Please welcome Deborah Cooke to The Qwillery. Flashfire, the 7th novel in Deborah's Dragonfire series, was published earlier this week on January 3, 2012.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Deborah:  I don't actually think that I have many writing quirks. I listen to music when I write, and I keep it turned up really loud, but I think a lot of writers do that. I also have a soundtrack for each book - a group of CD's that I play when working on the book. This helps a lot when I'm working on multiple projects - I change the music to the other soundtrack and my brain moves into the world of the other story. It's weird but it works.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Deborah:  Intuitively, I'm a pantser, but publishing is more geared to plotters. It's pretty standard to write a synopsis in advance of writing any book, and to get editorial feedback before beginning to write. Over the years, I've learned to write a synopsis, and even to find it a useful tool - although I have no issues with forgetting all about it when I'm actually writing the book! Fortunately, I've worked with editors who don't mind this either, as long as my straying from the synopsis produces a better story. (It usually does for me. My brain just works better that way.)

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Deborah:  It's becoming increasingly difficult to balance the promotional demands of a writing career with the time necessary to write. It's my inclination to spend more time writing than promoting, but there are more and more expectations that writers will actively promote their work. While it's fun to meet readers and chat with people online, I'm finding that I need to put firm limits on the time spent promoting to ensure that the writing gets done. Writing requires some dreaming time, in my experience, so having a full Daytimer can get in the way of that. I'm planning to spend less time on promotion in 2012 because I want to write more stories.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Dragonfire series?

Deborah:  I really have always been fascinated with dragons (just like my bio says). About fifteen years ago, I was writing medieval romances as Claire Delacroix and incorporating fantasy elements in those stories. This seemed natural to me, because medieval people told a lot of romantic stories with paranormal and fantasy elements. They also were interested in shape shifters. I thought it would be a lot of fun to write about heroes who were shape shifters. I wrote two - THE MAGICIAN'S QUEST featured a hero who could become a panther, and ENCHANTED featured a hero cursed to be a wolf half of the time - then wanted to write about hero who became a dragon. What better magical beast for a hero's alter ego? He'd be strong, clever, have a gorgeous mailed coat, be able to breathe fire, and would have gathered an impressive hoard. Everyone thought this was a really odd idea - it didn't help that paranormal elements were very hard to sell in historical romances at that time - but it stuck with me. When the contemporary paranormal romance market became so strong, I went back to that idea. I was more interested in dragon shape shifter heroes than vampires!

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create your dragon shifters and their mythology?

Deborah:  I read a lot of mythology and stories about dragons. There is a tremendous amount of material, which is really interesting in itself - we humans have been telling stories about dragons for a long long time. I try to incorporate stories about dragons from specific cultures into the family background and experiences of each of my dragon shifting heroes. It kind of grounds them in a specific area of the world, as well as enriching their backstories.

TQ:  Describe Flashfire (Dragonfire 7) in 140 characters or less.

Deborah:  Lorenzo is an illusionist with a plan to ditch his dragon shifter powers forever - but one woman's passion changes his plan.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Flashfire?

Deborah:  One of my favourite scenes in FLASHFIRE is when Cassie and Lorenzo meet, at his stage show. What I like about Lorenzo is that he doesn't want to be a dragon shifter. He's kind of cranky about it all - unlike all of my other dragon shifter guys, who have been good with the dragon bit but not so good with the love, baby or partner parts of the firestorm. Lorenzo's realization that he's having his firestorm, that it's inconvenient, and his plan to deal with it were a lot of fun - and what's even more fun is that Cassie simply doesn't fulfill his (very boring) expectations of her. She's not that easy to dismiss or forget, which throws Lorenzo's game. I had a lot of fun with Lorenzo and Cassie.

TQ:  In Flashfire, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Deborah:  I write a hero-focussed romance, so it's always the heroines who I have to think more about. I know ALL about the guy! And usually I'm halfway in love with him before I even start to write his story. The heroines tend to evolve for me over the course of writing the book, which means I have to go back and make changes in the first part once I know their characters better. Cassie was no different. I like her a lot, but I didn't have a clear view of her character or her history when I started to write the book.

TQ:  Who is/are your favorite character or characters from the Dragonfire series?

Deborah:  I have a soft spot for each and every one of my dragon heroes. I like that they're different from each other, and I admire different things about each one. I love how flash Lorenzo is, and how much attitude he has. I like that Marco is so serene - although I will have to find a woman to shake him up. I love Rafferty's conviction that love can fix everything (who could resist a dragon shifter hero who is also a romantic?) and I admire Erik's determination to do the right thing. I like Quinn's strength and his protectiveness. I like Donovan's verve, and Delaney's integrity. Drake has that kind of integrity, too, although he also is about service to the community, even at his own expense. I like that Niall is a bit stuffy, and that Rox rattles his cage so much. I adore Thorolf because he is all about following impulse and he never thinks anything through. And Sloane, Sloane has this quiet commitment that people underestimate.

So, yup, it's the guys who are my faves. :-)

TQ:  What's next?

Deborah:  I have three dragon books coming out in 2012. First up is Lorenzo's book this month, FLASHFIRE, with its very very yummy cover ( Then in June will be the publication of the third book in my Dragon Diaries paranormal YA trilogy - - this trilogy features Zoë's coming of age as the new Wyvern and the only female dragon shifter in the Dragonfire world. Book #3 is called BLAZING THE TRAIL. Then in October, Dragonfire #8 will be published - that one is called EMBER'S KISS and is set in Hawai`i. I can't wait to see the cover for that one! Also this year, I'm going to launch a new medieval romance series by Claire Delacroix (, linked to my two trilogies, The Rogues of Ravensmuir and The Jewels of Kinfairlie. I've been missing the middle ages plus Murdoch has been hanging around my office for years, wanting me to tell his story. THE RENEGADE'S HEART is book #1 of The True Love Brides and will be available in the spring.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Deborah:  Thanks so much for inviting me! Happy new year, everyone!

The Dragonfire Series

Dragonfire 7
Signet Eclipse (January 3, 2012)

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
Master illusionist Lorenzo's dragon nature is his biggest secret. It's also another detail to juggle, like ensuring each of his Las Vegas magic shows is a true spectacle. That is until he feels the burn of his firestorm and his whole world shifts.

Lorenzo wants to satisfy the firestorm and put it behind him. But photographer Cassie Redmond is hard to forget. And when Slayers target the mate he didn't believe he wanted, Lorenzo realizes he'll do anything to keep Cassie safe...

Darkfire Kiss
Dragonfire 6
Signet Eclipse (May 3, 2011)

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
Rafferty Powell has resolved to destroy his hated arch-nemesis, Magnus Montmorency. The pair have exchanged challenge coins, and their next battle will be their last. But Rafferty never expected to meet a woman whose desire for Magnus's end matches his own-and whose soul sparks the firestorm within him...

Whisper Kiss
Dragonfire 5
Signet Eclipse (August 3, 2010)

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
The national bestselling Dragonfire series continues to heat up...

For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth's treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr and the dreaded Slayers is about to begin...

Niall Talbot has volunteered to hunt down and destroy all the remaining shadow dragons before they can wreak more havoc. But fate has placed him in the hands of Rox, an unconventional tattoo artist who doesn't even flinch when a shape-shifting dragon warrior suddenly appears on her doorstep. And as a woman who follows her heart in matters of passion, she makes the perfect mate for a firestorm with Niall...

Harmonia's Kiss
Dragonfire Novella
eSpecial from Signet Eclipse (July 13. 2010)

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
Enchanted for thousands of years, the shape-shifters known as the Dragon's Teeth Warriors have awakened to find the world a vastly different place. Their leader, concerned for their morale, dares to take them on a mission to confront the fullness of everything they've lost. Little does Drake realize that this dangerous mission will give him a renewed purpose. And if they succeed these Pyr will have to question everything they thought they knew about the past—and confront a quest for the future.

Winter Kiss
Dragonfire 4
Signet Eclipse (November 3, 2009)

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth’s treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr and the dreaded slayers is about to begin…

The mysterious Dragon’s Blood Elixir gives immortality to Magnus, the Pyr’s greatest enemy, and his minions—so it must be destroyed. Outcast from the Pyr because of his own dangerous impulses, Delaney will do anything to vanquish Magnus—and vows to complete a mission which will either redeem him or end his suffering.

But his plans don’t take into account his sudden firestorm—or the hot-tempered Ginger Sinclair. The firestorm reforms Delaney closer to his old self. And when Ginger learns about Delaney’s scheme, she cannot resist a strong man with a noble agenda.

Kiss of Fate
Dragonfire 3
Signet Eclipse (February 3, 2009)

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth’s treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr, who count humans among the earth’s treasures, and the Slayers, who would eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them, is about to begin.

Haunted by dreams of a lover who takes the form of a dragon, Eileen Grosvenor searches for the truth. She never expects to find a real dragon shape shifter, let alone one who awakens her passion and ignites memories of a forgotten past.

Erik Sorensson is focused on leading the Pyr against the Slayers when a powerful ancient relic reveals itself. Erik tries to retrieve it from Eileen’s possession—and is shocked by a fury of passion. Her presence touches him in unexpected ways, reminding him of mistakes he’s determined not to make again, and Erik is forced to make a choice—duty or love.

Kiss of Fury
Dragonfire 2
Signet Eclipse (August 5, 2008)

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
Alexandra Madison has discovered an invention that could change the world. When her partner is murdered and their lab destroyed, Alex knows she has to rebuild her prototype in time...

Donovan Shea knows the Madison project is of dire importance to the ongoing Pyr/Slayer war. So when he sees Alex being followed by a Slayer, he reacts and defends her, never imagining that she’s his destined mate...

As Slayers close in on their prey, Donovan knows he’ll surrender his life to protect Alex—and lose his heart to possess her...

Kiss of Fire
Dragonfire 1
Signet Eclipse (February 5, 2008)

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth's treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr, who count humans among the earth's treasures, and the Slayers, who would eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them, is about to begin...

When Sara Keegan decides to settle down and run her quirky aunt's New Age bookstore, she's not looking for adventure. She doesn't believe in fate or the magic of the tarot-but when she's saved from a vicious attack by a man who has the ability to turn into a fire-breathing dragon, she questions whether she's losing her mind-or about to lose her heart...

Quinn Tyrrell has long been distrustful of his fellow Pyr and a self-reliant loner. So when he feels the firestorm that signals his destined mate, he's determined to protect and possess Sara, regardless of the cost to himself. Then Sara's true destiny is revealed-and Quinn realizes he must risk everything- even Sara's love-to fulfill their entwined fates...

Deborah also writes The Dragon Diaries series, a YA dragon shifter series: Flying Blind (NAL, June 7, 2011), Winging It (NAL , December 6, 2011), and the upcoming Blazing the Trail (NAL, June 5, 2012).

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012

About Deborah

Interview with Deborah Cooke and Giveaway - January 7, 2012
Deborah Cooke has always been fascinated with dragons, although she has never understood why they have to be the bad guys. She has an honours degree in history, with a focus on medieval studies. She is an avid reader of medieval vernacular literature, fairy tales and fantasy novels, and has written over forty romance novels and novellas. She has also been published under the names Claire Cross and Claire Delacroix.

Deborah makes her home in Canada with her husband. When she isn't writing, she can be found knitting, sewing or hunting for vintage patterns.

In October and November 2009, Deborah was the writer in residence for the Toronto Public Library, the first time that the library has hosted a residency focussed on the romance genre. The blog that Deborah created for the residency can be found HERE.

For a list of writers' workshops that Deborah teaches, visit the Workshops Page. A complete list of Deborah's awards and nominations can be found HERE.

Deborah posts a monthly update to her listserve for fans, which is Chestwick at Yahoo Groups.
You must have a Yahoo account to subscribe.

Deborah posts regularly to her blog, Alive & Knitting - you can contact her by posting a comment to the blog.

Visit Deborah's FaceBook Fan Page HERE.

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Flashfire (Dragonfire 7) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What are some of your favorite stories with dragons or dragon shifters?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, January 14, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*