Today are speaking with the author of “The Dragon’s Family”, James Pyles.
What was your inspiration for this story?
Roughly two-and-a-half years ago, I wrote a story for my then seven-year-old grandson Landon called “The Day a Dragon Came to Live with Us” based on games we used to play together. Landon would create a situation for us to play in, we’d imagine who our characters would be, and then we’d act everything out. I thought it would be fun to use some of our games as the basis for a story to publish on my blog, and from there, it took on a life of its own, becoming hundreds of stories. When the opportunity came along for me to submit a tale to “Magical Realities,” I thought with a lot of editing, the very first story would be a good fit. When I told Landon, who has just turned ten, about it being published in “Magical Reality” he was thrilled.
Who is your favorite character in your story and why?
Probably both the Grandpa and the dragon, since I wrote them both based on me. The Grandpa role is pretty obvious, but if you think about it, it’s the dragon who is ready to sacrifice everything, including his own life, for a little boy and his family because he loves them. When you love someone, you love them with everything you’ve got.
What is your writing process like?
It varies somewhat depending on the circumstance. Usually it starts with a theme, which in this case, is a fantasy story set in the real world. I usually do at least some research, geographic, for instance, then just start keyboarding. It’s rare for me to outline ahead of time. Once I have the base story down in Word, I start editing heavily. Frankly, the editing process takes much longer than the initial writing. If there’s time, I’ll post the story on Google Docs to let my beta readers have a look and make suggestions, then further edit. Finally, I submit the story and cross my fingers.
Is fantasy the genre you usually write in?
Probably more science fiction, since that’s my first love, but fantasy comes in a close second. The very first SF/F stories I read as a child were Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “John Carter of Mars” series, which is probably a little of both genres.
How long on average does it take you to write a story?
Depending on the length, usually a day or less. That said, sometimes I’ll write several different versions of a story, or stories set in different parts of the main character’s life, just to get him/her into focus. But the editing could take weeks or more.
How important was research to you when writing this story?
In the case of “The Dragon’s Family,” the base story is set in a variation of where I actually live, so that part was already taken care of. I did have to research images of a dragon’s broken wing so I’d have some idea of what it would look like and how to mend it. The dialogue and interactions, particularly between the Grandpa and his grandson, all came from my actual relationship with my grandson, so that’s all hardwired into my brain. For a lot of my other stories though, research is critical and one of the most fun parts of the process.
Are there any books that you are currently reading and why?
I’ve just started reading “Escaping Infinity” by Richard Paolinelli. Richard is an indie author, and I read a lot of indie and self-published works to support such writers. It’s a SciFi tale, which as I mentioned, is my first love. Also, I’ve gotten to know Richard a little bit via blogs, twitter, and such and I also read indie writers for what they have to teach me, which at my stage of development, is considerable.
What are you writing now or what are you planning on writing next?
At the moment, I’m writing a short story based very loosely on a chapter from novel three of a trilogy I’m planning to write. I’ve got the first draft of the first novel written and am facing the daunting task of editing. The other two novels are only very vaguely outlined, but when I saw the theme of fantasy, dragons, and epic battles for an upcoming anthology, I knew I could adapt my ideas for a good story. It involves a goddess, a well of time, tons and tons of dragons, elves, demons, and orcs…and lots and lots of children.
Do you have any upcoming releases?
My next release is in the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology “World War Four” which features my short story “Joey.” It’s available on Amazon for pre-order now and will be published in paperback and ebook formats March 1st.
Where can we find you?
Pre-order Magical Reality here: