I'm thrilled to have Iain Reading stopping by today to chat about his fun middle-grade The Dragon of The Month Club...
The Dragon of the Month Club
by Iain Reading
The Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club - The Dragon of the Month Club.
On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.
But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler's messy bedroom. Travelling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.
Drawing inspiration from some of literature's most memorable stories - from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes's London - the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.
What three words best describe your book, The Dragon Of The Month Club?
Adventure, dragons and books (oh my).
(See what I did there?)
Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give The Dragon Of The Month Club a try?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to dive into the worlds of some of the most amazing and classic books ever written, with cute and magical dragons at your side every step of the way as you try to find a way home again?
This is a pretty specific question, so I assume most people have not thought about this EXACT thing. But if you have, or if this sounds pretty good to you, then the Dragon of the Month Club is the answer.
Grab a copy of The Dragon Of The Month Club and answer the following:
favorite chapter? Chapter Nine
favorite page? Thirty.
Oh wait... did you want more interesting answers than that?
Let me start over.
favorite chapter? Chapter Nine: The Wishing Tree.
This was the first chapter I wrote of the book. And I wrote one sunny afternoon it in a haunted hotel, across the street from a bar with a giant stuffed polar bear and just down the street from a real-life wishing tree. Can you believe it?
favorite page? Thirty.
This is the page where the book's two main characters (Ayana and Tyler) fill out their membership applications to join the Dragon of the Month Club.
Definitely my favourite setting in the book is when Ayana and Tyler set their Sky Lantern balloon down in Regent's Park and find themselves in the Victorian London of Sherlock Holmes.
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentence teaser:
Sherlock Holmes smiled. “Astonishing,” he said after a brief moment’s pause. “And pray tell how exactly did you arrive at such startling conclusions as the ones you have just laid out before us?”
Tyler grinned. “It was elementary, my dear Holmes,” he replied with a smirk, and Ayana burst into laughter despite her best efforts to contain it. “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
What inspired The Dragon Of The Month Club? How did the story come to be?
Oddly enough, it was a dream of two friends lying on a bed conjuring dragons that was the first glimmer of the idea that eventually became the book. Why would they be conjuring dragons? (I asked myself.) And how do they even know how to do it in the first place? The answer was obvious. They got the conjuring spell from a book. But wouldn't it be cool if they were also part of a secret club where every month they got a new spell to conjure a new and special type of dragon? (And so my thinking went.) Why... such a club would HAVE to be called The Dragon Of The Month Club, right?
Can you tell us about your characters Ayana and Tyler? What makes them unique?
Ayana and Tyler are ordinary people, just like you and me. But also just like you and me they are yearning for adventure and magic and dragons. And it is their discovery of the magical book and the Dragon Of The Month Club that makes them unique. If only you and me could find such a book and follow it to whatever adventures await us.
Of course there are dragons in The Dragon Of The Month Club...can you tell us a bit about the different dragon readers will meet?
As Vanity Logansky, the Director of the Dragon of the Month Club Department of Membership Inquiries would say: "Check back at twelve o’clock noon on the thirteenth of every month to see each new dragon as it is revealed. Conjure and collect them all!"
And this is exactly what Ayana and Tyler do. The possibilities are endless. Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.
One of my favourite dragons is the very first one that Ayana and Tyler ever conjure: a Water Dragon.
They discover that by using different types of water (including bottled water from around the world) that the resulting dragons are each unique. Salt water results in a slightly scalier and courser skin texture. Soda water results in a bubble-filled dragon. Evian water from France results in a much longer and narrower dragon. Jana water from Croatia results in a short, stocky little dragon and Waiakea water from Hawaii results in a rather Asian-looking dragon that they called Mahalo.
Ayana and Tyler find themselves traveling through different book worlds, so I gotta ask: if you could jump into any book, which would you choose and what would you do there?
The books that Ayana and Tyler find themselves in are often rather threatening to life and limb, so I think I might avoid those ones. I suppose I would want to jump into the world of my other book series (The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency). I'd love to follow Kitty Hawk for real as she flies around the world.
What do you hope young readers will walk away with or learn after reading The Dragon Of The Month Club?
I suppose I'd like for them to walk away knowing that there is a very big world of books out there to be read. And that there's no time to lose in starting to read them all.
Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at creating music (so instead I write books – that's life).
I’m really embarrassed to admit that I am currently binge-reading Jack Reacher books.
The last great book I read was some Jack Reacher book (see above).
If you were to bake a cupcake inspired by The Dragon Of The Month Club, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
Bake a cupcake? What about conjuring a Cupcake Dragon instead? Imagine a tiny Cupcake Dragon flying around your bedroom, with icing and coloured sprinkles flying everywhere as he flaps his wings and ricochets off your walls and bookshelves.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Iain!
There is an ongoing contest for readers to win a one-of-a-kind hardcover version of The Dragon of the Month Club with their artwork as the cover.
“Draw a picture! Write a story! Take a photograph! Bake some cookies! Mold a dragon out of clay! Knit one out of yarn! Make one out of LEGO! Whatever you want! Just let your imagination run wild because anything goes – the more creative the better! Send your dragon in and then on the 13th day of every month one entry will be chosen at random and featured on the official Dragon Of The Month Club website. Each month’s lucky winner will also receive a free one-of-a-kind personalized hard-cover edition of The Dragon Of The Month Club book featuring their winning artwork (or other creative content) on the cover or inside the book itself,” says Iain.
To learn more, go to http://www.dragonofthemonthclub.com/
Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.
Iain writes middle grade and young adult books. His published works include the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/
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