I am very honored to have with us today an amazing new YA author, J.F. Jenkins.  Her first YA novel is The Dragon Saga: Legend of the Oceina Dragon.  If you have not read this book, you are missing out!
As far as I know, Dragons in YA Literature is a rather new and a unique idea (your novel is the first one I have read about Dragons) – they are definitely different from the Vampires and Werewolves.  What made you want to write about Dragons? 
I had the basic plotline before I had the species when it came to writing this story. I wanted to write about a supernatural creature of some kind that could also be worshiped as a deity of sorts. Dragons made the most sense to me. Plus I really like dragons, and they’re so mysterious that there’s a lot of room to play around with. 
As an author, why did you choose to write YA Literature versus Children’s or Adult?
I don’t think I could ever write a children’s story. My plots are usually too dark to fit well with that audience. More importantly, I like to write about the coming of age story and the transition into adulthood. I’ve tried writing a few adult books as well, but even then my characters are usually 18-25 years in age. For whatever reason, it’s the age group I like to write about the most.
For those that may be a bit unfamiliar, or are just living under a rock, can you give us a brief synopsis about The Legend of the Oceina Dragon?

I’ll give you the back book blurb:  Darien Oceina is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord of the Water. For years he¹s loved and cherished Tai Dawson from afar. Tai is a simple, ordinary girl who doesn¹t even know Darien exists. On his eighteenth birthday, he chooses her as his wife. But there’s one problem: She thinks his choice means she¹s going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon Lord, but instead, she’s forced to move to his home, far away, to give up her life and be his bride.

When she first sees Darien after the ceremony, she doesn’t expect to feel anything but hatred toward him. The two are struggling with the complications of a new marriage when their nation is attacked by a rival dragon species. Together they learn to love one another while they struggle to stay one step ahead in a game where the prize is their survival.

Your first installment of Dragon Saga is absolutely amazing! I cannot wait to find out what happens with Tai and Darien.  Can you give us any hints about the next installment?
I can give you a few! The second installment is going to show a completely different perspective in the culture of the dragons. Much like how the Matrimonial Mayhem short gave a glimpse into the life of the Aero Dragons, the second book gives a rather in-depth exploration of the Inero Dragons. Darien does make another appearance in this novel though. The story focuses on twin brothers and the two women they care for. One brother marries his childhood sweetheart, while the other decides to care for and protect a girl he’s never met. Throw in a dark prophecy, war, and some family drama, and that’s the book in a nutshell.

I love Love-Triangles! I can’t wait to read it!
While I will miss Darien and Tai’s relationship I love knowing we will get to read about others!
You mix religion, history, a bit of folk lore, and modern twists all together in your novel, which not many authors are able to do successfully.  How did you ‘attack’ this? 
It was all a part of the world building for the big plot. I wanted to create a different world, and with that came the task of writing my own back story and legends. It was a lot of fun, but it was a pretty daunting task. I based a little of it on mythology I’ve heard from “our world”, and started to tweak and explore other avenues for it.

You have included a Dragon Saga short story in Matrimonial Mayhem – can you tell us what it is about?

It’s called “Legend of the Aero Dragon” and it tells the story of Etz and his family. He’s the son of the dragon lord of the air, and is forced to going to a party where he will meet the girl he’s been arranged to marry since he was young. The girl he meets is named Zani, but she is posing as her twin sister Tia. The deceit was only to last a night, so that Etz wouldn’t think he was being stood up at their first meeting because Tia suffers from horrible social anxiety. What happens is a whirlwind of love, loyalty, and breaking the rules as Etz finds himself torn between two women. I can’t say much else about it though because that would be spoiling.

I personally find it very hard to ‘let go’ of a series that I have fallen in love with – many authors have been creating novella and prequel to satisfy our ‘obsessive needs’.  Outside of Matrimonial Mayhem have you ever considered doing the same? I personally would love to read more and more and more about Tai and Darien and all the other characters!

I have another short story I plan on writing. I’ve been thinking about writing a prequel to the saga, showing some of the stuff from before Darien and Tai met. Things with his family, how his dad and mom fell in love, etc. But The details are still in the works and it will probably happen after the series is completed. I promise though that Darien, Tai, and all of the other characters will have a satisfying end to their story.

As a new YA Author, what are some things you have enjoyed and not-so-much enjoyed about the process of getting your novel published?
I’ve loved sharing my work with a new audience, meeting fans, interacting with them, and creating the stories in general. The not so great moments were doing the edits, putting in the long hard hours to get the story done, and taking my constructive criticism.
Any hints, suggestions, etc. you would like to include?
I have a new series coming out soonish. I can give you a cover image for it, but I don’t have an approved synopsis.  All I can say is it involves Nymphs, Satyrs, the angel of death, and an ancient contract made between a secret society of mythological rulers. A contract that is now to be fulfilled.
I’m reachable on Twitter at: jfjenkinstweets
My Blog has exclusive stories and contest information: http://jfjenkinswrites.wordpress.com
I have an exclusive blog story that’s a collaboration with another writer: http://introv3rsion.blogspot.com
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