Sunday, January 18, 2009

The 4th Most Amazing YA Book of 2008 is...

The 4th Most Amazing YA Book of 2008 is
DragonLight (Dragon Keeper Chronicles Series)

by Donita Paul

Some of you have probably heard of the Dragon Keeper Chronicles Series by Donita Paul. It is an amazing series that currently has 5 books in it -
DragonSpell DragonQuest DragonKnight DragonFire DragonLight We enter the world of Amara with Knights, Wizards, Dragons and of course clear lines drawn between good and evil. Donita has created many kinds of creatures and other amazing characters that take us through many adventures. One of my favorite parts is definitely the dragons themselves. There are different kinds with different gifts usually based on what color they are. They each have different personalities and are quite captivating really. This is a world that will pull you in and have you begging for more. I was a little behind the times with this series - I came in on book #5 (DragonLight) but was able to get the first one and read it before reading DragonLight. I loved them both and have since gotten the middle three and can't wait to go back to Amara and follow those journeys! This is a series written for YA but designed for anyone that likes fantasy and using their imaginations... Now let's meet Donita...

1) Where did you come up with the idea for such an amazing fantasy world?

The only fantasy I had read as an adult was Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, and I hadn't read all of them. So my concept of fantasy didn't have the trappings of lots of other writing. I knew I didn't want to stick to fairies and elves, so I branched out. Other than that, I cannot explain the workings of my far-out mind.

2) There are so many details that go into creating a world like that - different characters, different places, and in your case, different dragons and what they each specialize in. Do you have like the ultimate reference guide to the Dragon World in a 3 ring binder on your desk just to keep it all straight?

Oh, I wish I did. I would love to be an organized person, but I am not. I use "search" a lot in the old manuscripts. But I also remember many details because I visualize the scenes as I write.

3) The spiritual allegories are wonderful and make reading these books even inspirational. What kind of research did you do for these books or was it all off the top of your head (and heart)?

I have been a Christian a long time and I taught Sunday School. When you distill Spiritual truths to get to the nugget in order to present God's Word to a young mind, you get in the habit of using allegory to aid their understanding. Jesus taught in parables and telling a good story is a great way to engage a reader's heart. I'm not good at research and I try not to have a moral to tell, a lesson to teach, or a point to make when I write. Under the influence of a weighty theme, my writing becomes preachy. So I just tackle what's happening in the tale with my strong Christian beliefs sitting on my shoulder, influencing me, but not dictating sermons.

4) DragonLight is the final book in this series, isn't it? Where do you go from here... will we ever hear from these characters again?

The Vanishing Sculptor comes out in June of 2009. This story takes place on the same world, but on a different continent and at a different time. There is a surprise visit from some characters our readers already know.

5) Did you ever imagine when you started this series that so many young people and adults would be captivated by your dragons?

Definitely not. I wrote it as an experiment and it was so much fun, I'm delighted I get to keep going because of the reader's response.

6) What can we look forward to seeing from you next?

Besides The Vanishing Sculptor, there will soon be two picture books. My daughter and I wrote two stories from the tales she tells her boys when she puts them to bed. The first is Roger and Padraig, a tale of a timid dragon and an adventurous turtle. The second is about these two friends as they go on safari. Also, I've written a contemporary Christmas fantasy novella that hasn't landed with the right publisher yet.

7) Where can readers find you online?

Donita has agreed to give away a copy of one of her Dragon Chronicle books to one lucky reader so you know the rules...

1) Leave a comment telling me what fascinates you about dragons (or fantasy) with your email address and you get 1 entry

2) Blog about this giveaway yourself and leave another comment here and get 2 entries

3) Tell someone else about this interview with Donita and when they leave a comment with your name in it you will receive 3 entries

4) Become a blog follower (on the left of my blog you can do that) and receive 1 extra entry


Deborah said...

i've liked dragons since The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Eustace's adventure of being one. It always made me wonder who that first dragon was in that story and the story behind it. anywho i love donita's book and i need just one more to have the complete series!

hippmom said...

I recently purchased DragonQuest thinking it was the first in the first in the series.... I'd love to get another book in the series. I guess readign fantasy/dragons is just a fun way to escape!

Anonymous said...

I love fantasy books, but I never heard of these books. They sound REALLY good!

The thing I like about fantasy books are that when you read them you can be in a different world(you could do that with any other book but its fun to imagine dragons,pixies, and other creatures including wizards). I usaully read fantasy books then Non-Fiction (I hope I did the fiction thing right). You sometimes read about king and queens, I like that even if there kingdom is getting terrized by Ice dragons or trolls.

Please enter me:)


I already follow you on Google Reader.

Alyce said...

I love fantasy and dragon books, so I would love to read one of these. The whole fun of reading fantasy books is to escape into an imaginary world.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alyce said...

I already follow your blog.

Anonymous said...

I love fantasy, but i have yet to read any of Donita's books,
please enter me

windycindy said...

Dragons have fascinated me because I have often wondered if they really ever existed?! Can anyone truly answer this question. Dragons leave a lot to the imagination. Of course, the maiden was always saved from the dragon by the knight! Thanks, Cindi

darbyscloset said...

I like the big dragons with the little tiny how do those little wings support those big bodies? I'm sure they fly just like turkeys fly...I didn't use to think turkeys could fly until I saw one, it kindof looked like a pig flying!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book.

Katie from Dance

Stacie said...

I like fantasy novels because they take me to a world different from what I know and let my imagination run wild.

Stacie said...

I follow your blog.

Abi said...

Dragons and medieval things are fun to just let your mind go wild with. Love fantasy.

Carol said...

I started liking dragons when I started reading Katie MacAlister's Silver Dragon series.
I know my grandsons would love these books. They always enjoy books about dragons.
Carol M
mittens0831 AT

Carol said...

I'm a follower.
Carol M
mittens0831 AT

Anonymous said...

Dragons fascinate me because of their strength and fire :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!


Anonymous said...

I blogged about the giveaway :

Lora Lease said...

I've loved fantasy novels since I first read The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings as a child. I love the mystery of dragons, and especially wondering if the historical mentions of them, might really be true. Dragons and dinosaurs... could very well have truly existed.

Anonymous said...

I became fascinated with dragons since I was young. Dragons are magical creatures and reading books about them transport you the world where magical things can happen.


Anonymous said...

Im a follower.


Gin said...

I like the dragons in fanciful stories that end up being friendly.

Lindsey said...

I've loved (LOVED) dragons since I read Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsong trilogy. I never did get into the Pern series but I love the story! Then there was Dragon's Milk by Susan Fletcher - AWESOME. Ever since then I've loved dragons in literature! Thanks for the opportunity to win this!

ladyufshalott at

Lindsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I blog about this contest at my LJ here:


Christine said...

I am always looking for books that my 19 year old daughter will read, and this is right up her alley. She loves anything that has to do with dragons/fantasy. And to be written by a christian author is an added bonus!

Thanks for a chance to win this book for her (and me after she's done with it!!LOL!)

Chris Gant at

DesLily said...

I've read fantasy for years and the Pern series and dragonlance series are only two of many books with dragons I've read. I'd love to win a copy of one of Donita's books.

Alyce said...

I posted about it here:

Anonymous said...

I don't really know what I like about dragons but I really love the movie "Pete's Dragon" (I think that's what it's called).
sarahnwoodill at hotmail dot com

Janna said...

And the winner is...