Sunday, April 1, 2012

Guest Post by Jackie Gamber author of Redheart and Sela: The Leland Dragon Series

Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe rought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the arker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.

As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.
A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon

Peace was fleeting. Vorham Riddess, Venur of Esra Province, covets the crystal ore buried deep in Leland's mountains. His latest device to obtain it: land by marriage to a Leland maiden. But that's not all.

Among Dragonkind, old threats haunt Mount Gore, and shadows loom in the thoughts of the Red who restored life to land and love. A dragon hunter, scarred from countless battles, discovers he can yet suffer more wounds.

In the midst of it all, Sela Redheart is lost, driven from her home with only her old uncle to watch over her. As the dragon-born child of Kallon, the leader of Leland's Dragon Council, she is trapped in human form with no understanding of how she transformed, or how to turn back.

Wanderers seek a home, schemes begin to unfurl, and all is at risk as magic and murder, marriage and mystery strangle the heart of Esra. A struggle for power far older and deeper than anyone realizes will leave no human or dragon unaffected.

In a world where magic is born of feeling, where the love between a girl and a dragon was once transformative, what power dwells in the heart of young Sela?

“Sela” Blog Tour – “Where did my characters come from?”

By Jackie Gamber, author of “Redheart” and “Sela”, books 1 and 2 of the Leland Dragon Series

In an earlier blog post for the “Sela” Blog Tour, I talked about characters, and how bits of life, and people, get collected into The Kaleidoscope to be examined and borrowed from.

That’s how most writers, I think, find characters for stories.

But what about the Leland Dragon Series, and the characters, in particular, from my latest book, “Sela”? Where did they come from?

The quick and easy answer is that they came from the world I created for them.

In reality, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Oftentimes, I’m not clear as to whether my mind creates a world, or if characters come first, and the world fills in around them. Most of my thinking and imagining is done in the shadows, at the peripherals of my attention. Dots are connecting. Characters are chatting; either with me, or with each other.

For “Sela”, many characters from “Redheart” came along for the next generation, such as Kallon, Riza, Jastin, and Orman. Some characters offer a deeper look into motivation and story, such as Layce Phelcher. And some are brand new to readers; that’s Sela herself, and a handful of supporting cast members, who have yet to fully reveal their importance to the Leland story.

Which is how things work in real life, right? We have friends from way back. Friends we’ve known for a while but are just getting to know. And acquaintances with a promise for friendship we just haven’t yet discovered.

Which is the complicated answer to where my characters from “Sela” came from. Real life.

Well, with a twist.

Fictional characters often have to stand up to harsher scrutiny than real people. After all, when a real person does something stupid, or illegal, or amazingly kind, if we don’t understand it, we can shake our heads. Blink a lot. Stand silently in awe. If we don’t have an explanation, we might grasp for one, but in the end, we know real people are very hard to explain. At some point, we let it go.

Fictional folks, on the other hand, need reasons. We, as readers, need characters to have motives. We want to know them as intimately as we know ourselves. We don’t have to agree with them. We don’t have to like them.

But, they need to make sense.

Which is why developing characters becomes such an intricate dance with creating their world. It’s “nature vs. nurture” played out on a page. If I have an angry character, I need circumstances that turn her that way. If I have an idealistic character, he needs to have a world that allows him that point of view.

For Sela Redheart, I had to get to know her. Find out her dreams, and fears. Find out what she really wants. And I had to put her into a world that challenges her. Holds her back. Withholds her rewards, until she has no other choice but to fight for them.

Just like real life.

Real life, with dragons.

I did mention the twist, right?

Jackie Gamber is the award-winning author of “Redheart” and “Sela”, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series, now available! For more information about Jackie and her mosaic mind, visit

And meet Jackie elsewhere on the world wide web at: