PLEASE NOTE: The contest portion of this event is now over. The winner will be chosen at a later date and notified via email.
My First Dragon
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think too much about dragons before I decided to write a book about them. Don’t get me wrong, I think dragons are cool. I love movies like Reign of Fire, and I’m one of the five people who saw D-War in the theater. But they’re almost so ubiquitous I didn’t think of them much. They’re the emblem of stereotypical fantasy, there’ve been hundreds of novels that feature them, from The Hobbit to the Dragonlance series to the Pern books to Eragon. I didn’t think much about dragons because lots of other people were doing it for me.
Then I started writing Voices of Dragons, and I started thinking about it. And I realized just how deeply ingrained in my subconscious and cultural awareness dragons really are. Dragons aren’t just everywhere in fantasy literature. They’re in the literary canon as well — in Beowulf, The Faerie Queene, the St. George story, and so on. If there’s an epic hero, chances are at some point he’s going to have to slay a dragon. (They’re even more ubiquitous than vampires and werewolves!) One of the things I wanted to do in Voices was imagine a world in which dragons had always really existed. This meant going back through literature and history and finding references to dragons, and quotes about dragons, and looking at them as if they were historical record instead of fictional or mythological stories. I wanted to put some quotes at the start of the book, to get my readers thinking about it as well. It turns out there are a lot of quotes about dragons. It seems that humanity, all over the world, has always loved telling stories about big, scaly, reptilian beasties.
Vampires and werewolves are clearly human doppelgangers, darker halves of ourselves, expressions of our subconscious desires and fears. But what is it about dragons? They’re so different. Reptilian, often flight-capable, often fire-breathing. They’re an expression of humanity’s deepest darkest fears, not about ourselves, but about the alien. But just as often, even in ancient stories, dragons are friends and allies of humanity. So what’s that all about? Maybe it’s not just conquering our fears, but being at peace with them?
I think my first dragon encounter was the movie Pete’s Dragon, which was the first movie I ever saw in the theater. Next was probably Disney’s film of The Reluctant Dragon, based on Kenneth Graham’s novel. In both of these, kids encounter friendly dragons. That might explain why my dragons talk, and at least one of them is friendly. Then came Smaug from The Hobbit — a very wicked dragon. But then came the Pern books — more uber-friendly dragons. Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown is one of my favorite books, and the dragon Maur, which main character Aerin has to slay, is one of the wickedest, evilest villains I’ve ever encountered. When I encounter a dragon, one of the first questions I’m always going to ask is, Is this dragon a good guy or a bad guy? Because it could be either.
Which makes them a lot like people after all, doesn’t it?
Now, I want to hear about all of your favorite dragons and dragon stories. Go!
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CONTEST: She is giving away a dragon-themed gift basket: It will include a signed copy of Voices of Dragons, a copy of a favorite dragon book, a DVD of a favorite dragon movie, some chocolate, and some other surprises! Open to readers worldwide!
To Enter PLEASE
1. LEAVE YOUR FIRST NAME AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME in your comment/post so we can give you the proper credit for your entries. Mandatory, if you don’t leave this, none of your entries will count.
2. Answer Carrie’s question above and ask her a question. Good for 10 entries. (Max 10)
3. Purchase copies of Carrie’s books
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The contest ends on 3/23/10 at 11:59 pm Central and the winners will be contacted via email. You will receive your prize directly from the authors. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FIRST AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME as well as a valid email where we can contact you. REMEMBER the more things you do, the more entries, the greater the chances of winning. PLEASE ALLOW THIRTY DAYS to receive your prize BEFORE EMAILING US.
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