Message From The Author
"Dealing With Uncooperative Dragons"
I’m not sure how many of you have this problem in your lives, but I face it at regular intervals. I write about guys who are dragon shapeshifters – the Pyr – and they are one uncooperative lot. They’re temperamental. They’re opinionated. They don’t always work well with others.
But they’re really hot. (Pun intended)
And they have a lot of good stories to share.
After writing four Dragonfire books, I shouldn’t have been surprised to meet another uncooperative dragon shapeshifter hero. What was different about Niall was that he was sooooooooo stubborn.
I knew he had to be the hero of Whisper Kiss. I knew he was the perfect Pyr to volunteer to eliminate the shadow dragons – he’s the kind of guy who gets stuff done. Reliable. Trustworthy. Big on duty. I also knew that one of the shadow dragons was his twin brother and that his brother’s presence would give him an extra little challenge. Nobody else could take out Phelan but Niall – because I wanted to see him do it. If there’s anyone who can see the good in a person, even if there’s only a teeny bit of good, it’s that person’s twin brother. The other Pyr would have finished off Phelan without a moment’s hesitation, but I knew Niall would be determined to do the right thing.
To his credit, Niall was good with the whole volunteering mission – although he did point out to me that he was already very busy – and he even was steeling himself to face Phelan again after many years apart.
Niall was not good with the idea of his having a firestorm. He had to have one, though. He couldn’t be the hero of a Dragonfire novel without having his firestorm. These books are romances, and the firestorm is the mark of a Pyr finding his destined mate. Sparks literally fly when a Pyr meets the one human woman who can bear his son – then he just has to convince her, amidst the fireworks, to agree. Usually, they are also dodging hostile fire – so to speak – from Slayers, who think the easiest way to ensure there are no more Pyr born is to eliminate human mates.
Niall said no dice. He’d take care of the shadow dragons with his usual quiet efficiency, keep his business running smoothly and remain loyal to the Pyr. He’d even take on the job of mentoring Thorolf, but he was adamant that he would not have a firestorm, thank you very much. I argued, I begged, but he was decided.
What do you do with a stubborn dragon? I had already asked nicely and that hadn’t worked. Cajoling hadn’t worked, nor had shameless begging.
Next, I thought I’d tempt him. We all know that dragons have a weakness for princesses, virgins and damsels in distress, right? I went with it and tried to negotiate.
I offered Niall a princess as a destined mate. He gave me a look, then a short lecture on the hazards of high-maintenance women.
Okay. I offered him a damsel in distress. What’s not to love about the chance to look like a hero? Niall shared his opinions – in great detail – on heroines who are too dumb to live. I tend to agree with him there, so lost heart for that option.
I offered him a virgin, and took a step back, guessing his response wouldn’t be good. I got a glowering look and a puff of smoke that said it all, before he went back to work.
My plan was not going well. I knew what I had to do, and I had lots of great ideas for the story, but I needed a cooperative dragon in my office. I also knew I wasn’t going to change Niall’s mind anytime soon.
There was only one option left: I let Rox do my dirty work. I matched Niall to an outspoken, never-take-no-for-an-answer, fearless, tattoo artist with attitude to spare. Not only that, but Rox has a thing for dragons and has been waiting for one to come into her life, well, since forever. When they meet, she thinks Niall is her dream come true – his opinion is admittedly a little different at the outset, but I did mention that Rox doesn’t take no for an answer? She got his attention early in a big way and I had a lot of fun with their book. Rox marched right in and shook Niall’s world.
To be honest, I don’t think he ever had a chance.
- Deborah Cooke
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