Monthly Archives: September 2008

What’s in a dragon name?

It’s an exciting time for us, now Scordril has been published. And even better knowing that parents are enjoying it so much, too. Of course, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t – we enjoyed writing it.

Anyway, the question we’re asked most often at the moment is: how did you choose the names?

If you’ve not read the book yet, this will seem a strange thing to pick on. So let me list a few:







and more…

Now, those are odd names, definitely, but they’re also very logical. We knew that evil nightdragons would be coming from the far north, so we decided on something that would sound like Norse names from the olden days. After all, possibly all dragons had come from the same place originally. 

In that case, we thought to ourselves, why not take a book of Norse myths, search out some good names and start swapping the endings to make new ones?

So we took the first half of one name and added onto it the second half of someone else’s name. It was great fun to do – ditching the peculiar ones as we went.

I imagine it could be quite fun to do that with British names, too: Angela and Robert would become Angbert and Robela. Far more interesting, don’t you agree?

If you want to know who those dragons were, then you’ll have to get the book from here or wait for another post!


Why Lothian?

East Lothian, actually. It’s where we first visited dragons. But we weren’t looking in East Lothian right at the start. We were looking down a hole in the ground. So how did we end up north of the border?

Seriously, we wanted to write about dragons after our experiences with the pavement. We started throwing ideas around – and then something brilliant happened. Floris Books in Edinburgh announced a competition. It was to write a novel for 9s-12s set in Scotland, and the Kelpies prize would be given to the winner. That sounded like a good thing to try for.

The book we wrote at that time is now going to be the second book in the Lothian Dragons series, not the first. It’s called Farlkris. 

We were really pleased to be listed in the last three for the competition, so we dressed ourselves up nicely and went to the 2005 Edinburgh International Book Festival where they were going to announce the winner – only to find that another story had beaten us to first place! 

That’s when we decided to write the book that comes first in date order: Scordril.  And because we were committed to East Lothian by then, we decided to stay there. We’d become quite attached to the place, anyway. But that’s why these are the Lothian Dragons books and not the London dragons or the Somerset dragons – though you may well find dragons living there, too. 

If you want to read an extract from the first chapter, head over to the main website and see what you think.

Dragons? What dragons?

I am going to write lots of things in this blog about the first book of the new Lothian Dragons series. We’ve called it Scordril after the lead dragon – but two young people called Morris and Flick also play a large part. We’ll get to them later.

The Lothian dragons live in Scotland, under the bit of land that sticks out to the right of Edinburgh. That’s under towns such as Musselburgh and hills such as Traprain Law. They are good dragons who sometimes have contact with humans – overgrounders – if they know they can be trusted.

So where shall I start? Well the book started with an idea, so I’ll tell you what happened one day when we  were sitting drinking coffee together. [Yes – Kelsey Drake is “we”. There are two of us and we’ll tell you about ourselves soon. If you can’t wait, pop over to the book’s website and check us out there.]

That day, there was a sudden crashing and clanging outside. When we looked, we saw workmen digging up the pavement, making a hole right down into the underworld – lots of pipes for gas and water and electricity, and the big one: the sewers. We didn’t go near enough to smell anything horrible, but we heard the water sloshing along… okay, that’s a bit of a lie. We imagined the water and said to each other: “Hey! What if dragons live down there and that’s them we can hear banging around?”

So immediately, we had dragons, water and underground living (which in turn suggested the word “overgrounder” for normal people) – and there we were with a brilliant idea on our hands. I’ll tell you about the Lothian bit next time.