Hi Lee, welcome to Book Chick City. What’s Dragons in Pieces about?
Along the same vein as the Heroes TV show, Dragons In Pieces is about a bunch of 18-22 year old Americans who suddenly develop superpowers. It follows one particular superhero, Bobby, as he races a mysterious group of anonymous men in suits to find all of them across the country. What will happen after they’re found is unknown, he just wants to keep them all from becoming experimental test subjects.
Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine in Dragons in Pieces
Dragons In Pieces has a large cast of characters, but follows Bobby Mitchell, a 19 year old guy from Atlanta. He’s not very well educated and doesn’t have great expectations for his life. In many ways, he’s an Everyman – just an average, regular guy. Because of what happens to him, he’s faced with questions about morality and humanity while he works on trying to understand the puzzle that is his new life when he becomes a superhero.
How did you research Dragons in Pieces?
I have been playing superhero (and other) genre RPGs for over 20 years, and have been reading comic books off and on, as well. My interest in this general premise was sparked by the Heroes TV show, which crystallized the notion simmering in the back of my head that superhero stories didn’t have to be about people in spandex saving the world and/or fighting other people in spandex.
Is Dragons in Pieces the first in a series or a stand alone novel?
This book is the first of a trilogy. There is also a collection of short stories intended to help introduce some of the other characters, which takes place between the first and second novel. The second novel has not yet been published.
When and where is your favourite time/place to write?
I prefer to write in the mornings, after I’ve had some time to wake up, but before the day has gotten old and stale. In reality, however, I write whenever the mood strikes me, which can happen anytime. The most important thing to me about the location I write in is how comfy the seat is, so I like to write on my couch or in my bed with a lap table.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I have always enjoyed writing, but didn’t actually believe I could write a novel until I was goaded by friends into doing NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2009. Even so, I have performance anxiety issues that kept me from rewriting that first novel, and subsequent ones until I got divorced and suddenly needed to make an effort at forging my own way. I chose to write a cheesy, trashy romance novel and share it with a friend as an effort to bolster my confidence, knowing it wasn’t supposed to be good. This tactic worked for me, as the friend liked the novel overall, and I found within myself the fortitude to take my next NaNo novel the full distance to publishing.
What was the last book you enjoyed and why?
I just finished Hounded by Kevin Hearne after being directed to it by a friend. I enjoy his style of writing and the dry humour laced throughout.
Which authors do you admire?
My favourite authors are Mercedes Lackey, Jim Butcher, and Dean Ing. Each of them has influenced me and my writing at a different stage of my life, and their books are ones I return to over and over when I want to just curl up with something that makes me want to never put the book down.
Describe yourself in five words.
Introvert, sarcastic, gamer, mom, nerd
Book 2 of this trilogy is in the review phase, Book 3 is a partial first draft. I am working on a different, open-ended series with a collaborator who is a friend – the first book is in the rewrite phase. I’ve also got partial first drafts of a soft science fiction novel, a pure fantasy mercenaries novel, and a first person account of a Valkyrie’s life, all of which are interesting to me, and I expect to finish at least one by the end of the year.
Lee French lives in Worcester, MA with two kids, two mice, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is known for her fondness for Angry Ninja Squirrels of Doom. In addition to spending much time there, she also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighbourhood wildlife.
Dragons in Pieces is available now and is self-published.