You've seen the cover and you know you want to read it. Christine Rains' Dragonslayer is now available, and she was kind enough to stop by for a quick chat.
Hi Christine! Thanks for stopping by. I know people are excited about the 13th Floor series in general and about the Dragonslayer Where did you get inspiration for this story in particular?
I love taking traditional fantasy tales and putting a modern twist on them. I've seen a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal romance with modern day dragons, but most of the time, they're good guys. Weren't the dragons always the villains in old tales? I also wondered what happened to those brave knights that used to slay the dragons. That's how Xan was born!
One of the first things that jumped out at me was Xan’s name. Xanthus Ehrensvard. I love it! Is there a story or meaning behind its origins?
I wanted an unusual name for my dragonslayer. A grand name. Most people call him Xan and assume it's short for Alexander. Xanthus was a name used a lot in ancient Greece. The last King of Thebes was named Xanthus. It means “yellow-haired” which suits Xan, but it's also a strong sounding name. Ehrensvard is a Swedish surname. Broken down, it means “honor” and “care.” I often look up meanings of names as I'm choosing them for my characters. If I can, I try to make them fit their personalities. A handy way to procrastinate while telling yourself you're doing research!
I do the same thing, and I have to admit I was kind of hoping you might answer that way.
So, how does Xan get along with his fellow 13th floor mates?
Xan gets along well enough with most of the other tenants except Kiral the vampire. Marc the demon is the closest thing to a friend he has. Xan also feels a brotherly protectiveness over Harriet the banshee.
You use a unique twist on the classic dragon mantra by giving dragons the ability to morph into human form. What drew you to using that angle?
There are many myths about dragons being able to take on human form. I also needed a way for dragons to be able to survive in our modern world. No better way to do that than to hide in plain sight and become those celebrities everyone loves.
Did you study a lot of dragon/dragonslayer lore to prep for this story? If so, what were a few of your favorite discoveries and how did they influence your writing?
Not at all! I wanted to write something new and not be overly influenced by any particular myth or story.
What’s your favorite part of this story?
My favorite part is the interaction between Xan and Lois. The scenes where they're talking and Lois fires a million questions at him. He's brave, but even he's taken back by her ferocity. I love the way she shakes up his perfectly ordered world.
Okay, with a 'gorgeous' reporter named Lois in your story, I have to ask…are you a Superman fan?
Ha! That's so funny you ask that question. Lois makes a comment about her name in the first chapter. I'm not particularly a Superman fan, but I do love superheroes. Also, in the case of Lois, she's one of those characters that named herself. She wouldn't let me change it.
What’s your favorite dragon-related book other than your own?
Hm, this is a tough one. Katie MacAlister has some great dragon series in the paranormal romance genre. Yet I'm going to go with Jessica Day George's Dragon Slippers series. It's an incredible MG trilogy. I love the magic and the politics. Plus, I love that each dragon hordes different things like stained glass windows or shoes.
Thanks again, Christine! Best of luck on launching the rest of the series. And now, fellow readers, off to the bookstore links...
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has four novellas and eighteen short stories published.