Monday, November 23, 2015

Just in Time for Thanksgiving ...

Today I'm super excited to be hosting Dave Fraser. He's half of the super talented writing duo Heather Fraser Brainerd & David Fraser. I'll leave it to you to figure out which half :-)

So Dave, I hear you have a new book coming out...or is it already out? Anyway, please tell us 
about Dragon Kitty.

Appropriately enough for this time of year, it's a story about the first Thanksgiving. I typically
write science fiction and fantasy, but I thought I'd try my hand at historical fiction.

Oh, I love a good historical fiction, but I'm not sure how a dragon cat fits in with the traditional tale. Guess I'll have to add this one to my TBR pile to find out! Where did you come up with the idea for the story?

Not long ago, I was at an antique bookstore in Boston. Hidden away among the old, dusty books
in the back was a stack of papers. I looked through them and was startled to find that they were
original journal entries from a Mayflower passenger. I'm no expert, but I believe them to be
authentic. I mean, they were printed on a dot matrix printer, and nobody's used those for three or
four hundred years, so it's at least from the right time period. The tale was so far from what we've
always been told, I knew I had to write about it.

Um, I'm pretty sure they didn't have matrix or otherwise...on the Mayflower. They didn't even have electricity then. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding you and you meant Mayflower trucking? They might have printers on board. 

Anyway, back to the interview. Is your writing influenced by any books you've read or movies you've watched?

If I had to pick my main influence, I'd go with anything by Kate DiCamillo. This is partly
because of her ability to see the world around her and translate that into words that connect with
me on a deep level. But it's mostly because we have the same birthday.

I am ashamed to admit that I had to search out who Kate DiCamillo was, however, I have heard of The Tale of Despereaux. Interesting that you share a birthday. And it seems a love of having animals in your books, given your current title.

Speaking of your book, if Dragon Kitty were being made into a movie, who would you choose for your dream cast?

I think that this book would work best as a movie starring computer-animated animals as the
pilgrims. That's the one non-negotiable point of any movie rights negotiation. Alan Rickman
would be perfect for the part of Jeremiah, and all his kids would also be played by Alan
Rickman. Please imagine the excerpt below with cartoon animals and Alan Rickman doing all
the voices.

Yes, Alan Rickman would be an excellent choice. I can totally hear?...that. Is Dragon Kitty a stand alone novel or part of a series? If it's a series, when can we expect the next

I'd like this to be the first in a series of holiday origin novels. First, though, I'd have to travel to
where these holidays started and see if I can dig up previously unfound documents. Does anyone
happen to know if travelling for this sort of research is tax deductible? If so, does anyone know
of any holidays that started in Hawaii?

Interesting series idea, Dave. And I'm sure there are holidays unique to Hawaii, but I'm not sure how much of a tax write-off you'd get for the research. Let me know what you find out.

Now, is there anything else you'd like us to know about your book? 

Just that it's awesome beyond description and everyone should read it.

Great! Do you have a book trailer I can link to?


How about an excerpt?

Jeremiah Kardashian stood at the head of the long table. The entire village of New
Derbyduncanshire was seated and awaiting his word to begin eating this feast, which they had
decided to call The First Thanksgiving. Before that could happen, however, it was appropriate to
take a moment and reflect upon the last year.

"Yea and verily, let us now take several minutes to speak, although nobody really wants
to, and let the food get cold," he began. His children, Kelli, Kelsi, Kirsti, Kimmi, and Josiah, all
rolled their eyes. It was just like their dad, trying to hog the spotlight. Although spotlights hadn't
been invented yet, so I guess he was trying to hog the torchlight, or maybe the lamplight.
Anyway, you know what I mean. "It was not altogether long ago that we cast off the yoke of
oppression and made our way henceforth to begin anew."

"Ugh, come on," groaned Kelsi. "We've heard this story a bazillion times."

"Yeah," added Kirsti. "Can we just eat? I mean, we already sat through that lame parade
that lasted all morning."

Jeremiah was aghast. "What meanest thou, lame parade? When I was thine age (this
often-used phrase earned another group eye roll) we didst enjoy the parade, with all the balloons
of Oliver Cromwell and Henry VIII and William Shakespeare and other English people that may
or may not have lived yet. And forget not the end, when the very person of Saint Nicholas throws
sweets to any and all children."

"Ugh, carbs," groaned Kelli.
Fortuna herself had smiled upon their clan, yet Jeremiah's offspring failed to see this.

That was why he had insisted on this day, so that they might learn to appreciate the bountiful
bounty that they had been given.

"Children," he began, "are you not thankful for your work?"

"What work?" asked Kelli.

"Exactly! All the others in the colony must be productive members of society. You
merely have a scribe follow you around and document your daily endeavors. You are
handsomely rewarded for absolutely nothing."

"What do you mean, nothing?" asked Kimmi. "Don't forget about our celebrity fragrance.
Or our line of designer fashion. That buckle on the hat was totally my idea."

Throwing his hands in the air, Jeremiah cried, "Indeed! Let us not forget the buckle on
the hat. What is that all about? It makes not one lick of sense."

Kimmi ran from the table, covering her eyes as she burst into tears. "You'll never
understand me." She glanced back through her fingers to make sure the scribes were catching all
the family drama. This stuff was ratings gold.

Well, Dave, that was certainly an...interesting...excerpt. And the cover is...quite unique. You'll have to let me know how the sales go. Good luck Dave!


I hope you all enjoyed this interview with Dave. If you haven't read his work before, you should really check it out. The real stuff, not the fictitious novel above :-) You can find his real works (those pictured and more!) here:


  1. I've had the good fortune to read an early copy of The Dragon-Kitty! It's a brilliant book, I cherish it, keep it in the bathroom for inspiration. I love the scene where the titular Dragon-Kitty has a Kung Fu battle with a turkey. You'll be on the edge of your seat one moment, crying the next. Who knew they had bikinis on the Mayflower?

    1. Thank you, Stuart, for your kind words. The check is in the mail.

    2. No prob, Dave. As per our usual agreement, make out the check to "Big Jim's Dinosaur Park." Don't report it to Uncle Sam.

    3. Oh, sorry. Autocorrect strikes again. That was supposed to be "The cheek is in the mail." For that beef cheek taco recipe we discussed.

    4. Love that recipe, Dave! Best beef cheek tacos ever.

  2. LOL! You two crack me up!

    Thanks for stopping by Stuart. That Kung Fu kitty moment has me very intrigued. As does the beef cheek taco. We love tacos. I've never had beef cheek it anything like beef chuck? I wonder if they have chicken cheeks. Although, I'm not sure chickens really have cheeks. What do you guys think, do chickens have cheeks?

    1. Of course. They're called cheekens.

      My kids groaned when I just told them that.

    2. Chicken cheeks are delicious. Especially with picante sauce. But turkey jowls are even better.

  3. I still think Stuart and Dave should work together. And no, I'm not trying to pawn my brother off on an unsuspecting author so I can get my normal life back. Nothing of the sort.


    1. I think Dave and Stuart would make an awesome team. Kind of like Batman and Robin. Or Felix and Oscar (for those of us who remember the Odd Couple)., Or Frank's and beans. Okay, maybe I'm reaching with the last one, but you get what I mean. They'd be a classic!!!


    2. I think Dave and Stuart would make an awesome team. Kind of like Batman and Robin. Or Felix and Oscar (for those of us who remember the Odd Couple)., Or Frank's and beans. Okay, maybe I'm reaching with the last one, but you get what I mean. They'd be a classic!!!

  4. Dave, Kamehameha Day is a Hawaiian holiday...there you go. Tax deduction!!!

    Love the excerpt. Love Alan Rickman (for all the parts.) Keep your viewers guessing.

    1. Hey Susan! What do Hawaiians do in Kamehameha Day? Need to see if this is something I should look into for a vacation...I mean research ;-)

    2. They have parades and ceremonies.

    3. Oh! That sounds like a lot of fun. I'll have to add that to my "places to go and things to see/do someday" list. Thanks for sharing that, Susan!

    4. I don't know why I even said Hawaii. My first choice for a vacation would be Minneapolis. See a couple of Twins games, catch a Prairie Home Companion before Garrison Keillor retires, visit the Mall of America, hang out in front of Prince's house until security guards chase me away. Actually, I've done that last one, so I can cross it off the list.

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