Dragon Soul begins in a small village of the Palmir people. A quiet, productive and peaceful clan with an almost forgotten violent history. The Plague from the North—an attack of powerful, evil creatures—virtually annihilated them generations ago. They defeated the Plague, with the help of mystics and dragons - but at great cost. Dragons no longer survive as separate entities; their Souls must reside in the flesh of human hosts.
To be a Dragon Host is at once a tremendous honor, and a life sentence. A sentence of many lifetimes, as the Dragon Host’s life span becomes longer than normal humans; they usually outlive their human families by many years. Dragon Hosts have magnified senses and abilities. To Host a dragon is to the see the world in entirely different ways - forever.
Hosting of Dragon Souls is not the only special calling of the Palmir people. Some are called to be Healers, a blending of practical and mystical powers. A rare few are Prophets. One Prophet has a vision that takes shape in a physical form and warns the Palmir people of an ominous event. Was it a just a reminder of the hellish past, or a harbinger of things to come?
What if the Plague returns? There are so few Dragon Souls. Could they defeat the monsters again? And what of real dragons? Will they ever again exist in their own form?
From a peaceful and uncomplicated world, with only the little frustrations that human characters inflict on one another, events thrust the reader into epic battles between dragons and the creatures seeking to destroy human and dragon alike. Proceedings propel humans into the middle of dragon-sized events. The world of the people is so rich, yet simple and comfortable, it's heart-breaking to leave it for the battlefront. Nevertheless, the Palmir people, like the dragons, go willingly in defense of their families. And in these stories, the families of humans and dragons, are one.
Dragon Soul, can be read on two levels, on one we take it deeper into human experience and the human/dragon bond. They fight for survival together and each must make sacrifices. The dragon isn't just a big, flying lizard -- it's a metaphor for larger-than-life desires we all have, and larger-than-life fears that go with them. In Dragon Soul, we see how these can meld to work together for the benefit of everyone.
The other level is an epic about Thol, a goat herder at Vedicville. Thol never imagined he would start his day as a human and end up as a dragon. Who would? Granted, he lived in a village where Dragon Hosts are mentored , but there are usually indications that a person is Host to a Dragon Soul. The first indication for Thol, was when his hands began to elongate and turn into talons.
At Thol's Scholla they taught that Dragon Souls are intelligent and giving. Not so, with his Dragon Soul—Rasdor—he is almost simple in his thoughts. Food, play and sleep are all that cross his mind, avaricious to please only himself... Unless he is dwelling on his wrath at his perceived ill treatment when he first Transformed, then he is full of a destructive rage verging on madness.
How did you start your writing career?
I wrote pieces, short stories and poems, since the age of about eight. My first published material came out in Children’s Digest—only a short piece, a couple of paragraphs, that one of my creative writing teachers submitted on my behalf when I was in the eighth grade. Over the subsequent years, I have frequently published non-fiction articles in horse magazines. I am currently doing a column for Western Horse UK on training Gaited Horses.
What do you think makes a good story?
For me, I want to immerse in a novel to the point where the ‘real world’ fades away. I want to look up from the text and have to take a moment to come back to reality. The author’s job is to paint such compelling characters and vivid scenes that the reader forgets they are not actually experiencing the events themselves. In any genre, an original plot with surprising twists will help ensure a good story.
However, I read—and write—fantasy. Fantasy has to open the door to an exotic world. For the length of time the reader holds the novel in their hand, the world must be as real or more realistic then the one around them.
One of my most memorable moments in writing Dragon Soul, was when a Beta Reader messaged me, blaming me for burning her dinner. She started a chapter, thinking she would breeze through it while her dinner simmered on the stove. Three chapters later, the smell of burning supper jerked her attention from the novel.
I want my novels to have to carry the warning, ‘It is not recommended you perform any other activity while reading.” LOL, I want the stories to pull them in, but would rather not be the cause of any more burned meals!
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
Panster. For the simple reason my muse, Cyble, will not allow me to follow any plot I try to set out. I call my muse Cyble, an internet savvy version of Sybil Dorsett (a pseudonym for Shirley Ardell Mason) an individual with dissociative identity disorder. No, I do not have the disorder. Nevertheless, when I sit down to write it often astounds me the degree the words coming out of the keyboard stray from the scene I meant to do. Plot twists, new characters and scenes flow forth that often have me reading them with surprise.
When I write, I ‘see’ the events unfolding before me. I do not always have control, I simple record what I am seeing.
This is especially astounding to me, for when I wrote non-fiction, I always followed an outline and did not have any problem doing so.
It is actually funny. I have a
LOT of outlines for Dragon Soul and Dragon Rebirth in my computer—revisions I made as changes pop in from Cyble’s interjections. None of them bares the faintest resemblance to the actual plot of the finalized works.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
The degree people invest in my characters. I remember making a comment to one of my beta readers, in an email, that one of the dragon characters was slated to die in the current outline format. She threatened to come to my home and do me bodily harm. LOL, yes she was joking about doing actual harm, but nevertheless plagued me with emails and several phone calls until I agreed not to kill him. Yes, those were her words, kill him. He is so real to her she thinks of it as murder!
Tell us about your current release.
Dragon Soul takes place in a world where dragons co-exist within human Hosts. Many centuries ago, real dragons sacrificed their lives in the battle known as The Plague from the North—an attack of powerful, evil creatures—virtually annihilated the Palmir People. They defeated the Plague, with the help of mystics and dragons - but at great cost. Dragons no longer survive as separate entities; their Souls must reside in the flesh of human hosts. Dragon Soul begins in a village of the Palmir People. Dragon Soul introduces a rich, vibrant culture and characters slated to be the front line of defense for their entire culture, as the attacks from the north re-commence.
Dragon Rebirth is the second book, expected to release within 45 days. Until now in the series, the only surviving dragons exist as Dragon Souls, they share the mind of their human Hosts who Transform into dragons, and then back into humans. In the second book of the series, dragons, as separate entities, once again become part of the culture. I think it best not to explain how; it would be detrimental to the story line for those not wishing to read a “spoiler”.
I will share one spoiler with you; this is cover for the new book.
Dragon Rebirth picks where Dragon Soul left off. The plot line intensifies, new characters are introduced and the arena for the battle with the creatures attacking the Palmir People broadens as the story progresses. Mixed in all this, there are poignant moments of loss, love, spiritual growth and maturity as the characters face their fears and find within themselves the means to survive and prepare to prevail against the incursions.
Each novel has two levels; it can be read as an intense drama laden adventure or on the other level, we take it deeper into human experience and the human/dragon bond. They fight for survival together and each must make sacrifices. The dragon isn't just a big, flying lizard -- it's a metaphor for larger-than-life desires we all have, and larger-than-life fears that go with them. In Dragon Soul, we see how these can meld to work together for the benefit of everyone. In Dragon Rebirth, the characters are forced to look within themselves for strength, and learn the depth of their moral fiber.
You can read character interviews at my blog and sign up for notification of the release of Dragon Rebirth. Both novels will be available on Nook and Kindle.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beverly J. Whittington is a well known author of articles and books on training and riding gaited horses. She is known for her numerous contributions to many popular horse magazines as well as the informational site online gaitedhorses.net. She is currently doing a column in the Western Horse UK.
Beverly was born to a career Army family and moved often throughout her childhood and teens. She has lived most of her life in the southern half of the USA. Beverly is an avid reader of Fantasy and SF for almost four decades. Her début novel Dragon Soul is the opening book of the series Dragons in the Mist.