Please welcome Isabel Cooper, whose brand new Sourcebooks Casablanca paranormal romance series starts this month with LEGEND OF THE HIGHLAND DRAGON! In today’s post, she shares with us what has inspired her the most in her writing…
I started playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was eleven.
I’d already been kind of a geek before that: read the Lord of the Rings series a bunch of times, played a whole lot of video games, and had a taste for the weird and supernatural in my fiction. (Also horse books. So many horse books, until I learned to ride and realized that actual horses were not your friends, tried to step on your toes pretty constantly, and had the same, er, biological output as any other animal.) But my geekdom didn’t really crystalize until I hit eleven.
Then, facing my fifth strabismus surgery and inspired by the example of the boy down the road, who got a Sega Genesis when he had to have an operation on his back, I demanded a bribe in order to go quietly into that brightly-lit OR. My parents agreed: I could pick out whatever I wanted at the UCLA bookstore.
Yes, I demanded books as a bribe for putting up with eye surgery. No, I didn’t see a problem with this at the time. Yes, I went on to major in English, and not a subject that involved logic.
So, having heard a little about D&D from friends’ obnoxious-but-kinda-cute older brothers, and spotting the starter set on one of the shelves, I picked out my bribe. Two weeks later, once I could see again, I gleefully immersed myself in character classes, spell categories, and descriptions of any number of fantastic creatures.
Given the name, dragons obviously played a large part in the game’s bestiary. I’d seen them featured in cartoons before, and in my reading material, and even picked up a couple books where they were more than just big monsters guarding treasure or fair maidens. But it wasn’t until I started with D&D that I really got interested.
D&D has—and especially when I was a kid, had—more types of dragon than you could shake a Stick +5 at. They came in different sizes, different colors, and different attitudes toward people. Some of them, specifically the shiny metallic-colored ones, were good sorts, helping the fair maidens and bold knights rather than trying to eat them. Some of them could even change shape, look like people, and even make friends with the squishy humanoids.
Some of them went further. Not that there was ever anything really explicit, but half-dragons did exist, and there were the usual stories of Epic Doomed Love, especially in the Dragonlance books, which I loved as a teenager to the point that I can still recite poetry from them now. (And yet I somehow had dates in high school. The world truly is a strange and mysterious place.)
So, when I was thinking about shapeshifters to feature in a romance novel, dragons were the first thing to come to mind. That wasn’t where my eleven-year-old self thought I’d end up, when I picked that one particular bribe from my parents, but I think she’d be pretty pleased with the outcome.
Izzy’s a geek girl after my own heart! To enter to win 1 of 2 copies of Legend of the Highland Dragon, please tell us one of your geekiest/nerdiest/dorkiest moments. Please be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you easily. Open to US and Canada only, winners will be chosen on Wednesday, 12/18.
LEGEND OF THE HIGHLAND DRAGON BY ISABEL COOPER – IN STORES DECEMBER 2013
He Guards a Ferocious Secret…
In Victorian England, gossip is often as precious as gold. But the Highlanders are a more mysterious bunch. And if anyone found out that Stephen MacAlasdair really was, he'd be hunted down, murdered, his clan wiped out. As he's called to London on business, he'll have to be extra vigilant—especially between sunset and the appearance of the first evening star.
Mina just wanted to find out more about the arrogant man who showed up in her employer's office. Some might say it was part of her job. She never thought the stranger would turn into a dragon right in front of her. Or that he'd then offer her an outrageous sum of money to serve as his personal secretary. Working together night and day to track a dangerous enemy, Mina comes to see a man in love is more powerful and determined than any dragon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Isabel Cooper is the author paranormal historical romances No Proper Lady, a Publishers Weekly and a Library Journal book of the year in 2011, and Lessons After Dark. Both titles were also nominated in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Awards. During the day, Isabel maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager working in legal publishing outside of Boston. For more, visit www.isabelcooper.org.