Today Eric J. Krause stopped by for a crazy/awkward interview. He’s chatting about his YA book Dragon Guard, check out the blurb:
Fifteen year-old Ben Phillips knows this as surely as he knows the sun rises in the morning and sets at night. And then he gets attacked by zombies on his way to school. But that’s not the worst thing that’s happened to him lately. He’s also fallen for the new girl in school, Andi Thomas, who turns out to be a 758 year-old dragon in a fifteen year-old girl’s body. If that wasn’t enough to make it the worst school year of his life, fate has also decided Ben should be Andi’s Dragon Guard, her bound mate with superpowers right out of comic books.
And then an ancient evil bent on destroying the world kidnaps Ben’s parents.
Ben’s had better years. But evil necromancers and over-protective parents aside, Ben’s going to do everything he can, with or without the full powers of Dragon Guard, to do the right thing, not just for Andi, but for the world.
And still get his math homework done on time.
Check out Eric’s
Crazy/Awkward Interview with Eric J. Krause
*gestures at the empty seat beside her* Hey, Eric! I’m psyched you braved my interview cave for this abus…um…interview. *bats her lashes* Have a seat. Want a piece of fancy chocolate or cheese? *eyes carefully to see which is picked*
Ooh, is that dark chocolate? Don’t mind if I do. *hopes it has a gooey caramel center, but if not, hey, still chocolate*
But of course! Not long ago I scored a copy of Dragon Guard—the first book in a YA series featuring shapeshifting dragons, icky zombies, and magic-wielding baddies. Ben starts out his week with late homework courtesy of video games. What games make your work late?
I was a big gamer when I was Ben’s age, but not as much anymore. My video game (actually an app) poison of choice at the moment is actually The Simpsons: Tapped Out on my phone. You better believe writing is paused for five to ten minutes when the buildings and characters are ready. Actually, though, instead of many games keeping me from writing, Twitter and Tumblr are my vices. They can be just as much of a time-sink.
So Ben discovers he’s destined to be with a significantly older gal. How did you decide on Andi’s age?
Yes, in human years, Andi is 758 years old. However, in dragon years, she’s 15, same as Ben. Dragons age roughly one year for every 50 for humans. And since Ben and Andi’s souls are bound together (at least in a minor way), making him her Dragon Guard, he’s now on the same 50 year aging calendar.
There was no mystical, magical reason I chose this number. I wanted dragons to be ancient creatures, and I also wanted to make it easy for me to figure out and keep track of ages. (Peak behind the curtain!) 100 seemed too much, so 50 it was. And, hey, when it takes a millennium to get to your 20th birthday, that’s ancient enough for me.
If your age and body were out of sync, what would you want them to be, and why?
I actually wouldn’t mind aging like a dragon. 50 human years for every one for dragons seems like a pretty nifty deal to me.
Now on to the crazy questions:
Q: Prohibition round two starts tomorrow and it prohibits your favorite product. Name that product and what you’ll do to get your fix.
A: I’d totally hit speakeasies for cookies and other dessert baked goods. Candy and ice cream make excellent desserts every once in a while, but I need cookies (or pie, or cake, or brownies, or … you get the idea) to consider it a successful dessert. But speakeasies aren’t an option for getting my fix, you say? *sigh* I suppose I’ll make due with candy or ice cream on a regular basis, but it simply won’t be the same. *double sigh*
Q: How do you feel about llamas?
A: I never really had any opinion one way or the other about llamas, but ten or so years ago, in a petting zoo at the Orange County Fair, a llama snotted on my sleeve. Since then, I don’t trust them. Not one bit. *narrows eyes and glances around the room for any rogue llamas ready to snot on me*
*hopes Eric doesn’t notice the crazy, googly-eyed one at the top of the page*
Q: Like Andi and her dad, you can shift your head into another form, the form it takes is: a) an ant-eater b) a lemur c) a house cat (and not proportionate to your body) d) a gorgon. Bonus: how do you sound when speaking with that head?
A: I’d like to add e) wolf because that would be way metal! But, alas, since it’s not a choice, I suppose I’ll have to choose c) a house cat. I almost chose d) a gorgon because, while not metal, it’s pretty hard rockin’. (Ahh, see what I did there?) I couldn’t make that choice, though, because having snakes for hair is way too icky. I’m totally with Indiana Jones on that one. (“Snakes? Why’d it have to be snakes?”)
As for my voice, I’m guessing it’d be like dragons in my Dragon Guard universe (or, technically, in my Prophecy of the Dragons universe since that’s the name of the trilogy). My voice would come out as meows. Other cats and cat people could understand, but not humans. Well, except for my Kitty Guard, but she wouldn’t understand the meows, she’d only be able to hear my voice in her mind, like dragons and their guards.
Q: What wild thing do you believe in?
A: I believe in time travel in the ways we see in speculative fiction. Sure, we’ve never seen any proof it works other than some microscopic particles being sent back tiny fractions of a second. As far as anyone knows, we’ve never seen a time traveler from the distant future visiting us, but I don’t believe that’s how it works. To avoid paradoxes, a time machine would have to travel back to an alternate universe that is exactly the same in every single minute detail as the time traveler’s original universe. When the time traveler changes the past, it can change everything in that new alternate universe since the future doesn’t yet exist. The ol’ “Can’t Kill Your Grandfather” paradox (or any other type of paradox) wouldn’t exist because that is technically not the time traveler’s grandfather. He sure looks, acts, and thinks like ol’ Gramps, but the time traveler’s real grandfather is back in that original universe, safe and sound in the past (assuming it was a safe and sound past — he obviously survived before having Mom or Dad anyway).
Is it obvious I’ve probably given this way more thought than is healthy?
Q: What is your hobo name?
A: I’ve never actually given this any thought, so I decided to hop on Google to get a hobo name assigned to me. The one I ended up with was based on my birthday month for my first name, my first name initial for my middle name, and my last name initial for my last name. I got *drum roll* Arizona Railcar Pete. Yeah, I wasn’t thrilled with it, either. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it? So I flashed my writer’s license at the Interwebz and made another, totally erasing the first name of the generator — two is plenty. So my official hobo name is *queue another drum roll* Lightnin’ McGee. Yeah, that has some (wait for it) thunder.
Q: Fill in the blank: I wish I could _________ with my brain.
A: I wish I could visit alternate universes with my brain.
Seriously, how cool would that be? The way I understand it, every choice one makes in life could go in two, three, or more directions, so each one creates a new universe. I also choose to believe (I guess this answer could go up a couple of questions now, eh?) that if you dream something, it exists out there in the infinite realms of alternate universes (okay, so maybe that’s pseudo science/science fiction thinking, but I still choose to believe it). Being able to view/visit all of those alternate universes created by choices I made throughout life would be beyond cool. Better than movie night, that’s for sure.
Besides, I’ve always wondered how different my life would have turned out had I ordered strawberry-covered Belgium waffles rather than pancakes with butter pecan syrup that chilly morning in 2004 …
I dunno, Arizona Railcar Pete is pretty epic!
What grade do we give Eric for his crazy/awkward answers? Comment with your letter grade below!
Got a question you’d like to ask Eric or one you want to see on the next crazy/awkward interview? Comment!