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I am on the book blog tour for One Flew Through the Dragon Heart by C.S Johnson and I have an interview feature for my spot. The blog tour is organised by Shannon over at R&R Tours.
💫 One Flew Through the Dragon Heart by C.S Johnson
-Back of the Book
A Chinese Legend. A British Secret. Star-Crossed Lovers with Incompatible Magic.
Brixton Flew works as a professor of wielder instruction at Rembrandt Academy, hoping to erase the regrets of his youth along with the resulting debt. But when he comes face to face with his biggest regret—the woman who broke his heart, Adelaide Favan—Brixton soon realizes his troubles have only begun.
Unable to control her magic, Adelaide knew leaving Brixton was the only way to protect him when they were younger. Now she discovers he is the key to recovering the Dragon Eyes, a legendary treasure connected to her magic and her family’s disgraced legacy—and she knows the risk is great, to both his life and her heart.
With others seeking the power of the Dragon Eyes, Brixton and Adelaide must outwit their foes and face down their families to save London from an ancient legend that sleeps beneath the magic portal in their city.
But the renewed passion growing between them may prove to be the greater peril …
One Flew Through the Dragon Heart is the first book in a new steampunk series by C.S. Johnson, blending together history, romance, mecha-dragons and magic against the glittering backdrop of 1880’s Victorian London.
- Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
One Flew Through the Dragon Heart is a steampunk fantasy romance set in 1880, in Victorian London. At the heart of the story, no pun intended, is the relationship between Adelaide Favan and Brixton Flew, who are two magic wielders in love with each other, but several things are standing in their way of romance — everything from their classes, races, magic, and families. The most dangerous of these stems from Adelaide’s black magic. While it would be hard enough for her to love Brixton, as a wielder of white magic, Adelaide’s black magic is tied to a curse placed on her family. Her magic will eventually destroy anything she loves, if she gets too close to anyone for too long. Because of this, she has broken Brixton’s heart before, and he has never forgotten it. But when she finds out he is her best chance at recovering the Dragon Eyes, a legendary treasure that can help her manage her magic’s curse, Brixton has a new chance to prove to Adelaide that his love for her will not be dissuaded, even if it means he has to suffer. And that is just the beginning of the trouble he faces in choosing to love her.
- Who would your book be perfect for?
Hopeless romantics who follow Elon Musk on Twitter, haha! Also, people who think it would be funny to see Hogwarts as a sadistic, bureaucratic organization out to steal power, control all magic, and rule over the world.
- Did you have a favourite character to write?
Brixton and Adelaide were always the most fun to write. When they are together, there is just so much more to the story—more fun, more suspense, more angst, more wonder.
But while the book centers on their romance, I enjoyed writing about their families a lot, too. One of the things I really try to show in my books is the influences families have over us—both for the good, and for the bad. For example, Brixton’s insecurity over his relationship with his father adds a complexity to their interactions. While they are family and they love each other, Brixton’s father is jealous of Brixton’s talent and Brixton is afraid of disappointing his father, even though it is necessary at times. For Adelaide, her relationship with her father is strained because she can’t love him without hurting him, and this is further complicated because Adelaide’s mother died because of her magic.
- What inspired you to write the book?
I like writing books you can read multiple times and still find something new, so there are multiple gems you can mine as you read this book (not the least of which is “All teachers make excellent candidates for villains,” which, as a former teacher, I know all too well).
However, the main message this book carries is on the issue of sacrificial love.
In the book, Adelaide loves Brixton enough she will hurt him in order to save him, and Brixton loves Adelaide enough he will willingly suffer in order to be with her. This idea came to me from the true love I share with my husband. He really works so hard to provide a good life for me and our kids, and sometimes in the end, especially with my depression—a curse on my soul he can never fully break—I only make him suffer because he refuses to leave me alone in the magic of my own self-destruction.
While it is a fun book that has a lot of unusual worldbuilding elements mixed together, much of it is grounded in the realism that is all too real for those of us who wonder if anyone can truly know us and still love us.
LOL, the book fits well into my usual, “Come for the fun, stay for the guilt,” invitation I use on readers who become part of my reader family.
- Can you share with us a photo from 2018 that meant something special to you?
Sure! I got to go home and spend a month with my mom. I took my two little ones along with me, this past summer in 2018, and here are my kids playing in the creek I used to play in as a kid. I really want to make the world a better place for my kids, and this is a bit of a tear-jerker picture for me.
- What has been your proudest bookish moment?
There are a lot of proud moments I have as a writer. If I had to nail it down to a specific event, I don’t think I would be able to, but one of the first big moments was in 5th grade, when my teacher read one of my essay assignments to the class as an example of “exceeds expectation” work. More than a few of my teachers have said I would make an excellent writer and critic since then, and I’m more than happy that both of these elements have come to fruition, as I have worked as a contributor for Hollywood in Toto, offering for movie reviews and cultural commentary, and of course, writing books under my own name.
- Do you have any questions for your readers?
As much as I enjoy telling stories, I do like hearing about other people’s lives (I do not actually think my life is that interesting, lol). If I did have any questions, most of them would likely start with an invitation for coffee first. Memoirs are actually some of my favorite books to read, and I like the idea that everyone carries a story of their own inside their hearts.
- What is your favourite read of your whole life and why?
I have a lot of different favorites when it comes books, but my two consistently favorite novels are “Till We Have Faces,” and “Out of the Silent Planet,” both by C. S. Lewis. While I think they are definitely an acquired taste for some people, Lewis’ ideas on reality and hyper-reality are both highlighted in his fantasy and science fiction. I’ve never walked away from either book without thinking of something new, and like his Narnia books, the adage “further up and further in” fits his work. The Narnia ones are more accessible, but “Till We Have Faces” and “Out of the Silent Planet” are for more grown up audiences who have more questions.
- What are you working on now?
2019 has a lot of things in store for me as a writer. I am currently working on my first non-fiction book, and I am hoping to get the sequel out to “One Flew Through the Dragon Heart,” as well as the conclusion to my Order of the Crystal Daggers series, “Heart of Hope and Fear.”
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