Author Interview Number Forty-Three Dina Von Lowenkraft

Welcome to Dina von Lowenkraft

Please tell us a little about yourself. I am an American living overseas, currently based in Belgium where I am the Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators). I am married to a Frenchman and we have two teenagers, three horses and a cat – so life at home can get pretty busy!

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I love writing YA, especially fantasy and sci-fi. My debut novel, DRAGON FIRE, has been released as an e-book. The print edition will be available from November 15, 2013.

Where can readers find your book? DRAGON FIRE is on Amazon Barnes & Noble and as an e-book.

How long have you been writing and what made you choose the genre in which you write? One of my first experiences writing was in 8th grade. Our English teacher insisted we all enter a state-wide short story contest. I waited until the last minute and then wrote it in one night, scribbling away. It was the first time I felt the truth of an imagined world take shape and I felt the whole thing happen. It was an intense experience and I guess the jury must’ve felt it too, because it won the contest. The funny thing was that when I found out I had won, it didn’t move me nearly as much as the experience of writing the story had. Since then, I have always loved creating worlds and feeling them come alive (whether in writing or in other art forms such as painting and theater), so writing fantasy and sci-fi was a natural extension of that.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? As a child I read all the time – from the classic horse stories like My Friend Flicka to Ray Bradbury and the Dragon Riders of Pern. In high school I fell in love with Virginia Wolfe, Jane Austen, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name just a few. Currently I read all YA I can get my hands on – but I never limit myself and will pick up anything that strikes me as fun or well written or intriguing. There are so many fabulous writers out there, in all genres, that my literary influences and inspirations are many and varied.

In addition to literary influences, I can be inspired by music, nature, people, paintings… anything and everything that can make me feel an emotion!

Can you name a positive experience from your writing and a negative one? The most positive has got to be when a reader writes and says ‘I love, love, loved your book!’ or ‘I can’t wait for the sequel!’. What can be better that that?

As for negative… every time I got back a form rejection, and there were many. But I took it in stride and kept going. And in the end, I had the luxury of choosing between three offers.

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why?My publisher, Twilight Times Books, believes in publishing in both formats and I am very happy with that. I think reading books on my kindle is practical and I have hundreds of books on it. But I also love the physical books that line my office and I’m not ready to give them up yet. I think offering both is the best possible solution, that way every reader can choose what works best for them – both in terms of format and price.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? No, I don’t. But music is very important to my writing. I think that one thing I do that is a bit unique is that I listen to music for my characters. They all have their favorite groups and I will buy albums for each of them that I listen to in the car – which has become a great time to connect to the character and work things out. Only once was I unable to identify music for a character, and that character was Rakan, the main character of DRAGON FIRE. It took me a long time to understand that as a shapeshifting dragon he didn’t listen to music.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? I  think books provide more room for each person’s imagination to fill in the details. In a movie you get what you see – and it can be very moving and powerful. In a video game you are active, but more in the plot. In a book you can become part of the world in a different way. Of course, all three media have passionate followers and obviously each person will feel slightly differently about it. I don’t think we should worry about what each one provides, but rather allow ourselves to enjoy each one for what it offers – because even within each media there is a wide range of possibilities!

What advice would you give new writers? Keep at it! If you really want to get published and you are willing to continually work on craft and better your writing, you will get published. The road is often long and hard, but you will get there. And if you reach out, you will meet so many wonderful people along the way. So go for it and participate, in online writers groups, conferences, workshops… it’s one of the best parts of the writer’s journey!

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? Everything YA and all kinds of fantasy and sci-fi. In addition I will read anything and everything that looks good!

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I love to have coffee on the beach in my pajamas!


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Dragon Fire cover



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