Dragon Research

Sarah wanted to know how I managed to collect up 17 folders of information on dragons for my new book The Dragon Companion: An Encyclopedia (see post More Dragons on the Horizon.)

Well it took a long time. I started reading general books on dragons. They led me to more specific dragon information, in books like the ones in the picture.dragon books

What I really wanted to find were the original stories, so I searched for the stories translated from ancient Greek poems and Scandinavian sagas etc. Dragon information can be found in unexpected places such as Chinese medical books and Medieval science books. I found articles about dragons carved on churches and decorating prayer books.

As well as information, I also collected images of dragons—photos, paintings—and I picked out some of them and gave them to the illustrator, Dean Jones, when it came time for him to illustrate the book. He studied the pictures and made sure that the different dragons had the right characteristics. For example, the Iranian dragons had one branched horn and the Russian dragons several heads.

It was a big job, but a very enjoyable one.

17 responses to “Dragon Research

  1. Thank you for giving me a lengthy answer, I think that if I use big writing and include comparisons on other dragons of the world, I can stretch a three page report.Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Yesterday, i went to the Dragon Muesum at Bendigo
    , They have the Biggest Dragon out of China, and i thought of you Carole Wilkinson, unsure have you been they for more reserch, i learn that a dragon is made up of 7 animals, Lion, Rabbit, Snake and more it was really interesting,

    Regrads Dallas!

  3. Hi Carole

    Was great hearing you speak at the confrence today in Adelaide. Kids just love your books and the dragon a-z encyclopedia is a great idea. Can’t wait to read it and see the illustrations.


  4. Brenda,
    Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed my talk. It was a very responsive and appreciative audience. I’ve only just got back home this evening.

  5. I loved your Dragon Keeper series, would not put the book down in class. When I finished the last page of Dragon Moon, I somehow made myself that it wasn’t the last page, or that there was another book coming out.
    It just makes me want to buy the new Dragon Encyclopedia book even more!
    Alas, I shall miss reading about the story of Ping and Kai. You did a great job on the descriptions of the surroundings, however. It created a vivid picture in my mind!
    Excelent series, I must say!

    I wish our school could have an author visit one day. The school’s over 122 years old, yet not one visit!

  6. Dear Carole,

    I loved your books, I read all your Dragon Keeper series, I stayed up till 3 o clock in the night just so I could finish the book, at first I hated reading but the dragon keeper series changed me, now I love reading! I’d like to thank you for that, now I am waiting for Dragon dawn, I can’t wait!


  7. Chloe,
    I am very pleased to hear that the Dragon Keeper series encouraged you to read. That’s great.

  8. hi. i just started reading the series and i cant put it down. i have recently started to get help for drawing dragons. i have tried to write my own books and i cant keep them going. idk what to do. can you help me

  9. alex,
    That’s great to hear. I have put some tips for writers on my FAQs. Have a look at those.
    Writing books isn’t easy. I started off writing short stories before I tried a novel. It was eight years before my first book was published. And I never stopped writing all that time.
    I like to have a detailed plan before i start. That way I always know where I’m going.

  10. thanks for the tips but i have one more question. have you ever thought about taking ideas from the fans of this site. it may help with ideas for a new series or something.

  11. Alex,
    Sorry it’s taken me a long time to reply. No I prefer to use my own ideas. I woudnt feel comfortable using other people’s.

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