Today I’m fortunate to present Chrys Cymri author of The Temptation of Dragons.
Hi Chrys, thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
I live in a part of England called Northamptonshire. It’s pretty much in the middle of the country, pleasant but not dramatic scenery. I’m actually a full time (female) priest, writing my books in my spare time.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
The perfect story would have the plot and the characters mesh together, both driving each other forward. But since the perfect book doesn’t exist, I think it’s great characters which make a good story. I don’t worry about the plot that much if I love the characters.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
I won a radio short story contest when I was 17 years old. The presenters urged me to turn the short story into a novel. The two resulting books, ‘Dragons Can Only Rust’ and ‘Dragon Reforged’, were professionally published in 1995. I look back at those two books and, although I still like them, I think my writing has improved since then.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I find I write better if I don’t have access to the internet! Facebook etc can be such a distraction. I try to write around a 1000 words every night. I also write on my days off. My best was 5000 words in one day.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I live with a small green parrot, and she both distracts me and gives me inspiration. The mischievous snail shark, Clyde, who features in my ‘Penny White’ novels, is based on her character. Very loving but occasionally a bit feisty.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
I’ve recently published the third book in my urban fantasy ‘Penny White’ series. The three titles thus far are ‘The Temptation of Dragons’, ‘The Cult of Unicorns’, and ‘The Marriage of Gyphons.’ The fourth book will be called ‘The Vengeance of Snails’.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
That a character who comes out of nowhere can end up being the readers’ favourite. Clyde inserted himself into a scene, slithered into Penny’s life, and people adore him.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
This is from the first chapter of ‘The Temptation of Dragons’:
‘Vicar arrested for drunk driving’ is not the sort of headline my
bishop wants to read about his priests. So I slowed down my Ford as I saw the flashing lights of the police car ahead. An accident. I hunched low over the steering wheel, hoping to hide the tell tale sign of the dog collar around my neck. My wine-sweetened breath wafted back into my face, reminding me of the reason I must not stop to offer any assistance. I was pretty certain that I was not over the drink drive limit, but possibly very close.
I risked a guilty glance as I passed the accident site. The black
Mercedes had come to rest on the hard shoulder, right up against the traffic barrier. The front was caved in, although I couldn’t see what had caused the damage. No other car was nearby, and as far as I could see none of the trees had wandered across the dual carriageway. Two people stood near the police. Neither looked injured. I let out a sigh of relief.
I pulled back into the slow lane. A moment’s inattention made me drift onto the hard shoulder. The car’s front wheels and rear wheels bumped over an obstruction which shuddered and crunched. My throat closed and my heart pounded fast and quick in my chest. I slammed to stop, pulled up the hand brake and ripped my keys from the ignition. The car lurched against the clutch. I stumbled out and hurried back, terrified that I’d run over some animal or, please God Almighty no, a human.
My foot tripped against something solid. I staggered, and my hand slapped against scaly hide. Hide? The shape solidified under and around me. A tail. I was touching the base of a tail. I looked back at the webbed red tip, the scales, the thin spines. Then I lifted my eyes to see a thick body, two legs splayed back towards me, long leathery wings flung away from the road and over the traffic barrier. I forced myself to walk towards the front legs. My mind kept trying to reject the word forcing itself into my consciousness. Dragon. I was looking at a dragon.
For some reason a sense of disappointment crawled over me. The dragon was smaller than any I’d ever held in my imagination, about twice the size of a large horse. From the amount of blood that was pooling around the heaving chest, it was dying. The blood was only a shade darker than the bright red scales.
I stopped beside the narrow head. One large eye opened and looked up at me. Even in the dying light of a summer’s evening I could see that it was reptilian, the narrow pupil black against a wide iris of shimmering green. For a moment I saw myself mirrored on the clear surface, dark hair askew around my frowning face. The jaws cracked open, and a blue tongue slithered from the rows of small sharp teeth. ‘Father?’
I swallowed against my automatic correction. This was not the time to discuss the best way to address a female priest. ‘Can I help you?’
‘I could call an ambulance…’ I stopped. Had someone slipped something into my wine? Was I really thinking of arranging medical care for a dragon?
‘No time.’ His voice was fading. ‘Father, will you hear my confession? And give me the last rites?’
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
More ‘Penny White’! I’m working on the fourth novel, and I have ideas for three more after that.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Getting good, professionally done covers. Several have been nominated for awards.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
I offer a free ebook to anyone who signs up to my newsletter list. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazon Author Page: Author.to/ChrysCymri