Interview with Joshua Hans Davidson, Author of Dragon’s Keep

27 Sep 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Dragon’s Keep?

The inspiration for this story was hatched in February 2012. My wife, Emily, and I were at a fantasy writing conference, and we decided to go to Zupa’s for lunch. When we got there, the restaurant was swamped! We waited in line for quite a while. I think we had deliberated about going somewhere else because I jokingly said: “What I wish I knew fifteen minutes ago!” As we’d spent the morning at the writing conference, and our minds had already been on stories, we thought that would be an interesting idea. We proceeded to brainstorm, and the plot started to take shape.

The core concept of the very early version of this story was a teenage boy who gets his hands on a magical artifact that had the power to transport him 15 minutes into the past. What would a teenager do with that kind of power? He would use it, of course! Messed up how you approached your crush? Bombed an important test? Use the device and try it again!

In the inciting incident of the story, he abused the power of this device, and instead of it sending him back 15 minutes into the past, it sent him nearly 11,000 years, into the last Ice Age. There, he met the Dragon Guard, where he learned about an age-old conflict. The “Good Guys” lost the war, and Garren realized he’d been living in a world ruled by the “Bad Guys.” Eventually, I decided against the magical artifact being a time machine device, as I knew that time paradoxes are very tricky to navigate, even for much more seasoned authors than myself. So, to mitigate that problem, I changed the world into worlds and dimensions and transformed the story into a portal fantasy.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Young Adult fantasy. I love stories that are fast-paced, and action packed. I love that YA doesn’t waste any time getting into the meat of the story. There is also something really special about going with a character on a journey of self-discovery and learning as they’re in the coming-of-age stage of life.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I am currently reading Brandon Sanderson’s “The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England”, which will likely be followed by “Tress of the Emerald Sea.” After that, the Chronicles of Narnia have long been on my TBR. I’ve also added the Fourth Wing (I know I’m a little late to the party) and Fall of Ruin and Wrath.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The Fountain of Souls. The world can often be a noisy, chaotic, and confusing place. We all need somewhere quiet and tranquil where we can go to help still the chaos within us, and to help us make sense of our lives.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Music. When I write, I listen to music created by Secession Studios. It’s difficult for me to describe the feel of the type of music they produce, but a few words that come to mind are “inspiring, dramatic and moody”. In other words, the perfect ambience for writing a good story.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” I would also add “Even if that means that you treat them better than they treat you.” Though, my only caveat is to also protect yourself and not let others abuse you. You can be kind to people, while also protecting yourself and your family.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Be kind and give your best effort. There is no day like today, no matter how difficult today may be, for you to do your best.


Joshua Hans Davidson is the author of the new book Dragon’s Keep

Connect with Joshua Hans Davidson

Author Site


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