Interviewing Katie MacAlister, a Seattle-area author of fiction and non-fiction, had been as interesting experience for us as exciting her works are for her readers. We had Katie on a conversation on her well-received Light Dragon Series and her ideas as a writer.
Her most popular titles are historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance, which frequently features strong and anglophilic heroines. She also writes young-adult books under the pseudonym Katie Maxwell and mysteries under the pseudonym Kate Marsh.
Everyone is eager to learn about the new installment, Sparks Fly, of your Light Dragon Series. Can you give us a hint as to what it’s about?
It’s the story of Ysolde de Bouchier and her Light Dragon mate Baltic, who is still at odds with just about everyone, starting with his former guard Thala and her outlaw posse, right down to his dragon god father. Ysolde herself fairs no better, since the First Dragon has her in his sights as well, demanding that she right past wrongs…and her time to do that is quickly running out.
Love in the Time of Dragons starts out with Tully Sullivan. She’s just like any other suburban mom—unless you count the days every year that she zones out and turns base metals in to gold. Those are weird.
And now she’s woken up in a strange place surrounded by strange people who keep insisting they’re dragons—and that she’s one too. But not just any dragon. She’s Ysolde de Bouchier, a famed figure from dragon history.
Tully can’t shape-shift or breathe fire, and she’s definitely not happy being sentenced to death for the misdeeds of a dragon mate she can’t remember. All Tully knows is that she wants her son back. So she’ll have to find a way to solve the crimes of a past she has no memory of living…
The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons picks up about two months after the first book. In it, Ysolde de Bouchier is a woman beset with trials. The dragon part of her buried deep for centuries is still making itself known, but in ways that just don’t make sense. She’s continuing to have visions, but now they involve events she wasn’t present to witness.
As if that isn’t enough, she’s caught up in a tangled web of plans that seem to grow more complex each day. Not only does she have to work out peace between her Light Dragon mate Baltic and the weyr, she also has to free his friend, convince an archimage to lift the spell controlling her magic, figure out what it is that the First Dragon expects her to do, rescue a half-dragon damsel in over her head, and once and for all clear Baltic’s name of murder charges that continue to plague him.
Is Sparks Fly a penultimate of The Unbearable Lightness of Dragon? How far the former complement the latter?
Yes, it is the last book in the Light Dragons series. Although Ysolde and Baltic will appear in subsequent dragon books, they will do so as secondary characters. I love Baltic too much to ever leave him out of a book.
Tell us something about the upcoming books of this series.
I’m not sure what book I’ll be writing next for the dragons. I suspect it will be Kostya’s story with the Black Dragons, but I haven’t made a final decision yet. There’s still Bastian to take care of, and the mysterious Jian of the Red Dragons, so…it just depends on what my muse wants me to do.
What made you to come up with this series? How did you get the idea for this?
I started You Slay Me with Drake Vireo and Aisling Grey because I wanted to write a series where the love story was NOT resolved in one book. I knew that I wanted an antihero as the main male protagonist, and somehow, the idea of a thief came to mind. From that it was a short hop to having the gold-loving thief be a dragon in human form.
Once I settled on the idea of dragons, I started exploring the politics of all the dragon sects, and how they worked (or fought) together. I was smitten from the start, and after ten dragon books, still love writing about them. They have such a complex world!
You are a New York Times bestselling author and have written books/novels on multiple genre. Which genre you love the most to write on?
Pretty much whatever book I’m writing now is what I love the most. Paranormals give me the ability to do some major world-building, which is great fun. But I do dearly love historical, and love the free and breezy tone of the contemporaries, so it’s really not an easy decision. Right now I’m writing a paranormal, so that’s my favorite genre at the moment. I’m sure it’ll change with the next book.
Who were and are your major influences as a writer?
I read a lot as a child, and I am positive that I would never have been a writer if I hadn’t been such a voracious reader. Since I’m a die-hard mystery reader, I’d say that all those years of reading Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers and Rex Stout instilled in me a love of fiction, and are responsible for me writing today.
Being a bestselling author, what would you like to say to the aspiring authors?
Don’t obsess about the minutiae, and focus on writing (and then polishing) the best story you can. I see so many new authors worrying about things like manuscript borders and font, etc. and not paying nearly as much attention to making sure the story is brilliant. It’s the story that should always be the primary focus!
Any message for your readers!!
I’d like to thank my readers for all their support, and for going along with me when I have a story to tell them. I love it when they take the time to let me know when a book has touched their lives, and I love it when they tell me about all the odd looks they get when they laugh out loud while reading in public. My readers are the very best readers, and I love them all. Especially the ones who send me dashy guy pictures.