Saturday, March 9, 2013

Dun Lady's Jess by Doranna Durgin:Character Interview



Dun Lady's Jess Character Interview (with Dun Lady's Jess, known as Lady when in her native horse form, and Jess when human) 


Laurie: Hello Jess.  Thanks so much for coming over to chat with me.  J  So…why don’t you begin by telling us about your family. 

Jess: My real family is scattered, and I don't see very many of them.  We were never close, and now they don't know what it's like to be both horse and human...and I do.  

I choose my family now.  Jaime is my friend from Ohio, and she took me in when I was new to being Jess, and she was the first one to believe in me.  Arlen is my father-friend.  He doesn't say much to remind people what he really is, but when he does, they listen.  Carey is the most complicated and the most important.  He trained me as Lady and now we figure out who we are to each other when I am Jess. 

Laurie: What was the scariest moment of your life?

Jess: When I suddenly wasn't a horse any longer.

Laurie: What is your favorite meal?

Jess: Grapes!  And melons!  And apples!

Laurie: Do you play any sports? 

Jess: I ride horses as a courier, which isn't a sport's my work.  When I play I do dressage, both as Jess and as Lady. 

Laurie: What are you passionate about these days?

Jess: Learning!  Everything is still new and I like the learning.

Laurie: What would we find under your bed? 

Jess: My old saddlebags from before, when I had only been Lady.  They reminded me of home when I was new at being Jess, and I was afraid.  I have better saddlebags now but I will never get rid of these.

Laurie: What one word best describes you? 

Jess: I like Carey's word: Braveheart.

Laurie: What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 

Jess: If they don't know me very well?  They would be surprised to know that sometimes I ride horses as a courier, and sometimes I am a horse as a courier.  Then they would be surprised to know how well a mare can take care of her own when she has human thinking behind her instincts.

Winner of best first SF/F/H in 95... (note: The recently re-released backlist series containing DUN LADY'S JESS is available across retailers, and the prequel to the series, BARRENLANDS, is a free

introduction title.  The series can be found at Doranna's Backlist eBooks page.)

When hikers Dayna and Eric find a young woman naked, terrified, and speechless, they’re sure she’s the victim of foul play. But the truth is much more shocking: she isn’t human at all. She’s Dun Lady’s Jess, a horse transformed into this new shape by the spell that brought her and her rider, to whom she is utterly devoted, into this world.

Possessed now of human intelligence but still a horse deep inside, Jess desperately searches this world for her master and rider, using her fiery equine spirit to take on human idiosyncrasies–and human threats.

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“….Dun Lady’s Jess is unique.   Durgin has created a character who is utterly believable as both horse and horse-in-human-body.   The setup is brilliant: the magic that causes the transformation is not in the horse, but external, and the creature that is Dun Lady’s Jess must adapt, must find an identity that works in both paradigms.   Humans who encounter her, in either body, must also adapt to the reality that created her and that she represents.  She cannot be, any longer, just another mare…she cannot be, ever, just another woman….”
–Excerpt from Elizabeth Moon’s Forward for Dun Lady’s Jess
“A thrill ride with a fantasy twist, neatly done by a knowledgeable author – short, sweet, and paced at a gallop, Dun Lady’s Jess can’t help but to win you over.”
–Janny Wurts
“Horses, heroics, and magic–a great combination! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dun Lady’s Jess, a spirited and daring novel. I couldn’t put it down.”
–Kristen Britain, author of the Green Rider series
Dun Lady’s Jess is a wonderful read for those who are horse fans and those who are just plain fantasy fans or fans of great writing.”
–Josepha Sherman, bestselling author/editor
Dun Lady’s Jess is everything a great fantasy ought to be: Exciting, moving, and utterly original. Doranna Durgin has spun a marvelous tale, set it in a world that feels as real as our own, and populated that world with characters who will stay with you long after you read the final page. An excellent book, which I highly recommend.”
–David Coe, author of Winds of the Forelands & the LonTobyn Chronicle
“Jess is a tale of wonderfully diverse and riveting characters embroiled in extraordinary events, told with a deftness and care few authors can achieve. Once you begin, you won’t be able to put it down until you know what happens — and then you’ll wish it never stopped. I highly recommend it.”
–Diana Pharoah Francis, author of Path of Blood
Dun Lady’s Jess is an adventure story with heart. It’s a unique idea, imaginatively explored. The characters are charming, and humanly flawed. The accurate equestrian touches are a pleasure to encounter, and Jess’ reactions, particularly while she’s still getting her feed under her, are surprisingly yet completely believable. Doranna Durgin offers the reader an unusual viewpoint of impressive versimilitude.”
Vonda McIntyre, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of The Moon and the Sun
“Durgin never fails to entertain with solid characters, good action, well-conceived plots, compelling narrative — and her expert background in horses always provides a real — and realistic! — treat for readers. Jess is one of the most complex and likeable characters in fantasy fiction.”
–Jennifer Roberson, author of the Karavans and Sword Dancer series

Doranna's quirkiness of spirit has led to an eclectic publishing journey, spanning genres over nearly 40 novels to include mystery, SF/F, action-romance, paranormal, franchise, and a slew of essays and short stories.

Beyond that, mostly she still prefers to hang around outside her New Mexico mountain home with the animals, riding dressage on her Lipizzan and training for performance sports with the dogs. She doesn't believe so much in mastering the beast within, but in channeling its power. For good or bad has yet to be decided...

On the side, Doranna does web design and plays with book covers and graphics, which is why you'll find her behind the scenes with Backlist eBooks co-founder Patricia Ryan, muttering about all the things on this site she needs to make perfect.

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Laurie said...

For me, I love to stroke a horse's soft muzzle and scratch behind their ears.... :)

Sue said...

I just love to watch horses---especially if there are several of them playing together. I also like to stroke their necks and let them "kiss" me with that soft nose (but only if I know them REALLY well--I don't want to get bit.)

Doranna said...

I love to kiss Duncan's nose, but of course I know and trust him (and know that he secretly, in a macho way, enjoys it when I go "Mwwah!" with much exaggeration). But he's really careful with his teeth and I can basically stick my fingers in his mouth when giving treats and come away unscathed.

I don't kiss the nose of horses I don't know, for sure--or let them sniff-nuzzle my face. It took only one time of having such a "meeting" turn into the astonishing view of gaping jaws as they closed over my face to learn that lesson (while horrified horse-mom looked on--!). And yes! I bled! ;>

ilona said...

I love to watch horses moving as they are so elegant and graceful and always look as if they move to music.

Doranna said...

That's a beautiful way to look at it!

Kalex said...

I love their grace.