Jacqueline Woods Interviews Fellow Aspiring Novelist, Lesley Debacco
Many people these days write fantasy novels, what makes yours stand out? What do you think will draw people in to your novel?
I think people will like to read about a unique band of people getting together. This cast of characters, in the Dragon Claw series, also has more female roles than many other fantasy novels. Many fantasy novels don’t seem to have a lot of female roles, or if they do they are small roles. The Bechdel test is extremely important to me which has this simple criteria (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man.
When you think about a lot of movies or books there are many that fail this simple test.
Please tell our readers about your novel, All the Colors Under the Dragon Claw?
I like to describe it as “The Wizard of Oz” meets “Lord of the Rings.”
To be more specific Uriah is a mage that values wisdom, great knowledge, and has goals about learning under the mysterious Blood Stone Mages who are great with their understanding of all things magic. He sets out to try to find them so he can make his dreams come true, but on the way he meets a diverse group of people who aid him in his quest. Including Tessa: a squire trying desperately to find her missing mentor, Leona the Lionheart: a courageous warrior with a heart of gold. Cora: a witty elf that loves her trees and her teapots. And Alice: a mystifying assassin who seeks his freedom. This journey will put the entire group to the test, but they have friendship, loyalty magic, and dragon claw necklaces on their side.
How can readers relate to the characters or plot in your novel?
These characters start out as strangers and develop a bond of friendship. Some get off on the wrong foot, but they learn to trust each other with simple things as well as with their lives. Each character has their own personality, just like most people don’t have friends who are all exactly the same. These characters are all working towards a goal, a dream, or an answer. They also have different values and ways to complete that goal, but they go through it together.
So, I know that there are dragon claw necklaces in your novel. What role do they play in the plot, and what is their significance in relation to your characters?
The dragon claw necklaces are the power source in the story. When needed, these necklaces give the characters extra strength in different ways, depending on the necklace’s color. The necklaces were made by this old woman known as Rassie: the witch of the Red Tower. The necklaces seem mysterious at first, but in future stories the reader will see just how important they were, and still are.
Here is a quick overview on what color helps what class of people:
Red sphere: warriors, Amber: mages, Blue: knights, Green: rangers, Black: assassins, Purple: royalty, Pink: healers, Sky Blue: diplomat royal advisor/ ambassador /politicians, Clear: spirit shepherds
What are you working on currently?
I have finished the first story, “All the Colors Under the Dragon Claw” and am currently working on the second story in the Dragon Claw series called, “Uniting the Colors.” In this second story the group gets together once again to complete a quest given to them by the witch of the Red Tower. Completing this quest is important to protect the world they live in from a future threat that is rapidly gaining strength.
How do you see yourself in the future, as an author?
I hope to see improvement because I feel like everyone can make progress in their writing. No one can be the “perfect” writer, so challenging yourself makes you better so your writing can advance. I also hope to see myself with some books published.
Please tell us about your favorite hobbies and pastimes?
I enjoy going to Renaissance Faires, conventions for “nerds” like ConnectiCon, hiking, and letterboxing. Of course writing is in there too.
How do you want to shape the fantasy market with your novel?
I want to bring a bunch of diverse characters to the market that break away from the norm and stereotypes. I want to challenge the market by having characters that break the mold. With these characters themselves, I want to shape the market.
What do you like to read, and who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite books are “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire, “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters, “The Hunger Games series” by Suzanne Collins and “Fried Green Tomatoes” by Fannie Flagg.
Finally, what inspired you to write All the Colors Under the Dragon Claw?
It actually started, one day, as a fun thing to do when my cousin, friends, and I went to the Renaissance faire. We had made characters for ourselves, like a live Dungeon and Dragons game. After it was all said and done I didn’t want it to end so I decided to write about our characters going on an adventure. It really took off and has turned into so much more than that. The characters really took shape and this one story has inspired me to write three more in the series.
Thank you meeting with me today, Lesley. As always, it has been a pleasure.
Lesley DeBacco was born and raised in Rocky Hill, Connecticut where she still resides. She loves the New England weather, and embraces the uniqueness of each season. She enjoys spending time outdoors and enjoys watching movies. Some of her favorites are “The Wizard of Oz” and “Star Wars.”