Publication date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Nicole Conway
Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?
Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.
While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.
Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.
Scavenger Hunt Stop #17
“You’ll have to tell me what they look like,” I told her. I wasn’t able to keep myself from sounding sad about it. When she starting working with her father full time, I wasn’t sure where that would leave me. I’d be on the brink of adulthood with no idea where I should go, or what I should do. I wouldn’t have a skill to sell, or even a place to live.
What made you decide that you wanted to write in the Middle Grade genre?
To be honest, I didn’t initially intend for Fledgling to be Middle Grade. Jaevid was originally a much darker character, and the world they lived in was far more gritty and cruel. But after three or four failed attempts to start the book, I just wasn’t getting the “warm and fuzzy” feeling from it that I usually get when I know I’ve hit a stride with a story. Something was missing. So I took some time to think on it, and finally I decided to completely change the approach altogether. After all, the whole point of the story was to show the change of the narrator from an innocent boy into a war-hardened soldier. I took away all the overly explicit elements that I really didn’t need, and made it into a story that readers who were the same age as the narrator (or younger) could appreciate and enjoy. It was like a breath of fresh air when I started writing it again. I knew this was the right genre immediately.
What other genres do you like to write in?
I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, and I love to write a good love story now and again. Modern fantasy is also becoming a new favorite genre of mine, but keeping within the perimeters of Young Adult and Middle Grade. I’m still a child at heart, so I don’t think I could ever write something strictly for adults.
While writing the series have you ever found it difficult to write in the perspective a young boy?
Well, the short answer is no. The longer answer (without opening up a whole can of worms) is that I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy. I’ve never liked “girly” things all that much, and most of my friends growing up and in high school were boys. So seeing things from a more masculine perspective isn’t very challenging for me—especially when my husband is looming over my shoulder reading every word I write. He’s usually very quick to correct me if I ever get too girly!
What do you like the most about Dragons and writing about them? What inspired you to write about Dragon Riders?
I love the personalities of my dragons the most. Their attitudes are definitely a lot like felines, and in my opinion, cats can be pretty hilarious. They’re opinionated, sassy, and each one is very unique. Giving them a sense of personality is a fun challenge because they can’t speak verbally, so I’m forced to get creative when relaying their emotions to readers.
Dragons have always been a topic of interest for me. The notion of handsome, powerful knights riding on them is just fascinating to me. But the inspiration for this book came from my husband. I’ve been with him through every step of his training as a pilot in the Air Force, and watching him go through the hardships of training, and rise above every obstacle, was so inspiring. He and the other men in his class bonded together as brothers in arms, and it’s a connection that most people can’t understand because they’ve never been a part of it. It was impossible for me not to want to write a story about that relationship. I just had to try translating their experiences into a book, and marrying the world of military training to the concept of dragonriders just fit perfectly.
How do you outline? (paper, post-its, google docs)
I have a journal. Well, actually I have multiple journals, but one in particular that I use when drafting new stories. It’s packed full of scribbles, drawings, character descriptions, outlines, and maps. I’m sure if anyone else saw it, they’d think I was on a quest for the Holy Grail, but this is usually how I outline. I take it with me pretty much everywhere, since you never know where inspiration will strike next.
Describe your book in 5 words.
“Best dragonrider book ever written.” Okay, I guess I’m a little biased. ;)
What are you currently working on?
I’ve always got more irons in the fire than I know what to do with. Currently, I’m juggling three big projects at once. I just finished Fledgling’s sequel, Avian, so now I’m in the editing process with that one. I’ve also just started the last and final book in that series, titled Traitor. At the same time, I’m working on the first book to a completely different series. It’s a YA modern fantasy about fairies called The Fibbing Gate. Whew! Makes me tired just thinking about it.
What kind of books do you normally read (ie. fantasy, romance, ya, adult) and what are you currently reading?
I usually read MG and YA fantasy books, like Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, and Harry Potter. I’m basically just a big kid, so those kinds of stories always appeal to me more than others. I love their whimsy and humor.
Currently, I’m not able to read anything . . . which makes me sad, but it’s a necessary evil. I can’t read anything while I’m working on a novel, or I run the risk of one bleeding over into the other. But the last book I finished was the Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan!
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.