Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Never Deal with Dragons by Lorenda Christensen‏

Lorenda Christensen juggles multiple roles, including that of wife, mother, accountant and award-winning author. She attributes this ability to assume different identities to her irreverent sense of humor, her willingness to abandon any semblance of tidy housekeeping and large doses of chocolate.

In 2012, Lorenda’s debut novel, Never Deal with Dragons, was selected as the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Paranormal Romance winner, which allowed her to present an acceptance speech hailing the genius of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. (Because everybody knows the Fresh Prince is awesome.)

Shortly after winning the prestigious Golden Heart ®award, Lorenda signed a three-book deal with Carina Press. The Dragons Trilogy debuted on July 22, 2013, with the release of Never Deal with Dragons. She is currently at work on the next two books in the series.

A native of Eastern Oklahoma, Lorenda lives with her husband and two sons in a house that feels far too small during the stay-inside winter months. Lorenda loves chocolate, hates snakes and, despite living two years in Bangalore next-door to a native preparer of Indian cuisine, cannot cook anything but ground beef. She is a recovering nail biter and is currently celebrating five years bite-free.

Consoling a sobbing dragon and serving pig buffets are just part of the job for Myrna Banks. Working for a mediation firm, it's her job to get humans compensated for damages caused by the dragons who now rule. But her "typical" day is interrupted by Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago, taking her heart and a handful of classified documents with him. 

Myrna would love to show Trian the door, but he's been sent by North America's reigning dragon lord for help negotiating a truce with a powerful rival to avert war. Myrna agrees to help, even though she'll be stuck with Trian as a partner.

As the two work together, Myrna finds Trian to be surprisingly supportive—and still irresistibly attractive. Though her brain tells her not to forget his betrayal, her body feels differently. When they learn the enemy dragon lord is planning something no one could have imagined, Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.

Readers and reviewers say this dragon story is dangerously hot. 

Winner of the Romance Writers of America® 
Golden Heart Award ~ Paranormal Romance Category in 2012.

Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
Around the time I started this book, I’d been reading a lot of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, as well as the Death and Taxes series by Diane Kelly, and realized that I really didn’t see as many humorous paranormals out there.

I liked the quirky nature of these novels, and felt like it would be a good fit for the paranormal world. Because really, sometimes the paranormal elements in romance novels, if you stop and think about it, feel a little far-fetched. (It doesn’t make me love them any less!) But what better place than the paranormal genre to write a book that celebrated the silliness?

I’ve always been a big fan of shows like the West Wing and Fairly Legal that show the ins and outs of relationships in business or politics. So I combined the two! My heroine works as a mediator, but in an office that caters only to cases involving dragon and human interaction.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
It felt like forever! Since this was my first novel before the reality of publishing deadlines set in, I believe I finished the book two years after I started it. Obviously, that included whole months of not working on it at all. Carol’s story, the next in the series, took me far less time.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
Control. (insert an evil grin and a twirl of the mustache here)

For my day job, I work as an accountant. Basically, I collect numbers from activities other people are actually doing. I’ve been the accounting world for almost ten years now, and while I’m no longer entry level, I’m definitely not in a position to dictate the direction my company leans on any given decision.

But in books? Books that I write? I am in control. If I can dream it up, it can happen. Sure, it all has to make sense, but the sky is the limit, and it’s really nice to feel that powerful sometimes. Geeze, I can’t even make my new puppy sit most of the time. But in my books, the dragons do what I want them to do. (For the most part.)

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
The writing.

And by that, I mean the actual writing. Not making up a story and putting it on paper, but the act of sitting in a chair for hours doing the same thing I did all day at the day job. Some evenings, this can be a killer. I’ve tried using text to speech software to dictate my story while I’m out and about, but I’m pretty self conscious about talking out loud. And while there aren’t many curse words in my book, some of the subject matter isn’t something I want my kids, five and seven years old, listening in on.

So in the chair I stay.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why? 
To be honest, I don’t wish fame on anyone. My family and I lived two years in Bangalore, India, and with our pale skin, we stood out like a bundle of flashlights. People would regularly see us in the street and ask to have their pictures taken of us. At first, it was fun and a little flattering. But then, when we couldn’t go anywhere without being stared at, it quickly became uncomfortable, and I found myself avoiding public places.

That being said, if it were just for a day, I’d probably choose to be the POTUS. #1, I’d be the first female president, which is kinda cool, but #2 I’d find out whether there really were aliens in Roswell. J

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
Usually I’d cringe at this question, because I am the WORST at cleaning out my fridge, but we just moved back home and I can comfortably say it’s probably the bottle of mustard, and it’s not yet a month old yet. Ask me again in a year or so.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future? 
Like I mentioned above, I’m currently completing edits on book two of the DRACIM series, Myrna’s friend Carol’s story. After that, I’ll jump right into the third book, which I’ve only just now started plotting. So I can’t give you any hints, because I have no idea what’s going to happen.

More generally, you’ll probably still find me on Facebook (Author Lorenda Christensen), Twitter (@Lorendac), or stuck in front of a computer at the day job.

Thanks very much for the chat, and I hope to catch some of you online!

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