Today we welcome paranormal romance author Deborah Cooke to RomFan Reviews. Deborah, thanks so much for stopping by. You've written five books in the Dragonfire series, with the latest called Whisper Kiss, released this August. Can you tell us a little bit about the series?
Dragonfire is a contemporary paranormal romance series that features heroes who are all dragon shapeshifters. The series takes place in the Dragon’s Tail Wars, which is the final battle between the Pyr (good dragon shapeshifters) and the Slayers (bad dragon shapeshifters). The core mission of the Pyr is to defend the earth and the four elements – the Pyr count humans as being one of those treasures of the earth and the Slayers don’t. Each individual book focuses on the romance of one dragon shapeshifter guy – when these dragons meet their destined mates, sparks literally fly. They call this a firestorm and it’s their chance to conceive more Pyr. Each book features the next part of the Dragon’s Tail Wars, as well as one Pyr’s firestorm. Each dragon hero usually has a mission, as well as a woman to romance and defend at the same time.
For example, in WHISPER KISS, Niall (our hero) has volunteered to eliminate the last of the shadow dragons. (These are like dragon zombies.) He’s motivated because his twin brother has been made into one. But his firestorm sparks at the beginning of the book, with the most unlikely woman he could have imagined spending time (never mind his life) with. To say that Niall has mixed feelings about his firestorm is an understatement. Rox, though, is crazy for dragons, and once she sees what Niall really is, then she’s in for the duration and determined to make their relationship work. They both have secrets and emotional baggage, and the bad guys get personal. There’s a lot of action and romance and sexy bits in these books, and I have a tremendous amount of fun with them.
You can learn more about Dragonfire and read excerpts on my site here: http://www.deborahcooke.com/
I see you also write under the name Claire Delacroix. Can you tell us a little bit about what you write under that name?
I have written historicals as Claire Delacroix since 1992, when I sold my first medieval romance to Harlequin Historicals. As much as I love historicals, after writing them for more than ten years, I wanted to try something different. This fall, REBEL, the third and final book in my future-set paranormal romance series was released. This trilogy features fallen angel heroes, sacrificing their wings to try to save the human race in a post-nuclear, pre-Apocalyptic setting. It’s a gritty world and was something quite different for me – but also fun. Of course, these are still romances, and still hero-focused romances, and the acquiring editor said that the worldbuilding was very similar to my historicals. So, some things change, but others don’t. (You can learn more about his series here http://www.delacroix.net/angels.html) I really enjoyed writing the Prometheus Project, and am now thinking about what Claire Delacroix will write next. My problem is always that I have too many ideas!
What gave you the idea to write a dragon shifter series?
I’ve always wanted to write a dragon shapeshifter series! I was proposing them as medieval romances in the mid-1990’s when it was very tough to sell paranormal romance. I could say that the market finally caught up with my idea! LOL! I love how NAL is packaging these books and how supportive they’ve been of the series. It feels like a perfect fit and one worth waiting for.
How much time do you spend doing research for your books?
I do at least a month of reading in preparation for starting to write a book. I like to gather books and stack them in my office – on my desk, then on the floor – with post-it notes in them for the important bits. After that, there are invariably issues that come up in the writing, and I do research on the fly for that. The other big thing that I need to keep track of is (of course) the world of the stories, what I’ve said before, what we already know about the continuing characters, etc. etc. I have a big binder about the Pyr (and one about the angels, too) that is my reference manual to my own world.
What kinds of books do you read in your free time?
I read anything with a cover that I like. I’m really inclined to choose books by their covers, maybe because I love cover art so much. This means that I read in every genre, because I wander the bookstore and pick up books that intrigue me. I think it’s good to read outside of the genre in which you write, although it’s not something I do on purpose. Those covers lure me to new territories!
What is your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite?
I love writing. That’s my favourite part. It’s why I’m a writer. I even like when I’m stuck, or when I’ve painted myself into a corner and have to figure out how to make the book work. I just love telling stories and figuring out the best (or most compelling) way possible to tell them. Publishing can be frustrating for writers because it’s a business, and we don’t always think about our writing in businesslike ways. We get passionate about it! OTOH, it’s the publishing business that can give our books such phenomenal covers. I love cover art and have been very very lucky with mine over the years.
How many books are you contracted to write in your Dragonfire series through Signet?
WHISPER KISS, which came out in August, was Dragonfire #5. DARKFIRE KISS, #6 – which is Rafferty’s book, will be released next May. After that, there are two more Dragonfire novels contracted. One is tentatively scheduled for release in January 2012 and one in October 2012, but I’m not naming the heroes of those two books just yet!
We also are doing a YA Dragonfire series, which is called The Dragon Diaries. This is set in the future – for those of you following the series, the first trilogy features Erik’s daughter, Zoë, coming into her powers as the new Wyvern around her 16th birthday in 2024. The generation of Pyr that result from the firestorms in the adult series star in the YA series. Series fans will also be glad to know that Sophie and Nikolas will also get their HEA in that first YA trilogy. The YA series launches next June, with book #2 scheduled for December 2011 and book #3 for June 2012.
So, there’s lots of Dragonfire ahead!
How can out readers find out more about you and your series?
You can visit my websites – http://www.deborahcooke.com/ and http://www.delacroix.net/ - where you’ll find excerpts and cover copy. On my blog – http://www.delacroix.net/blog - you’ll find review quotes and other news. On my Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahCookeFanPage - you’ll find quickie news about contests, etc.
Deborah, I'd like to thank you again for stopping by to chat. I'm looking forward to reading Whisper Kiss, because I know it'll be just as good as the others have been.
Thanks so much for inviting me to visit! (And I hope you enjoy Niall and Rox’s book.)
And now for the good news. Deborah is giving away two books, Whisper Kiss by Deborah Cooke and Rebel by Claire Delecroix, to one lucky person who leaves a comment by Sunday, October 10th. Good luck!
I've also posted reviews for Deborah's Dragonfire books. Click the names below to read them.
Review: Kiss of Fire
Review: Kiss of Fury
Review: Kiss of Fate