In June of 2004, AMG Publishers produced Raising Dragons, the first book in the Dragons in our Midst series. At the time, faith-based fantasy in the Christian market was rare, perhaps even non-existent. We all know about the Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings, but these were published by secular publishers, not Christian ones. Raising Dragons was a groundbreaking trailblazer.
Now, 15 years later, Christian-based fantasy has many more selections, and Raising Dragons has been included in multiple curricula lists. To date, the series has sold more than half a million copies.
Its beginnings, however, were much humbler. The story had its birth 23 years ago when I had a dream about a boy who could breathe fire. I told my oldest son, James, about the dream, and we brainstormed the basic story line. It took me a year to write the first version and several years (with more than 200 rejections) to find a publisher, but, after more than 20 rewrites, the book finally appeared, to the delight of many and to the horror of a few.
Yes, horror. Some Christians didn’t take too kindly to fantasy stories, especially those that included dragons. “Dragons are evil,” they would tell me, “so your stories are evil.” Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with that ill-conceived viewpoint as frequently as before.
During this anniversary month, I hope to post more about my 15-year writing journey. Watch this blog for new entries.
Also, I am conducting a contest. Gather the clues from each post this month. The final post will help you decipher the clues. Everyone who submits the correct answer at the end of the month will be added to a drawing to win a prize to be announced later.
(The contest clues for this post are the letters w and n.)