What inspired the unusual (but awesome) idea of Firelight's characters being descendent from dragons?
I knew I wanted to write a paranormal YA for awhile before I came up with the "draki-descendant from dragon" premise. It might sound silly, but I really did wait for the idea to come to me. I wanted to write a young adult novel with a strong romance (of course!), but the paranormal element was elusive. I wanted the paranormal aspect to be unique and fresh - both for the current market and me, too. I needed to be excited about it. I had lots of ideas flit through my mind that I quickly dismissed, but when I landed on dragons I knew I hit something that wasn't being done in YA, and I got very excited. When I started thinking about how dragons might have evolved I knew I had the making of a great new paranormal world.
Did you do a lot of research into dragon myths and legends, and how they could have become drakis, or did you always have a set idea of how you wanted them to evolve?
My draki aren't your ordinary dragons mostly because I didn't want a protagonist that turns into some giant dinosaur-like creature. Not so sexy, huh? I created the draki from my knowledge of common dragon lore. I didn't really research the lore of dragons. I think that common dragon lore is something embedded into our cultural knowledge. We think of flying, fire-breathing, jewel-hoarding, etc. I just expanded from this.
Creating the draki, it made sense to have them evolve into something smaller in scale. It made them more manageable and appealing. And in a weird way it makes sense that in order to have survived all these years, dragons would have had to evolve.
If you were Jacinda and had to choose, would you go for Will or Cassian?
Tough choice! Both have their appeal, but for the most part both represent two different worlds Jacinda has to choose from. Cassian equates to the draki world, ie, her pride. And Will represents the human world. Both are hotties and genuinely care for Jacinda, so it's a tough choice.
Coming from an adult romance writing background, was it easy for you to transition to YA and find your voice?
Aside of writing in first person, it wasn't a marked transition for me. One of the first things I learned was not to try to sound teen. Jacinda is Jacinda. I didn't dumb her down because I thought I needed to. That's insulting to teen readers and just doesn't come across as authentic. I also don't stuff slang into her mouth because I think that's how teens are supposed to sound. I write Jacinda like I would write any other heroine. She just happens to be sixteen.
I also made the romance significant to Firelight. The fact that it's YA didn't stop me from putting in a few steamy scenes. Writing romance is very familiar to me. It's what I know. So in that regard, writing Firelight wasn't so different for me.
Regardless of genre, any book I write is going to be about the relationships between the characters... the growth of the lead characters, and how they react to stimuli.
Can you give any hints as to what we can expect from book 2?
Hmmm. Well. The book opens with a big twist! A good portion of the book is set in the pride, Jacinda's draki home. You'll see more of Cassian and other draki characters you didn't get to see too much of in book one. There is a lot more action . and steam - I'll let you wonder if I'm talking about Jacinda's fire-breathing ways or steamy scenes with a certain boy! Maybe it's both!
- Sophie's site: Sophie Jordan.net
- Sophie's Twitter: @SoVerySophie
- US publisher's site: HarperTeen
- My review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan