Over the next several weeks we'll be spotlighting some of the authors who will be appearing in our Mythical Doorways anthology.
Today's author visit is with H. L. Burke. Her story Jericho and the Magician's Daughter is part of our soon to be released anthology. She's here to explain what a cat-dragon is and where you can find them, among other things.
Read on to find out more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing:
I'm a dragon-keeper, cat-servant, Marine Corp Wife, and mother to two Super-Hero Princesses. While I started writing before I could write (dictating short stories to my mom), I've been seriously writing for public consumption as an indie author for about five years now. Recurring themes in my story include dragons, snark, and exploring fantastic worlds. I move around a lot (military spouse, as mentioned), but currently reside in southern California (my profile pic is me on a family outing to Legoland. They have dragons!).
What inspired Jericho and the Magicians' Daughter?
I really wanted an excuse to write a cat-dragon (or a dracoline, as they are called) into a story. Cat-dragons are an awesome combination of cat and dragon, and I like to bring them into my world whenever possible. Freckles, the cat-dragon, is the mascot of the Indie Book Magic Podcast I do with my friend and publisher Janeen Ippolito. He's just adorable. The one in Jericho and the Magician's Daughter is slightly more fearsome than Freckles, but still just as awesome. Also (as I'll go into a bit in the next question), I had a lot of back story for Jericho and Rill in my brain and I wanted to explore them a little.
Does this story connect in any way to your other works, either stylistically or by being in a shared universe? If so, how? If not, why did you choose this departure from the norm?
Jericho Carver, Hedward Spellsmith, and Rill Spellsmith are all major characters in my Spellsmith & Carver gaslamp fantasy trilogy (for those who don't want to Google that, gaslamp fantasy is essentially fantasy set in a period with a basis in the Victorian period, sort of Fantastical Steampunk). I finished writing the trilogy, but had so much unused backstory (for Jericho and Rill especially) that I thought up this prequel. This takes place about five years before the events of the first Spellsmith & Carver book and features a young Jericho and Rill figuring out how to make their friendship work. It does not have the other main character from the trilogy, Auric Spellsmith, Rill's big brother, because it takes place while he's away at the Magicians Academy.
Because the theme of this anthology is doorways, we really need to know how you would handle this hypothetical scenario:
You approach a wooden door at the end of a long, dark passage. It is big and heavy. Warmth radiates from the wrought-iron handle. You hear a strange noise rising through it. What's on the other side and what do you do?
The sound sends vibrations through my hand as I touch the warm wood. I immediately recognize it as purring. Thankfully, I brought along my trusty companion, Bruce, my big orange tabby cat. We exchange a meaningful glance. With a confident nod and a jaunty tail twitch, Bruce lowers himself into a crouch. I open the door. Bruce bursts through it like a streak of ginger lightning.
He lands on the back of the cat-dragon. The beast meows shrilly, but it cannot escape the deft paws of my Bruce. Bruce perches on its head and begins to groom the cat-dragon's pointy ears. Pleased with the attention, the cat-dragon settles down and purrs like a kitten. I now have my own cat-dragon. I win.
Where can we connect with you and find out more about your writing?
My Website: www.hlburkeauthor.com
My Facebook: www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter
My Podcast: https://indiebookmagic.wordpress.com/
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