Those of you who have read any of my Dragonkeeper books will know that the leaves, fruit and bark of the chinaberry tree are one of the few things that Chinese dragons don’t like. It poisons them. This information was recorded in an ancient Chinese book called the Er Ya Yi, written about 1000 years … Continued

Writing Process: Postscript

I know I said I’d written the last blog on my writing process, but today I went into black dog books to have a look at the dyelines of my book Sugar Sugar. This is really the last stage before printing. The printer sends a copy of  the book on sheets of paper as it … Continued

Writing Process #6: The Final Stages

This is the sixth and last blog in a series about the way I write a book. After the 3rd draft, there might be a 4th draft. By this stage I’m getting impatient to get it over and done with. The internal design has been submitted by the designers, changed, because we weren’t quite happy … Continued

Writing Process #5: Third Draft

This is the fifth in a series of blogs about the way I write a book. So the day after I sent in my second draft, I got sick. That gives you some idea of the intensity of working on that draft. Fortunately, the third draft is a lot easier. I got back comments on … Continued

Writing Process #4: Second Draft

This is the fourth in a series of blogs about the way I write books. It’s been a while since I wrote the last one…that’s because I’ve been writing a second draft! So after I send off my first draft to my publisher, he reads it, my editor reads it. And they write their comments … Continued

Writing Process #3: Zero Draft

This is the third in a series of blogs about the way I write books. So assuming my publisher didn’t hate my synopsis, it’s time to start writing. For me, this initial draft is the hardest part of the process. I can easily talk myself into doing a bit more planning or a bit more … Continued

Writing Process #2: The Research Phase

This is the second in a series of blogs about the way I write. It’s not the only way to write a book. It’s just my way. So I’ve already got a premise, a story idea. I’ve worked out when and where the story is set. I’ve got a main character. That’s when I start … Continued

Writing Process #1: The Premise

I’m writing a book at the moment, and it’s going to take me about a year. I don’t like talking about my books as I’m writing them. It’s a superstitious thing. So I thought that I might do a series of blogs about my writing process. How it works for me.  I usually start with … Continued


My webmaster has just put the full bibliography for The Dragon Companion on the Companion page. You can find it here. I thought there might be some readers who aren’t sure what a bibliography is. It’s a list of books that an author uses for research when they are writing a book. You usually find … Continued

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 … Continued