The League of Scribes: Interview With Dianne Astle

Each week, The L. Palmer Chronicles uses the Dragon Claw of Magical Coolness to bring you a member of The League of Scribes.

Attribution: johanferreira15 https://www.flickr.com/photos/23664669@N08/2806388133/in/photolist-5gZtqi-DHhB7q-5LQMq-7wb55n-Fv9RM-2H3auL-8KGER-2rVMuK-w5cEs-4Mzq4B-2p8WCx-9qeiMU-6gBaeM-m6g85-544QTY-9zfqz6-5y6Hb3-9qbhAn-6KRbhZ-MK5bT-MJWcQ-ua1b-MK4Je-67ted7-7wEuw4-PnsEs-at6YaF-gvFax-9kCWCz-7wiw2d-72GY3a-4pLFBp-7EbxoR-Pntus-7EFQiw-7EbxmV-5VSzxs-MK4WT-7YbBG1-9dxgZs-2zd4Mt-22qTX6-q5zG4E-9cXW2r-22vjmQ-A4bSo-5DwUhC-6hphLx-2ERrnF-5Yz5u2/

The League of Scribes is a legendary group of authors who write grand adventures in the realms of science fiction and fantasy. They are able to write rich, compelling stories while keeping content in the PG –PG-13 range.

If you have been on a quest to find clean sci-fi and fantasy novels, you have reached the right place.

This week, we present:

Dianne Astle

Diane Astle Author:

Otherwise known by her Code Name: Dragon Seeker

I have always been drawn to dragons so when I wrote a first book it is no wonder there are dragons in it.

About the Author:

Dianne was once asked what kind of animal she would be, if she could be an animal. The person who asked the question was shocked when Dianne said she’d like to be a dragon. There are times in everyone’s life when being able to fly high and breathe fire sound very appealing. However, if you can’t be a dragon, or have a dragon as a pet, then the next best thing is to write books with dragons in them and get a dog. Dianne lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Doug, his three cats and her beloved dog Thomas. Thomas gets Dianne out walking almost every day, which is the next best thing to flying on dragon wing. Dianne rescued Thomas, but he is rescuing her one walk at a time.

Dianne Astle’s Work

Ben the Dragonborn by Dianne Astle:

Ben and the Watcher of Zargon by Dianne Astle:

The Six World Series

The Six World Series has worlds linked together under the care of the Guardian of All. Each world has a Watcher with a mystical connection to the Guardian, to their world, and to the Watcher’s on other worlds. The Watcher’s job is to guard the portals that link their world to other worlds, train the Chosen of the Guardian and when the time is right send them through a portal to do the Guardian’s work. The Chosen are called to bring light to those places where shadows gather. They are justice seekers and peace makers.

In Ben the Dragonborn we meet a boy that is terrified of water. He is sent to a world full of water. Everyone, including Ben, thinks a mistake has been made. No one, but the Guardian knows that Ben is dragonborn. In the sequel, Ben and the Watcher of Zargon, Ben must go to his mother’s home world to learn how to manage his dragon heritage. If he doesn’t go he risks turning into something that is neither human nor dragon.

Interview

Who would love your book?

My books appeal to a wide range of ages. Ten year olds seem to really like Ben the Dragonborn, but the number of positive reviews left by adults suggests that they like it too.

What was the inspiration for your series?

I was on my way home from my first and to this point only writer’s retreat when the idea for Ben the Dragonborn was born. The writer-in-residence at the retreat center suggested that I consider writing books for middle grade readers. The long trip home after an inspirational week gave me lots of time to think about a story worth writing.

If a movie of your book were made, what movie would it be most similar too?

The only movie that comes to mind is Narnia. Narnia has portals to another world. It has children and youth called to embark on a hero’s quest. And it has a character that is transformed into a dragon.  In addition, they are both stories that lift up the values of justice, kindness, and humble walking.

Do you use music when writing?

I don’t listen to music when writing, but I have discovered a piece of music that was intended for the Skyrim game. I really like the Dragonborn Comes by Christina Grimmie and even though she did not intend it to be, I consider it a theme song for Ben the Dragonborn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9dL0-P30bs

What authors or books inspire you most?

I have met some wonderful authors through my involvement with Clean Indie Reads. I have been inspired by those authors who are determined to produce a high quality read that rivals what the major publishing houses produce by investing in editorial services and professional looking covers. I seek to emulate them. I was particularly inspired by Katy Huth Jones who wrote Mercy’s Prince while battling cancer.

If you were conquering the world, what fantasy or sci-fi creature/race/entity would you build your army out of?

Ben and the Watcher of Zargon has an army of shapeshifting dragons, two of which are wizards with the ability to manipulate the elements of wind, water, fire and earth. A rogue dragonborn wizard, with no regard for dragonborn life has made war necessary.  However, I am reminded of the words by Canadian poet Lenard Cohan, “love is the only engine of survival.”

Would you rather ride a galactic unicorn or a space dinosaur?

I would choose to ride a space dinosaur as long as it could fly and breathe fire. I would name it dragon and we would go to worlds where no one has gone before.

What special projects are you working on now?

I am very excited to be going to Calgary for ‘When Words Collide’ in August 2016. I will be leading a workshop on the face of good and evil in epic fantasy. At the moment, I am reading and re-reading some of the best known epic fantasy writers to prepare for this event.

What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring writers?

I actually have a lot of advice.

  1. Make sure your manuscript is the best it can be before you shop it around even if that means hiring an editor.
  2. If you get an offer from a publisher make sure that it is one worth signing. I have met many writers who have bought the rights to their books back. One simple test is to make sure that you have a worthwhile publisher is to look at whether the publisher has print books for sale through other retailers besides Amazon.
  3. If you decide to self-publish make sure you have an outstanding cover.
  4. Open a twitter account. Produce some high quality tweets with images that people can easily find and re-tweet, and be a re-tweeter.
  5. Join a group like Clean Indie Reads where you can pick up great tips on writing and marketing your book.

Where do your books fall on the Rating Scale of PG to PG-13 Content (1 = How To Train Your Dragon, 8 = The Dark Knight, 10 = Borderline-R-Rating).

 My book would be a level one.

If you live in a fictional world which would you choose and why?

I would choose Narnia. Aslan is there and he has an uncanny ability to make things right in the end. If a character betrays him, he has been known to sacrifice himself to restore them to the company of heroes. Living in Narnia with Aslan would make me feel safe, not only from evil at work in the world, but from my own failure to live in the light.

To Interact with Dianne Astle, visit her on Twitter: @bendragonborn

Readers:

  • Do you have any more questions for Dianne Astle?
  • What is your favorite Chronicles of Narnia book?
  • What would you name a pirate dinosaur?

If you would like to join the League of Scribes, please e-mail lpalmer@lpalmerchronicles.com

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