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Thomas and the Dragon Queen

How author Shutta Crum created her new novel for kids. (Knopf, 2010)
by

Shutta Crum

on 11 August 2010

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Transcript of Thomas and the Dragon Queen

THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN Thomas and the Dragon Queen Thomas and the Dragon Queen Historical fantasy is often about
brave knights on great warhorses . . . . . . fighting dragons . . . . . . rescuing princesses. THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN does have knights, dragons, and a princess but . . . our hero, Thomas has a problem.
Actually, he has
several problems. He's so short that . . .
--there is no armor small enough for him.
--all the swords are too long.
--and he can't mount a warhorse.

Still . . . there is a princess that must be rescued, and so Thomas is off . . . But the biggest problem is that the elderly king's only child, Princess Eleanor, has been kidnapped by Queen Bridgoltha, queen of the dragons. All the other squires and knights are off figthing a border war. Now, Thomas must test his hand and heart in a quest to rescue the princess . . .
Thomas and the Dragon Queen --he's so small there is no armour to fit him.
--war swords are too long for him.
--and he's too short to mount a warhorse. Shutta, hard at work. What to write?
Okay1 So I won't be completely mean.
I'll let my hero have a little fun, too. I hope you enjoy THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN as much as I enjoyed creating it.
And so, I leave you with an anonymous dragon saying . . .
Illustrated by Lee Wildish
Fortunately, the hand that he must test
is not empty. He does venture forth with a mysterious dagger-like blade from a distant land . . . . . . and, for protection,
he has a padded vest his
Da made, . . . old donkey Bartholomew. "A sure-fire hit as a read-aloud . . . ." Horn Book, July/August 2010 But he has to lose it all, doesn't he? For that's how heroes are truly tested. So--let me think--how can I get rid of his sword,his jerkin (his vest), and his mount so that he has nothing to depend upon but himself? Let me count the ways . . .
Yay! The author gets to be tricky--like a dragon. Fun! The author likes being beastly . . . ha! Hmmm . . .
He could accidently lose one thing.
He could give one thing away.
And one thing could be stolen from him. When an empty-handed Thomas does come face to face with the beast . . . how does it end? To find that out, you'll have to read . . . Published by Knopf, 2010 ". . . expect a wonderful tale, well told."
Publisher's Weekly, Galley Talk "A refreshing antidote to the tired fractured-fairy-tale genre . . . " Booklist Magazine . . . and to ride off on his glorious quest he has the castle's trusty . . . After all, fighting
dragons is hard
work! "A must-read . . . ."
*starred review: School Library Journal Of course, if I'm going to write about a knight, I have to include a castle. There might be a young reader in that castle. And maybe the reader likes historical fantasy Almost as difficult
as writing a book! Perhaps something about a knight? Shutta Thomas and the Dragon Queen What to write? What to write?
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