Today we have an author / character interview with Gwen Dandridge, author of The Stone Lions. (Islamic Spain plus an evil wazir? A girl who uses math to break a curse? Yeah, I definitely need to pick that one up!). Gwen is also part of the Awesome Indies, which is how I got to know her. Her newest work is The Dragons’ Chosen, which releases January 1st.
The dragons came from beyond the Crystal Mountains, demanding a virgin sacrifice…and Princess Genevieve learns she’s it when she’s handed a golden token–the mark of the chosen.
Genevieve accepts her fate. She must, in order to save her kingdom. But the journey to her final destiny is complicated by the arrival of Chris, a 1970s Berkeley co-ed.
To Chris, the whole scenario reeks of deception. Where she comes from, corsets are for burning and virgins are hard to find. She’s sure the dragons are out for more than innocent blood, but the only way to find out what they really want is to accompany Genevieve on her journey. Not what she had planned for her sophomore year of college.
Genevieve is duty-bound–unless Chris is right. Then her sacrifice would mean nothing. Other than woe to those who duped her…
On to the interview: Here’s a quick glimpse into the lives of Gwen and Chris! Hope you enjoy!
To start us off, Gwen, can you sum up your novel in a tweet? (140 characters or less)
A Berkeley teen holds the key to a medieval princess’s survival.
So, how did you two meet and how long ago was it?
We met about twenty years ago while I was living in Berkeley. I think the atmosphere there helped to solidify her into a real character, someone who I understand how she thinks. While she is a secondary character, she controls a lot of line space in my book. 🙂
What was your first impression of each other?
I knew that she was someone who was involved in the feminist movement in Berkeley during the early 1970. And I knew she had quite the collection of slogan based tee-shirts in her wardrobe.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened between you two?
I dumped her into a lake fully clothed.
Gwen, what do you feel the worst about doing to Chris?
Creating a love interest who didn’t share her political leanings. Chris is always sure she is right and doesn’t take guff from anyone. The comforting thing for her is that sometimes she is right, but not always.
Chris, if you could say just one thing to Gwen, what would it be?
Did you have to make him not only sexist, but royal?
If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you each do?
Chris would be organizing a protest and then partying with her friends.
Gwen, what are you working on at the moment? And does Chris figure in it?
I’m working on a book named “Hybrid.” It’s my first non-fantasy book, so no, Chris isn’t in it. It tells the story of a half Kurdish, half American teen and her coyote dog hybrid. It deals with the subject of identity and belonging. It also touches heavily on issues of revenge and forgiveness.
Gwen, what have you read in the last few months that you really enjoyed?
There are so many great new books out recently. A few of my favorites are: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, The Martian by Andy Weir, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. As you see, I have fairly broad tastes in books.
Thanks so much for the interview, Gwen!
Not so long ago, my life centered around Morris and Sword dancing, I started writing around the time I ended my fifty bell habit. During the last fifteen years I have belonged to SCBWI and have been active within the group. My golden retriever and my husband keep me hiking and roaming the hills.