Please welcome special guest Lorenda Christensen to the virtual offices this morning. Lorenda is here to chat about her new Carina Press release Never Deal with Dragons.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Lorenda Christensen] The editing cruelty begins early, eh? Let’s see…
Accountant by day, writer by night, lover of all things Pepsi and chocolate. And purple.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Never Deal With Dragons?
[Lorenda Christensen] I consider NDWD as a lighthearted urban(ish) fantasy filled with dragons. Sort of a Stephanie Plum meets Dragonriders of Pern with a dash of The West Wing. Confused yet? ?
Never Deal with dragons is a first person story featuring Myrna Banks, a lowly secretary who used to be on the fast track to management, until her ex-boyfriend stole some classified work papers and got her demoted. Now, her ex works for the most powerful dragon lord in the country, and he needs her help.
She takes the job, but only because it gives her a shot to redeem herself and get back on the corporate ladder.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Lorenda Christensen] I’m a sucker for any television show that shows the inner workings of places that normal people would likely label boring. I remember watching a show featuring a female mediator at a law firm, and I thought that it would be really fun to have a heroine in the same type of job, but in an unreal, over the top environment. Huge, scaly, perpetually hungry dragons fit the bill perfectly. ?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Myrna?
[Lorenda Christensen] spunky, ambitious, sarcastic
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Trian had a theme song, what would it be?
[Lorenda Christensen] Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone (the Eva Cassidy version is the best)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Myrna is never without.
[Lorenda Christensen] muck boots
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Trian’s bathroom?
[Lorenda Christensen] hair gel – Trian’s not one to care about his appearance. Myrna’s lucky if she can get him to run a comb through his hair. Luckily, good genes keep him looking attractively tousled instead of unkempt.
Fake mustaches – Trian might be a spy of sorts, but he’s got better tricks than this up his sleeve.
Plane tickets – Myrna finds it completely adorable, but Trian gets a little antsy when he’s forced to take cross country trips inside a piece of flying metal.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Myrna’s greatest regret? [Lorenda Christensen] Wearing her favorite white blouse to work. (Some of those stains will never come out.)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Lorenda Christensen] I adore Katie MacAlister, Darynda Jones, and Janet Evanovich. I love how they can be funny and move the plot along at the same time. I’ve done my best to do the same.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Lorenda Christensen] Childcare, a power outage, and a long-lasting laptop battery. ?
Seriously, I have so much trouble focusing. Facebook, Twiiter, email…ALL THE PRETTY THINGS. It’s just so hard to stare at that blinking cursor when the story isn’t flowing, and put words on the page anyway. I’m like the dog from Disney’s Up that keeps—squirrel! But I feel like I’m slowly getting the hang of this self-discipline thing. We’ll see how long it lasts.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Lorenda Christensen] I cannot get enough of Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series. Hunt the Moon was just fantastic, and I am about to gnaw my own fingers off waiting for the release of Tempt the Stars. It’s a wonder I can still type.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Lorenda Christensen] If we’re going way back, I fondly remember Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion series. But if you’re talking about the romance genre, I’d have to go with Jude Deveraux’s The Maiden. A friend of mine loaned me this on a school bus ride. It was my first exposure to the romance genre. What an introduction! It had all the classics—alpha male, a touch of fantasy, and insta-lust. Be still my middle school heart.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Lorenda Christensen] Like most writers, my first love was and always will be reading. Otherwise, I’m hanging out with my husband and kids. And I’ll admit I’m more than a little addicted to Aaron Sorkin or Joss Whedon productions, so there’s more than a little bit of television in there.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Lorenda Christensen] Because I’m still working a day job, Twitter is the place I feel most comfortable popping in and out of. My handle is @LorendaC
I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorlorendachristensen
And if you want to read a lot of boring information about me, my short stay in India, and a bit more about my writing, you can visit my website at http://lorendac.com
Thanks so much for the interview – it was a blast.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
Consoling a sobbing dragon and serving pig buffets are just part of the job for Myrna Banks. Working for a mediation firm, it’s her job to get humans compensated for damages caused by the dragons who now rule. But her “typical” day is interrupted by Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago, taking her heart and a handful of classified documents with him.
Myrna would love to show Trian the door, but he’s been sent by North America’s reigning dragon lord for help negotiating a truce with a powerful rival to avert war. Myrna agrees to help, even though she’ll be stuck with Trian as a partner.
As the two work together, Myrna finds Trian to be surprisingly supportive—and still irresistibly attractive. Though her brain tells her not to forget his betrayal, her body feels differently. When they learn the enemy dragon lord is planning something no one could have imagined, Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.