Falcon Heart by Azalea Dabill

Posted by on May 8, 2015 | 7 comments

Falcon Heart by Azalea Dabill

I met my guest for this week at the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference a few years ago. She has an amazing gift with words and writes in a way that is uniquely her own. Falcon Heart is a historical fantasy, set in medieval Britannia and Arabia. Leave a comment and sign in on the Rafflecopter for even more chances to win a print copy! 



 Fabulous Fridays

Who was the first author who inspired you to write?

Many good writers influence me, but if I had to name one I’d say Robin McKinley. She has such a beautiful way with words. And C. S. Lewis made me want to get the truth of joy and beauty and a sense of mystery in our world out there for people to experience. In spite of, and around, and through, the hard things and the call for heroes. To put a good story against the stories of despairing so-called realism I saw so much of.

What is your target audience?

My target audience is young people who enjoy the Middle Ages, historical fantasy, and high adventure.

You categorize Falcon Heart as historical, Christian medieval romance with a touch of martial arts fiction, or young adult epic fantasy for teens. Give us a glimpse of how you went about creating this unusual blend of genres.

All right. Don’t laugh. Xena, Warrior princess, gave me the beginning idea, for I admired her heart. I was young at the time and I don’t watch the show anymore, for the immoral dress and Eastern philosophy, etc. But all I saw then was her compassion and strength.

I started Falcon Heart over ten years ago and continued around college and finally buckled down to learning how to write around 2006. Over time I went to a couple of writing conferences. I thought my novel was purely historical, since I set it in Medieval Britain and Arabia, but a noted agent told me it had “a fantasy feel,” while others thought it mainstream fiction.

I have trained long in Tae Kwon Do, and the slight martial arts element and the tiger and the falcon who haunt Kyrin’s dreams added fantastical touches, while the mystery of the falcon dagger in the story add up to crossover fantasy. The sequel, Falcon Flight, and around fifteen short stories set in Kyrin Cieri’s world are fairly epic in scope.

I did not set out to make Falcon Heart a crossover novel. It grew organically from a bare bones 300-odd page storyFalcon Heart to a book and a sequel, and then there were so many interesting secondary characters whose stories begged to be told.

After Falcon Heart was written and Falcon Flight was in rough draft, I realized I had to fit my books in the expected genre system. I’ve defined it as best I can.

How do you “design” your characters?

Hmm. Well, they also grow as I write. Parts of them are pieces of me and other people. Wisdom, fear, learning. Actions and reactions I’ve seen. Some aspects of my characters are simply themselves. After I’ve worked with them on the page a while they tell me who they are, in a sense. I battle fear in my own life, and some characters show strengths and wisdom I admire and I’d like to have.

What kind of research did you do for Falcon Heart?

A lot, especially on Arabia. I didn’t get to go there, but John Philby’s accounts as well as other early explorers gave me a lot of material: names, description of the land, the people. I read through the books, copied the maps, and checked back at times. More recently I’ve explored the Internet. It’s helpful for some things but does not have the same depth. I did some research on Britain in the same way, and I’ll be doing more soon for Falcon Flight, set primarily in Britannia (early Britain). Peter Hunter Blair’s books on Anglo-Saxon England, Roman Britain and Early England are very helpful. Then much of it is also drawn from my own experiences in archery, martial arts, and living in the country.

If you could spend the day with a character from your all-time favorite novel, who would it be and what would you do?

Aslan. To be able to touch him and talk with him would be the most glorious thing. To visit Narnia with him.

What do you see as the value of Christian fiction?

We can admit our fallen-ness, and show the strength of truth, beauty, goodness, and the adventure and mystery of life.

What was the greatest problem/challenge you faced in writing this book?

Not giving up was hard. Several times I wanted to quit. The only thing that kept me from it was a promise. I had started writing a story and quit after a couple months. Then I had the idea for Falcon Heart. And I knew I’d given up too soon on the first story, but it was now cold. Giving up wasn’t what God wanted. So I told Him I wouldn’t give up on this one unless He showed me He wanted me too. Of course that did not mean it would necessarily be published, just that I would write it. And He’s has brought it about wonderfully. Though the second part is still to be finished. I’m working on the rough draft of Falcon Flight, the sequel.

What do you want your readers to gain by reading your book?

I want them to enjoy a rousing good adventure and know fear can be conquered.

Last but not least, apart from writing, what is your favorite creative outlet?

Walking in the wild, the woods, God’s world.

Would you share the opening pages of Falcon Heart with us?

Certainly…here you are. Enjoy!

Link to “look inside” at Amazon and the cover.


Book Blurb:

A strange dagger… Adventure beyond fear…

Slavers seize Kyrin Cieri from the coast of medieval Britain and sail for Araby. With a dagger from her murdered mother’s hand, an exiled warrior from the East, and a peasant girl, Kyrin finds mystery, martial skill, and friendship closer than blood.

The falcon dagger pursues her through tiger-haunted dreams, love, and war in the Araby sands. Kyrin is caught by the caliph’s court intrigue and faces the blade that took her mother. One thing can give her the will to overcome, justice against hate, dagger against sword.

Murder, sacrifice, vengeance…compassion and the art of war.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

About the author:

Azalea DabillAzalea Dabill grew up in the California hills, building forts in the oaks. She remembers the fuzzy-sweet smell of acorns and moss, the perfume of purple lupines and golden poppies, the night-song of crickets. Homeschooled, she read The Young Trailers and fantasy adventure to her siblings. Now she enjoys growing things, old bookstores, and hiking the wild.

Never finding enough tales of adventure, romance, and mystery in the world, she shapes and writes crossover fantasy. Historical fantasy with medieval romance and a touch of mystery. In a word, adventure.

Connect with Azalea:

My website is www.azaleadabill.com where I have a blog, Azalea’s Scop Talk, and you can sign up for my newsletter to find out about upcoming books and other things of interest.

Website: www.azaleadabill.com

Email: azaleadabill@gmail.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AzaleaDabill

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/azaleadabill

GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10067218-azalea-dabill

Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/azalea-dabill

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/azalea-dabill/66/bb4/210/

Book Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Falcon-Heart-Chronicle-Azalea-Dabill/dp/1943034001

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hello everyone, I just want you to know it’s a pleasure being hosted by Norma Gail, and I’m glad to answer any questions you may have. May your day be blessed.

  2. You’re very welcome, Azalea! It’s a pleasure to host you!

    • Well, I must have answered everyone’s questions too thoroughly in our post. LOL

  3. First of all I love your name. Azalea is a beautiful name! Second, I grew up in California and I miss it very much. I can see where your ideas and adventures could come from growing up in those hills! My question is, is your book for young adults or adults or both?

    • Hi Marcie,
      Thank you. There is nothing like those hills in spring. One sniff of an oak or a California poppy takes me back. I hope you can go back sometime and at least visit. For your question, my book is for adults though I’ve had feedback that young adults like it, too. It’s not “adult content,” just a slightly higher reading level than some popular YA.
      Thank you so much for your comment, and I hope you have a great day. 🙂


  4. This sounds so interesting. I too, wrestle with fear in the form of anxiety and insecurity. I appreciate your boldness in “crossing over” with your work. How can we be Light in the darkness if we’re hiding it under a bushel? Norma, thank you for sharing Azalea with us.

    • Hi Nan,
      Thank you for your comment. I’ll pray He grows more boldness in both of us. What you speak of can keep us back so often from the freedom He has given us. And you’re so right about the bushel. God definitely has ways of getting us out there, yet gently leads us too. If we’ll just trust Him …
      Thank you for sharing your heart, and have a great day in Him. 🙂


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