The Story Behind Realm of Dragons by L.C. Conn

20 Apr 2021

By L.C. Conn

Dear Reader,

On the 9th of July 2017 as I sat in a café, a new idea came to me. At the time I was still writing Aroha, the last book in The One True Child Series.

I have just looked back at my notebooks and found I stopped a sentence midway through that story, to start a new page and a new tale. I called it simply “The Dragon Story”, and to this day, my family and I, still refer to it by that name. On the 31st of August 2018, I finally wrote “The End”, in my fourth notebook since beginning the journey of crafting the world of dragons. But that was only the beginning.

It may have taken me fourteen months to write that first rough draft of R.O.D., but it would not be sent to my publisher for consideration until the 6th of May 2020. In that intervening time, there were many more drafts as I researched, played around with characters, developed a military system, wrote lists of characters telling who was who and what position they held. I wrote out descriptions of the settings, hoarded a mountain of pictures to refer to when I needed to describe scenery, armor, dragons, and buildings. I built a picture of the world I wanted my dragons to inhabit and that was down to the influence of a friend and fellow writer, who was a master at it, R.E. Fisher.

I found the process of world building to be a fascinating one, and could see now why he would extoll the virtues of going through the process to me, when we would chat about our respective work. I didn’t know how much he had taught me until it was too late and he was gone. For his knowledge and his friendship, I wanted to honor him. Which is why I decided to dedicate this book to Richard’s memory.

I applied all the knowledge Richard had unknowingly imparted to me, not only to the world, but also the characters that inhabited it. Normally when a new character introduces themselves to me, I would have a vague idea in my mind of what they looked like, where they fit in the story, and how it was to unfold. With this story I wrote long descriptions, both physical and personality, even down to what they would wear. But there were a few who went against this new method and who took me completely by surprise.

The first being Scetis. I already had his physical image of him in my head, as he is based on an actor (not going to say who it is). I had his character so carefully written out, and already written a great chunk of the story revolving around him. But that all had to be consigned to the “bits to use for other stories” file, as I had a sudden insight into his background.

Another character was Audel, or Squirt as he prefers to be known. Squirt is a small diminutive dragon and was only supposed to be a bit character, whose sole purpose was to be at Vojin’s beck and call. But I found he had a more sarcastic side, one that was born from his circumstances growing up, and he made me smile with some of his antics. I realize now that he reflects a lot of Scetis, and the struggles they both faced in their formative years were very similar. Rejected by their mothers and those around them, alone for most of their lives, and struggling to survive against those that perceive them as threats. It was very unconsciously done, but I think it has given the story a well-rounded feel to it.

While building the world of dragons, and developing the characters that reside on it, I could not help but include our own world in the story. For those that have read my previous series, the knowledge that I love my homeland of New Zealand a great deal, is not new. And I could not help but think that the amazing landscapes of both the North Island and South Island, as being perfect places for dragons to fly. The inclusion of our world into to mix of the story seemed natural to me. Where else to banish someone than in a world without dragons? In a landscape that was almost designed for them, with active volcanoes, deep lush subtropic rainforests, remote mountainous regions, and not to mention Fiordland and Milford Sound. (Excuse me, I think I should apply to Tourism New Zealand for a job!)

In my formative years as I read copious amounts of fantasy books, my imagination always had me placing myself in the locations that were described within the pages. While growing up in New Zealand, my imagination would over run me, and I would see places in the real world that could be perfect for the fantasy realms. This carried on well passed my childhood and teenage years. As I would walk my children to and from school, we would make up stories as a way to pass the time. We would encounter dragons, crocodiles, trolls and fairies, mixing the sights and sounds along our way through our tales. So, it is a habit that is ingrained. To take what is so familiar and turn it into fantasy.

It was this ingrained habit that has influenced a lot of my writing. Anything is possible in the fantasy realm, even breaking into our own. It has shaped even how the book was written. A large chunk of the writing took place on a visit back to New Zealand in 2018. I strolled around the so familiar stomping grounds of my childhood, sitting in the parks myself and brothers would play in. The words seemed to just flow as I sat in the that environment on sunny summer days, with the sights, sounds and scents bringing back so many good memories. It was the perfect place to grow up.

Realm of Dragons was almost a step out of my comfort zone. The One True Child Series had come to me in a dream, shortly after dealing with breast cancer. I know that the dream was a way of my mind coming to terms with my diagnosis and the treatment that followed. So many of my other stories were also created from vivid dreams, but Realm of Dragons was born from the simple desire to write about dragons, a creature I love and identify with. I think this is why I took a different approach to the writing process. It was not written on a keyboard but with pen and paper. It was planned out and built from scratch, not just placed fully within our world.

To me Realm of Dragons, Fight for the Crown is one of the best stories I have written. It is one that I am very proud of and one I can’t wait to share with the world. I hope you, as the reader, will share my enthusiasm for this world I have created, and I hope you will contact me and tell me what you think. That is the most satisfying part of writing, a reader’s feedback.


Happy Reading!

L.C. Conn


L. C. Conn is the author of the new book Realm Of Dragons

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