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What is the favorite book you remember as a child?
The Dragons of North Chittendon by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
Follows the adventures of Arthur, a young and fearless dragon living with his tribe in northern Vermont, as he grows up, marries, becomes the leader of his tribe and together with a human friend tries to improve relations between dragons and people.
I read this book back in probably junior high school, 7th or 8th grade. I borrowed it from a classmate, read it, loved it, and returned it, then could never find it again. It took amazon being created to eventually find it again. I reread it and it was still a great read. It’s no longer in print and there is no eBook, so you probably can’t read it. Sorry.
If you’re looking for dragons, though, my latest book Dragon Apocalypse has a... well, if a group of crows is a murder, then I think it fair to say this book has an apocalypse of dragons.
What is your favorite book today?
It’s got to be the Dresden Files series. It’s one of the few series I actively look for new releases of. The others being Game of Thrones, Kingkiller Chronicles, and Vlad Taltos.
Tell us about your current book in 10 words.
Friends on quest save world, accidentally unleash dragon apocalypse. Funny.
What are you reading right now?
A list of 20 questions from which I get to select 8-10 to answer. I’m also rereading the Dresden Files, started Son of the Black Sword. I’m mostly waiting on Rothfuss and Martin and Brust. Come on guys! I mean, I’m very patient... take all the time you need. As an author, I understand the need for you to write other books in other series, as a reader, wtf!
E-Reader or print? and why?
While nothing replaces the feel of a good physical books, and the scent of the pages and ink, eBooks have the significant advantage of being far lighter than my entire library. I actually rarely have the luxury of reading a book these days, I consume my books as audiobooks in the car on the way to and fro. It would be nice to have the time to read as much as I did before having kids, but they are toddlers right now and demand far more attention than my books. I imagine I shall return to reading more often once they want nothing to do with me when they become teenagers.
One book at a time or multiples?
One at a time. Unless that one is not good enough to constantly hold my attention, but too good to just set aside. Then I read more than one at a time unless the new one is good enough to constantly hold my attention, then just that one and return to the other later.
When do you do most of your reading?
In the car on the way to work and home. Don’t worry, they’re audiobooks! Usually. Just kidding, always! I actually listened to my first book, The Berserker and the Pedant, over again recently. The narrator, Robert Kraft, does an outstanding job. He was a finalist in the Voice Arts Awards category for Outstanding Production for his work on this book. I went to the awards ceremony down in LA and William Shatner was presented with an award and gave a funny talk about how when he was narrating his own audiobook, he got into a disagreement with the producer about how to say garage. He’s probably told that story before and that’s probably on youtube, you should go find it. It’s a great story. Michael Winslow, the actor who makes amazing sounds with his voice (Police Academy, Spaceballs) was one of the hosts. That is a funny man. His impression of Jimmi Hendrix doing the Star Spangled Banner is unreal.
Fantasy. I usually try and say Fantasy and Science Fiction, but realized that I don’t actually hardly ever read any sci-fi. I love sci-fi TV shows and movies, but rarely read sci-fi books. I’ve read most of Asimov and Card, some Heinlein, some Greg Bear, but not much else. I guess nothing has really hooked me in sci-fi in some time.
Fantasy, however, I’m always reading, and re-reading. Most of what I’ve read growing up was fantasy too. I read everything Piers Anthony wrote until I outgrew him somewhere around Xanth 14. I read the Dragonlance series, the Krynn series, the Dark Sun series, Dragon Riders of Pern, Magician series, Darksword Trilogy, and others I can’t even remember the names of.
Do you loan your books?
No, I give them away. Too many people don’t return them and I lose track of who has what. Since I do most of my reading electronically, it’s too much hassle to be able to loan them out. I tend to read self-published eBooks when I’m reading a book, so the price is ridiculously cheap... $2.99 or $3.99 versus traditionally published eBook at $11.99, so it’s not very onerous for people to buy them. It’s easy to take a risk at those prices too, there are a lot of self-published gems and a traditional publisher is no guarantee of a book being good, just a marketable, so I think buying self-published makes more economic sense. Sometimes they even break out and hit the mainstream like it did with The Martian and Wayward Pines, I’d read both of those before they became mainstream and that was cool to see books I’d discovered and loved become big.
Favorite book to recommend?
Dragon Apocalypse, of course! I highly recommend reading that or the prequel, The Berserker and the Pedant. I you’re interested in a third book, either wait patiently for me to write the next one or read The Dresden Files.
Or better yet, listen to them because James Marsters reads them, the books and the actor really hit their stride in book four. The first three are engaging and entertaining, but they only get better. That’s actually why I haven’t started the Wheel of Time series, I hear the first few are awesome, then they drag out and nothing happens, The Dresden Files just keeps getting better and better.
Along the way, Gurken and Pellonia meet up with Maximina, a half under-elven woman that also happens to be a tad psychic, a ranger with a dash of necromantic ability, a smidgen of samurai training, and just enough time living as a rogue to acquire the ability to sneak up on and stab a foe in the back. Maximina is full of clever ideas on how to gain a tactical advantage over her foes, and on occasion they even work.
During their adventures, Gurken, Pellonia, and Maximina face a snarky unicorn, do battle with a terrible frost giant, contend with a rival adventuring party bent on their utter humiliation, and confront the end of the world in the form of an evil sorcerer and a teeming dragon horde. Can they save the world one more time?
“We’ve run out of maidens,” the mayor told the crowd in the morning, shaking his head sadly. The mayor stood beside a wooden pole with chains and manacles attached to it. The manacles were empty. “I’m afraid that last night, the last maiden in the city, shall we say… disqualified herself.
“Trollop!” said a voice in the crowd.
“In about five minutes, the dragon will be here and we’ll all be scorched and eaten alive. Please, don’t panic. There’s nothing to be done.”
The people in the crowd looked around at one another.
“Can’t we still pretend she’s a maiden?” said a voice in the crowd.
“A good idea, for sure,” said the mayor. “But the dragon can tell these things, he’s got a unicorn with him. I’m afraid we’re doomed. Nothing to be done about it.”
“You can’t fool a unicorn,” someone in the crowd shouted.
“How about a male maiden? I’m sure we’ve plenty of those. Roger here, for example.”
“Hey! I’m not a maiden!”
“Sure, sure, we all believe that.”
“It’s no good anyway. The dragon quite prefers that the maiden in question be a woman,” said the mayor.
“The dragon’s really quite particular,” another voice criticized.
“What about a young maiden? I mean, technically, if we can just find someone young enough…” said someone in the crowd. He turned and looked at Pellonia, as did the rest of the crowd.
He also spends some not inconsiderable amount of time wiggling his fingers over a keyboard as a software engineer. He lives with his wife, Marianne, and two amazing children, Liam and Chloe, in sunny California, where winter is, most decidedly, never coming.
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