Author Interview and Giveaway ~ Melissa A Petreshock

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As the 9th stop in the Name That Dragon Blog Hunt, this post contains a clue. It is your job, as the reader, to identify the dragon described. Please remember your answer to this puzzle, as well as any past and future ones within this tour. You will need to know ALL the answers to enter for the chance to win the Grand Prize of a sterling silver Celtic triquetra on a 16in chain and a pre-order code.

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Today’s guest is Melissa A Petreshock, author of Fire of Stars and Dragons.

  • Melissa A. Petreshock_ photographer Candy Ailstock_ smaller fileWelcome, Melissa. What gave you the idea for this book and how did you choose the title?

The concept of the Dracopraesi dragon mythology started the whole idea. Everything else is a matter of figuring out what other supernatural beings would exist in the world with them, how they would all interact, and how they would affect humans if they were “out”, known to the public. I liked the idea of a romantic plot but something complicated and deeply rooted in the fantasy element of the book.

The title was originally HONOR OF PENDRAGON when I queried the manuscript, but I wasn’t “in love” with the title. When my publisher offered the contract with the stipulation of a title change, I started thinking of other ideas. Considering I was signing with a romance imprint, I emailed her with the suggestion FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS, which is a piece of a quote from the book. She fell in love with it immediately, and so it was set.

  • Can you give us an insight into your main character and what drives her?

Cait is very driven by the need to survive in a world not very friendly to women and even less friendly to human women. She’s a woman of means thanks to inheriting her uncle’s fortune in his passing, but that does little to help her due to the sovereign laws in this world. She must marry and has two choices- choose between King Corrin (vampire), Dante (demigod), and Theo (dragon), who each have their own reasons behind offering, or face an arranged marriage. Cait may not like having limited options, but she’d rather have three choices than none at all if marriage is going to be forced upon her. Control and independence are things she craves but can’t ever seem to find without running into barriers. Sometimes those barriers are her own strengths and weaknesses working against her.

  • How disciplined are you in your writing and how do you work – to an outline or wherever the ideas take you?

I’m really not very disciplined at all. My household is in constant chaos, and so am I, but it works for me somehow. I work off a basic outline, knowing the overall arcing structure and major plot points then allow a lot of freedom for my characters to lead the way. They’re very strong and determined to do things their way, so it’s hard to fight them. 😉

  • Is there a message in your novel you want your readers to grasp?

There are a lot of messages throughout the trilogy if people want to read into them deep enough. Mostly, I hope everyone walks away from reading it with a sense of empowerment. No matter what life puts in front of you, you always control your decisions whether they’re in your actions or your attitude, even if you can’t change the outcome. Life may be out of your control, but your decisions aren’t. Oracle and Lord Regent of the Dracopraesi.

  • What was the greatest challenge when writing your novel?

Accepting the fact that no matter how much I loved it, and how much my beta team loved it, there was still the chance I wouldn’t be able to find a publisher willing to take a chance on it. It doesn’t fit exactly into any stereotypical moulds, so there were times it was hard to believe anyone in publishing would accept it without changing it to conform to what they found “acceptable” for the market. That can be very discouraging.

  • Who is your favourite character and why?

I won’t name any of the main characters since I don’t want to show favoritism, so I’ll tell you my favorite secondary character. Claaron Graywyne. He’s one of the Dracopraesi dragons. Claaron is a well-dressed badass, irreverent, snarky, and comes off as a bit of a cad at times, but his loyalty is unfathomable, and his friendship is true. When I finished writing up the character profile, I realized I basically created a dragon version of one of my best friends, so I anagrammed his name to create Claaron Graywyne.

  • What question have you always wanted to be asked?

Why shapeshifting dragons? My answer: because with all the myths and lore surrounding dragons, I could create a great mythology and history for my Dracopraesi and leave you wondering about the possibilities. That’s what I love about a really great fantasy. I want to be left wondering if it could be real.

  • Would you like to say anything specific to your readers?

The Stars & Souls Trilogy is comprised of three books: FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS, BLOOD OF STARS AND GODS, and ETERNITY OF STARS AND CROWNS. Don’t count your happily-ever-afters until you close the third book. (And the book titles have multiple meanings behind them from my POV as the author, so don’t make too many assumptions.)

Many thanks to Melissa for an insightful interview.

Fire of Stars and Dragons 1600x2400Synopsis from Goodreads

Following the death of her vampire uncle, twenty-one-year-old CAITRIONA HAYDEN finds herself in the midst of a trio of quintessential alpha male suitors in 22nd century sovereign America where human females should be seen and not heard.

Theo Pendragon claims her as his ward, ordained to guard her through to a long-awaited destiny unbeknownst to Cait, but finds more than he expected when passion ignites within the dragon for the first time. 

Always drawn to the pursuit of knowledge rather than the heat of desire, powerful demigod Dante cannot deny everything his future holds in Caitriona. America’s monarch, ancient vampire Corrin, has no interest in the frivolity of love, yet marrying Cait could be the answer to his continued survival.
Soon, Cait goes from studying for college exams to choosing a husband in seven days, knowing the consequences are eternal, the love undying, and the bond timeless.