Friday, June 15, 2012

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Interview with Deborah Cooke, author of Blazing the Trail

Welcome back to the blog, Deborah Cooke! I asked Deborah for an interview and she not only said yes, she invited me to be a part of the blog tour for Blazing the Trail. An awesome lady, don't you think? Read the interview below then enter the giveaway. This blog is the last on the tour stop so if you haven't had a chance to follow along now is the time to catch up on all those posts, also linked below.

Tell us a little about yourself and the book(s) you've written...

I sold my first book in 1992 - it was a medieval romance called THE ROMANCE OF THE ROSE. Since then, I’ve sold over fifty books and novellas in a wide variety of genres and sub-genres: BLAZING THE TRAIL, which comes out this month, is my 46th novel in print.

Why do you write? What got you going?

I write because I love stories. I hear characters talking in my head, and I want to share their stories - by writing them down, I find out what their stories are. I also enjoy words and manipulating language. Those things got me started as a writer - I began to submit my work to publishers because I thought it would be easy to become a successful published author. This is the part that makes me laugh the hardest twenty years later, because it isn’t easy at all. Being a working writer is, however, challenging and interesting, and at this point, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Would you like to see your book turned into a movie? Who would play the main characters?

I would love to see any one of my books made into a movie. I would be fascinated in the process and the final product. I’m no good at choosing actors for fictional casting, but would love to be able to hang out on the set and watch.

How much control did you have have over the cover design of your book? Do you like it? If you didn't design it yourself, how do you think it would have turned out if you did?

I love all of my covers, both for The Dragon Diaries and the Dragonfire novels. My editor and I always discuss ideas before she talks to the Art Department. I don’t have direct control, but it’s interesting to see how those ideas develop into images. The covers aren’t usually what I would have anticipated, but they seem to be just right. It’s a magical process.

Do you outline your stories before you begin writing? How do you determine where to start?

The publishing business is geared toward proposals and outlines and synopses written in advance of the book, so most working authors have to learn to write these beasts. Essentially, authors present their idea and if the publisher buys it, then the book is written. First books from any given author as well as some other ideas - maybe more unusual ones - are written in full before they are sold. Some of those books never sell at all. This is the point where creativity meets commerce.

As much as writers tend to dislike writing synopses, they are very useful tools in structuring stories. The story begins at the beginning, and the synopsis can help to identify this point. Who is the protagonist? What is the event that puts that character on the path of the story? That’s the beginning, but it can be tough to pinpoint when the story is still taking shape.

How many finished stories did you write before seeing your first book published? Do you think you'll ever go back to them and try again?

I had three complete manuscripts in work - and in constant revision - when I sold one of them. The other two never did sell and I put them aside. It’s funny that you ask this, because recently I’ve been haunted by one of those books. It was the first idea for a book that I ever had, and I didn’t have the skill to tell that story well then - also there was no market for a paranormal romantic suspense in 1990 - but I’ve been thinking of going back to it. I’ll have to write it from scratch, of course, but the idea still intrigues me. That can’t be a bad thing twenty years later!

If you weren't writing what do you think you'd be doing?

I’d be knitting. No doubt.

Is there a Y.A. novel you wish YOU wrote?

I go back to Melissa Marr’s WICKED LOVELY at regular intervals. I really like that book.

If you could live in any time period (other than the current one) which one would you choose?

Twelfth century France. Not only would there be knights and kings and exotic luxuries from the east, but there’d also be the 12th century literary renaissance, troubadours singing their epic poems, and maybe a dragon or two in the vicinity.

Would you prefer to be a dragon rider, a dragon slayer, or the dragon itself?

Dragon. Naturally. :-)
Actually, I’d most like to be a dragon shape shifter.

If you could have a pet that was a mythical creature, which creature would you choose?

I wouldn’t mind having a small dragon, of the size that could perch on my shoulder. (Like a cockatiel.) The tattoo artist Anne Stokes has drawn some nice portable dragons. He could light candles for me - on command - or fly off to fetch something I’d forgotten upstairs. Of course, he’d keep guard over the house, too. 

Image copyright Anne Stokes

What advice would you give your teen readers about life?

Don’t be so sure that everyone around you knows more than you do. I wanted to be a writer when I was a teenager, but everyone told me that it was a dumb way to make a living and that I should get a “real” job instead. The reality is that no real job gave me any satisfaction, so I ended up becoming a writer anyway. It is a dumb way to make a living, but I love it. So, follow your heart in the first place, even if everyone else is sure that you’re wrong.

Thank you for sharing with us today, Deborah! Here's some more information about Deborah and her books:

Flying Blind - Book 1

Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal – well, as normal as a girl with an obsession with drawing dragons can be. The thing is that she’s always been told she’s special and destined for great things. It’s not just because of her good grades, either. Zoë’s the Wyvern, the one female dragon shapeshifter with special powers. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL. Worse, there’s no reference book to consult and the last Wyvern is dead…

Everything changes when Zoë’s best friend is bullied and Zoë reacts. Before she can blink twice, her inner dragon is loose, she’s suspended from school and headed to a boot camp for thePyr guys she’s known all her life. But soon she’s doubting her powers—and even some of her friendships.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday - the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line—unless Zoë and her friends can solve the riddle, work together and save their own kind…

Winging It - Book 2

Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It’s bad enough that she’s the target of the Mages’ plan to eliminate all shifters—she also has to hide her true nature from her best friend Megan, a human. For her sixteenth birthday, all Zoë wants is one normal day, including a tattoo and a chance to see hot rocker Jared.

Instead, the Pyr throw her a birthday party but ban Megan from attendance, putting Zoë in a tight spot. Things get even worse when Zoe is invited to the popular kids’ Halloween party and Megan’s left out. Zoë knows the party is a trap laid by the host, an apprentice Mage. When Megan gets a last-minute invite, Zoë must save the day—and her best friend—without revealing her fire-breathing secrets…

Blazing The Trail - Book 3

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and Zoë Sorensson’s love life is heating up. Cute, loyal, and understanding, wolf shifter Derek is pretty much the perfect guy. He likes Zoë, and he knows what it’s like to have to keep a secret. Yet, Zoë can’t help but wish it was rebel rocker Jared asking her to the Valentine’s dance instead. But Jared’s too busy playing hot and cold with her heart, calling Zoë his dragon girl one minute and then taking special interest in her best friend the next.

Zoë is just about ready to breathe fire, especially once she uncovers a new threat that targets her friends. Although Zoë thought the Mages were defeated, they’re back and have invoked an old spell to give them new power – they plan to eliminate all shape shifters on the night of the big dance. Now, Zoë must lead an alliance of young shifters to battle the Mages and figure out exactly what – and who – she wants, before it all goes up in smoke…

About Deborah: 

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.

Find her on her official website, blog, Facebook, and Goodreads


I have one copy of Blazing the Trail to giveaway to one US winner.

Open to US only.
Must be 13 or older to participate.
Extra entries can be earned.
Ends June 22 at 12:01 AM EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read more from Deborah on the Blazing the Trail Blog Tour:

May 28 - Lori's Book Blog  (Series Spotlight & Giveaway)

May 30 - United By Books (Guest Post & Giveaway)

June 1 - Pimpin' Reads YA (Series Spotlight & Giveaway)

June 2 - Book Monster Reviews (Series Spotlight & Giveaway)

June 3 - Delicate Simplicity (Series Spotlight & Giveaway)

June 5 - Paranormal Haven (Q&A Interview & Giveaway)

June 6 - I Smell Sheep (Series Spotlight & Giveaway)

June 7 - All Things Books (Series Spotlight & Giveaway)

June 8 - Page Flipperz (Interview & Giveaway)

June 9 - Writerspace (Guest Post & Giveaway)

June 11 - Paranormal Cravings (Guest Post & Giveaway)

June 14 - Books N Kisses - (Series Spotlight & Giveaway)

June 15 - One A Day YA - (Interview & Giveaway)


  1. oh I'd love a small dragon too that would sit on my shoulder! pet dragons! sigh...if only!

    Great interview!


  2. Great interview! I love the dragon diaries series so far. Can't wait to read this book. I think it would be cool to live in the Twelfth century France. It would be awesome to have knights around! =P Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. forgot to leave my email. =)

  3. I love your books and have read you under all three of your names! I first encountered you in an anthology... and could not wait to go and get more.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Great advise for teens, and so glad there are authors out there who remember this is when the love of books starts.

  5. I've always loved dragons and I think it's wonderful that the dragons get to be the good guys in your stories.

  6. Great interview! Deborah, I absolutely loved your answer to what advice you'd give teens. The covers are beautiful and the concept of your books sounds very interesting.

  7. I haven't started this series yet I've read several of the Dragonfire series so I know this one will be fabulous too!