OW To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell knows things are going well when she’s sobbing in her writing shed, tucked away in her back garden.
“I deliberately set out to make myself cry,” says the best-selling writer and illustrator. “I’m always making myself cry. Unless you can make yourself cry, how are you going to make other people cry?”
Penning the final book in her famous Dragon series, published 12 years after the first one hit the shelves, was particularly emotional.
“I was in floods of tears,” she recalls. “It was very hard to say goodbye,” Cressida continues, perched on a sofa and sipping tea in the plush living room of her London home.
“I loved writing about that world. People would say, ‘You’ve written 12 books. Aren’t you bored?’ But I was never bored.”
Before completing the Dragon series, which has sold eight million copies around the globe, Cressida, 52, began to think about what would come next.
So she created her first new series in 18 years: The Wizards Of Once. Featuring the adventures of boy wizard Xar and girl warrior Wish, the first book was published last September to rave reviews.
Twice Magic, the follow-up, is now hitting the shelves – and she admits the Dragon series was a tough act to follow.
“I was very anxious about writing Wizards,” the married mother-ofthree confides. “I didn’t want to disappoint. It’s quite hard when you’ve had a huge success. I’ve been so lucky but there’s a certain pressure.”
She need not have worried – the first in the trilogy was a hit and DreamWorks has snapped up the film rights.
The animation company previously adapted her Dragon books into a TV series and films, with the third movie, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, due out in February.