Book Giveaway & Author Interview: Ivy’s Ever After by Dawn Lairamore

Welcome to author Dawn Lairamore.


Bio:

Dawn Lairamore has always loved fairy tales but thinks you can only take so many sweet, proper princesses and ferocious, fire-breathing dragons. She thought it would be fun to write a fairy tale where the princess and the dragon weren’t what you expected. She can’t embroider or walk with a book balanced on her head, so much like her character Ivy, she would make a pretty terrible princess. Visit her online at www.dawnbooks.com, where you can read chapters from Ivy’s Ever After and Ivy and the Meanstalk.

http://www.dawnbooks.com/

Interview:
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The power of super speed reading. I tried to teach myself to speed read once when I was in high school, but I wasn’t very good at it. I have an ever-growing collection of books in my to-read pile, and not as much free time as I’d like. So being able to read superhumanly fast would be a dream!

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Books were one of my great childhood pleasures. I remember feeling this great sense of magic and wonder whenever I walked into a library or bookstore and found myself surrounded by so many wonderful stories and new adventures. As an adult, I wanted very much to contribute to that same excitement in young readers, which is why I became a children’s book author.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
There were lots–The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Secret Garden and The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I’ve received some absolutely lovely letters from young readers telling me how much they’ve loved my books. That’s the most rewarding thing ever! Some have drawn me pictures, some have sent photographs, some have shared stories of their own. I went to a public appearance once and a young reader came dressed as Ivy. That was pretty fantastic!

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Make writing a priority. So many people would love to write but have difficulty finding the time. It’s so easy to set writing aside, to tell yourself you’ll come back to it later, to let other things in your life take precedence. If writing is important to you, you have to take it seriously. Treat it as if it was a job. Make time for it, and schedule time where you can focus solely on it, even if it’s only an hour or two a week.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
None of my characters are based on me, but I can see pieces of myself here and there. I often get asked if my princess, Ivy, was inspired by me or my life. People often think Ivy must act the way I did when I was her age. The truth is, I think Ivy is more the fourteen-year-old I would have liked to have been (confident, adventurous, true to herself), rather than the fourteen-year-old I was (kind of shy and awkward).

Hidden talent?
I have a black belt in a Korean form of martial arts called Kuk Sool Won.

Favorite Food?
It fluctuates depending on the weather. If it’s cold, I love soup with toasted sourdough bread. French onion soup or tomato soup are my favorites. When the weather is hot, nothing beats chilled sweet ripe watermelon. I can eat a whole bowl!

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
Adorable little puppies and shoe sales. I have a great weakness for both.

What’s your favorite season/weather?
Autumn. That’s why a large part of Ivy’s Ever After takes place in autumn, and Ivy’s birthday is in this season.

Write a Haiku about your book.
Princess and dragon
Team up against handsome prince
Adventures ensue.

Hot or Cold
Cold. I don’t particularly like being too cold, but it’s better than being too hot.

Print or Ebook
At this point, I’m still reading mostly print books. I’m a bit nostalgic about the feel of ink and paper in my hands, but I’m sure I’ll modernize and convert to ebooks eventually.

Chocolate or Vanilla
Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla 🙂

Ivy’s Ever After:

The kingdom of Ardendale has always locked its princesses in a white tower guarded by a dragon. It’s the only way to lure gallant young princes to the tiny, out-of-the-way kingdom to marry them. But Ivy is a princess who doesn’t care to be rescued, and Elridge a dragon afraid of being slain. Neither wants anything to do with Romil, a scheming prince from the frozen North who has his own less than romantic reasons for wanting Ivy’s hand in marriage. Never mind that humans and dragons have loathed each other for centuries, it isn’t long before this feisty princess and rather undragonly dragon have fled the tower and set off on a perilous journey to find Ivy’s long-lost fairy godmother, the only one who might help them escape the not-so-fairy-tale fates that await them. Full of humor and high adventure, Ivy’s Ever After is a twist on the typical princess-needs-rescuing-from-a-dragon storyline so common in traditional tales, featuring a princess and a dragon who team up to thwart the handsome prince. A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, 2011.

Ivy and the Meanstalk:

After finding her long-lost fairy godmother, escaping a forthcoming marriage, and saving her kingdom from the dastardly designs of a scheming prince, Princess Ivy wants nothing more than to have a little fun and enjoy the company of her new dragon friend, Elridge. But long ago a magical harp went missing, snatched by a thieving youth named Jack. Its rightful owner wants it back—or the entire kingdom will suffer an unspeakable fate! So Ivy and Elridge are off on another fairy-tale-inspired adventure, one that will take them across the sea, into the fiery depths of a magnificent golden kingdom, and high into the clouds, where an enormous castle looms at the top of a giant bean—that is, meanstalk. Will they find the harp in time?

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive both Ivy’s Ever After and Ivy and the Meanstalk
Open to US & Canada
Ends 12/11/11

Winner: Rain Misoa