It was our pleasure to recently sit down with Nicole Petit and discuss her recent release, The Dragon Lord’s Secretary.
MHN: You’ve been writing Scarlet for years, what encouraged you to take the next step and give her her first book?
NP: This current iteration of Scarlet was always intended to be part of a published series. It just took years before I managed to cobble together a book. A lot of those years were spent writing out short concept sketches, world-building, working on a series bible that still isn’t actually finished. There were quite a few discarded drafts before I got to the finished story that’s published as The Dragon Lord’s Secretary.
MHN: Speaking of Scarlet, can you tell us a little about how she came to be?
NP: Scarlet Chase and the world she lives in I started writing as a hobby. She was something I wrote in the middle of my school notes when I was pretending to pay attention to the teacher. The first serious attempt to make something worth sharing was originally designed as the protagonist of, believe it or not, a tv show called Magic Inc. It was a bit of Bewitched, with a touch of The Bells Are Ringing. She’d go around solving problems with her magic. Not too different from what she does now.
MHN: What is one thing you want your readers to know about Scarlet that isn’t in the book?
NP: Scarlet plays her hand close to her chest, and I don’t think she’d much appreciate my tattling. So I won’t share any of her big secrets. It might be interesting to mention that she’s not formally trained in her magic talents, as most magi are, though she did get some pointers from a man she refers to as Dominie. Most of her “parlor tricks,” as she calls them, were learned on the fly.
MHN: A few weeks ago, you talked with me about doing research to world build. I know you’ve spent a lot of time building Scarlet’s world. Is there anything you’d like to share with someone who maybe doesn’t know how to tackle that process?
NP: Start small and work your way up. Tolkien built his Middle Earth around his created languages. That’s not actually small, all things considered, but the example still works. He built the multiple elvish languages, and then started creating a culture that would have developed these languages. The Silmarillion is an excellent example of worldbuilding. It’s the foundation on which he wrote The Lord of the Rings, though it wasn’t actually published until after his death.
MHN: Didn’t I hear you got a new Facebook page?
NP: Yeah! It even has a few posts on it and stuff. It’s almost like I’m a professional now or something. You can find it here.
MHN: What’s next for Scarlet?
NP: Lord knows. That woman is always up to something. There are a few stories in the works at the moment, but nothing concrete.
MHN: We got to see the Dragon Lord’s library and them meet him in The Dragon Lord’s Secretary, what gave you the idea to connect the book with the two anthologies?
NP: It was the other way around. The idea for the anthologies came from The Dragon Lord’s Secretary. I thought it would be interesting to find out what kind of stories you might find in The Great and Glorious Dragon Lord’s Library, which can be found hidden away in his treasure horde.
MHN: Anything you care to add?
NP: Would this be the time to mention I was recently on a podcast where I talked a bit more about Scarlet and Calix and how fun it is to write them?
You can find it here.