Some years ago I was happily writing romances for Silhouette Books when my editor tapped me for a new promotion. Did I have a profession I would like to explore? I immediately volunteered to write about a minister. Dragonslayer was the result.
Be careful what you volunteer for. It’s rarely as easy as it sounds.
At the time–and still–I was a big fan of ministers, having been married to one for years. Churches are microcosms of the world around them, with the same problems and possibilities. And the men and women who serve them professionally are saints and sinners, sometimes in the very same day. Like the rest of us, they get discouraged, angry, depressed, but they also find inspiration and sustenance not only from their relationship with the holy, but also by trying to make the world around them a better place.
I didn’t want to preach, and I wasn’t interested in writing about anybody who had all the answers. In fact the more I got to know the Reverend Thomas Stonehill, the more I realized he had few. The answers he’d found earlier in life had all been destroyed by a personal tragedy, leaving him an empty shell. Then in walked Garnet Anthony, a maternal health nurse as different from the women he’d know, as fire and ice. Put them together in the inner city where gangs roamed the streets and opportunities for a better life were few, and Dragonslayer came into being.
The year after publication Dragonslayer won the Romance Writers of America RITA award, and just as thrilling, one of Romantic Times magazine’s extremely rare 5 Star reviews.
In the words of the late and mourned Melinda Helfer, one of RT’s top reviewers: “Innovative plots can often open gateways for an author, but they can never take the place of the gifts of the human experience that the very best books bring to our hearts. Every reader has their own set of 5s, books that have significantly influenced the way they look at the world. Without question, Dragonslayer (5) is one of mine.”
I hope that you, too, find this story compelling, and that the characters’ struggles will resonate with your own, as different as they may be. I’ve made only a few revisions to help make the details more relevant for today’s readers. But the story is the same, and all these years later, I’m still delighted I wrote it.
In the years since I’ve written two more novels with ministers as major characters. Endless Chain, the second novel of my five book Shenandoah Album series, and The Color of Light, the fourth novel of my Goddesses Anonymous series. You can discover more about both of them by following those links.
Dragonslayer is available at the following stores. Reviews are always appreciated. (Well, almost always.)