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

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

19 Comments

  1. Love the dragon looking over your shoulder! What a great touch!

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  2. Cynthia, thanks for dropping by. I loved that picture of Donita, too! Thought it said way more than most author photos.

    Hope you stop back for the second half of the interview tomorrow.

    Becky

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  3. Great picture and interview!!!

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  4. I also loved the picture and interview. And the term .

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  5. Fantastic responses on Donita’s part, and great questions from Becky. Great stuff – can’t wait for day 2!

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  6. Becky, this is such a great idea! I had a hard time envisioning just what-all a blog tour encompassed. I was just talking to a sales rep from WaterBrook and told him what a fantastic job you all are doing on the grassroots level. Believe me, the grassroots level is what starts the fires that spread from reader to reader.

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  7. Donita, thanks for stopping by. I think blog tours can be very effective because buzz on the web attracts more buzz on the web. I appreciate you providing links to our sites on your newsletter as well. Hopefully more and more people will get involved as the tour progresses.

    Becky

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  8. And yes, Rebecca, I agree that Donita’s answers were fantastic. Thorough without being long-winded. 🙂 Entertaining, but they let readers knowa little bit more about the author behind the books. Great.

    Becky

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  9. Great job, Becky and Donita! I’m (almost) sorry I’ll be away the rest of the week and won’t be able to participate further. However, I did post again today.

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  10. I just have to post a comment to brag on getting to meet the great Donita at Mount Hermon. She is as wise and wonderful as you would guess. 🙂
    Donita and Becky, thank you both for what you are doing for Christian fantasy!

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  11. So how did I miss meeting Donita at Mount Hermon?

    Sharon, your job next year, should you choose to accept it, is to introduce me! 😉

    Becky

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  12. Val, we’ll definitely miss you. Great posts these last two days. I loved the world-building questions and Donita’s answers!

    Becky

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  13. What a wonderful interview of a nice lady–good work! Chrisd

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  14. Thanks for stopping by, Chris. As alwasy, I appreciate your feedback. BTW, I think Sherrie is on vacation this week. She told me as much before she signed up for the tour. I mentioned the possibility of her writing up her posts before hand and setting them to post while she was gone, but I didn’t know what she’d decided. Anyway, I look forward to what she’ll have to add to the discussion when she gets back.

    Becky

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  15. I have a question for Donita if she is still around. In the picture it looks like she’s reading a hardback copy of DragonSpell. Or rather that the dragon reading over her shoulder is reading a hardback version. Is that the case? And if so, are the books available in hardback?

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  16. Oh, Sally, it is all the ingenious manipulation of my son-in-law. The dragon is in a picture painted for me by a friend.I’m not in the picture at all. I was in the living room with a blank wall behind me. The painting of the dragon is about 10X20 inches. The book I was holding was The Hobbit. Kory digitally put everything together. Isn’t he smart?

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  17. That’s cute!!!

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  18. […] Ms. Paul has been writing fantasy since 2004, she has given a number of interviews, one posted here (and here) at A Christian Worldview of Fiction back in 2006 during the first CSFF book blog tour. […]

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  19. […] her initial comment to the Day 1 post: Becky, this is such a great idea! I had a hard time envisioning just what-all a blog tour […]

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