By Lori Devoti and Meagan Hatfield
Lori feet up on Meagan’s desk a lollipop in her mouth (because her son assures her all the “cool guys” eat them).
Meagan sitting innocently behind her desk, eyes bright with first NY sale excitement, completely unaware that as she speaks tentacles are sprouting from her computer twisting around her feet, tying her to the keyboard, and possibly sucking all her new author enthusiasm out for other, less bushy-tailed, authors to feed upon…
“So, Meagan, you just sold a new dragon-shifter series to Nocturne. What made you pick shifters? And why dragons?” Lori clicks her lollipop against the back of her teeth, wishing she’d bought something other than root beer—anything other than root beer.
“Well.” Meagan swallows and nervously kicks at the…is that a tentacle?…attempting to coil around her ankle. “I have always been a huge fan of shifter romances. Although I’d dabbled into the genre some with a short story a couple years ago, I’d never stretched my legs and ran with it for a novel and was itching to give it a try.
Honestly, using anything other than dragons never came to mind. Other writers have done wolves so well; I didn’t want to attempt and tackle them. Besides, what’s not to love about a dragon? They are magical, powerful and majestic is their animal form. Big, brooding and hot (pun intended) in human form. Not to mention, they have those very handy tails.” *wriggles her brows*
“You mean to say…” Lori places her feet on the floor with a thud. “…shape-shifters were NOT your first love?” Mumbles to self and stares at lollipop head, still large and round after ten minutes in her mouth. She wipes a bit of spittle from the corner of her lips and turns back. “Fine, I guess everyone has to start somewhere. So, you say dragons were your first choice. What kind of world do these dragons live in?”
“What the…?” Meagan picks up her water bottle. Thwack. Thwack. Feeler slithers back under her desk. “Oh, sorry…” She puts the water bottle back on the coaster. “What were you saying again?” Taps chin. “Ooo, dragons.” She sit’s up eagerly. “Well, in DRAGON FIRE, the dragon flock’s lair is located inside a remote mountaintop. They live in modern times and stay at higher elevations to avoid interaction with humans…oh, and their mortal enemies, the vampire horde. You see, ever since a prophecy was discovered about a crystal with the power to rule one or destroy all, their centuries old war has kicked it up a notch. It’s getting absolutely bloodthirsty, as both sides will do anything to get it.”
Lori tilts her head to peer under the desk. Then, her gaze still on Meagan, twirls her index finger in a circular motion. The tentacles slither forward and lift up, waiting. Lori flicks her finger back toward their newest target. With a quick bow of obedience, they bob off to finish their work.
“So, who has the crystal? And is there a romance in there somewhere? Some sweet little day hiker get separated from her group…wander a little higher than she intended…? Or maybe an over eager vampire queen hellbent on getting herself a little piece of that legendary dragon tail…”
“A dragon, with the Queen? Never. That would be dirty and wrong on so many levels.” Meagan leans over the desk and snatches the lollipop from Lori’s hand, ignoring the look of mute horror on Lori’s face.
“The flock would be in an uproar, especially after all the dragons she’s been blamed for brutally torturing and murdering.” After a brief inspective look, Meagan pops the lolly in her mouth, hording it in one cheek like a chipmunk. “The new dragon king and hero of the book, Declan, vows to find the crystal.” Twirls stick between her fingers. “Even if it means going into the hordes catacomb hell to get it.” Slurrrrrpppp. “When he gets captured, he expects anything and everything to go down…but he’s wholly unprepared for vampire warrior, Alexia.”
Lori leans back, her arms crossed over her chest. “So, any idea when this sure to be best-seller is going to hit the shelves?” She taps her toe, signaling the tentacles to hurry their pace.
“Best seller,” Meagan snorts, taking another lick of the lollipop. “Well, I haven’t been given a release date yet. But I’m…” Something bursts up from beneath the desk, snatching the lollipop out of her hand. “Hey! I wasn’t done with that yet.” Meagan bends to retrieve the stolen sucker, when a pack of tentacles shoot toward her.
Within seconds they are coiled tight around her ankles, wrists and mouth, effectively pinning her to the desk chair. Meagan struggles in vain against the slimy appendages and looks over at Lori with wide, terrified eyes. “Hmlphph Memph!”
Lori rises from her chair and with a satisfied curl to her lips, fondly pats the tentacles. “Good job. Now let’s get going. I heard five Golden Heart finalists just got requests for fulls…”