Tell us about yourself!
Hello! I’m Alastair, and I write children’s books.
I live in Edinburgh, Scotland with my wife, our daughters, and a cat named Maudie, who is trying to convince me I haven’t fed her today (I have).
Tell us about your chapter books.
My series is called Dragon Storm, and it’s for children aged 7-9. It’s set in the fantasy world of Draconis, where dragons have been gone for almost a thousand years. But a group of children discover they have special powers—they are Dragonseers, and they can each summon a dragon back into the world!
In each book, we meet one of the children and find out about their dragon. Every dragon is different—just like every child—and they each have their own adventures. There are clockwork mazes, secret potions, hidden dragons, magical jewels, and more.
And somewhere out there, someone is plotting against them . . .
What kind of child are you trying to reach with your books?
These books are for anyone who has ever wanted their own dragon. I wanted them to be exciting, so there’s lots of adventure—sneaking through tunnels, magical creatures, flying, exploding machinery!
But the books are also about the relationship between each child and their dragon, and each child is different. Tomas is brave and loyal. Cara is cunning but cautious. Connor likes to solve puzzles. Erin loves nothing more than a big fight.
I’d love it if the reader came away wondering what their dragon would be like.
Give us a little flavor of some great characters or the setting.
The books are set in the city of Rivven, and in a lot of ways, it’s like the Old Town in my own city of Edinburgh. There are winding, ancient streets, twists and hidden corners, flickering torchlight, markets, gardens, and narrow lanes. Rising up from the centre is a huge rock—and at the top of the rock, the Royal Palace.
One of my favourite parts of the series has been to imagine the city and its people as if I was walking around with them.
What inspired you to write this series?
Although I love science fiction, some of my favourite books as a child were fantasy, from Narnia to Middle Earth. So, when my publisher asked if I would be interested in writing about dragons, I jumped at the chance!
I thought about the kinds of stories I loved at that age. I wanted adventures—creeping through tunnels, discovering secrets, desperate escapes—but I also wanted the children to feel real and to have their own issues to resolve.
So, I started to imagine that each dragon was different, and had a special power—and that this power depends on the child. Tomas is brave and loyal, and his dragon Ironskin has the power to shield others from harm. But Cara, cunning and cautious, meets Silverthief, who can turn invisible.
And suddenly, all the children and their dragons leapt into my head, and I just had to start writing!
How did you know you wanted to be an author?
My parents weren’t big readers, but they loved stories and storytelling, so I grew up in that environment.
At dinner time, my dad would tell long, complicated, and unlikely jokes about things that had happened in his day, whereas my mum loved repeating funny scraps of conversations she’d heard. And although they both worked very hard and long hours, they always made the time to take me to my local library, which I loved.
So, I was surrounded by stories, and it seemed natural to want to create my own.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Keep writing, keep reading, keep trying. Set a small daily goal—500 words, maybe, or even just 100—and keep at it every day.
One other thing: don’t worry if the first draft is rubbish! It’s supposed to be; that’s okay. I call mine “Version Zero” to remind me not to worry about it. Fix it later—the only important thing to do in the first draft is FINISH IT.
What formats are your books available in?
Find them all here.
What’s next for Dragon Storm?
The first three books, Tomas and Ironskin, Cara and Silverthief, and Ellis and Pathseeker are out now in the US. In the UK, book six (Erin and Rockhammer) has just come out.
If you’re in the market for chapter books, I’d love to share my series with you! Collar Cases is a Christian mystery series for readers 7-12.
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