1. Can you tell us something about you and your book Dragonswood?
I grew up in the California redwoods near San Francisco. The woods were so magical, I often imagined running into fairies or dragons on my moonlight walks. I think that enchanted forest made me the fantasy writer I am today. I’ve written eight books for children and young adults. I love crafting novels and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
The first idea for Dragonswood (Book Two of the Wilde Island Chronicles) came when I studied the witch trials in medieval Europe. Women accused of witchcraft were forced to name names under torture. How would it feel to give up a friend’s name and see her dragged in, condemned and burned? I love my friends so, of course, the idea appalled me. I instantly knew I had the beginning of a story here – one of friendship and betrayal. The novel tests Tess’s loyalty to her friends, her family, to her first love, and ultimately to herself.
2. When have you decided that you want to be a writer?
Those walks in the woods helped, but reading books I loved made me what to pull out a pen and start writing my own novels.
3. Where do you find your inspiration for your novels? (If it’s not a secret) Have you ever found it in your real life?
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. Do any of your fictional characters resemble you?
They are all their own people with their own tastes, experiences and backgrounds. That said, all of the characters come from somewhere inside me. It’s my job to identify with each of them in some way. The witch hunter in Dragonswood wants to take revenge on the witches who attacked her and put out her eye when she was a girl– it’s one of reasons she goes on her bloody witch hunts. Would I go that far to take revenge? No. Do I understand the desire to take revenge? You bet. Luckily the pen is mightier than the sword so we writers have other ways of getting even.
Do I resemble Tess? She’s much braver than I am. I’m glad to say I wasn’t abused as a child or forced to give up my friends’ names under torture, but, like Tess, I did run off and seek solace in the forest when I was young. Tess likes to climb the trees in Dragonswood. In my teens I climbed the redwoods after dark and sat in the branches during a rainstorm. I called it “riding the storm.” I still try to climb a tree every year on my birthday, which is in January (a perfectly stormy month!).
5. Which book is the first one that you’ve read?
The first book I remember reading and loving was called Twig, by Elizabeth Orton Jones, a book about a little girl who met a fairy living under a tin can in her back yard.
6. Do you have a favorite book?
I love so many. I reread my favorites like Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series, and Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest. When I love an author’s writing style, her characters and her well-drawn world, I like to get back inside the book to experience the adventure again.
7. If you were about to leave in a trip which book would you take with you?
I just went on a trip and took too many books! I always do. If I had to leave to go somewhere today I’d take The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
8. Tell us one thing you’d like to change at people from nowadays.
I’d like to see us taking better care of the earth. Readers can check out the “giving back” page on my websitehttp://www.janetleecarey.com to see the Dragonswood charity link to help save endangered animals.
9. Is there a moment in your life you’d like to live again?
The day I married my husband, Tom.
10. Do you have a message for Romanian readers? Why would you recommend your book?
Hello to Romanian readers. It’s good to meet here on the blog. I’m grateful to book blogs like this one that give us all a chance to connect. I’ve read about Romania’s natural beauty and seen photos of some exquisite castles. I’d love to visit Corvinesti Castle someday.
Why recommend my book? I’ll let some lines from two of my starred reviews speak to that.
~“A fairy tale for those who have given up on believing in them, but still yearn for happily ever after.”
–Kirkus *starred* review
~ “Perfectly crafted combination of history, mythology, and fantasy. . . The political intrigue, mythology of Merlin, and romances that bloom . . . . will have readers racing toward the end and then going back to savor the events more slowly.”
–School Library Journal *starred* review
You can win a signed copy of Dragonswood and some swags. To win please leave a comment below with your name, city and the answer to the question: Why do you want to win this book? You can enter the giveaway until 20 july. Good Luck!