Interview With Lee French (Dragons in Pieces, Science Fiction)

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In your own words, please describe your book….

 At it’s core, Dragons In Pieces is about adapting to change, accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions, and family. The main character, Bobby, is an average young man trying to understand the bizarre situation he’s found himself in and take control of it. Along the way, he’s forced to examine his beliefs and ideals. Even so, it’s not a deeply philosophical book. I consider it light, fun summer beach reading.

What is the genre?

 It was actually really hard to decide what the genre is. In the end, I chose Science Fiction/Adventure. The thirty-five superheroes have their powers because of science, and the story takes Bobby across the country, looking for all his brothers and sisters before nefarious Men In Suits can grab them.

What inspired you to write this book?

 I am an avid gamer. This story came from a Mutants and Masterminds role-playing game I game master for a group of friends. In that game, which itself was somewhat inspired by the Heroes TV show, the players got a less traumatic start and wound up working for the government, but the basic premise and the general obstacles they all face are the same. Bobby is a character I came up with for the players to interact with.

 This book was first written for National Novel Writing Month in 2012. When I started writing it, I went from a different character’s perspective: Lily, Bobby’s romantic interest. It was kind of boring, actually. Her life isn’t exactly the stuff of epics. I got to the scenes with Bobby and found myself enamored of him as a main character, so I went back and rewrote the whole thing from his perspective.

Will this book be a standalone or part of a series?

 Dragons In Pieces is the first book of a trilogy. The second book, Dragons In Chains has already been released, and the third, titled Dragons In Flight, will be released in the early parts of 2014. There’s also a short story compendium, At The Farm, which takes place between the first and second book. Each of the 14 tales in it is told from the perspective of one of the secondary characters, offering some insight into the story from other points of view.

What books are similar to this one?

 I’m not aware of any books a lot like this one, but it’s similar in style to the Heroes TV show.

Where can readers find your book?

 It can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, and Kobo

Can you tell us some about the writer behind the book?

 Last year (2013) was my year to make things happen. I celebrated one year divorced, completed RAGBRAI for the first time, turned 40, visited Canada for the first time since high school, and began my self-publishing career. Here’s hoping 2014 is similarly monumental.

Tell us one thing about you we wouldn’t know?

 My fondness for squirrels is something of a joke that began on Myth-Weavers, an online gaming community I’m an active member of. I wanted to use an unassuming monster that would make my players crack up, so I chose squirrels. These were no ordinary squirrels, of course. They had a hive mind and could fight like tiny ninjas. Since then, it’s become a Thing, and I have all kinds of squirrel paraphernalia around my house, including a boxed photo I bought to support a local wildlife rescue group.

What has been the best moment in your writing career?

My writing career began in 2nd grade, when I entered a school district book fair with a six page entry titled ‘The Mean Old Man Next Door’. It, too, was self-published, in a sense, as I had to make the cover and write the pages myself. The thin volume is a prized possession I keep close at hand these days, as a reminder that everything starts somewhere.

How do you come up with the titles of your book?

It’s typically the last thing that comes to me. I write the book, edit it, futz with images for a cover, write up promotional blurbs, then quietly panic. Inevitably, I go to friends and spitball word combinations until something sounds good.

How long does it take you to finish a novel?

The first draft goes quickly, taking a month, two at the most. Revision can take anywhere from 1-3 months, and final editing is anyone’s guess. It can be anywhere from 3-9 months to go from idea to finished product.

How can readers connect with you?

I am on Facebook and Twitter, and pay attention personally to both. No bots or autotweeters here. Some people tell me I have a sense of humor, but they could be lying.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working diligently on Dragons In Flight, but also have two other books on the near-term horizon. The first is The Greatest Sin: The Fallen, the first book of an open series written in collaboration with a very good friend, Erik Kort. It’s in final editing right now, and should be out soon. It’s a fantasy tale about a sarcastic, pain in the ass fortune teller with oracle powers who finds herself targeted by someone coveting her unusual ability.

The second upcoming book was written for NaNoWriMo 2013, tentatively titled Damsel In Distress, and is in revision. Also a fantasy novel, this one is intended to be a stand-alone set in the world of Ilauris, where I intend to set several more novels in the future. This story is of a healer’s journey into the darkness of abuse and back out the other side into self-confidence. She’s the focal point of a legend about a demon and a sword, and finds herself pulled into what rapidly seems to turn into Saving The World.

Thanks for letting us interview you!


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