A 21st Century Woman in a 13th Century World

An interview with Jill Donahue from Fire of the Dragon

So you want to hear from a non-paranormal woman’s point of view on what it’s like to be thrust into an alternate reality world with a man who’s, well, not altogether completely human. Here goes . . .

jill1) Who are you?
Jill Donahue from Richmond, VA. 29 and single, much to my mother’s horror. So, I guess I need to fill you a little in on how my life got turned upside down in the first place. You see, one day I was minding my own business speed shopping, when I stumble (or more accurately get shoved from behind) into a vintage clothing store. The next thing I know, the weird saleslady pulls a ratty dragon tapestry off the shelf and I somehow get sucked into it. I then wake up to find myself in some Camelot-gone-wild medieval village where they decide to sacrifice me to the local dragon. How insane is that?

2) What is your goal?
Well, that’s easy. To go home -- and to not end up a crispy-fried dragon snack. Wouldn’t that be yours?

3) Why do you want that goal?
Duh, have you ever tried living in the Middle Ages? It ain’t all fairy tale castles and knights in shining armor (have you seen what happens to chain mail after 200+ years in a damp cave?). There’s no indoor plumbing, not to mention toilet paper has not been invented yet. Without conditioner and a flat iron, my hair is having a permanent bad hair day, everyday. And to put the icing on the cake, I’ve started my period and there’s not a tampon to be found. Could things get any better? Argh!!!!

baelin4) What is stopping you from achieving it?
He’s standing right in front of me -- 6’ 4” of hunky dragon knight. Okay, so he’s not actually stopping me, but in some weird, Twilight Zone way it’s his fault I’m here. You see, Baelin of Gosforth is a knight cursed to be a dragon 11 months out of each year and he needs a special maiden to help him break the spell he’s under. Guess who wins the grand prize this time around? You got it -- me. He’s depending on me, someone who can’t manage to keep from messing up her own life, to help him get his life back. Boy, is he screwed.

5) What skills do you have?
Now that’s where we have a teensy, weensy problem. Breaking this nasty little curse of his requires I perform 3 knight-worthy deeds. I can’t even balance my check book, much less joust or rescue damsels or slay dragons. Oh wait, he IS a dragon. Silly me. Scratch that one.

6) How do you handle anger?
Can’t you tell? I brandish snarky 21st century sarcasm like a bullwhip, much to a certain 13th century dragon-knight’s unending confusion. Poor thing, he doesn’t always get me.

7) What, in your view, are your admirable traits?
Oh God, according to my family, not many. You see, I have this little problem with following through on things -- I don’t, usually. But Baelin seems to think I’m brave and honorable and dependable. Wonder where he got that idea? If you ask me, I think he’s spent too much time hiding in that dark cave of his.

8) What don’t you like about yourself?
Isn’t it obvious? I have big self-confidence issues. Any time I attempt to do something important, I tend screw it up royally and fall on flat on my face, so I usually don’t even try. Now Baelin is forcing me to step waayyy outside my comfort zone and I’m not at all a happy camper about it.

9) What are your pet peeves?
See question #3. Those, and the fact that Baelin treats me like some helpless, virginal maiden instead of a grown woman with a brain. Boy, he sure grabbed the wrong girl from the stake this time around. Plus, he wears his blasted code of honor around him like a force field. Would it kill him to let down that guard of his every once in a while and have some fun?

10) What makes you uncomfortable?
How about that I’m majorly lusting after a guy with bat wings sticking out of his back and who coughs up the occasional fireball? How warped is that? And let's not forget about that creepy-looking forked tongue of his. Okay, so imagining all the wicked ways he can use that on my body makes me uncomfortable -- in a hot-and-bothered good kinda way. Then there's the fact that if we manage to break this curse of his, I’ll be going back to my time without him. I’m not so sure that’s what I want any more. Sheesh, what’s wrong with me?

11) What do you fear?
That I’m going to let Baelin down. That I’m going to fail, just like I’ve done with almost everything else in my life.

12) What past experiences shaped who you are today?
I’d have to say my past experiences (read: past screw-ups) are what’s spurring me on to not fail this time. This time, it’s too important. This time, it’s the man I think I’m falling in love with depending on me, even though if I succeed I may wind up losing him in the end.

13) What makes you laugh?
The little things Baelin tries to do to impress me. You see, he and this other knight we’ve run into (who happens to be a dragonslayer, wouldn’t you know it?) have this male competition thing going on to try to prove who’s the better knight and ‘woo’ me. Get real. If you ask me, they’re acting more like hormonal teenage boys than grown men. But still, there’s something about a strong, handsome knight fighting for your honor that just has a way of melting a girl’s heart.

© 2007 Lori Dillon