Welcome to YA Books Central’s “Indie Superstars” column. This monthly event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.
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This week we’re interviewing Clarissa Gosling, Author of Dragons of Kaitstud.
Caitlin Haines: Can you tell us a little about Dragons of Kaitstud?
Clarissa Gosling:The main character, Birgith, has been brought up by her father in the Bear Clan. But no one (apart from the two of them) knows that her mother is a dragon, as dragons are thought to be extinct. So she facing the test to prove she’s able to shift and so gain her place as an adult member of the Bear Clan, while worried she will instead shift into a dragon, which will condemn her to death and her hidden family to be hunted.
Caitlin: Where did the inspiration come from?
Clarissa: The initial idea started around the concept of dragons being matriarchal and it developed from there. Birgith’s mother is the only survivor from when the humans overthrew the dragon monarchy, but she couldn’t overcome her desire to have children. In the meantime, the world has changed. It is now split between four clans of animal shifters, with the Conservatoire, who co-ordinate the powers accessible through music.
Caitlin: What is it about fantasy and dragons that draws you in so much?
Clarissa: I’ve always loved dragons since I first read the Dragon riders of Pern as a teenager. There is something majestic about them.
Caitlin: Who is your favorite character in this series and why?
Clarissa: Birgith has three brothers, and they are such fun to write. She’s grown up on her own, and over the course of the books has to come to terms with these three who have an opinion on everything and how things should work. They’re incredibly loyal, but over-bearing at times.
I also have a weak spot for Birgith’s mother. She’s gone through so much in her life, spending most of it alone, so it is incredibly emotional to see her freeing herself of some of the restrictions she’d placed on herself.
Caitlin: If you were dropped into this world, what would be your role (hero, sidekick, etc.)?
Clarissa: If I can’t be a dragon, then I want to be a conductor and use the music to produce magic. I’d love to ride a floatship and travel the lands to explore.
Caitlin: What’s one thing you have to have while writing (music, quiet, snacks, coffee, etc.)?
Clarissa: I nearly always listen to music, often the radio. I like to have a candle burning as well, to get me in the mood.
Caitlin: Can you give us a hint at what’s to come next? The third book, Dragon Queen, releases this week, correct?
Meet Clarissa Gosling
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Dragon Shift Blurb
A dragon-sized secret.
A life-changing test.
On the continent of Kaitstud, dragons are feared and thought extinct. The four clans who now rule the continent condemn and slaughter any hints of dragons.
In her sixteenth summer Birgith must face her manifestation test with all the others of her age. The test will prove her ability and solidify her place with the Bear Clan that has raised her.
There’s just one problem.
Birgith might shift into a bear… But she could also end up a dragon. And if that happens, she’ll end up dead and the four clans of Kaitstud will hunt and slaughter the family she’s never met.
But when the test comes, she is unable to shift at all. She is exiled and classed as a lowly human. Trapped and alone, she fears never being able to escape or find out who she really is.
A group of travelling traders provide a way out, but she is unsure how much trust them. Will they help her with her search, or be the first to join the hunt? Birgith needs to decide before it is too late.
Part bear, part dragon, part human. Is Birgith destined to be an outcast mongrel? Or will her diversity be the answer Kaitstud has been searching for?
Dragon Shift is the first in an exciting new epic fantasy series for young adult readers who love dragons, adventure and strong female characters.
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