Lindsey Piper‘s Dragon Kings series published today on Entice with Caged Warrior and Blood Warrior! The prequel novella Silent Warrior is also available! Read below for the amazing inspiration story behind what is sure to be one of the most talked-about debuts of 2014 . . .
I began my career writing historical romance after earning an advanced degree in history, which included a year abroad at the University of East Anglia. There, I met my future husband and lured him from Surrey to Chicago, where he has lived as a happily married man for sixteen years—and an often-frustrated West Ham supporter.
After fictionalising Robin Hood mythology, medieval Spain, Napoleonic Salzburg, and Victorian Glasgow in my award-winning Starlight, I have explored other genres. Now I co-write acclaimed contemporary erotic romances under the name Katie Porter. My active, wandering imagination is apparently without limits, because . . .
In December 2011, I became obsessed with the television programme ‘Spartacus’. It contains plenty to sensationalise, including comically graphic violence, but features complex story arcs. Characters portrayed by John Hannah and others underwent changes that were shocking, yet in keeping with established ambitions and relationships. I continue to defend those initial twelve episodes as some of the best writing in popular television.
Three days after watching Warrior, the Tom Hardy film about mixed martial arts, I was struck by the basis of what would become ‘The Dragon Kings’: paranormal beings who fight in Cage matches. Although compelled and inspired, I knew that once again stepping into a new genre would test my skill.
‘The Dragon Kings’ are not dragon shapeshifters. Instead, they were birthed by a being revered as the Great Dragon, which spawned the sacred Five Clans. Each clan is blessed with paranormal powers, from telepathy to the legendary Berserker fury. They have influenced human culture for millennia, such as inspiring Greek legends of Zeus and Mount Olympus. I was determined to mix mythological ideas with to-the-death combat.
Yet, what would they fight for? Money and power seemed trite. I hunted for something fresh and compelling. What if these supernatural clans faced imminent extinction? What if the ultimate prize was not wealth or influence…but the right to bear children? How far would individuals go to perpetuate clans, bloodlines, and families?
I have two daughters. I would do anything to secure their safety and happiness. What loving, responsible parent would do otherwise? That question is the heart of Caged Warrior, the series’ first full-length novel. The heroine, Nynn, labors to become what she previously thought barbaric: a Cage warrior. As with the heroines in Aliens and The Terminator, Nynn’s little boy is threatened. She endures harsh training with the goal of him from torturous imprisonment.
Her mentor, adversary, and Cage partner is Leto, a man raised to believe victory is life’s greatest reward. Slowly, Leto begins to sympathise with Nynn’s cause and realises how brainwashed he is. The trust they develop is one of my favourite romantic tropes: ‘I have your back, and you have mine’. That theme is repeated in each of book of ‘The Dragon Kings’ series. In a violent world, how can love exist without such devotion?
For those eager for actual dragon shapeshifters . . . never fear. Hunted Warrior, due in May, brings the lore of the Great Dragon full circle and reveals how little this formidable race understands of its history and potential. What was once will be again . . .
Please join me on what has been an intense, challenging, emotional journey as an author, and what I hope will offer a rewarding and unique paranormal romance experience for readers.