Hi. I'm D.C. (Dawn Christina) Harrell, fantasy author. My stories blend together my dueling desires to explore and to come home, and adventures at the intersection of science and spirit thrill my soul. I hope they capture yours, too. #thrillyoursoul
Reading has always been my favorite form of entertainment (and education). Some stories suck me in so far that I long to take up housekeeping in their realms. I guess the next best thing to crossing the threshold into another world is creating it.
As a speculative fiction author, my first love is dragons and I began an epic fantasy in my last year of seminary, but soon set it aside to mature. It’s still ripening in the cupboard like a slow cheese. Meanwhile, many dragon shorts have emerged from their eggs. In addition to the Dragon Fairy Tales, another already-written dragon story waits impatiently to be cooked into a Twitter fiction (#witter) or Tap. The Araphel science fantasy vampire mystery series is also percolating.
I grew up in Europe and Africa. I’ve lived in the South, Northeast and Upper Midwest, but through all the moves, I always returned to Grandma in Boston. I have an undergraduate degree in biology and a Master of Divinity. These many cultures and studies nourish my imagination and so, my books and short stories.
I also write and teach spiritual practices and narrative theology. As an editor, I’ve worked on both biblical studies and fiction. The healing arts fascinate me.
I love dogs and cats, but right now I’m owned by Briscoe the Cat. My husband is a foodie, so I eat very well, but if you hand me a piece of Swiss chocolate at the right moment, I’ll be your friend for life. My daughter is a cartoonist, who consumes graphic novels for breakfast, and translates your texts for me
What made you want to be a writer?
Words. Word-luscious words made me want to be a writer. All by themselves they have such power. String them together and they convey culture and translate experience. Growing up all over the world immersed me in the study of language from day one. Studying ancient languages in graduate school brought old, old history alive. Reading good stories has always made me long to live in their strange, other worlds. Since that wasn’t possible, writing those worlds was the next best thing.
How do you come up with your fantastic ideas?
My stories usually begin with an interesting nexus of ideas. For example: Transitions are powerful for good or ill. In one culture, people think demons live in transitional spaces, like doorways and the birth canal. What if dragons actually occupied doorways, emerging from liminal space into the door frame to consume people who lingered too long between the outside and the inside? This was the source of Drake Take, Dragon Fairy Tale 4.
When Amma’s mother is killed by a pterodactyl-like targon on the Kongamato River, Amma drops out of high school to care for the family. Faced with dwindling resources, Amma must retreat to Grandma’s tidy match-making plans or brave the dragon that terrorized her mama. Will Amma trust to Grandma’s tradition or believe her own eyes? Got an hour? Download Tarragon Hair now and wake your inner dragon.
Rohi hates handbags, but Mama insists she learn to handcraft one. But Rohi’s convinced that following this tradition won’t help the family business or satisfy her mother, much less herself. What she craves is respect, not pretty-pretty accessories. Will she earn the regard of a legendary dragon hunter or die trying to save the family business? Download Drakonian Pink and find out.
Tungel is pregnant, and the baby’s father is absent. As her contractions escalate, way-drakes slither closer, threatening to set the house on fire. The fire dragons thirst for her baby’s blood. Tungel must flee to the river or burn alive with the child. Will her lover arrive in time to stop this drake-take? Got an hour? Download Drake Take now and quench your thirst for baptism by fire.
Stutter is the fourth of twelve sons and no one ever listens to him. So when he warns his brothers to stay on the serpent-blaze trail, they ignore him, straying into dangerous territory. Got 15 minutes? Download Dragon Wear now and discover what happens when you fight dragon with dragonwear.
The innkeeper’s daughter dreams of a dashing knight and beautiful dresses, but her father marries her off to a lazy woodcutter. So she takes matters—and her husband’s stolen guilders—into her own hands. If you like a slightly sarcastic medieval narrator, this is the magical woods for you. Got an hour? Download A Deal is a Deal now and see if you’re smart enough to out-maneuver this dragon.
Fisherman’s sons are starving. To distract them, the neighbor terrifies them with clootie stories. Then one night, Fisherman’s net snags Old Cloot himself and in the morning, the boys taunt each other into filling their bellies with monster-meat. Are they satisfied? Got 1/2 an hour? Download Fisherman and Old Cloot and taste the dragon-magic yourself.
With the collected Dragon Fairy Tales, D.C. Harrell lures you through medieval forests and fetid swamps, African legends and Scottish highlands, but you’ll burn your fingers on this treasure trove if you’re seeking safe supergirls. These coming-of-age heroines defy expectations to stake their territory among dragon knights of the fantasy world. Pinch your copy of Dragon Hoard now.