Friday, August 19, 2016

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: The Dragon's Ring by Debra Daugherty (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Hi guys! The weekend is here! And the event has been running for two weeks now more or less. Don't forget to check out our list of authors + giveaways here. For today in Celebrating Debutantes 2016, we're featuring a Middle Grade/YA fantasy! Stick around for a giveaway at the end.


Hello, Precious! I’m excited and trilled to be here today to answer your questions. Thank you for having me, and for letting me share information about my debut novel, THE DRAGON’S RING, which was released July 28, 2016.

Who or what inspired you to write The Dragon’s Ring?

When my nieces and nephews were young, I loved writing stories for them. I’m Irish, as if you couldn’t tell by my last name, Daugherty; and I must have some blarney in me. (I did kiss the Blarney Stone in 2012.) The Dragon’s Ring has a unicorn, witch, dragon, wizard and fairy in the story, and Irish lore is filled with stories of these creatures. I believe much of my inspiration comes from my Irish roots.

What kind of research did you do for the book?

I researched castles to find out what they were like in olden days. I also had the good fortune to visit a couple, The Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle. Clothing was another part of my research. What would a knight wear? How would a princess dress? What surprised me was the fact that a Bishop’s garments were as rich and ornate as a King’s.

Which was the most difficult part to write?

The most difficult, yet also the most fun, part to write was when the dragon chased the knight in the cave. This is a pivotal part of the story, and I wanted it to be as realistic and scary as possible. What thoughts were running through the knight’s head? When he couldn’t find the witch’s pouch, did he expect to die? I also wanted to get inside the dragon’s head and show his POV as he prepared to end the knight’s life.

How different was the first version of the story from the final version?

This is an excellent question, as in my case, the final version turned out totally different from the first draft. Originally, Princess Isadora waited at the castle for her knight, Sir James Trueblood, to return from his quest with the unicorn. I decided to give the princess an active role, making her a true heroine. In the final version she disguises herself as a beggar and follows the knight on his quest. When he encounters trouble with the witch and dragon, it is she who saves him, but he never finds out. Only the reader knows. By changing the dynamics of the story, I believe it turned out much better.

Could you tell us a bit about your writing process?

I like to sit at my keyboard and start writing, with no idea at first what I’m going to write about. My muse kicks in, and a story begins to take shape. Usually I don’t plot anything until halfway through the manuscript. I let my characters take me where they want to go. I may type for hours without a break, and in the middle of the night, if an idea comes to me in bed, I’m up and at the keyboard. I become lost in my story, my setting, my characters’ world, and am annoyed when the phone rings as I’m abruptly brought back to reality. After a first draft is finished, I wait a bit, then with fresh eyes begin my edits. I share my story with fellow writers for critiques and suggestions, and then edit again. I keep editing up to submission, and don’t even stop then. There’s always a better word, a keener description, a new angle or twist to add.

If you could write a book in a different genre, what would it be about?

I consider The Dragon’s Ring’s genre to be upper middle grade/young adult. My stories range from picture books to young adult, and I actually already have a published pictured book, Calamity Cat. MeeGenius published it as an e-book on their site in 2013, but it now belongs to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company. Hopefully, it will be included in their Curious World website in 2017. For the last three years I’ve been working on a contemporary YA mystery series. My teen sleuths meet and fall in love in London, where they become involved in an espionage plot. From there they travel to Paris, Rome and Edinburgh, solving murders and mysteries in each city. These books all began as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) projects, for the November 2013 and 2014 challenge. I would love to find a publisher for this series.

Thank you for sharing, Debra!

No, thank you, Precious, for including me on your blogsite. It’s been a pleasure, and I’m happy to be able to connect with all your followers and readers.

About the Author:

Debra Daugherty is from Central Illinois, and is a member of SCBWI, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She enjoys living in the country with her two dogs, a Chihuahua named CeCe, and a rescued American Stratford Terrier named Honey. Besides writing children stories, Debra loves to spend time with her family, travel, and browse through antique shops. She also sews, knits and crochets, but writing takes up so much of her time, she hasn’t done much handiwork lately. She feels fortunate to have been able to travel to England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, where fairies, unicorns, witches and dragons once roamed, if not in truth, in legend. Of the famous cities she’s visited, including London, Paris and Rome, London remains her favorite. She loves how the historical sites that are thousands of years old blend in with the modern day city.

Find Debra: Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Book Description:

Sir James Trueblood is determined to capture a unicorn so he can marry Princess Isadora. The knight begins his quest, not realizing the Princess is following him in disguise. On his journey Sir James encounters a witch and a dragon. With the dragon’s ring his mission is a success, but then he learns the unicorn will die if not set free. Now he has a dilemma; marry the Princess or free the unicorn.



Thanks to Debra for this giveaway!
What's up for grabs: Ebook of the Dragon's Ring
Scope: US and CA

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!


  1. Thanks for sharing. This sounds good. To answer your question. I'm not sure I have one favorite story/tale.

    1. Hi, Leslie. It is hard to pick just one fairy tale, isn't it? There are so many wonderful stories, and more being written and published each day.

  2. Great interview! Cinderella would have to be my favorite fairy tale. It was always one of my favorite stories growing up.

    1. Hi, Julianne. I love Cinderella, too! I hope someday my fairy tale will be picked as someone's favorite. Wouldn't that be cool?

  3. I'm a wuss for Alice. If I find an Alice reimagining, I'm immediately interested and have to look more into it.

    1. If you mean Alice in Wonderland, I love that story.

  4. Enjoyed learning more about your process, Debra! I think my favorite fairy tale is Snow White & Rose Red. I think ... so many to choose from :)