Today I am interviewing E.E. Knight, author of the new fantasy novel, Novice Dragoneer.
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DJ: Hi E.E.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
E.E. Knight: I’m a born-and-raised Upper Midwesterner, if you don’t count some brief stints in San Diego, the Pacific Northwest, and Canada as a child. I’m married and we have three kids of elementary school age, currently living one block from the Chicago city limits. I’ve been a novelist since Way of the Wolf was published in 2001.
DJ: What is Novice Dragoneer about?
E.E.: It’s about a 14-year-old dragon-loving girl who has been fascinated by dragons since first meeting one as a child. She runs away from her orphanage and tries to win an apprenticeship with an order of dragonriders famous throughout her little mountain republic.
DJ: What were some of your influences Novice Dragoneer and the series?
E.E.: Anne McCaffrey was the original touchstone for so many of us, the Dragonlance books. There are some early-aviation influences as well, like the Blue Max and Biggles books and the air warfare pulps.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
E.E.: Ileth is a girl mixing with the upper crust. Rich and powerful families in her land like to have a connection to the Dragoneers and they’ll send off sons, and once in a while, daughters, to make connections, much as you used to sort your children into lawmaking, army and naval service, or the priesthood. On paper her republic is egalitarian, but there’s a lot of institutional memory from when the dragoneers were limited to the aristocrats. She has speech processing issues (a challenge I faced and my eldest son as well), and while the dragoneers admit both men and women – because that’s the way the dragons like it – she’s a poor minority in a wealthy man’s world. Continue reading