Featured Author: J.S. Burke

The Dragon Dreamer (The Dragon Dreamer series Book #1) by J.S. Burke

Genre: Science fiction/fantasy

The Dragon Dreamer is a fast-paced adventure with flying dragons, an undersea world, and an unlikely friendship. It’s a science fantasy layered for readers age 9 to 99. Arak is a misfit dragon called “Dreamer”. Determined to prove himself he leaves on a dangerous quest, is caught in a fierce sea-storm, and crashes on ice. Wounded and alone he faces death. Then a fearless undersea shape-shifter named Scree heals him and an unlikely friendship begins. When an undersea volcano erupts it triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. Can Arak use his unique talents to save the dragons?

About the Author

J. S. Burke is an author, artist, chemist, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. Her stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. Living on a ship far from shore, she learned to walk with the sea. The deadly sea storm that threatens Arak is one that she survived. She lives in Georgia with her family and rescue pets. The Dragon Dreamer series grew from her years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. This science fiction has flying dragons and an undersea world, layered for readers age 9 to 99.

Author Interview

1. Tell us how you created the title of your book and/or series.
My main dragon character, Arak, is often lost in thought or in mind-quests, so he’s ridiculed as a Dreamer. Hence the title, The Dragon Dreamer. I wanted dragon in the title. Most dragon titles are already taken, but this one fits my book perfectly and has not been used by another author.
2. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
 
I painted the covers, and my indie publisher used this. I wanted my dragon on the front in a tense scene, flying through lightning, carrying his aquamarine trance-stone. I also wanted the front cover to blend into the back cover, which has a painting of my undersea world, so sea and sky have similar colors and movement. The back cover has another main character from The Dragon Dreamer, my undersea shape-shifter octopus named Scree, who is popular with adults and kids.
3. When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a child, and imagined stories. In third grade, my teacher started an after-school Poetry Club. She published all of our poems in a book. Later, as a marine biologist, I wrote, illustrated, and published research papers in science journals. Next, I wrote and published two math/science/art activity books with crystal kits to help children understand the connections across subjects. This is a tactile, meaningful way to understand chemistry and fractions, two subjects that are often under-appreciated. I learned to draw cartoons, to make the books more clear and appealing. Crystal Geometry and Crystal Colors are used in schools and homes; they’re also found in catalogs and on my website. One of my favorite letters is from a young girl who copied my snail cartoon. Out of the blue, a dragon story sprouted in my mind. When Arak crashed at sea, Scree appeared to save him. I wasn’t expecting this, but it worked; my ocean experiences flowed into my book. I am fascinated by the growth of snowflakes, and suddenly I saw my dragons growing fantasy flakes in the winter clouds. I drew these with pen-and-ink and made my third book, an art/science coloring book with snowflake mandalas made from animals and plants. I finished the coloring book before I finished The Dragon Dreamer. I wrote my world, and visit often.
4. Which author do you aspire to be? What other books/authors
are similar to your own?
I have no specific author aspirations, just a story to tell. Three separate readers have mentioned that The Dragon Dreamer reminds them of The Warrior series by Erin Hunter. I had not heard of these books, so now I must read them. 🙂
5. What can we expect from you in the future?
I have almost finished Book 2 of The Dragon Dreamer series, currently called Black Lightning. Arak finally meets the ice dragons, and they are not what he expects.

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