Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their three adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn’t long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.
Speaking of which, she just released the third volume of her fantasy series. The first two books are awesome (I love the worldbuilding), and while I haven't had a chance to read this one yet, I'm thoroughly looking forward to doing so at some point.
The years of Oraeyn’s short rule have been peaceful, but now ominous nightmares plague his sleep and cling to him during his waking hours. When two of his most trusted advisors disappear without a trace and not even the power of dragons can locate them, the fell promise of the king’s nightmares becomes reality.
From the furthest reaches of the world, an ancient enemy stirs. Stretching beyond his crumbling prison walls, this foe seeks to bring life to the darkest of shadows. His army marches towards Aom-igh with deadly intent, threatening all Oraeyn holds dear.
Aided by dragons, and with the warrior Brant and Princess Kamarie at his side, Oraeyn must journey into the wilds of a forgotten realm. Trusting in the wisdom and skill of the enigmatic minstrel, Kiernan Kane, the companions race against time in search of Yorien’s Hand, a relic that may hold the power to save them all.
And I get to interview one of the characters: Yole. Spoilers if you haven't read the first book of the series, though!
- You're a dragon, and you've known you're one for about three years now. How has it gone?
It’s been amazing! I love being a dragon. I have learned so much. The only downside is that all of the older dragons treat me like a little kid - a “youngling” is their term for it. The thing is, I’m so used to fending for myself and being on my own, that it is difficult for me to adjust to them telling me what I am and am not allowed to do. Also, some of the dragons give me funny looks when I talk or Sometimes I volunteer to take Brant back and forth to Llycaelon just to get away from that, because it is so annoying. There really aren’t any other dragons my age - though I guess part of the problem is that nobody is really sure what my actual age is - there are the full-adult dragons, the elders, and the newborn hatchlings, but no other “younglings.” There weren’t any young dragons hatched during their time in Krayghentaliss.
- Who would you call your best friend?
Amongst the dragons, my best friend is Thorayenak. He’s one of the elder dragons, but he’s one of the only ones who doesn’t treat me like a baby. He’s extremely wise and he’s taught me a lot of history and lore. I guess you could say he kind of got saddled with my education, but he doesn’t seem to mind, and he never makes me feel like I’m a burden.
Shentallyia is another dragon I’ve become friends with. She’s quite a bit older than me, but is probably the only dragon even close to my own age.
The people I would consider my best friends, however, are not dragons, but the humans who accepted me as their own before I even knew who I was: Oraeyn and Kamarie. They are my family.
3. What's the best part of being a dragon?
There are so many wonderful things about being a dragon. Flying is one of my favorite things. But I think the best part is really that I can be of use now. I have a role, abilities that make me useful to the ones I care about. I spent so much of my early life wandering from village to village, less than worthless to everyone I met, with no expectations of anything more, no purpose. I feel that being a dragon has filled a void in my heart and given me a greater purpose to strive towards.