I am thrilled to welcome the wonderful and talented Deborah O’Neill Cordes to my blog today. I have devoured every one of Deborah’s books including the time travel books she writes with Cary Morgan Frates, pen-name Morgan O’Neill. But nothing has excited me as much as her new Sci-Fi novel, DRAGON DAWN. And I am not even a sci-fi aficionado! Read on to discover more about Deborah, her specials deal for Dragon Dawn and her two book giveaway. A feast today for discerning readers.
Deborah O’Neill Cordes is a screenwriter and novelist of historical and speculative fiction. She is the author of the sci-fi time travel novel, Dragon Dawn, Book One of the Dinosaurian Time Travel Series. She is also the co-author of the Morgan O’Neill time travel novels, which she writes with Cary Morgan Frates. Three of Deborah’s works have been optioned by Hollywood, while many others are award winners, garnering finalist placements in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Literary Contest, semi-finalist wins in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, and the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Finalist award in the Seattle International Film Festival’s Perfect Pitch Forum. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two West Highland White Terriers, who, alas, are precocious terriers and therefore never white.
Now I just have a few questions to ask you so we can delve further!
1. Whether or not you loved or hated it, is there a book that has grabbed you by the throat and changed the way you write?
It was the wonderful Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I was intrigued by the scenes where her modern-day heroine, Kivrin, goes back to the Middle Ages and is astounded when she does not understand the medieval tongue she’s been studying in preparation for time travel. I vowed then and there to have my time travelling characters confront such conflicts as the inability to understand an ancient or strange language, which necessitates having to learn it in order to survive. It allows me to choose more exotic settings for my works, such as a parallel universe where dinosaurian beings have evolved to create a civilization, or an exotic historical era, like thirteenth century China, ancient Rome, and medieval Italy. I enjoy pushing the limits so I’m not stuck in the typical Scotland/England time travel novel mode, because of the aforementioned language issues.
2. You have written in a number of different genres and co-authored some wonderful historical time travel series. Can you tell us about your background and the motivation to write as you have?
The possibility of time travel has always fascinated me. When I was growing up, I devoured novels like H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, along with other non-time travel sci-fi classics like Dune and the Foundation series. I’ve also loved time travel movies, including The Time Machine (1960), directed by George Pal and based on Wells’s novel, Nicholas Meyer’s Time After Time, every Star Trek time travel film or episode ever made, and the Back to the Future series, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Speculation about the feasibility of time travel opened my mind to some great “what if” scenarios, thus I followed that path on my road to publication. I also adore a great “happily ever after,” and so I always write stories with a romantic bent, as I am a firm believer that love truly does make the world go ’round. As for my background, I’ve had a diverse education, with a bachelor’s degree in zoology (with minors in history and chemistry/physics) and a master’s degree in history, both from Northern Arizona University. My penchant for those subjects has served me well as an author; I would have been hard pressed to complete Dragon Dawn without keen interests in both zoology and history, as the plot relies on knowledge about them and many related fields, like paleontology and genetics. (JL: The research and information in this book is amazing and fascinating!)
3. Have you ever written a book you didn’t like? Why didn’t you like it? (Don’t have to name it ).
No. I don’t think I’m much different from other authors in that I tend to think of my novels and screenplays as my “babies.”
4. You are very prolific with social media posts (compared to me, anyway ) how do you structure your day for family, writing and promoting. I have a feeling you never sleep!
Ha! It’s more like I never have time to write nowadays! I’m about to go deep into writing mode, Joanna. You probably won’t hear from me for several years. **wink**
5. I have held back from asking you about your newest release DRAGON DAWN, but can’t contain myself anymore. This is your debut into Indie publishing and a vastly different venture from your other books. Can you talk about how it took shape in your mind and how you achieved the incredible amount of research necessary to produce this amazing story?
Thank you, Joanna. Your praise means a lot to me, because I greatly admire your writing. To answer your question… I’ve been pondering the plot for Dragon Dawn for over thirty years, ever since the father and son scientific team, Luis and Walter Alvarez, discovered the K/T Event, when a massive comet or asteroid wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs and eighty percent of other life forms on Earth (the latest scientific evidence pinpoints this date at 66 million years ago, give or take 11,000 years). I’ve always wondered what would have happened had the K/T not occurred. The mammals (including our ancestral species) would have continued to eke out an existence in the shadows of the dominant dinosaurs. And what if a dinosaurian species had evolved to sentience and created a civilization to rival our own? (JL: People, you have to read this book!)
6. I hear you are not only working on the sequel to Dragon Dawn but other time travel series as well. Tell us about your next works.
I’ve started the sequel to Dragon Dawn, titled Dawn of Time, which will continue the story of my dinosaurian heroine, Dawann-dracon, and her human counterpart, Dawn. I have the beginning and ending finished (I tend to work scattershot by writing out of sequence), and I can assure my readers that it is an emotionally satisfying conclusion for both the dinosaurian universe and the human one as depicted in Dragon Dawn (with some wonderful romantic elements thrown in to boot!) As for the Morgan O’Neill time travel novels (which I write with Cary Morgan Frates), we have been contracted for a three book deal with Entangled Publishing for our new Elizabethan time travel series. And my award-winning time travel screenplay, Conjurer, continues to make the rounds in Hollywood. Fingers crossed that Keanu Reeves will find out about it, because he would be perfect as Conjurer’s hero. (JL: Just remember your friends when you have Keanu to dinner, Deb.)
As hinted at earlier, Deborah has a Kindle Countdown Deal for US buyers from February 14-20 for Dragon Dawn @ 99c, before going back to full price. Deborah has also generously offered an e-book copy of DRAGON DAWN to one commenter together with LOVE, ETERNALLY: Book One of the Roman Time Travel Series by Morgan O’Neill.
Dragon Dawn book blurb:
Time snakes between alternate universes. Ever watchful, an alien intelligence survives on Mars, waiting to be found by spacefarers from Earth. The alien’s ultimate goal is to send human astronauts back in time, where they will alter the past and thwart the extinction of the dinosaurs. A race of intelligent dinosaurs, resembling the alien’s extinct species, subsequently evolves to rule the world. But a human female astronaut, through a strange twist of fate, survives the change in the space-time continuum. After finding herself in a dinosaurian body, she must race against time – and the formidable alien – to restore the universe to its rightful course.
Thank you so much, Joanna, for hosting me on your blog. I appreciate your kind words and support!
Amazon Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Dawn-Dinosaurian-Travel-Series-ebook/dp/B00HUI4WZE