Dragons, Dreams, and Determination

In case you were wondering…I’ve always loved dragons.

When I was young, I bristled at their perpetual depiction as near-demonic beings. And then I discovered Anne McCaffrey’s Pern. Ms. McCaffrey’s novels thrilled me. She imbued her dragons with the majesty and intelligence I craved. I wanted to immigrate to Pern; I dreamed of impressing a dragon—or a fire lizard, at the very least.

Many years later, I yielded to temptation and began to write my own fantasies. My first published story featured a dragon named Roddy and the little girl who inherited him upon her grandmother’s death. “Deirdre’s Dragon” was published in the September, 2005 issue of KidVisions, a children’s e-zine published by Sam’s Dot Publishing.

My first short contemporary romance also contained a dragon reference. Unfortunately, I edited the dragon out in revision. Flash Me Magazine published “Opening Her Eyes” in July, 2006. Interestingly enough, my longest and most satisfying dragon tale was also published that same month. Freya’s Bower released Sorcha’s Heart on July 30, 2006. The novella featured Caedyrn, a dangerous yet noble black dragon, and Sorcha, the human woman he learned to love.

Sorcha and Caedyrn stole hearts other than my own. Freya’s Bower liked the pair well enough to contract for a sequel to follow Sorcha’s Heart. The first, Dragons’ Choice was published last November, and I’m currently writing the submittal draft of the Dragons’ Flight. I love writing about my dragons.

“But what about the dreams and determination?” you ask.

I’ve discovered that writing can be an elusive dream without determination. I wrote “Deirdre’s Dragon” in June, 2004. After putting it through my critique group, I revised it and began to shop it to markets in July. It sold in April, 2005 and saw publication in September, 2005—well over a year after its creation. All that effort for an 800-word story!

“Opening Her Eyes” (the story where the dragon reference died in revision) was written soon after “Deirdre” in July, 2004. Two years passed between its creation and publication, but the wait was worth it. “Opening Her Eyes” won the reader’s poll for best story in its issue.

Yep. Determination is key to success in this business. A dream of writing creates a story, but determination drives it to publication.

And speaking of dreams, I’m currently dreaming of (and determined to obtain!) agent representation for my novel-length sequel to “Deirdre’s Dragon.” That first story intrigued me to the point where I needed to know why Roddy served Deirdre’s family and what his story entailed. Faery Unexpected is the result of those questions.

My older brother, a published cowboy poet, sent me a congratulatory card after reading one of my books. A soaring eagle graces the front with the caption, “Determination is halfway to destiny.” Inside it asserts, “You’re really soaring now!”

I’m not sure I’m truly up to soaring status yet, but I am nothing if not determined.

Whether your dreams involve dragons or not, I wish you the determination to see them through to destiny!

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