Back in June, I reviewed Bitterwood which fast became one of my favorites books of the year. Author James Maxey agreed to an interview… and an extra bonus:
Check back tomorrow to enter a giveaway for a signed copy of Bitterwood!
Angela/SciFiChick: For those who haven’t read Bitterwood yet, can you give us a brief synopsis?
James Maxey: Bant Bitterwood’s family was killed by dragons twenty years before the novel begins. Since then, he’s led a silent and deadly campaign of revenge against the dragons who rule his world, striking from the shadows whenever the opportunity arises. Bitterwood has become a legendary figure; a hero to humans, a bogeyman to dragons, but no one is even certain if he’s real. Some dragons think that any human who kills a dragon just places the blame on the mythical figure. When the novel opens, the dragon king Albekizan’s favorite son is killed and Bitterwood is blamed. Albekizan decides that there’s only one certain way to rid his kingdom of the danger of Bitterwood–by killing every last human in the kingdom. The novel unfolds against a backdrop of impending genocide as a small handful of humans and dragons work to avert the tragedy.
Angela: How did you decide to make dragons such major characters in your story?
JM: Dragons are just cool! I didn’t want them to be simply big scaly monsters. The story is more dramatic because my dragons are capable of love and anger, hope and despair. If a dragon were to pick it up and read Bitterwood, he’d be able to think he’d be reading a book where the dragons are the protagonists and Bitterwood is just a terrorist. It’s not a book with clear-cut lines of right and wrong; hopefully readers will find some of the moral situations within it thought provoking. To me, the greatest drama happens not by setting good guys up against cartoonish bad guys, but to pit sympathetic characters with conflicting yet understandable goals against each other.