So, today, I am part of the blog tour by Kendra E. Ardnek’s newest book Lady Dragon, Tela Du! Not only did I get to interview Kendra, I also have a snippet from the book and a free gift for you all!
Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?
Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you’ve lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent – the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber’s face.
The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she’s not sure if he’s more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she’d much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family – including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can’t possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?
Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.
Official Website: kendraeardnek.weebly.com
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Welcome to Writing in the Light, Kendra! I know this is a common question, but could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a writer?
Hi! Thanks for having me. I’m a 21-year-old ENFP author with an imagination too wild for my own good. And I happen to blame my current release for my decision to become a writer. While I had dabbled around with several stories before that point, I was never really serious until some friends and I decided to make a “better” Narnia movie. As the oldest among us and the most adamant about the plot, I took up the task of writing the play. The thing became my baby as I wrote it over and over, each draft getting further and further away from the Narnia plot until at length I realized that it would be better off as a book. By this point, the written word had completely consumed me and there was no turning back.
What are your future writing plans?
I plan to participate in NaNo this year, writing ROCKS, a superhero boarding school dystopia, and I’m working on a companion novel to the Rizkaland Legends called “Worth of a King.” Beyond that, I intend to focus on Fairy Tale releases next year, most notably “Poison Kiss,” a retelling of Sleeping Beauty where the jilted fairy decided to change things up and declared that true love’s kiss would bring the curse of death rather than the spinning wheel. I’m currently in the middle of the first draft of the third Rizkaland Legend, which I hope to release sometime in 2018. Beyond that, I have very few definites.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Plotting and editing. Plotting because I don’t have to write anything down – just explore the limits of possibilities and get to know the characters. Editing because the book is already written and I only have to make it better.
Moving on to your newest book, Lady Dragon, Tela Du, can you tell us where you got the name ‘Tela Du’?
I decided I needed a name for Amber’s look-alike enemy, played around with syllables for a few minutes, and that’s what came of it. There is possibly a German influence, because I tried to learn German for a while … but it was indirect.
Did any characters in LDTD surprise you with the direction they took?
Well, in the very first draft, Ashna surprised me by existing. The girl just ran out of nowhere and was suddenly incredibly vital to the plot and I hadn’t even planned her.
Uh, in this draft though? Reuben actually surprised me by how eager he was to go to Rizkaland. I hadn’t really done much development for his character up to this point, so I had no idea that he was the kid who sat in the closet hoping to find Narnia – or that he still retained such delusions.
Also, I learned a few new things about the scope of Laura’s powers. For instance, I learned that she has what she calls her “Voice” which is the ability to say a single word at a certain frequency so that it shakes the fabric of reality and subtly influences people to do as she bids. It’s not something she does very often, as she runs the risk of damaging reality, but she can do it.
Quite a few writers put colors to their books. I think it’s safe to say that red and purple are dominate colors in LDTD, but are there any other colors you visualize as being mixed in?
Yeah, it’s safe to say that red and purple are pretty important. I tend to think in colors, not necessarily pictures, so colors do end up pretty important in my writing. The main color that I visualize when I think of LDTD is gold, though, hence why it’s on the cover.
A friend recently started a tag where one described their book as a room. What type of room would you describe LDTD as?
And another friend tagged me with that. I need to get around to doing it. Anywho.
LDTD is a grand, very austere room with golden walls, floor, and ceiling, and not somewhere you go to relax. There is no furniture beyond a collection of shelves, on which sit various magical trinkets. Weapons are scattered over the floor. In the very center stand the statues of two girls, one purple, one red.
Moving to writing in general, how have you, as a Christian, incorporated Christian themes into your own stories?
I incorporate them as they come up and make an issue of themselves. I deal a lot with themes of forgiveness, love, and sacrifice, though a running theme of choices, consequences, and God’s sovereign plan cropped in LDTD that I hadn’t planned.
Finally, do you have any tips for writers who are thinking of publishing on their own?
- Learn to take criticism – and seek critique partners who will give you honest, thorough feedback.
- Build your readerbase now. Whether you go independent or traditional, having an existing audience when you publish is vital.
Check out this snippet I got a hold of:
“Reuben, we are not going to follow a random stranger to his house!” Petra protested, realizing that Reuben was about to do just that.
“Petra, it’ll be fine,” said Reuben, confirming Petra’s fear. “We need answers about what we’re supposed to do here in this world, and we might as well receive them at a house rather than standing here in nature. Besides, in books…”
“You do realize how often in books, the first person the hero meets is an agent for the enemy? Seriously, Reuben, show some discretion. We don’t even know this guy’s name, and you’re already agreeing to visit his house.”
It was true that the guy had read a few too many fantasy novels growing up, and had never quite given up his hope of traveling to another world someday, but this was ridiculous even for him.
“My name is Noraeto if that makes you feel any better, ma’am,” the guy spoke up. “I suppose you don’t have any reason to trust me. You’ll have to take me at my word, but I think you ought to know that you look just like our queen, and if she finds out about you, she is going to want to kill you. I don’t think you want word of your presence here to get back to her.”
“Okay, cool. Guess that means I’ll go back home. I didn’t really want to come here in the first place.” She turned and started to walk away, but was forced to stop short when Reuben grabbed her braid. She gave a huff and turned back around. “Reuben, I’ve warned you about that.”
“Sorry, it’s convenient, and gets your attention.” Reuben gave a half-shrug and turned back to Noraeto. “Why would your queen want to kill Petra just because she looks like her? Does it have anything to do with a prophecy?”
“You and your prophecies,” muttered Petra, rolling her eyes skyward.
And no, I didn’t forget; the free gift. Because…Water Princess, Fire Prince is currently free! But the promotion expires tonight, so grab it today!