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The Backstory



hen Sophie's son, Rory, first started school, he would ask questions about the industrial chimney in the distance. Never-ending, impossible questions such as, 'Why is that tower so tall? Why is there smoke? Who lives there? What does it do?' Being a model parent and not wanting to lie, Sophie had no choice but to tell him the truth - that although the authorities led us to believe it was a cement factory, it was, in fact, the lair of a giant fire-breathing beast. Demdike's dragon.


If, while on the school run, there were no sheep to be seen in the fields, they could only presume it was because the dragon had escaped and gobbled them up. If they got caught up in traffic, great steaming piles of dragon dung blocked the road; a smokeless chimney was a clue the dragon was free, so they had to be wary, whereas a smoking chimney meant they could continue on their way, safe in the knowledge it was back behind bars.


Initially just written for fun, and whilst it was still a short poem, the children at Grindleton Primary School read the first draft of 'The dragon Tower'. The children's enthusiasm and imagination inspired Sophie to develop the story further and sowed the seed for 'The Best-Kept Secret Trilogy'.

 

Sophie's parents refused to have a TV in the house whilst she was growing up, so she had no choice but to become an avid reader at a young age. However, many years later, when she bought a TV of her own, there was nothing more disappointing than seeing the characters in her favourite books on screen, as they were nothing like she had imagined.


So with this in mind, Sophie felt it was crucial that the adult dragon was left mainly to the reader's imagination. The dragon's appearance, true name and gender are for the reader to decide! Sophie hopes that enabling each child to conjure up their own dragon will motivate children to create in artistic and inventive ways, inspiring them to compose their own stories and illustrations.





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