Author Interview with Michelle M Bruhn
Alísa is the daughter of a slayer chief, born into war against the evil of the dragons. Her speech
impediment stole her confidence, and her empathic connection to dragons stole the respect of
her clan. But when her growing psychic connection reveals one dragon’s capacity for good, she
must choose: stay with her family in comfortable but condemning silence, or follow the dragon
claiming to know her true purpose.
Hi Michelle! Thank you for stopping by my blog today! Congratulations on the release of your debut novel! I would love to ask you a few questions so that we can know you better! First off, what is your favorite way to start a day?
Hey, thanks so much for having me! My favorite way to start a day is waking up naturally without my alarm (so, weekends), a little quiet time with God, and a cat purring beside me on the bed.
Your book is all about dragons, something I just LOVED to read about as a teen! Do you have any favorite dragon stories to recommend? Favorite dragon?
Me too! Dragons were my favorite things in middle and high school (and, let’s be real, they still are my favorite fantasy creatures)! My favorite dragon books are the Dragons In Our Midst series by Bryan Davis (and its sequels!), and The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli.
As far as my favorite dragon, gotta go with Toothless from the How To Train Your Dragon movies. He’s adorable and cat-like, very smart, and fiercely protective of his friends—all things I adore in a dragon!
What is a book that impacted the way you write and how did it do so?
The first one that comes to mind is the Oracles of Fire series (the sequel series to the aforementioned Dragons In Our Midst). These books focus on characters in a story far too big for them, some with powers that they don’t understand, and the knowledge that they need to act but with little knowledge of what exactly their Creator wants them to do. Though some are given instruction by prophets, but many have to just step out in faith, much like us in the real world. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they make the wrong move, but no matter which it is (and no matter the consequences of a wrong choice), the light of hope is still there. I find such comfort in stories like these in my own life, and I strive to write similar themes of trust, faith, and hope.
Oh goodness, that’s a hard one! *thinks for a good long while before her hands return to the keyboard* I’m going to go with the Unwilling/Unbelieving Chosen One. I’m not a huge fan of Chosen Ones who are just like “Yep, I have a destiny; here I go!”, but give me someone destined to do something who either 1) doesn’t want to be the one to do it, or 2) can’t believe that they could ever be someone who could do it, and I’m there for it!
Every story has a purpose. What do you hope your readers will walk away with?
I hope that my readers will walk away with ears a bit quicker to listen and hearts a bit quicker to open. From the large-scale prejudices between the human and dragon races to the individual hidden hurts of the characters, this book speaks to the fact that we don’t always know the whole story, and that being willing to look past someone’s outer shell is sometimes all that is needed to make a difference.
Favorite snack? Salty, sweet, spicy, or savory?
Salty, definitely! Cheez-Its and pretzels are da bomb!
Favorite classic movie?
This one’s a bit out of the box—Life Is Beautiful, an Italian film. It follows an Italian Jew just before and during World War II. The first half is almost a Rom-Com about how he met and wooed his wife, and the second half takes a dark turn as he and his five-year-old son are taken to a concentration camp. Though we see the horrors of the situation, the movie focuses more on the father doing everything he can to protect his son both physically and mentally from everything going on around them. It’s an inspiring movie about fatherhood and about keeping a childlike innocence in a terribly messed-up world—choosing to see the ways that even a life full of sorrows can still be filled with beauty.
If you treat each of your characters to ice cream, which flavor would you give them?
Oo, fun! Alísa would want something simple and fruity like strawberry. Sesína would beg me for coffee ice cream, but I know better than to give that hyper-active dragon any caffeine and would find something adventurous, perhaps a crunchy caramel toffee flavor. Graydonn would want to try multiple flavors in order to better understand humans, so I’d give him a Neapolitan. Falier would be fascinated by keeping cookie dough raw rather than baking it, so chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for him. And, after much convincing that this human food won’t kill her, Koriana would only try a plain vanilla. At least, the first time around.
How do you think your characters would respond to being given a blanket and a warm puppy?
My human MCs are 100% there for it! Alísa would snuggle up and try to forget the world outside the blanket, while Falier would accept a little rest but inside be planning all the tricks he would teach the puppy afterward.
As for the dragons (assuming the blanket is big enough for them), Koriana has plenty of warmth due to the fire inside of her so she’s just fine, thank you. Graydonn would be fascinated by a creature humans keep as pets and would start talking to it telepathically, forgetting about the blanket altogether. Sesína would think the puppy is adorable, snuggle up for a short time, then get bored and beg it to play with her.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Michelle! Readers, do stop by the rest of the tour to find out more! :D
M.H. Elrich—Author Interview
Rachel A. Greco—Author Interview
Laura A. Grace—Character Interview (Alísa)
H.S.J. Williams—Author Interview
Deborah O’Carroll—Review or Spotlight
August 19 (20 AU):
Jane Maree—Character Interview (Graydonn)
August 21 (RELEASE DAY!):
Claire M. Banschbach—Author Interview