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Interview With Sarah Nicolas, Author of Dragons are People, Too
[box type="note"]Janice here! I first met Sarah Nicolas several years ago at an RWA conference in Orlando, FL and instantly liked her. She's funny, nice, and a generous soul. It's wonderful when good things happen to good people, so it's a true joy to help her celebrate the release of her debut YA novel, Dragons are People, Too. I (virtually) sat down with her recently to chat about her book, publishing path, and what's next.[/box]
A little about Dragons Are People, Too
Never judge a dragon by her human cover...
Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the über-hot Bulisani Mathe.
Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.
Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.
Read the first chapter and get more info at Entangled Teen's homepage! Follow along with the blog tour for excerpts, reviews, and an awesome giveaway!
On to the questions...
1. I'm a sucker for dragons and political thrillers, so I'm already intrigued--what inspired you to put dragons into the "Secret Service" so to speak?
Oh man, that is a good question. I have always loved dragons and I'm a HUGE fan of spy-type movies and TV shows, so I guess it was just a natural combination of two of my interests. I just thought, if the US government was aware of these "people" with these amazing abilities - what would they do with them? Weaponize them, of course.
2. Is this a stand-alone novel or will there be a series? I it's a series, any juicy tidbits on future books?
There is at least one sequel. That was always the plan. But I keep getting more and more ideas and I'm not sure if I can fit it all in! I'll give you the only tidbit I've given my agent: ICE DRAGONS.
3. Ooo! I already can't wait for that one. Can you tell us a little bit more about your protagonist, Kitty Lung? What drew you to write her story?
When the book starts, Kitty is very good at her job and is well-suited for the structured way her life is. She loses her temper easily, but Sani is able to keep her in check. Then all of that structure and safety gets violently ripped away from her and the way she reacts to that was my favorite thing to explore.
4. What was your favorite aspect of writing this book?
There is a scene where Kitty gets into a fight with an F-22 Raptor. Enough said.
5. Not enough by half, but I get you can't give away all the good stuff. Was there anything about the novel you struggled with? How did you overcome it?
I did take a huge break from this book (we're talking a year-ish) because I was struggling with having too much to do. Brenda Drake had read part of it and was really upset when I took that time off. I don't know what happened - one day I just decided to make it a priority.
6. You're a book marketer as well as an author--is it strange being on the other side of the desk? Are you doing anything differently for "your" novel?
I'm not doing much differently, but it is a very different experience. I somehow simultaneously feel like I have too much to do and am not doing enough. The work on this side is much more creative though, whereas when I'm working as a publicist, it's more logical and coordination. Promoting your own book is harder than promoting others. The "no, thank you"s hurt a bit more.
7. Since this is your debut novel, could you share some of your journey? What did you learn that might help someone on the same path? What mistakes (if you made any) do you wish you could have avoided?
Oh man, there is so much. I think the biggest thing is not to get discouraged if the first (or second or third) book you write doesn't sell. That's perfectly okay and pretty normal. That time isn't "wasted" either, because you learn so much along the way.
8. Anything else you'd like to share about the novel or you personally?
I just love Kitty and Sani and all of my characters so much and I hope you'll enjoy spending time with them in Dragons Are People, Too!
Thanks Sarah, and best of luck on your novel. Looking forward to reading it.
Sarah Nicholas is a 30-something YA author who currently lives in Orlando, FL. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too. She's a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library. She also blogs at YAtopia.