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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


Creator of one of the most popular series of children’s books, Cressida Cowell tells Tina Jackson how she tamed the dragons, and came up with her new series

Cressida Cowell’s multimillion- selling How to Train Your Dragon is one of the most-loved series of children’s books – and the last one, How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury, was published in 2015. After twelve Dragon books and a blockbuster 2010 DreamWorks film, Cressida is launching another magical world with The Wizards of Once, the first in a high-adventure series set in an enchanted Bronze Age landscape and featuring wizard prince Xar and warrior princess Wish.

‘Starting a new series was quite emotional for me’, confesses Cressida. ‘I’m a story writer but I’m also interested in getting children reading and writing. I knew I wanted to carry on writing, getting children of today reading with the same enthusiasm I had when I was a child. So I wanted to write something I cared about as much as I cared about the Hiccup books.’

In Cressida’s books, there’s no such thing as ordinary, and Xar and Wish are not ordinary wizard and witch children. Xar, who is bratty and full of himself, has failed to come into his magical powers at the usual age of twelve. Wish, from the warrior tribe, is plain, peculiar, and has a spoon as a pet. Their tribes hate each other. The Wizards of Once tackles how they come together in a high-stakes adventure and whether they can resolve their antagonistic relationship.

‘I wanted it to be about two children from warring tribes’, says Cressida, who believes utterly in the transformative power of storytelling. ‘I want to talk about empathy. I’m interested in the role books have to play in enabling kids to walk around in someone else’s skin. In a book, it’s happening inside your head – it’s the unique power of books. I wanted this particular book to focus on that there are people from opposing tribes seeing each other from an opposing point of view.’

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About Writing Magazine

You've written your book - now it's time to sell it! Read our features on 7 easy ways to start marketing and how to boost your Amazon sales. We also look at what's really going on with those creative writing myths that seen to have become truisms. Check out what mythbusting story consultant Jeff Lyons has to say. Our star interview is with the hugely talented children's writer and illustrator Cressida Cowell, who has started a new series after the amazing success of How To Train Your Dragon. It was a real pleasure to talk to her about dragons, history, why children love magical creatures and, of course, writing! There's £37,700 to be won in writing prizes, pages packed with opportunities in Writers' News, and much, much more in this month's issue.