Author Chat with E.E. Knight (Novice Dragoneer), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with E.E. Knight author of
Read on for more about E.E. and his book, plus an giveaway!
Meet E.E. Knight!
E. Knightwas born in Wisconsin, grew up in Minnesota, and now calls Chicago home, where he abides in domestic felicity with his family and assorted pets. He is the author of the Age of Fire series and the Vampire Earth series.
Meet Novice Dragoneer!
In the first book in an exciting and charming new coming-of-age fantasy series from the author of the Age of Fire series, an impoverished girl enters into a military order of dragonriders, but her path won't be as easy or as straightforward as she expected.
Fourteen-year-old Ileth grew up in an orphanage, and thanks to her stutter was never thought to be destined for much beyond kitchen work and cleaning. But she's dreamed of serving with the dragons ever since a childhood meeting with a glittering silver dragon and its female dragoneer. For years she waits, and as soon as she is old enough to join, Ileth runs away to become a novice dragoneer at the ancient human-dragon fortress of the Serpentine.
While most of her fellow apprentices are from rich and influential families, Ileth must fight for her place in the world, even if it includes a duel with her boss at the fish-gutting table. She's then sent off to the dragon-dancers after a foolish kiss with a famously named boy and given charge of a sickly old dragon with a mysterious past. But she finds those trials were nothing when she has to take the place of a dead dragoneer and care for his imprisoned dragon in enemy lands. . . .
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
That's a three-parter. First, readers have been asking for more dragons for a while. I've done a lot of dragon point-of-view books. We've had humans dominating dragons, dragons dominating humans, and then back again throughout the Age of Fire series. That ugly history ended with a couple of far-sighted dragons and a few humans hoping they could figure out a way to work together. I thought it would be nice to see if that dream was ever realized, and this time do it from a human's point of view.
Second, I've had three kids since wrapping up Age of Fire. I wanted to write a story for them.
Third, as it is my first major project since the kids were old enough that I could go back to work, I wanted to stay in familiar waters, so to speak. You don’t try for the far side of the world on a shakedown cruise.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Ileth, because she's a combination of the three kids mentioned above. She has the eldest's speech difficulties but good heart, my daughter's cheery determination, and the youngest's compact but apparently indestructible frame.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Oh, the novel always comes first. The final title is a result of some back-and-forth with the publishing house. They listen to my ideas with the goal being a title everyone's happy about, so I try to be flexible.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I have a few favorites. I'm very fond of her duel. I really like the scene in then end when the "Dragons Up!" alarm has been sounded and both Ileth and the young dragon she's thrown together with in the emergency both need a little encouragement to go aloft and face the challenge.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Probably to give every character in a story their moment to shine, show some quality, and invite the readers to root for them. Even the antagonists.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
It's very well-designed and the limited palette works. It looks fantastic from two feet away or ten.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
I don't follow the book market that closely but I just blurbed a historical fantasy with some unique feathery dragons called STEALING THUNDER by Alicia Boyden. I think her main character Razia and Ileth would really get along. They'd bond over dance costuming and flying goggles
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2019?
Maybe Chuck Wendig's WANDERERS. I also really enjoyed a Cold War fantasy set in Berlin during the Berlin Wall era called BREACH by W.L. Goodwater. I don't generally like magic-based stories but maybe because this one was rooted in such a recognizable milieu of Cold War spy action it really worked for me.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I'm editing the second Dragoneer Academy novel now -- it looks like it'll be called DAUGHTER OF THE SERPENTINE and trying to get another Vampire Earth novel, GEORGIA SHOWDOWN, out there.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you for taking an interest in my dragons and dragoneers.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
Hard to answer this one without giving plot points away.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
I went round the block a couple times with the Master of Novices. In the initial draft he was much more of a stern taskmaster intent on a harsh winnowing of the first-year youths. But when I saw all the difficulties Ileth was up against I decided that he'd work in the story better as a nurturing figure and only a disciplinarian to keep things fair. All his novices are away from their homes, most are doing the first difficult work of their lives . . . I turned him into a coach rather than another hurdle to get over. Ileth and I are both really going to miss his encouragement and nudges in the next book.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I probably like editing and revising better because I can do that about anywhere. I can play music. I can have a movie on in the background. I can do it in a cafe. I've opened my laptop up in the smoothie bar of my gym where there are weights clanging and the music from spin class thumping, if anything a little background noise helps the process. When drafting I sort of pressurize myself in solitary silence, like I'm going down in a one-man submarine. It takes a bit of time to get down there and come back up again when I'm done. I need library conditions for that.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I don't have a superpower. I'm more of a Dollar Store Batman: I do it with research, technology, black (and sometimes very dark gray) clothing, and never skipping leg day.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Your local animal rescue/shelter, and vets who provide discounted services to them.
By: E.E. Knight
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Publisher: Ace Publishing
Two winners will each receive a copy of Novice Dragoneer (E.E. Knight) ~ (US Only)
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I loved the Age of Fire series and I am one of those clamoring for "dragon" stories. This one sounds engaging, and I cannot wait to read. Of course, my books always end up at the local middle school for those young fantasy readers.