Today’s awesome guest blogger is a dear friend–Deborah Cooke. I don’t see her nearly often enough, but whenever we do catch up, it’s always a treat and we never have enough time to talk about everything we’d like to. Her latest Dragon Diaries story releases this week and I’m excited to have her visiting to share it with you. Happy Monday!
Since I’m visiting Murder She Writes, I thought I’d talk about killing characters today.
There are always characters who deserve to die in my books. The most likely candidates are villains and I like to ensure that bad guys get what they deserve. In my Dragonfire series of paranormal romances, there are good dragon shape shifters – the Pyr – and bad dragon shape shifters – the Slayers – locked in a battle for control of the treasure that is the earth. The Pyr are almost all guy dragon shape shifters, and each will have one firestorm in their lives, which is the mark of the dragon in question meeting the human woman who can bear his son. Sparks literally fly between the destined couple – but destiny isn’t always that easy to fulfill. For one thing, Slayers kill humans, too, and particularly like to target pregnant mates. Generally, I find Slayers pretty unsympathetic and I like ensuring that they suffer before they die. They are a feisty bunch, though, given that some of them have drunk an Elixir which gives immortality – this means that I can really draw out their deaths.
Each Dragonfire novel focuses on the story of one firestorm – that is one Pyr hero meeting the woman who can turn him inside out and upside down. The next Dragonfire novel is FLASHFIRE, coming January 3, which stars a hero who doesn’t want to be a dragon shape shifter. Lorenzo is fed up with his shifter powers, never mind the idea that he should fight for the team. Lorenzo wants to be left alone. He has a plan to ditch his powers and the rest of the Pyr, severing that connection forever. He’s a stage illusionist and considers this to be his greatest disappearing act of all time. Of course, he’s not counting on his firestorm, much less the persuasive passion of Cassie Redmond, the most unforgettable woman he’s ever met. And Lorenzo certainly isn’t counting on the gathering of Slayers who come to meddle with his plan and target the woman who is capturing his heart. You can probably guess that Lorenzo discovers that being a dragon has its upside – and that he’s not the one to die.
(Excerpt at www.deborahcooke.com/flash.html)
But there are other characters who die in my books, and they don’t necessarily deserve it. Probably the most memorable one for me was the death of Sophie. Among the Pyr, there is one female dragon shape shifter at a time. She’s called the Wyvern and has special powers – she’s also kind of mysterious. We met Sophie at the beginning of the Dragonfire series, but in KISS OF FATE, Sophie fell in love. The problem was that she fell in love with a Pyr and that’s against the rules. I’ll let you read the book to find out what happened, but – spoiler alert! – near the end of that book, Sophie the Wyvern died. There was no Wyvern. And the child that was conceived in that book by Erik and Eileen turned out to be not only a dragon shape shifter’s child but a little girl. Zoë was born to be the new Wyvern.
(excerpt at www.deborahcooke.com/fate.html)
It wasn’t long afterward that I started thinking about Zoë and her special powers. You see, the boy dragon shape shifters come into their powers at puberty. I realized that would be the same for Zoë and could only imagine the special kind of trouble her life would be. I had always thought that it would be something to have a dragon shape shifter teenager in the house, but a girl would create so much more angst over it. Plus – unlike the guy dragon shifters who are her friends – Zoë would have no one to ask for advice about her special powers, let alone any tips or training on conquering them. My YA paranormal Dragon Diaries trilogy is the story of Zoë’s coming of age
In FLYING BLIND (now available), Zoë’s powers make their debut – perhaps predictably, the first appearance of her powers happens involuntarily when she defends her best friend from a bully. Of course, nothing is simple. Not only is her inner dragon out of control, but her Wyvern powers are elusive. She gets sent to dragon boot camp with her buddies, and she meets the hottest guy on the planet, who not only turns her inside out but apparently knows more about dragons than she does. Everything is complicated by a new threat to the Pyr – their old adversaries, the Mages, have new powers but only Zoë and the next generation of Pyr can see the truth and save the day.
Yup. Mages die in this book and it’s fun.
(Excerpt at www.thedragondiaries.com/flyingblind.html)
In WINGING IT (on sale December 6), Zoë has had time to catch her breath and think she’s got her dragon powers under control. It’s almost her sixteenth birthday and all she wants is a dragon tattoo, the right to tell her friend Meagan the truth about her nature, and the chance to see that rebel rocker Jared again. Instead, she gets an invitation to the popular kids’ Halloween party which she knows is really a trap set by the Mages who want to eliminate all shifters. (Excerpt at
You can probably guess that instead of the shifters being eliminated, it’s most Mages who bite the dust in this book. I really love the big finish in this book!
So, what do you think about authors killing characters? Do you think only the bad guys should die? Or are you interested in seeing what happens after a character sacrifices him or herself for the greater good, like Sophie did?
Deborah Cooke has been writing romance and exploring the genre for almost twenty years. She sold her first book, a medieval romance called THE ROMANCE OF THE ROSE, in 1992, and since then has sold almost fifty romance novels as well as a number of novellas and shorts. She writes as Claire Delacroix and as Deborah Cooke and has also written as Claire Cross. You can read more about her books on her websites:
She blogs most weekdays at Alive & Knitting at www.delacroix.net/blog and can be found in two places on Facebook: