1. Tell us something about yourself. How it started your passion for books and writing?
I’ve loved books since I was a child. I used to read up in the branches of a tree. Loving stories meant reading them and later, writing them. Every new book is an adventure I take along with my characters. Read more about my books and my writing life here (http://janetleecarey.com )
2. What inspired you to write this book?
The idea for Dragonswood came when I read about the witch trials in medieval Europe. Women accused of witchcraft were not only tortured and made to confess, they were often forced to give up names of other women they knew. The idea appalled me and I knew there was a story in it – a tale of friendship and betrayal that put a girl’s loyalty to the test. The novel tests Tess’s loyalty to her friends, her family, to her first love, and ultimately to herself.
3. Music is part of your inspiration?
Sometimes I hear a song and feel like the nugget of a whole novel is hiding there. Music definitely inspires me. I’m also inspired by sounds of birds and animals. There are wild wolf packs in Dragonswood. I listened to recordings of howling wolves a few times while writing the novel, to get into the mood.
4. See the world through new eyes since you became a writer?
What a great question! I do think writers, and artists, see the world a little differently. We are paying attention to things around us so we can describe them in our books. Writers are also always on the lookout for story ideas.
5. What was think of the first person who read your book?
Members of my critique group read the book first. They loved it and they also gave me good advice about scenes I might want to change. After that, my editor at Dial Books saw the book and we worked on revisions together. I don’t know what the reader who bought the first copy thought. I was pleased to get two starred reviews! There are a lot of reviews posted on Goodreads, on blogs, and on Amazon where readers share their thoughts about the book.
6. If in real life you could choose to be one of the fantasy characters, what would it be? Why?
I would be Arwen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Arwen ) in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, because she is elven and because she weds Aragorn in the end.
7. Got any other passion besides writing?
I love nature. I enjoy hiking, and climbing trees. I also love swimming in the sea when I’m in Hawaii.
8. What advice would you give writers who are starting out?
It takes a lifetime to learn how to write a good novel, but we all start at the same place – a blank page. Begin where you are and start writing a little bit every day. Finally every writer gets rejections. Believe in yourself and keep writing.
9. A message to readers from Romania:
Thank you for the interview here on I Eat The Books! I agree with your blog. Books are Delicious. I love having readers in Romania. Novels like Dragonswood that have romance, adventure, and a strong female hero, can be enjoyed by readers around the world.
Summary (from the book jacket)
I see visions in the fire sometimes, images of the past or what is yet to come. The fire-sight does not lie. But I did not see the witch hunter who would ride in to scour our town of sin, so I did not know to run.
Wilde Island is in an uproar over the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying and the royal witch hunter begins a vengeful quest to hunt down girls with fire in their hearts and sparks in their soul.
Strong-willed Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, wants more for herself than a husband and a house to keep. But in times like these wanting more can be dangerous.
Accused of witchery, Tess and her two friends are forced to flee the violent witch hunter. The journey is bleaker than they ever imagined and they have no choice but to accept when an enigmatic huntsman offers them shelter in the dangerous Dragonswood. Staying with him poses risks of its own: Tess has no idea how to handle the attraction she feels for him—or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.
“Painful, cathartic and cautiously hopeful; a fairy tale for those who have given up on believing in them, but still yearn for happily ever after.” --Kirkus starred review
About the Author
Photo by Heidi Pettit
Janet Lee Carey was raised in the redwood forests of California. In the whispering forest she dreamed of becoming a writer. She is the award-winning author of eight Young Adult novels including Dragonswood, (Kirkus and School Library Journal starred reviews). School Library Journal calls her work, "fantasy at its best-original, beautiful, amazing, and deeply moving." Carey links each new book with a charitable organization empowering readers to reach out and make a difference. She tours the U.S. and abroad presenting at schools, book festivals and conferences for writers, teachers, and librarians. http://www.janetleecarey.com