When the blog tour for "The Dragon's of Alsace Farm" was running, the most intriguing stop was a character interview author Kandi J. Wyatt arranged with Noah. It provided an intimate glimpse into my book's hero, and his relationships with the other characters in the book.
I enjoyed that interview so much that I offered to return the favor, and Kandi arranged for her heroine, Serena, to answer a few questions in return.
Kandi and I realized we each dealt with similar themes in our books, but for different audiences. "Dragon's Cure," is book 4 of the DRAGON COURAGE series of middle-grade fantasies. So unlike the interpersonal dragons in "The Dragons of Alsace Farm," there are real dragons in this book.
First, here's the blurb from "Dragon's Cure."
When Serena heads out on her own, escaping an abusive relationship, the last thing she expected was to hear voices...from a dragon.
Serena’s been hurt before, but not like this. He had gone too far this time, and she knew it. When she sets out on her own, she’s unsettled by the ominous noises that seem to follow her. Scratches and huffs that couldn’t have been made by any animal she had ever heard of. With wonder, she discovers that the noises are not the stuff of nightmares, but a baby dragon. And along with it, an intriguing dragon rider named Carryn.
While Serena begins training as a dragon rider, she struggles to trust her trainer and her new friends, including her dragon. When her future is put in jeopardy by dark forces, Serena must fight her greatest enemy: herself. Can she fight through the past to form a true friendship and avoid being enslaved again, or will her distrust cause her to lose the security she so desperately longs for? Will bitterness be set aside and broken hearts be healed?
Follow the tale of friendship, courage, and hardships of Serena and Carryn in this powerful middle grade novel by Kandi J Wyatt.
Anyone’s world can seem alien at times, but your world really is. Please describe it for us, and tell us how life is there for a young woman.
My world is no more alien than what yours would seem to me. I purchase my food at a street market. I usually go to the same vendors. Carvall is great because he’s so kind and gentle. He has great produce as well. His fruits and vegetables are so bright and juicy. I cook over a wood stove and have a hand pump for water. Cooking and cleaning up meals takes extra time because everything is made from scratch and I have to heat the water for washing dishes. The biggest difference between my world and yours are the animals. You see, I always was told as a child that dragons existed. I saw dragon riders in the marketplace, but I never thought of the creatures themselves until I met one. She changed my life.
My character, Tayte, sounds a lot like you, Serena. She tries to cope with the abusive neglect she faced in her childhood by controlling everything she can in her world. What elements of your world do you try to control, and how has having control helped you deal with your past?
I can relate to Tayte. Controlling things is common among adult survivors of childhood abuse. I vowed to never be hurt again. The way I could do that was by taking control of my circumstances. I knew if I could make my own decisions of where to live and who to trust, I’d be just fine. It worked to begin with. I was able to gain confidence and forget about my father, but in the long run I failed miserably.
Someone you trusted lured you away from a safe situation into a trap. I can only imagine how betrayed you must have felt. How did you survive that betrayal, and what did you learn about yourself and your instincts from that situation?
Fff, wow, you ask some hard questions. I fed my bitterness on thoughts of revenge. I figured if I could get even, then I would be able to survive anything. I’m not proud of myself. I would have killed Tyrell if I would have had the chance. I learned how tenacious I am. I harbored bitterness for at least four months. I lost track of time when I was enslaved by my mistress. Even then, when I had no memory of who I was, I still clung to Tyrell’s name and revenge. The other thing I learned was that I had friends I didn’t deserve. Carryn, Duskya, and Kyn stuck with me even when I was unbearable to be around. The thought of revenge consumed me to the point where I pushed all my friends aside.
Serena, what was the catalyst for change that turned your bitterness into peace?
It really was a slow change. If I have to choose one thing that made me change, I couldn’t, but I could choose two. First off, my friend Carryn said something that began to chip away at my soul. She said she didn’t want bitterness to bind and control her. As I heard her words echo through my mind, I also heard my friend and healer Kyn tell me that my unforgiving heart bound me and enslaved me just as much as my mistress had. I realized that if I gave in to revenge, it controlled me. If I tried to block everyone away from me so I wouldn’t be hurt, then I hurt myself anyway. I couldn’t win. When I gave in to those thoughts, I finally came to peace.
What is the greatest form of bondage, Serena, and why? Enslavement of the body? The mind? The spirit?
Oh, wow! You know how to get to the heart of the matter. I’ve been enslaved in all three of those ways. I was sold off as a slave to the highest bidder. I couldn’t do as I wanted but was forced to do the will of my mistress. If I rebelled, I was given a shock treatment that burned through my body to my mind. My memories were locked away in a cage where my heart fed the power to the lock, and my own lust for revenge enslaved my spirit. I don’t know which is worse. Hm, no I do. A friend that I made on the trail to the mines where we were sold to our different masters had her body enslaved but her mind and spirit were free. She focused on helping her son. Those slave runners could have killed her body, but her spirit was free. Even though I had been freed from my mistress, I was enslaved in my spirit. That was worse than having my body enslaved.
How did bitterness affect you?
Bitterness consumed me. I was bitter toward all men for the abuse, physical and verbal, my father hurled at me and my mother every day of our lives. I chose to not trust anyone. Then when someone I eventually trusted betrayed me, bitterness consumed me.
Who did you hold more accountable for the hurt you suffered? The friend who betrayed you? The mistress who bought you? You, for leaving your safe place?
Well, put that way, I should have blamed myself, but I was too stuck up to do that. I considered myself blameless. The mistress also was just that, my mistress. I didn’t know her personally. I hadn’t entrusted to her all of my secrets. No, I held my friend responsible. I blamed him for all my hurts. It sounds unreasonable, but sometimes we don’t think rationally when we’ve been hurt so deeply.
My character Noah’s mistakes led him to believe he was unworthy of being loved. How did your mistakes change you? What have you learned about yourself through this trial?
I used to think I wasn’t worthy of love. We learn these things from those who are close to us as children and how they treat us. We then begin to form habits at an early age to protect ourselves. I guess, I learned through this that I couldn’t stay in control. I didn’t want to be hurt and had thought by being in control I could keep from being hurt. However, I had done a horrible job of keeping myself from pain. I couldn’t keep on pushing people away. Their love began to work its way under my reserve. My dragon was the best one. She came after me even if no one else would have come. My trainer, Duskya, was kind no matter what I did. And then there’s Kyn, my healer and friend. He spoke to me openly about how my attitude changed once I received my memories back. He didn’t let my cold shoulder affect how he dealt with me. He stayed as a true friend. These things broke through the wall I had built from the time I was little. Once the wall broke, I became the person I was meant to be.
Author Kandi J Wyatt is a wife, mother of five, teacher, artist, and author. In her free time, she enjoys writing fantasy stories, and drawing with graphite and colored pencils. Portraits are her specialty. Kandi also enjoys photography, thanks to her photographer husband who has let her join his journey as both his model and apprentice, and she occasionally serves as his assistant when he needs a “light stand with feet.” To learn more, visit kandijwyatt.com.
Currently books 1-3 are on sale for 99 cents on Kindle and Dragon's Cure is available for $1.99. All four books will soon return to $2.99
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The One Who Sees Me:
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