Ben: Are you working on another How To Train Your Dragon book? If so what is it called and can you give any clues as to what's going to happen?
Cressida Cowell: The tenth book is called How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel and it is possibly the most exciting and dramatic of the books…The Dragon Rebellion has begun and Hiccup is an outcast, all alone apart from his three dragon companions, Toothless, Wodensfang, and Windwalker. His father, Stoick, has been made a slave, and is being kept captive in the Amber Slavelands. Fishlegs is missing. Can Hiccup rescue his father from the Slavelands, find the Dragon Jewel that will stop the Dragon Furious from exterminating all the humans, and discover what has happened to Fishlegs? And who is the mysterious Warrior who is hunting Hiccup, on the back of a Silver Phantom?
Ben: Is it true that there’s another How To Train Your Dragon film coming out?
CC: There will be two more How to Train Your Dragon films, one coming out in 2014 and one in 2016. I am very excited, because the wonderful director and screenwriter of the first film, Dean DeBlois, will be directing and writing the whole trilogy, and the entire cast and crew are back for all three films as well, including the producer, Bonnie Arnold. There is also a television series coming out on Cartoon Network in October, that will tell the story leading up to the next film.
Ben: Do you ever get writer’s block, if so, how do you overcome it?
CC: I have to admit, I haven’t had writer’s block yet.
Ben: Any tips for aspiring young writers like me?
CC: I think you should read lots and lots of books, to give you a feel for the way different stories can be told. Also practice writing as much as you can – don’t worry if you don’t finish a story, as long as you are practicing, that’s what matters. I have all day to write my books, and you have to go to school!
Ben: Your illustrations are amazing! How did you develop the How To Train Your Dragon style - your other stories' illustrations are quite different.
CC: Well, some of my picture books have been illustrated by other people, so maybe that accounts for the confusion! I went to art school after university, and I developed my style on the Illustration courses at Central St Martin’s and [in] Brighton.
Ben: If you could be transported into Hiccup’s world for a day, how would you spend it?
CC: I would spend it on the back of the Windwalker, chatting to Toothless as we flew above the Archipelago. One of my childhood dreams was to be able to fly on the back of a dragon.
Ben: If you could be someone famous from history, who would you be and why?
CC: I would love to be William Shakespeare, not only because he wrote those wonderful plays, but also because he wrote them as an actor, performing in the excitement and hurly burly of Elizabethan London.
Ben: What will you be doing on Dragoness Day on the 4th October?
CC: I will be visiting school children as part of my How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel autumn tour.
Thank you for all your questions Ben, and I really really hope you enjoy the new book! Xcellent Dreamtroos (best wishes in Dragonese).
How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel by Cressida Cowell is published by Hodder Children's Books on 27th September.