Although I’m pursing Collar Cases this year, anything dragon-related puts me in my happy place. Which is why I’m so excited to introduce you to Cynthia Star, a fellow Christian chapter book author who writes dragons…for kids!
Tell us about yourself!
I’m the youngest of three–and the only girl! My two brothers taunted, teased and often terrorized me, but it made me who I am today: strong, confident and not afraid to stand my ground.
I was lucky enough to grow up in rural Nebraska on a farm where I learned to love animals and the outdoors. I wrote my first book when I was about 10 years old. I’ve been writing ever since.
I recently won a top award for some song lyrics I entered in an online contest on a whim. That was so exciting! I now live in New Mexico and get my ideas for new stories while hiking in the foothills.
Tell us about your chapter books.
I have five children’s books. The first three are picture books. My first was The Beepy Bumpy Blue Bug. It’s for the younger crowd (ages 2-6): a fun rhyming book about a little blue Volkswagon bug that speeds along and meets new friends. (My own pets are part of this story!)
The next two picture books (What Color is Your Dragon? and The Moonlit Dragon) are a two-part dragon series about a boy named David and his dragon. The stories are about imagination with vivid illustrations, moral lessons and strong values regarding love, friendship and making the right choices.
The dragon picture books include a coloring page for children to color their own dragons!
My chapter book dragon series The Dragon Flyers grew out of the What Color is Your Dragon? series. It continues the story and builds on the characters. This series is for ages 7-12, but younger kids that enjoyed the picture book series will also enjoy having the books read to them.
I just released book 2 of the The Dragon Flyers: City of Dragons.
What kind of child are you trying to reach with your books?
My books flow with love, friendship, self-sacrifice, exciting adventures and allow kids to use their imagination to take them to far off places.
Give us a little flavor of some great characters or the setting.
David is the main character in my dragon books. The stories are written from his perspective.
He is a bit naive, has a tender heart, and has much to learn about dragons and what it take to become a member of the Dragon Flyers Team. He is a relatable character that kids will laugh and cry with as he grows through his adventures with the team.
(You learn how David finds and names his dragon in my first two picture books!)
Joe is David’s best friend. He’s the one who helps David believe in dragons. Joe is an easy-going fella that seems to have it all together. He sometimes gets David into precarious situations, but always comes through to help his friend.
There are also two strong female characters you’ll meet: Tina Thao and Calli. They are strong, smart, accomplished, dragon flyers.
There is also a unicorn dragon (Saphira), a fairy dragon (Felicity), a regular fairy (Forianna) and a drog!
What’s drog? You’ll have to read the books to find out…all I can tell you is that every kid will want one!
What inspired you to write this series?
I loved the characters so much, I wanted to continue the stories and expand on ideas that kept coming to me. There were so many adventures ahead for my characters!
I have a vivid imagination so it’s easy for me to let my “kid” take over and just have fun. I think kids today need to use their imagination more and my books are guaranteed to help them do just that.
How did you know you wanted to be an author?
I have always known I wanted to be an author. I wrote my first book at age ten. I read every book about horses and dogs I could get my hands on and I’m still a vivid reader.
I write poetry and songs, but love writing children’s books most of all. People told me for years that they loved to read my stuff and I should be published. My college professor told me I could be published someday, but I didn’t really believe that until recently. Once I published my first book, I knew this is what I was meant to do.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read, read, read and write, write, write!
Writers write. It’s what we do.
Give yourself permission to write badly, but keep writing and you will get better. Realize not everything you write will be worth publishing, but you will never get there if you don’t write. A lot.
A turning point for me was when I hired a writing coach. We worked for 6 months to perfect What Color is Your Dragon? She finally told me it was one of the best stories she ever read. That’s when I knew it was good enough to publish.
Every professional person needs a coach or teacher of some kind to perfect their work and technique.
My writing coach changed my life and taught me how to dig deep to bring out a good story. She finally said, “I can’t teach you anymore. You are ready for the next stage.”
I hired a really good editor to help with my chapter books and had to let go of my first writing coach, but I will never forget the wonderful lessons she taught me.
If you feel it, the reader will feel it. I often cry when I’m writing the sad parts…I know if I cry or laugh, the reader will feel it.
That’s what writers do, they connect on the deepest level with their readers through the characters. If you are serious, find a coach or editor you connect with, one that likes your work and what you’re doing.
What formats are your books available in?
Find them all here.
Do you have a schedule of when new books come out?
Yes! My goal is four chapter books a year.
At the time of this interview [1/28/2022], what is your most recent release?
Book two of the Dragon Flyers: City of Dragons.
How can parents find you?
CynthiaStarBooks.com has links to all my books! Everything is available on Amazon.
I loved getting to know a fellow fantasy nerd and Christian chapter book author. If you want additional books that will delight your young readers while incorporating biblical themes, I encourage you to check out my chapter book series, Collar Cases!
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