It's time to celebrate a wonderful debut author, Eisley Jacobs. Eisley's Middle Grade book, BORN TO BE A DRAGON, releases July 20. Two days from now! Before we talk with Eisley, here's a snippet about this delightful book:
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...
This is what Lord Edric wants you to believe. He will do anything in his power to see that humans never come in contact with dragons again. However, he doesn't plan for Meia, the foster child who dreams of dragons, believing they are real. Or Deglan, the ten-year-old dragon who bears the ancient mark that threatens everything Lord Edric has worked for.
Join these two unlikely friends as they discover the truth behind a legend so extraordinary it will alter each of their lives... forever.
Welcome to Critique Sisters Corner, Eisley. I can just imagine how much my son (and I) would have loved this story when he was a young reader. It's got everything from a child longing for magical friendship, to a friendly dragon, to a big bad villain trying to keep people and dragons apart. Tell us what inspired you to write BORN TO BE A DRAGON.
EJ: My inspirations come in many forms, but the main three take the shape of my children (ages 8, 10, and 11). When I first began writing BORN TO BE A DRAGON it was to try and spur my boys to get the love-bug of reading (which worked). But as I wrote, inspirations seemed to come from everywhere I looked. Meia's inspirations actually came from a foster child here in Denver, one who I hope can have a family some day.
What a perfect combination of desires, Eisley. Hoping that a child will have a home, and wanting children to love reading. I love that. No wonder the book flowed for you! And developing that 'love-bug' for reading early is so important. It opens a world of lifelong opportunity.
I've got to ask, when you finish your first draft and your edits, do you read your books to your children? Are they betas for you?
EJ: I actually read each chapter as I completed it because they were begging for more! So yes, they were my first beta readers. Even at one point when I hadn't figured out a small plot twist, my middle child gasped and said, "Oh my gosh, I know who he is!" I stared at him blankly, wondering who he thought it might be, then it hit me like a bolt of lightning. I knew exactly who he meant and it worked perfectly in my plot. It was awesome!"
That was awesome! Do you think you could loan me your middle child for a while—I've got some problems with a saggy middle in my WIP right now that maybe he could help me with? Kidding, but wow, how great to get that kind of feedback.
One of the questions I always look for in debut author interviews is, what was your favorite part of writing the book? Can you tell us what that was for you with BORN TO BE A DRAGON?
EJ: Absolutely. My favorite part of writing this book was completing it and then sharing it with a child who was not my own. The look on her face when she finished was PRICELESS!!! It really made me realize that THIS was the reason I wrote.
That must have been a fabulous feeling. And how perfect for giving you the confidence to know this book is ready to present to the world.
Okay, Eisley, it's time to talk about the exciting news we've all been reading about on blogs, that you're giving away a NOOK as part of a scavenger hunt. Wow, an e-reader is an outstanding prize. We're excited here at CSC to be part of your scavenger hunt. Can you tell us more about that, and about what readers can do that will let them enter to win the prize?
EJ: Well, the Scavenger Hunt is pretty simple. You read each day's blogs (linked on my website), and then find the answer to each day's question. You simply comment on my blogwhen you know the answer (for the day) and that enters you into the daily prize AND a chance to win a NOOK! Each blog says something different, so each question is exclusive to each site. It should be a lot of fun!
Terrific! Easy and fun and great prizes. We like that. And, we like the sound of BORN TO BE A DRAGON, a lot. Is there anything you can tell us about this book that we can't read about on your website or blog?
EJ: I can tell you that of all the manuscripts I've ever completed, this one will hold a very special place in my heart. Not only because it's my debut novel, but because the characters really encompassed a lot of who I hope my children will become. Dreamers. Believers. Children who put hope in things unseen, hold onto the faith for their futures and not dwell in the past. Actually, that is my hope for all kids . . . that they don't let their pasts define who they become, but they use it as a spring board into something amazing!
Well, on that beautiful note, I will say thank you so much for visiting us here at CSC, and for sharing BORN TO BE A DRAGON with us, Eisley. We wish you the very best of luck.
And the best of luck to all readers who enter the contest, as well!