Monday, February 25, 2008

Queen of Dragons - Shana Abé

I write about dragons. Some people seem slightly befuddled by this: do I write romance or do I write fantasy? Answer: Yes. LOL. What it means is that I’m one of those lucky, lucky writers who gets to make up an entire culture--a contained, realistic world--that abides by my own rules. I created a race of fantasy shapeshifting creatures, the drákon, who are dangerous and powerful and sexy and who happen to exist in Georgian England. So they do have to bend to certain restraints of their time, but it all rests purely upon the twists and turns of my imagination.

It’s a lot of fun.

It also means I get begrudgingly complimentary reviews from major news agencies, ones that would never ordinarily review a romance, so they put it under “Fantasy” instead. It’s a bit of literary snobbery, but I’ll take it. (Bonus points in a Fantasy review: you almost never run across that charming print equivalent of a sneer, “bodice-ripper”.)

I’m not good with boundaries. I don’t necessarily like other people’s conventions. My parents figured out pretty quickly when I was a child that the surest way to finagle me into doing something was to tell me that I couldn’t do it. It’s not that I’m stubborn...okay, yes, I’m stubborn. It’s more that I don’t like unreasonable limitations. I was that annoying kid who kept asking “why?” when adults tried explaining rules to me, until they usually ended up red-cheeked and sputtering “Because! Because! Because!” and giving me candy to go away.

So I write fantasy...because. Because it’s mind candy for the adult in me. I love romance, I love happy endings, but most of all, I love creating textured, interesting people who aren’t really people at all, and placing them in impossible situations to see what they do to get out of them. I’m nearly always surprised by what happens, believe me. Those are the best kinds of stories, I think.

So if you’re a daydreamer like me, someone with a hidden edge of rebellion sharpening your secret heart, you’ll know just what I mean when I say that I hope you’ll dream on. Dragons are real, and so is true love.

It’s the best of every world. :-)


rebekah said...

I'm a daydreamer and am often told I live to much in the fantasy world. I love to read and escape into different worlds. I remember when I was a little girl my sister use to have tell her stories before we went to bed. She always said that I made up really good stories. I have an imagination that doesn't ever want to quite and I love it.

Pat Cochran said...

Greetings, Shana,

I've not read any of your books yet.
Thanks for the insight into "your
world." Thanks for stopping by

Pat Cochran

Maureen said...

Hi Shana!
I've not read your dragon books yet but your world sounds like an interesting one.

Shana Abe' said...

Hi, Y’all! Sorry for the delay in posting back to you! I’m having some technical issues, but I think I’ve got them worked out.

Rebekah, I know just what you mean. I used to tell stories to my little brother. In fact, I remember once he asked me to tell him a story specific to a certain location, and I did. It was full of giants and monsters, as I recall. He then wrote it down and turned it in as homework for an English assignment!

Hi, Pat. Thank you for the welcome! And Maureen, too. I do hope the books are interesting. But since I write them, I’m probably not the best person to judge, LOL. Kinda like asking a mom if her kids are attractive. *g*

Gigi said...

Hi Shana,
I used to be a big time daydreamer ,but life stepped and took a big bite out of my daydreams.
Thank goodness for Fantasy romance writers like you. I seem to remember reading your book THE LAST MERMAID. I read so many I can't keep them straight.
I love the idea of dragons and mystical beings. Dragon Heart is a favorite movie of mine. Also, Reign of Fire and lets not forget Sleeping Beauty my all time fav for Dragons.
I guess you are lucky that your book is in the Fantasy department of books. Best of both worlds fantasy and a bit of romance. A great combination. The snobs thinking they aren't reading romance get a touch of the good stuff. I will be looking for your new book Queen of Dragons next time I order from amazon.

Shana Abe' said...

Hi gigi,

Life taking bites out of your daydreams are exactly why daydreams are so important! I think dark times overtake everyone now and again, and it can be tough to remember how to hope and to fantasize in a happy way.

I also think that people who do tend to drift into their inner, private worlds of joyful daydreams have perhaps a more innately optimistic quality, which can help us rebound back to the positive side of life. But that’s just my opinion. :-)

Gigi said...

I guess it is that lately I don't find time for many daydreams unless it is through a book I am reading. Busy life. I am so grateful for the books that take me away to dreams for a bit.

I think it has something to do with midlife, aging parents and inlaws. My youngest daughter has been living with a Type 1 diabetes for 10 years as of this March and an older daughter in college. I just feel overwhelmed sometimes.

Shana Abe' said...

I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter! That’s really rough. No wonder you feel overwhelmed sometimes; I imagine that’s perfectly natural. Life can really seem like a long, uphill climb sometimes. I do wish you all the best, and I’m very glad you’re able to escape sometimes into books.

Cherie J said...

I love fantasy romance so I definitely must try this book. Will have to write it down to look for it on my next trip to the bookstore.