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Wednesday 6 April 2016

ℚ♫ Dragonfly - Alyssa Thiessen

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about her second novel, Dragonfly (, Peasantry Press, 156 pages), a Sweet Young Adult Paranormal Romance.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Alyssa, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter today!

To start, as we love music, Alyssa has shared with us her music playlist for Dragonfly - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Dragonfly?
"Dragonfly was inspired by a different short story I wrote when I was in my early twenties, about a boy born with wings.  In the original story, he had two large, feathered wings, and he was naïve and innocent.  He was utterly good.

When I wrote Dragonfly as it is now, I wanted to get away from the cliché of an angel-like hero and explore the idea of a protagonist who would never be mistaken for an angel – neither in looks or actions.  The main character, Joshua, has insect-like wings instead, and he lives his life as a thief, alone and in the shadows.

Through Joshua, I could explore the idea of alienation and loneliness alongside themes of forgiveness, redemption, and change."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Dragonfly - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"My publisher, Peasantry Press, designed my cover to reflect the world of the protagonist.  It depicts Joshua (just as I envisioned him), overlooking this beautiful but lonely cityscape.  It’s gray and dark, but still beautiful."
Why should we read Dragonfly and what sets it apart from the rest? 
"I think the story itself is unusual enough to be really interesting, and Joshua’s character development engaging and authentic, even with the fantasy element.  I believe there’s beauty in the overarching theme, too.  Plus, I fell in love with Joshua, and I’m really hoping the readers do too."
Can you tell us something quirky about Dragonfly, its story and characters?
"The main character in the story, Joshua, has these four huge dragonfly wings.  When his romantic interest, Lexi, is talking to him about the wings, she tells this story about her encounter with a dragonfly as a child, and how the dragonfly kind of became a symbol of hope and faith to her.

I took that story from my own childhood experience.  If I were to get a tattoo, it would be one of a dragonfly.  I’m still considering it."

Dragonflies do remind me of my childhood as well, and I find them absolutely beautiful.

Who would you recommend Dragonfly to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I’d recommend this novel to readers fifteen years old and up.  There are a couple of brief scenes where our main character witnesses some domestic violence, but these are fairly mild and really important to the story.

Over all, it’s a story about finding yourself, overcoming your past, making meaningful choices and connections."
If you could / wished to turn Dragonfly into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Wow, seeing Dragonfly as a movie!  That would be fun.

In terms of a dream team, I think I’d start with Hayden Christensen as Joshua.  He’s a great actor with this fantastic voice.  And beautiful cheekbones.

For Lexi, I’d have Ellen Page.  She has the same look I envision for Lexi, and I’ve seen her in some quirky roles that resemble how I imagine Lexi to be – a girl with an ordinary life who is really looking for the extraordinary.

Then I’d have Andrew Garfield as Eric.  Garfield, in addition to being a fantastic actor with a great range, would just play really well opposite Christensen and Ellen.

And to direct?  Joss Whedon.  What a brilliant writer and director.  I’m a huge fan of pretty much everything he’s worked on – although I’m not sure my writing has enough funny for him.  He’s so great though.  Imagine having him direct a movie version of my book.  That would be something. "

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love character-driven writing, and primarily write YA speculative fiction.  This is my first in the urban fantasy category – I have a post-apocalyptic one published a few years ago, entitled Amber Rain, and a YA Science Fiction novel coming out this year.  I have another post-apocalyptic one with an editor right now.

I do love reading and watching speculative fiction, although I also love historical fiction and even some contemporary romance.  I think the most important thing for me as a reader is that I am caught up in the emotion of the story; the writing draws me in and the characters and their situations become real to me.  That’s the type of story I want to write – one where readers can care about the lives of my characters. "
What is your writing process?
"It totally varies.  Sometimes I’ll have an idea for a story, or for a character, and I start there, or sometimes I hear a song that just gets me feeling, you know?

In terms of actually writing the story, occasionally I’ll “pants” it, as they say (just write by the seat of my pants, let the story grow organically by itself), but usually I plan it first.  After my initial idea, I’ll usually write an outline and some character sketches, so I don’t get lost on the way. And then, I’ll just – write.

Music is a must, at least in the brainstorming stage.  Sometimes I listen to stuff while I’m writing, but sometimes I need silence, just to hear the characters and focus on my own voice. "
What is in store next?
"I’m not sure if there will be any sequels to this one or not.  I mean, there is definitely more to Joshua’s story, but the story feels finished where it is, too.

I do have another novel coming out in a few months, entitled Infusion.  It’s in its final stages with the publisher now.  It’s really different than this one, but I absolutely love it.  I think readers will too.

If anyone wants to find out more about me or my writing, they can find me at"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I love my dog, Rufus.  He’s a Miniature Schnauzer, and pretty much the cutest, nicest dog ever.  Here’s a picture of the two of us."
Aww, cutie!  Hello Rufus!  Lots of cuddles to you from all of us at BooksChatter!
Thank you for sharing him, Alyssa :-)
We hope you have a great tour and look forward to reading Dragonfly!

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