Sunday, 1 January 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Sue Perkins

STEPH: I don't know much about "Dragon Flame." What's it about?

SUE: Humans have lived on Nuer for eighteen peaceful years. Peace is shattered when dragons burn their settlements. A dragon telepathically contacts eighteen year old Talei and asks for her help to free his kind. The Pundra are holding the female and young dragons hostage, forcing the males to obey them. Talei, Adri and a small group of friends set out for the other continent to help the dragons.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

SUE: Good question but difficult to answer. I wrote the first draft several years ago then put it to one side. After several rewrites and a change of name, plus several disappointments, I submitted the manuscript to Desert Breeze Publishing and they offered me a contract. I felt my baby had found a home at last. I knew I was right when I got my final cover. I believe it is absolutely gorgeous.

STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for it?

SUE: I have been reading Ann McCaffrey's books for decades. I decided there were more ways of portraying dragons. I wanted to write a book where the dragons had their own lives and ways of living, not dependent on humans. Talei's name came from a friend of my daughter. Once I had the heroine's name and the basis of the dragon lives, the story developed into a dragon rescue.

STEPH: How did you develop the title "Dragon Flame" for the story.

SUE: The book originally had another title - "Dragon Savior". I'd had so many disappointments with it under that name when Desert Breeze accepted it I decided to change the title. I made a list of suitable titles and searched Amazon to see which ones were used a lot. "Dragon Flame" seemed to reflect the story in the book and not too many others shared the title.

STEPH: Talei is the heroine. What's her strengths? Weaknesses?

SUE: Her strengths are definitely not to give up when all seems hopeless. Left with a group of young children to care for, she shepherds them all to safety, then goes to help the dragons free themselves.

Weaknesses, she doesn't like to see any living creature hurt, She would have preferred to shoo the Pundra away and got very upset at the way the dragons treated them.

STEPH: What draws Adri to Talei?

SUE: Adri has lived in a town all his life. He wants a different future for himself. He is drawn to Talei first by her looks and personality, but also he sees her as a woman who thinks the same way he does. Plus she has a sense of adventure which he shares. In his heart he knows he and Talei could be happy together.

STEPH: Hollywood is calling. Cast the lead characters.

SUE: I think maybe Keira Knightley for Talei. I loved her in "Bend It Like Beckham" and in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" she's exactly the right personality for Talei.

For the male lead I would suggest Zac Efron. He fits the way I imagine Adri to look. I think he and Keira would work well as Talei and Adri.

STEPH: What do you want to resonate with readers once they finish the story?

SUE: Apart from hoping they enjoyed it? I hope readers will love the characters and find "Dragon Flame" to be a different way of looking at dragons (my favorite mythical creatures). I would love them to think of dragons as individuals with feelings and ways of life developed over centuries. Dragons may be mythical but they are wonderful no matter which school of dragon belief you follow. If readers like "Dragon Flame" there is a sequel being released by Desert Breeze on 1st August 2011. The title is "Dragon Clans"

STEPH: What was the last movie you saw?

SUE: The last movie I saw in the movie theater was "One Day" with Ann Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. I didn't find it that intriguing, it appeared very disjointed, difficult to follow. The ending was the best bit - totally unexpected (I won't say why as would spoil the film for anyone who intends to see it). The only thing I can say about the ending is everyone in the theater reacted.

STEPH: Fun Questions: Any New Years customs or traditions you'd like to share with us?

SUE: I make the usual resolutions such as - give up work and write full time, lose weight. I never seem to manage to keep to them though. The only one I did keep to was my 1995 resolution to give up smoking. I did and haven't smoked since. Feel much better for it too. Traditions, well as there's only my husband and I at home now and the rest of the family lives on the other side of the world, our tradition is really just relaxing and taking things easy.

Dragon Flame's Book Trailer:

You can find Sue at:

MuseItUp Publishing (M/G)- Spirit Stealer; Reva's Quest
Desert Breeze Publishing - Blitz; Dragon Flame


  1. Sue, I just finished reading Dragon Flame and I enjoyed it very much. There's a lot of action, adventure and I love your creative spin. I can totally see Keira Knightly as Talei.

    Thanks for being in the spotlight this week.
    Moderator Steph

  2. That is a knock-down gorgeous cover! All the book would have to do is live up to it, and it certainly sounds as though it does!

  3. Thank you all for your comments. Gwen did a wonderful job on the cover. Hope she does the sequel cover too.