Dragonkeeper Book 6

I have started writing Book 6 of the Dragonkeeper series. This book, as yet untitled, follows on after Blood Brothers and Shadow Sister, and will finish the second trilogy that features Tao as Kai’s human companion.

Writing sequels is sometimes a pleasure, sometimes a pain. It’s a challenge to come up with new and, hopefully, original ideas, while still maintaining a sense of returning to a familiar world. The pleasure is in starting afresh and making up new stuff, taking themes I’ve touched on before and developing them, thinking up twists and turns.  The pain is when I get a really good idea, but I can’t use it because it doesn’t fit with something I’ve already set up in an earlier book.

I didn’t know I was going to be writing six books when I started the series. I didn’t know it was going to be a series! I had the story for the first book and a few ideas left over to start off the second, but nothing more than that. So each book is like starting all over again.

The first place I look for ideas is in the earlier books. There are often things that I have mentioned in passing that I can go back to and develop more. In Dragonkeeper, I mentioned Ping’s family and why she was living as a slave. In the second book, Garden of the Purple Dragon, I revisited her family and revealed that things weren’t quite as they’d seemed in Book 1. In Blood Brothers, Tao’s family moves to the southern capital. In Shadow Sister, Tao returns to his empty family home and weird things happen. I don’t want to give away any of the story that I’m writing now (who knows, I might completely rewrite it before it’s published!), but I will say that I’m going back to themes way back in the first trilogy.

I also find inspiration for stories from real historical events. The Han emperor Liu Che was, according to the historical records, really obsessed with living a very long life. The destruction of Luoyang that happened before Blood Brothers opened was a real event. There really was a Buddhist monk called Fo Tu Deng who travelled from what is now India to China to spread the word of Buddha.

I occasionally use events that happen to me in my life. I’ve been to China, and some of the things that happened to me there ended up in the books. For example, Ping’s experience of eating turtle soup was something that happened to me. I climbed thousands of steps to get to the top of a Chinese mountain. Here in Melbourne, I worked for a while as a receptionist for a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, and what I learned about Chinese herbal medicine has crept into most of the books.

Once I’ve come up with the bare bones of the story, I try to flesh out the plot. It gives me confidence to start, but honestly, it’s often a waste of time. A lot of the ideas don’t come until I’m writing, until I’m deep in the Dragonkeeper world again.

So, I’m starting another journey in ancient China when dragons walked the earth and flew in the skies. It will be my sixth journey there. There are hundreds of ideas that I must come up with, thousands of words to write … and rewrite many times. There will be days when I’ll wish I had a job which I didn’t have to think about, where I just follow a routine. There will be days when I can’t think of what to write next or the story threads don’t hang together. But there will also be days when I escape into my world of dragons and leave my own problems behind. Times when I get great ideas that I can weave into the tapestry of my story as if they were always meant to be there. Those are the days when writing is a pleasure.

 

PS It’s going to take me a while. The book won’t be published until late next year, or maybe even early 2017.

38 responses to “Dragonkeeper Book 6

  1. Hi,
    I absolutely love your books, and dragon moon dissolves me to tears every single time I read it. I love all the names of your characters. I have just one question. How do you pronounce Hei Lei’s name?

  2. I’m so excited for the new book! I have just completed reading Dragon Moon and I stumbled upon this post. Well, I love your writing and hope you have many innovative ideas for this new book!

    🙂

  3. I wish…I wish…I wish…..

    that both Blood brothers and Shadow Sister had been released in Sweden…even though I could read it in English, it isn’t the same (plus shipping and handling is so expensive) also I wish that they had had the same type of covers as the first three books… if they had been translated I mean…. ;_;

  4. This is so exciting! I came across your books in Robinson’s Bookstore and felt sure my 7-year-old daughter would love them (I was enchanted by the colourful illustrations on the front cover, and knew she would be too). She adored them so much, I have started to read them myself. I was quite choked tonight as I finished Dragon Moon. So yes, we’re tremendously excited to hear there’ll be a sixth book. Will keep monitoring the blog for news 🙂

  5. I really want to read the next book since i loved all the other ones!!! Pls make the book come out soon. as always, i will love the book.???

  6. Hi Carole,
    It is nice to read an honest account of the creating process. Thanks.
    What I really wanted to say after reading the Dragon Keeper trilogy for the third of forth time is: “It’s Great!”
    THANK YOU.
    H

  7. Dear, Carole

    Ever since I was a young child I have been reading your books. I never used to enjoy reading, and hardly ever read at all. But when I picked up your first book, I could not put it down. I went on to read your entire first trilogy and the prequel book. I have recently started reading your second trilogy and I must say you’ve still got that magic. I wait for the arrival of your new book, and hope you go on to prosper in your career.

    With regards, Callum

  8. excuse me but can I tell you something your dragon keeper books are amazing the only books I need to read are books 5 and 6 they are awesome I just need to wait for them to come out in the school library so I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! also are you going to be making another dragon keeper book if so please do make another one I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!.

  9. Hi Carole

    How are you getting on with Dragonkeeper Book 6? My children and I are waiting with bated breath for your new book to be published. We’ve immensely enjoyed reading books 1 to 5 as our bedtime stories and really need to know what happens next!

  10. Hello Carole
    I’m very excited you are writing book number 6. I am 9 years old and just completed book number 5 and was hoping there would be another book. Do you know when it will come out? Will there be a new dragon keeper? So many questions I have!
    I’m happy I’ve found this site!

  11. Hi Bridget,
    Sorry about the slow reply. I am still working on Dragonkeeper 6, which will be called Bronze Bird Tower. It will be published in March 2017. I’m pretty sure it will be the last one.

  12. Hi Carole,
    OMG, I just can’t WAIT for book 6 to come out!!!!!! Last year all I wanted for my birthday was your books!! I first heard of them in our first english lesson of the term and the teacher was starting a new story to read aloud to us and of course, we all just wanted to go to lunch (including me) but she started reading anyway. When the lesson finished, all I wanted to just sit there and keep reading the book (dragonkeeper 1) Forever and ever and EVER!!!!! Now here I am! I just finished reading the whole series for the 3rd time and it never gets old! My birthday is coming up soon and my mum is thinking of getting me more books written by you!!!! PLEASE save my life by finishing the 6th book and PLEASE don’t make it the last one!!! Keep writing forever!
    from Lucy
    xxoo

  13. Hi Carole,
    I also completely adore your books. They are so magical. I used to find it so hard to find a book that I could actually enjoy, and finish :). Then I found your books and I couldn’t put them down. So looking forward to the new release, I’m sure it will be as amazing as all the other books in the series. 😀
    Riley

  14. Dear Carole,
    My name is Siobhan and I am 9. I have just finished reading Shadow Sister and was so relieved that Tao didn’t die. I am really excited that you are continuing their story and look forward to reading ‘Bronze Bird Tower’ in a couple of months. I have loved reading all the Dragonkeeper books, but especially ‘Dragon Moon’. I hope that Tao and Kai succeed in finding the Dragon Haven! Thank you for writing such wonderful adventures.
    Kind Regards
    Siobhan

  15. Hi Siobhan,
    Thanks for your kind words about my Dragonkeeper books. Bronze Bird Tower is being printed now, so it won’t be much longer. I hope you like it.

  16. Carole,

    So excited that your book is being printed now!!!!! 🙂 Really looking forward to reading the rest of Tao’s journey. I’m sure it will be as amazing as all your past books. 😀
    Riley

  17. it’s always hard for me to ‘enjoy’ a book, until i read your incredible dragonkeeper books. i was spellbound by the passion and thought you put into your work. after reading your books i just want to continue reading forEVER.
    you are a REMARKABLE writer.
    p.s i can’t wait till book 6 is published
    p.p.s i hope you never stop writing these fantastic books
    kind regards, Ivy

  18. Hi Carole
    I have been reading your Dragon Keeper books since the start of 2016 and I can’t stop, I got shadow sister for Christmas and I started to read it right away and it wasn’t long before I had finished. When Bronze Bird Tower comes out I will search as hard as I can for it, I really hope that the 6th book isn’t the last, I could go on reading the books forever!

    Thanks, Ernie

  19. Ernie,
    Good to hear that you have enjoyed reading the Dragonkeeper series. Bronze Bird Tower is due to be published on 1 March. Hopefully, you shouldn’t have to search too hard. It should be in all bookshops, and available on online bookstores.

  20. Dear Carole
    I bought all your dragon keeper series at once because as soon as iistarted reading the books I knew they were perfect. Your book have helped my imagination and have boosted my creativity for using different words. I have read all your books within 1 and a half months (including number 6) I never read books but these books are amazing, I am so sad that I have read them all and I am urging you that you have to write more of the dragon keeper books as they are fantastic. I was so happy with the outcome with the last book it has been an incredible journey for the two dragon keepers and also for all the other dragons. I have loved draogons since I was born, I have treated your book like they were pieces of ancient sutras. I really want you to create and write more dragon keeper books as you can tell I am a big fan

    PS I had to do an assignment of your black snake and got an A for it hope to see a response

  21. Also I do Chinese mandarin and so it it easy to pronounce the words and also thank you

  22. Kaileb,
    Thank you for your kind words. It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the books so much, and that they have encouraged you to read. After 6 dragon books (8 counting Dragon Dawn and the Dragon Companion), I needed to write something different, so that is what I’m doing at the moment. Also congratulations on getting an A for your assignment!

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