Guest Post – Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

Welcome to Author Deborah Cooke!

Bio:

Deborah Cooke has always been fascinated with dragons, although she has never understood why they have to be the bad guys. She has an honours degree in history, with a focus on medieval studies. She is an avid reader of medieval vernacular literature, fairy tales and fantasy novels, and has written over forty romance novels and novellas. She has also been published under the names Claire Cross and Claire Delacroix.
Deborah makes her home in Canada with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found knitting, sewing or hunting for vintage patterns.

Into The Past – 
Guest post on what books your past self would recommend at ages 5, 11, 16 and 20. If there are any books released in the last few years you wish you had at those ages, you can talk about that too.

I hope you don’t think this is a cop-out answer, but I don’t believe in assigning books to people on the basis of age. Everyone reads at their own level, and age assignments feel very contrived to me. I think people should read what they want to read – and that includes kids.

I’ve always read a lot of fairy tales, for example. That started for me as a child, which is when most people read fairy tales, but it continues to this day. I still read variations of fairy tales – Angela Carter edited several collections of Virago Books of Fairy Tales, for example – as well as retellings – like Angela Carter’s own anthology of retold fairy tales called “The Bloody Chamber”. That journey led me into non-fiction, like the essays by Jack Zipes on fairy tales (and his collections) as well as Marina Warner’s survey FROM THE BEAST TO THE BLONDE. It led me to vernacular medieval stories which are the roots of many fairy tales, and to the work of A. S. Byatt, whose POSSESSION is a wonderful variation of the Melusine story. The adventure continues, and leads me into new areas of the bookstore and library every year.

I also don’t believe in forbidding kids to read certain books, which is the flip side of making read-this lists at certain ages. I read lots of books I wasn’t supposed to read when I was a kid – I found a way! – and mostly I remember that they were disappointing. When something is forbidden, your expectations are heightened! It’s less important to me to specify what kids should read, as to get them reading in the first place. People only become avid readers – or lifelong readers – when they follow their own impulses in the library or bookstore.

We should all read whatever we want – because enjoying what we read will tempt us to read more.

What’s your favourite book, one that you love and will read repeatedly, independent of your age?

Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke:

The next generation of shape-shifting dragons from the popular author of the Dragonfire novels.
Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she’s been told she’s destined for great things. Zoë’s the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she’s sent to a Pyr boot camp.
Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.