write a scene so high in emotion without expression too much. After all, men have their own, completely different language when it comes to communicating that kind of thing to one another. And while Jaevid is far from being a man at this point in the series, I wanted to express his childish vulnerability without making him seem too “girly.”

5. Since your book, Fledgling, features dragons can you share with us three of your favorite books that have dragons in them?

My favorite dragon book of all time is Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville. It was my favorite book when I was little, and definitely has influenced me to want to write about dragons. Next, Dragon Weather by Lawrence Watt-Evans is absolutely brilliant, and it was a take on dragons I had never imagined before. I love an underdog, and this book delivers one of the most interesting plots I have ever come across! Lastly, I can’t think about dragons without thinking about The Hobbit. My mom used to read this book to me when I was little, and it is still a favorite of mine. Smaug will live on in infamy as one of the most famous dragons in literature!

6. Three things: Something that you’re bad at; something you love to do; and something you wish you could do?

I’m really awful at math. Anything that requires more than basic math skills might as well be in Chinese. I definitely do not need to ever be responsible for doing any critical, life-saving calculus problems.

I love to learn languages, though. I have a natural aptitude for picking up on them, but never really had the chance to invest time in it until after college. However, I did take Latin for 8 years (through high school and college). Now, I’m learning Japanese!

I wish I could acquire a really good costume for Elsa or Rapunzel from the Disney movies and go around to various children’s hospitals and spend time with the kids and sing the songs with them. I’m sure there are lots of those little kids who wish they could go to Disney World and meet their favorite princesses, but can’t because of their health. So I’d love to bring them it to them!

7. From any book you've read, pick one character that you think is most like you? Why do you think y'all are similar?

Oh boy. Well, there’s a reason I’ve dressed like Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson and the Olympians for the past few Halloweens. She is my book-twin! I have long wavy blonde hair, an affinity for design, am a bit of a smart-aleck, and no one is allowed to judo-throw my husband except me. ;)

8. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose?

Well, not to be repetitive, but it sounds like a problem Leo Valdez from the Percy Jackson series could solve. After all, robots are kind of his thing! He might accidentally blow a few things up or set them on fire, but I think he’d get it under control just in time.

9. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include picture if you want)?

My writing cave has to be mobile because I tend to write whenever I can find a spare minute. I have a tablet that I carry around in my purse for writing on the go, or whenever I get a chance to park myself at Starbucks. However, when I do get to sit down at home, I usually go in the guest bedroom which has sort of become my “office.” I have a little desk, but usually I spread my stuff out on the bed. I keep my collection of manga and regular books in there, too, along with some of my old action figures and trinkets I’ve collected on my travels around the world. It’s usually very tidy, because I’m an obsessively neat person when it comes to my home. I’m never alone in there, though. I have two cats who are more than happy to lay on whatever I’m trying to do.

10. Any upcoming projects that you can share with us?  


I’m hard at work on multiple projects, at the moment. I just finished Fledgling’s sequel, Avian, which will be out this August. I’m working on the third and final book in the series now. I’m also plotting out a new series which will be a YA modern fantasy. It’s already making me excited just jotting down ideas. I’ve always wanted to put my own twist on fairies, and this story seems to be coming together beautifully. I can’t wait to get started on it!

Nicole, thank you so much for stopping by to talk about Fledgling. Probably my favorite answer of yours would have to be to part 3 of question 6!!!


For those who have been following the tour's scavenger hunt, it is time for you to find the hidden word for the 24th stop here at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia.

We talked about dragons and knights all the way to the property line. Then I gave her a hug, and she kissed my cheek like her mom did, and we parted ways. I walked a few feet into the dark before I stopped and looked back, watching her disappear into the gloom and thorny shrubs. She was the best friend I had—my only friend really, and sooner or later, she’d have to leave me behind. She’d outgrow me. She’d get tired of having to stick up for me all the time.



Fledgling (Dragonrider Chronicles, 1) by Nicole Conway, April 29, 2014. Published by Month 9 Books.
Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?
Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.

You can add Fledgling to your Goodreads shelf.
 You can purchase a copy of Fledgling at-
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo!



Giveaway Information:  Winner will be drawn May 31, 2014

·         Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway (INT)

·         Five (5) winners will receive a paperback copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway (US/Canada)

·         One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway   

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