cover art by Fred Gambino
I got the idea for this story after I had attended a storytelling week in Shropshire. Our tutor, the excellent Kelvin Hall asked us to imagine “who our secret selves were.” He started the ball rolling by claiming he was an alchemist making gold in his cellar. As I listened to the ideas all around me I was racking my brain as to what I should say. Suddenly I knew. “I race dragons,” I told everyone. “Every night I slip out of my house, go to the dragon caves under Lambeth Town Hall and find my dragon and we go racing.”
It seemed the perfect idea for a story and so I began.
I quickly knew that I wanted to name the characters after family and friends; although let me say straight away that all the characters in the story are fictitious!
I must also mention the year 6 children from Christ Church Primary school in Battersea. I had arranged to send them the first draft of each chapter as I finished it. In return they emailed me back with comments and suggestions - including a request that I should name some of my characters after them.
I have a great attachment to the places in the story. I was born in Blackpool; I now live in Brixton and my childhood holidays were all spent in North Wales. As for Brighton – how could I resist the wonderful Royal Pavilion! If you haven’t been – well there are dragons everywhere!
The Dragon Racer trilogy has its own dedicated website: www.jojodragonflyer.co.uk