Saturday, February 25, 2017

0 Bethany Wiggins, author of THE DRAGON'S PRICE, on how the meanest reviews are her biggest compliments

We're pleased to have Bethany Wiggins stop by to share more about her latest novel THE DRAGON'S PRICE.

Bethany, what was your inspiration for writing THE DRAGON'S PRICE?

So, THE DRAGON’S PRICE is about a girl who chooses death by dragon over an arranged marriage. When people ask how I came up with such a dramatic story idea, I simply tell them I’ve been married for twenty years (Insert maniacal laughter). Also, one night at dinner we were having a typical, quirky dinner discussion--mythical beasts. I have FIVE kids, so our dinner conversation is never, ever dull. Well, my son asked what the worth of a dragon’s scale would be in our world, and his question was an aha! moment for me. Those two things really helped form THE DRAGON’S PRICE.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE DRAGON'S PRICE?

I hope that people who read this book will see how infinitely precious our right to choose our own destinies is. Life is hard, we are faced with hard choices, but at least we have the freedom to choose what we do and do not want to do, and who we want to be (unlike some countries where women have no rights). I have a favorite quote that goes along with this perfectly: For what it’s worth: It is never to late too be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

My journey to publication was very long and incredibly hard. It took me years of writing, nearly three-hundred agent rejections, and five books before I finally was a good enough writer to get an agent. Looking back at my earliest writing, I can now see I was not good enough, so it all worked out for the best. The first four books I wrote did not get published. SHIFTING was published in 2011. After I wrote that, I wrote several others that did not get published. STUNG and CURED were published in 2013 and 2014. THE DRAGON’S PRICE is probably the twelfth book I wrote (maybe the tenth, maybe the fourteenth—I wrote so many I have lost count).

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

If you are an aspiring writer, never give up because every time you start a new book, you will be a better writer when you finish it. Keep trying. Keep writing. Let people read your work and ask them to give you honest feedback, and then take that feedback and use it to make your manuscript better. Once you get a publisher and editor, that is going to be a large majority of your work—editing to make your book better based on someone’s honest feedback and criticism.

For published writers: Your worst, meanest, most scathing reviews are actually a big compliment to your writing. I have found that people who hate my writing with a passion hate it because I connected with them on a very strong (albeit bad) emotional level. It takes skill to connect on such a raw, real level, and that means you’ve done your job well. But . . . try not to ever read a bad review!


The Dragon's Price
by Bethany Wiggins
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 2/21/2017

Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

Purchase The Dragon's Price at Amazon
Purchase The Dragon's Price at IndieBound
View The Dragon's Price on Goodreads


photo-300Bethany Wiggins is the author of Stung and Shifting. She started writing on a dare and dove headfirst into the world of writerly madness. She lives in the desert with her husband, four quirky kids, and two very fluffy cats. Wiggins has always been an avid reader, but not an avid student. Seriously! She failed ninth grade English because she read novels instead of doing her homework. In high school, she sat alone at lunch and read massive hardback fantasy novels (Tad Williams and Robert Jordan anyone?). It wasn’t until the end of her senior year that the other students realized she was reading fiction. Since then she has penned SHIFTING (2011), STUNG (2013), and CURED (2014).


Have you had a chance to read THE DRAGON'S PRICE yet? Have your kids given you a genius idea for a concept? Have you received a harsh critique of your work before? Did you, like Bethany, use it to improve your work and become a better writer? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Emily, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Sam, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, and Lori Ann

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