Beth's Author Spotlight: The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading
I was offered a copy of The Dragon of the Month in exchange for an honest review. I spend a lot of time reading and loved the idea of including my daughter in my reading time for once. We’ve read together since she was two, but this was the first time I was offered a book through Boundless Book Reviews she could read with me. A few nights after we started reading this book, she asked to start reading time earlier so we could read longer before bedtime. She couldn’t wait to get back to it!
As we read I realized this book was for all ages, even moms will enjoy the stories. As my daughter would become intrigued with the adventurous stories, I was brought back to my childhood. Iain Reading included characters from several of the classic stories I related with when I was a young reader; the best of the children’s classics.
This was the first of Iain’s writings I’ve read and I knew he was a new favorite author of mine, and my daughters. I wanted to know more so we requested an Author Spotlight, and he graciously accepted. Afterwards; I did a little research on Reading to prepare my questions and discovered he had an entire Kitty Hawk series out there! Even better!
Thank you Mr. Reading for taking the time to answer my questions, I will try my best not to bore you by asking the same questions others have.
This was amazing. Please thank Beth from me. These were perfect questions and I really am thankful for her giving me the chance to answer them.
1. The Dragon of the Month Club includes several characters from classic children stories; do you have a favorite classic character from the book?
I have to admit that I am quite fond of the Roving Tailor... you know, the scary one with the giant scissors. And you might ask: why him?!? He's awful! But I think that's exactly why I like him. Because he IS awful. But he's also not made-up. This is a real character from a real book of German folk tales. I didn't invent this terrible scary fellow myself. He's completely crazy, but it's even crazier to think that this is what children were reading (and still are) in Germany.
But okay. That doesn't mean I LIKE him, right? So I think I have to say Sherlock Holmes is my favourite. The interactions between Tyler and Sherlock in the book were delightful to write and who doesn't love the famous consulting detective from Baker Street?
2. When reading The Dragon of the Month, readers are made to feel as if they are with the children, and you did this so well, I have to ask; did you channel your younger self to write in this style?
Thank you so much for saying this. And yes, I definitely was channeling my younger self while I was writing this. The classic author's advice is to write what you know, so that is definitely what I did. I let myself get sucked into the story until I was no longer writing it as much as I was just being pulled along with it, waiting to see what would happen next.
3. Have you always had a talent for story-telling, or is this a trait that only appears in your writing?
I am actually not really sure about that. When I tell stories out loud I always think that I am being rambling and incoherent. Maybe I am in writing too? Ha ha. I think I had to first realise that I had stories to tell before I could even think about whether or not I could tell them. Maybe the true talent lies in knowing which stories you CAN tell (and which you can't)? When you're telling a story that you are the best person in the world to tell, then the process of writing becomes an adventure instead of a chore.
4. As an educator, I couldn’t help but notice the educational benefits of this book. You added new vocabulary in perfect places to allow children use context clues to expand their vocabulary, while maintaining their confidence. Was this intentional? If so, have you taken educational courses because you did this like a pro?
Again, thank you so much for saying this. I didn't know I would get such beautiful compliments in this interview. Thank you! But as for whether these choices were intentional, I am proud to say that they definitely were (or sort of). I remember reading Winnie the Pooh as a kid – and when I say 'kid' I mean like four years old – and I loved it. Then later in life I went back and re-read them and the very first thing I realised was how adult the language was. This surprised me for some reason. I guess in the meantime I had just been brainwashed to think that "children's books" were supposed to consist of simplistic prose. No big words. No complicated sentences. But, in fact, here was one of the most beloved books of all time, and it was written in quirky grown-up language. So when I set out to write the Dragon of the Month Club I didn't even think about what was too grown-up or what was not, I simply wrote it as it should be written, and even if I did happen to be cognizant of the potential deleterious nature on younger readers of using overly perplexing words, I was still aware from the inception of the book that the potential remuneration for attempting to ameliorate the reading level of my readers far outweighed the possible drawbacks. (I also should add that I think I am really really funny, even if my friends don't agree.)
5. I was thrilled to see the ongoing Dragon of the Month contest; what a wonderful way to encourage young readers! Where can the readers of Boundless Book Reviews learn more about this contest, and all of your books?
I am really excited about this on-going contest and always encourage anyone to get involved. The finished hard-cover books are amazing, and I think anyone would love to have one. So the best place to go for information is the official website:
In closing, thank you so much for the chance to answer these amazing questions. It was an absolute pleasure and I appreciate you giving me the chance to connect with you and your readers.
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/
About The Author:
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/