Blog Tour—Donita K. Paul, Day 1

Round two of the Christian SF/Fantasy Blog Tour officially begins today. Here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction we will enjoy a two-day interview with featured author Donita K. Paul, then wrap up the tour on Thursday with a review of her latest novel.

    Donita K. Paul

Choosing to focus on Donita K. Paul in June was an easy decision for the Christian SF/Fantasy Blog Tour Group since the third book in her Dragon Keeper Chronicles, DragonKnight, is scheduled to release today.

Interestingly, we are not the first to blog about this wonderful book. We’ve been scooped—and by a novice to SF/Fantasy literature! 🙂 But that latter fact makes the comments Jamie Driggers posted last week all the more credible. I encourage you to take time to read her observations.

On to Part I of our interview with Ms. Paul.

RLM: Donita, thanks so much for joining us this week. It’s a real privilege to be a part of the kick-off of DragonKnight. But I have to wonder, when you first started the Dragon Keeper Chronicles, what made you decide to write fantasy?

DKP: I had an infection in my leg and had to keep it elevated above my heart for six weeks. My son brought me something to keep me entertained, Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I wasn’t much of a fantasy reader, but I was stuck in that chair! So I read the eight volumes that were out at that time. These books are huge, each one over five hundred pages, some close to a thousand. I finished reading them about the same time I was allowed out of the chair. I remember thinking, “that was nice,” but I wasn’t taken with the genre. Nine months later my mother challenged me to write something different, bigger. To me, fantasy looked bigger and definitely different.
I didn’t set out to write allegory that would make Christian readers sit up and take notice. I merely jumped into playing with a new way, for me, of thinking.

RLM: You have wonderful, imaginative creatures in your stories and some intriguing scenery, from blue-domed buildings to castles rising out of a lake. To what do you attribute your imagination?

DKP: Lots of reading. Lots and lots of reading from an early age. My treat for the week was when my father took me on Friday evenings to the local discount store. He took a lot of pictures during the week in his work, and we would go drop off the new roll of film and pick up last week’s. AND!! I got to pick a book to bring home. I remember they were $1.25 each, and I felt so fortunate that my dad would spend that much on me every single week.

RLM: Your wizards have taken a more and more prominent role in the series. Have you experienced any “wizard backlash” from people who think wizards don’t belong in a Christian book, and how do you explain your decision to incorporate magic into your stories?

DKP: Yikes! This question makes me scratch my head. And yes, I have experienced wizard backlash. But I love this term you have used, and it is the first time I have heard it. It makes me chuckle, and humor is a good leveler, helping restore perspective.

First, I don’t think of my books as delving into the magical arts. The word wizard comes from wizened, and in its original use, way back in the days people spoke Anglo-Saxon, it was a respectful term for an older person who had great knowledge gained by experience and study.

My wizards command the elements of nature that God has created. They do without equipment what a scientist would do with lasers and electromagnetic generators, or even what a housewife might do with a washing machine or a microwave. The reason they are wizards is that they understand, down to the molecular structure, God’s creation.

Secondly, this is fiction, and I don’t expect people to take my fiction literally. Talking bears, such as Paddington and Pooh, don’t bring down scathing rebukes of magic. If a parent is concerned about the child’s perception of what is real and what is not, then that parent ought to seize the opportunity to teach. Parents, read books with your child and discuss the points on which your child needs clarification.

RLM: What would you say to a reader who doesn’t typically read fantasy in order to hook him into picking up the Dragon Keeper books?

DKP: Interest is high now in fantasy as literature. Some people find Tolkien too literary, and some people find the Christianity in the Narnia books by Lewis to be too blatant. The Dragon Keeper Chronicles offer a great tale of adventure with the time-honored battle between good and evil playing out in a way that gives adults meat to chew on and children sips of nourishing milk.

Part II tomorrow.

Be sure to check out the other fine bloggers in the tour:

Sally Apokedak
Valerie Comer
Johne Cook
Janey DeMeo
Mary E. DeMuth
Beth Goddard
Rebecca Grabill
Leathel Grody
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Marcia Laycock
Shannon McNear
Matt Mikalatos
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower

Published in: on June 20, 2006 at 5:00 am  Comments (19)  
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