Bestselling author Michelle Picard talks about her book ‘The Whisper of Dragons’

Bestselling author Michelle Picard. Photo Courtesy of Michelle Picard

Bestselling author Michelle Picard chatted about her popular book “The Whisper of Dragons.”

Book Description

Something is wrong with the story of the world. Stories are the bonds of connection between all matter, and their breakdown is causing earthquakes and social unrest to tear apart 21st century Earth. Kavi, a Story Whisperer, must solve the mystery of this chaos before a deeper threat leads to the death of humankind.

Kavi has a secret. A dragon chose her as its heir de ella when she was a child because she possessed strong magic to bend the Stories of matter. Kavi’s dragon wants her to inherit its mantle, transform, and join the ranks of the Guardians who protect the world. But if the dragon’s powerful Story magic cannot save her people, how will she? And will she have to give up her humanity to do it?


Ever since she was a young girl and her fifth-grade teacher read the class Peter S. Beagle’s novel “The Last Unicorn,” she has been fascinated with all things magical, mysterious, and otherworldly.

She wrote her first tragic fantasy novella in middle school, recruiting art-minded friends to draw pictures of the fantastical universes she created.

After taking the road frequently traveled (not quite as romantic as the less traveled variety) and getting a BA in political science and a Master’s in social work, she settled in New England. Along the way, she started a family, as well as a collection of cats.

Finally, she grabbed the proverbial bull by its spiky protrusions and pursued her passion. She now writes fantasy and urban fantasy and admits to a fascination with gateways and portals, as well as a perpetual need to save the world from existential threats (in my novels of course).

‘The Whisper of Dragons’ is an enthralling read, one that has been very popular with readers. What inspired you to write this intriguing and riveting story?

Of course, as a writer, I love language. I’d been walking in a state park three years before the novel was released and staring at gnarled tree roots of hardwood trees. I remembered hearing a podcast about a recently released book called ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben. It outlined the science behind how communities of trees communicate and live in social networks.

Ostensibly, a language of trees. Our world is such a crazy place where a community has broken down and people are disconnected. Considering how trees can communicate and connect, I became focused on the idea that connection surrounds us everywhere and provides the key to many problems. So the connection was one of the themes I wanted to explore.

Additionally, there is power in language, so why not actual magic derived from communication and story? I wrote about a magic system where everything consisting of matter is held together by a “story.” And manipulating “story” manipulates matter. This book combined my fascination with the power of language, with magic, and with a need to answer some of the pressing problems of our world resulting from disconnection.

Ronald Dahl said, “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” In a way, that quote embraces my belief that we have to see magic in our world in order to keep hope in the face of all of the suffering. Plus, writing about magic is just plain fun. Figuring out the rules and how not to contradict them as you create a complex world is a challenge that keeps my brain active and

In this book, a dragon plays a pivotal role in the rather amazing world you have created. What is it that you find so fascinating about dragons?

For me, dragons symbolize power, wisdom, strength, and hidden knowledge. All traditions and cultures have dragons in their mythology, so they are universally recognized creatures.

They’re kick-ass and there are so many variants on physical description and qualities of what is a “dragon” that they become what the writer wants them to become. They’ve shown up as either evil or good depending on the mythology.

There are traditions where they are apocalyptic creatures or divine and godlike. The one thing everyone agrees on is how incredibly powerful they are. I like characters that are morally complex, and so I created my dragons to be both guardians of the world, almost gods in their own right, but willing to be a force behind an apocalypse for humanity.

They are the quintessential fantasy creature because they cover the full spectrum of what you can do with fantasy since there are no limits to their traits other than power.

What was the most interesting feedback or question you have received from a fan about ‘The Whisper of Dragons’?

One of the most typical questions has been how I developed the magic system in the novel. I’ve referenced above that, like most writers, I am in love with story and language. So I wanted to develop the idea of ​​how magic might be driven by stories.

My fans have loved the idea of ​​this system and described it as a fresh take. I’ve also received compliments on the above-mentioned dragons, with feedback that despite the ubiquitousness I have described dragon mythologies, my large-scaled variety felt unique to what is often written in fantasy novels. Both comments tickled me.

Writing a book like this one is not for the faint of heart, requiring a lot of time, hard work, and sometimes introspection. While writing this book did you learn anything new about yourself?

With this book, I finally realized that one of my main motivations for writing fantasy is to cope with my own existential dread. If you stop and think about the threats to the world that are all over the news and the limitless opinions about which issue is the most important, and which cause or theory or solution is the path forward you can find yourself drowning in it all.

The Whisper of Dragons is a way to simplify this for myself and to focus on the ideas of love and connection as important bridges between these challenges. I find that the longer I write the more I accept that I write to make sense of my identity and the world.

What was one of your biggest challenges while writing ‘The Whisper of Dragons,’ and conversely your biggest success?

One of the biggest challenges was how to figure out how to balance both the science and magic in my story. I love books that find a way to embrace both, but I need enough science understanding and detail to be able to flavor the magic realistically.

In this book that meant understanding geology, physics, and some biology. The other basic challenge I always face in my long fantasy novels is to be able to bring it all home in a satisfying manner.

My writing process is a combination of plotting and blind trust in the organic growth of the story. So I begin with a general vision of an end and most of the time have to cross my fingers that it evolves along the way.

My novels are long with complex plots and enough characters to make it a minor miracle that everything gets wrapped up sufficiently by the end. But somehow it usually works.

And, of course, it did just that in The Whisper of Dragons. There is always a little magic in my life that helps me find just the right element to add to an ending. For instance, I remember visiting Belvedere in Central Park in New York City years ago.

I set the last chapter of my book in Central Park and was doing research about the areas there as I chose where to place my characters in that scene. I remembered the castle and loved the idea of ​​having the female protagonist and her love interest in her being together in the castle at the end.

As I searched for images of the structure, I found that over the main doors of the castle was a prominent relief of a green dragon. I had not remembered seeing the dragon when I visited, but it was a perfect congruence as the main dragon character in my book is also green. I always count having the perfect final detail land in my lap as if by magic as a huge success.

‘The Whisper of Dragons’ is a hit with readers. Do you have another book in the works you can tell us about?

My next book, tentatively titled “Dreams Walk the Earth,” is another modern fantasy set in our world. The protagonist, Aislinn, is the prophesied blending of six different magical races. There’s a big cast of characters and more apocalyptic threats as a main feature of the plot.

What I’m loving about writing this story is how to weave together a common explanation for the diverse magical systems. One of the biggest challenges is creating satisfying relationships between so many characters.

I am in the final push of writing the novel so stay tuned. I may also take a break to re-edit an old completed manuscript of mine called “The Demon’s Whip” which is a dark high fantasy. That project was very different from any other I’ve written since my novels have mainly been a contemporary low fantasy.

I had put it away previously because of challenges during the time of my life when it was finished, but I’ve been tempted to take it out of the drawer and help it see the light of day. The story deserves it and has another fresh more positive take on “death magic” which could be interesting to readers.

Her bestselling book “The Whisper of Dragons” is available on Amazon by clicking here.

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