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November 8, 2011

C.J. Hill: Real Life Dragons

Posted by Katherine

CJ Hill's debut SLAYERS is a fantasy novel, though she got her start as a writer penning romantic comedies under a different name. She chose ner new pen name, C.J. Hill, because it was the pen name her late mother used. She currently lives in Arizona with her five children. In this post she talks about dragons --- both real and imaginary --- and how to deal with them. 

We all deal with dragons

In bookstores, fantasy books have their own shelf.  If you’re not into that genre, you might never wander over in that direction and see all the covers with fierce dragons and the buff, bare-chested men who apparently have to deal with them.  

Maybe you don’t think you’ll ever have to deal with dragons. 

It would be nice if we could all breeze through life achieving our goals and checking off our To-Do lists without worry of obstacles or antagonists.  But the way I see things, it’s not just guys with six-pack abs that have to face dragons. We all do, which is perhaps the reason that story-tellers have been telling tales about dragons for thousands of years. 

Today’s teens have an especially bad assortment of dragons to deal with: everything from drug use, the disintegration of families, the effects of the bad economy --- even the fear that someone might show up at their school with an assault rifle.

If you’re a teenager, you’re going to have some hard days. For some teens, every day is hard.

On the surface, SLAYERS is a fun action story about kids who have secret superpowers to fight the dragons that are about to be unleashed on Washington DC. Tori, a socialite senator’s daughter, doesn’t see herself as the superhero type. Initially she wants no part in the training, let alone the fighting involved in slaying dragons.

She has to find the reasons and the courage to become more than what she started out to be.

Just like Don Quixote, sometimes we have to pick up our swords and fight the dragons in our lives.  Sometimes those dragons might only be windmills in disguise, but other times they’re big and vicious and can roast us like marshmallows.

How does a person find the courage to face those sorts of dragons?  When we come across dragon-sized problems, how many of us stick around to fight it out instead of taking off for safer ground?  I admit that part of the emotion behind this novel came from situations where I felt like I was facing dragons (large or small) and the people who were supposed to help, ditched the effort after the first flame.

My Slayers know what it’s like to have comrades desert them. Book two and three will probably not get much better for my teen superheroes in that regard. 

I hope teens can relate to Tori. I hope that by reading SLAYERS, teens give some thought to the dragons in their life and have the courage to face them.

Read more about the author on her website