Joining Curiosity Quills for another edition of our Author Spotlight: Question & Answer Coloumn, is Amy Bearce, author of recently released middle-grade fantasy DRAGON REDEEMER, which hit Amazon on May 23, 2017!

In the comments, please join us in asking Amy Bearce anything you’d like to know about writing, her new book, and life on a military base in Germany. Or you know, just throw something completely random at her to keep her on her toes!

Who are you and where do you call home right now?
I’m Amy Bearce and I’m moving back to San Antonio, Texas, this summer.  We’ve been in Germany for the last three years, which has been great, but I’m looking forward to going home.

Tell us about your latest book: your inspiration for it, how you got through your most difficult challenge in writing it, and what you love about it?
My most recent book is the third in the World of Aluvia series, Dragon Redeemer.  The first book in that series was actually inspired by Colony Collapse Disorder with bees, but books 2 and 3 flowed from the characters within book 1.

Nell is the main character in book 3. A few important things happen to her in the first book that aren’t fully explained, because it isn’t her story. But readers asked about her—she’s a favorite character. So I asked myself, four years later, what would Nell be facing in her position in their world? What challenges would be rising? I imagined how complacency might be taking the place of the urgency felt when their world was in an acute crisis—this seems to be a human problem—and the story came from there.

The most difficult challenge in writing Dragon Redeemer was that I’m nothing like Nell. I would love to be a fierce warrior, but alas, I’m not, so I had to do a lot of reading on sword fighting. On the other hand, her strength is also one of my favorite things about this novel.  She’s the leader, she’s the warrior, and she’s good at it.

What are a few of your hobbies?
Reading is one of my favorite things to do, and we’ve done a lot of traveling while being overseas. I also enjoy watching cooking shows, even though I don’t actually like to cook.

If you had your own food truck, what would it serve?
Little hand-held party-foods! I love bite-sized tasty snacks, of all kinds!  Mini-tacos, mini-quiches, mini-meatballs, mini-crepes….

What do you want to get better at doing, writing-wise?
I want to do a better job at being precise and crisp in my use of language. I am too wordy.

What TV series are you into right now and why?
I am waiting for the next season of The Expanse to start!

What movie do you quote the most?
Hmm.  Probably The Princess Bride but also The Matrix and Practical Magic.

What do you collect, even a little bit? Tell us about your favorite one.
Besides books, you mean? LOL I collect fairy tale references for home décor. I have three posters of minimalist fairy tale representations by Christian Jackson, and they fill me with joy.  I am hoping to expand this with some small prints from Hands Off My Dinosaur (Teo Zirinis) in his Monster issues series. I want the one with Nessie and Cthulhu the most, but Godzilla is on my list, too.  I love this kind of clever imagery that plays with the mythology, folklore, and fairy tales throughout time.

What’s your preferred genre of book when you just want to escape?
Fantasy!  Usually YA or upper MG.  I also enjoy a good romance, especially if it also has elements of magic in it.

What do you like to do on vacation?
Eat great food, sleep, and read. That looks boring in print, but that’s the truth. I also like walking around a town to get the feel of it.

Is there another genre you’ve been itching to write in?
I feel pretty happy writing fantasy and light sci fi for the 11-14 year old crowd and up.  I have a couple of works in progress that have a contemporary setting, but even those have elements of magic in them.

What unusual object do you like to bring with you if you leave the house?
I try to travel light, so I can’t think of anything unusual unless you count the medicine I carry in case of a migraine. I have chronic migraines, so I never leave home without it.

If you had a champion racing pigeon, what would you name it and what would its tagline be?
I’d name it Get Thee Hence. Its tagline would be, “Delivering Pestilence Slightly Slower Than an Unladen Swallow.”

Finally, give us one recommendation for something - movie, TV, game, food - that you enjoyed recently.

In our family, we like to play cooperative games best.  One of the best games we’ve found for this is called Forbidden Island, where you are trying to get four items before the pieces of the island holding it sink. It’s a pretty difficult game to win, but you do have to work as a team, which we enjoy.

About Dragon Redeemer

The voice calls. A sword will answer.

Four years have passed since a fairy swarm released the voice of prophecy in Nell Brennan. In that painful moment, a skilled warrior became a reluctant leader and defender of Aluvia’s magic. Now a new enemy threatens their still-fragile lands, one Nell feels powerless to stop even with help from the voice within her.

A mysterious dark alchemist from the Ice-Locked Lands is rising to power on the strength of his sword arm and an ice-breathing dragon obedient to his command. He promises unlimited magic to his followers and death to those who defy him. If he takes over the ports, his corrupt elixirs will disrupt the delicate balance of peace between Aluvia’s people and all magical creatures.

The voice of prophecy sends Nell and her friends to their enemy’s treacherous domain to find a sword of legend. Only the sword’s magic can prevent a return to a world of dying fairies and caged merfolk. But Nell’s up against the toughest foe she’s ever faced.

In order to defeat him, she must master the unimaginable power of the sword―and the unwanted magic inside herself.

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