Part of my stop of the blog tour for Space Dragons includes a Q&A
Hi, thank you for letting me be part of your blog tour. I had a blast reading this book.
Firstly the title tells you everything you need to know it’s in space and there are dragons. It seems such an obvious idea that I’m amazed no one has come up with it, (or at least no adult has come up with it before, I am certain that it’s been played on the playground). What gave you the idea?
Thank you! And I agree, when I came up with the idea, I kept looking online, convinced I’d find whole battalions of books about dragons in space. The short version is that dragons are endlessly intriguing and varied and so is space, boom! The longer answer is I’d been wanting to write a book about space for some time – the planets in our Solar System in particular. Given the names, hanging it off Roman myth was an easy jump to make. Instead of making the gods ‘human’, dragons just seemed far cooler.
A lot of your planets/dragons are made on the Roman gods that the planets were named after. How much research did you do on the Roman gods in advance of writing the various characters?
For their characters almost none at all, which suits me because I’m very lazy. We sort of all know that Mars stands for war (and is red), Jupiter is huge, Pluto dark and remote. I had to research their relationships and was really pleased to discover as a unit with brothers, sisters, fathers etc it all hung together. It’s a story of family relationships at its heart and the ‘gods’ family in-fighting added to it satisfyingly.
I love that Mercury (the messenger) was annoying and a gossip and it’s an idea I haven’t seen before, did you have fun writing a chatterbox dragon?
Yes but I had to write a lot of him out of the first draft – he was taking over the book to begin with.
How interested in space were you when you were Stan’s age?
Very. But not so much the science of it. I loved to look at the moon and was endlessly fascinated by the rings of Saturn in pictures, and books about Mars.
Poppy felt like an annoying little sister and like she was written from experience, there isn’t as much of an age gap between me and my sister as there is between Stan and Poppy but I still recognised a lot of the interactions. How much real life experience did that relationship come from?
At least half the reason for the book was to make our boys be nicer to their little sister!
What planet would you like to visit? Which dragon would you like to come round for tea?
Ha ha! It’s got to be a gas giant – Jupiter. I’d love to fly through the eye of that great storm like Stan did. I’d have Mars round, although I suspect he prefers a good barbeque!
Are you a plotter or a pantser? (Do you plot everything or do you have a vague plan and just fly by the seat of your pants?)
Plotter 83%, the rest has to be on the spur of the moment, or you lose that vital spark.
What’s the first book you remember loving as a kid?
I was hyperactive as a child and really didn’t read a thing unless forced to until I was 11 years old. Then I hit upon White Fang by Jack London and never looked back.
What book are you currently reading?
Horatio Clare times two: Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot (for kids), Down to the Sea in Ships (for adults). Both brilliant in different ways.
Once again I want to say THAT THIS IS DRAGONS IN SPACE! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT IN LIFE????