An Interview With Chris d’Lacey!

Chris d'LaceyTo celebrate Chris d’Lacey’s newest novel, Fireworld, being released today (6th January 2011), we are holding an interview with him! If you’re a fan of his Last Dragon Chronicles, this shall give lots of insights into the whys, hows and whens! The Last Dragon Chronicles are widely sucessful, and Fire World is the penultimate novel in the series…

Can you tell our readers a little about the concepts and plots that drive The Last Dragon Chronicles?
The one question that’s always intrigued me about dragons is why so many people are fascinated by them when there’s no real proof of their existence. Are they something the human race has collectively imagined?  Did they really once roam the Earth?  Are they, indeed, out there somewhere?  It’s the desire to answer these questions, combined with my fascination for quantum physics, the environment, a love of animals, and the power of human thought is what drives the books

In The Last Dragon Chronicles, your concept is very different to the standard dragon fantasy. How did you come up with the idea of clay dragons coming to life?
I simply bought one at a craft fair one day and thought it would be a good job for Liz Pennykettle to do.  It was my editor, not me, who saw the potential of developing them into living characters.

There is a wide range in age of characters in The Last Dragon Chronicles. Do you find it easy writing from the perspective of different age groups?
I think a good writer can write a child character just as easily as an adult one (or a dragon, for that matter).  I like the mix in the books because it’s very representative of real life.

When you first wrote The Fire Within, did you expect it to be published?

Oh, Fire Within has a long and convoluted history. It won’t surprise any of my fans to know that it began life as a squirrel rescue story – the real version, in fact, of Snigger and the Nutbeast that David writes for Lucy in the book.  No one wanted it in that state, so I turned the narrative round and told it through human eyes instead, not squirrels’.  Enter David, Liz, Lucy etc.  Once I’d got that domestic setup I was pretty confident it would be published.  When the dragons came into it, I was convinced.

The latest book -Dark Fire- is very different to The Fire Within. Was it your intention to darken the book, and make it much more action-packed and dramatic?
Dark Fire is just a natural progression of the overall narrative.  From Icefire onwards I let the books go where they wanted to.  They took me into some pretty dark (and weird) areas as your readers will know.  I had wanted to write a battle book for some time.  So I think DF was my subconscious mind reacting to that.  I was very pleased with the scenes at the end of Dark Fire, and all the twists and turns in the plot.  It’s fast becoming my most popular book.

Your latest novel in The Last Dragon Chronicles -Fire World- is released in the UK on the 6th January. Can you tell us a bit about what to expect in this latest episode of dragony-goodness?
Expect the unexpected!  That’s all I’ll say about Fire World.  It’s a lovely, lovely book, much gentler in tone than Dark Fire, but really quite creepy in places.  It’s set in an alternate universe.  All the popular characters are there, but they all have slightly different names or relationships.  Anyone who hasn’t read the Chronicles will be able to read it entirely alone.  But for those of you who do know the other five books, you’re going to have a great time sorting it all out

Do you think you’ll ever write a prequel or sequel series to The Last Dragon Chronicles? What will you do after The Fire Ascending, the last book in the series, is published?
To answer the second question first: I don’t know.  Honestly.  I haven’t thought that far ahead.  As for prequels.  Well, I had the idea that the Dragons of Wayward Crescent series would collectively form a prequel to The Fire Within, but sadly those books just aren’t taking off and might have to be shelved.  We’ll see.

One last question specific to The Last Dragon Chronicles; have the film rights been bought? And if so, can you spill some of the beans…?
Hello Hollywood! Wake up! The film rights are still available. Every year, hundreds of fans ask me this question and the truth is there HAS been interest in filming the books (particularly Icefire) but no one ever takes up the option.  I think they would make great films, but I wouldn’t film each book discretely in the way that the Harry Potter stories have been done because there are elements of the later books that I would bring to the beginning.  I would be content with two films that covered the series as a whole.  I promise you this: if no one’s taken the bait by the end of book 7, I am going to write a screenplay myself…

When you write, do you think of the people who read your books, or do you just write something you enjoy?
Honestly, I write something I enjoy, because if I didn’t it would come through in the story.  This is not to say that I don’t have my readers’ interests at heart, I do.  I always take into account what the fans have to say about the books.

How do you make the characters who they are- do they all have elements of yourself in them, or is there a method to it?
I just immerse myself in their world and try to look at their environment through their eyes. But yes, I bring all my own emotions and feelings into it.  Someone asked me once if I was a polar bear in a previous life because I write those characters so well.  This partly fuelled some of the scenes in Fire World.

And Finally, What is the most enjoyable part of writing a novel?
I’m tempted to say ‘finishing it’ because it’s always such a relief.  But the real joy comes in discovering something you weren’t expecting – such as what the book is really about.  I know that sounds a little odd, but stories have a tendency to surprise you in this way.  You can start out writing one thing, only to find, 50,000 words later, that you’re on a completely different path.


About Rhys

Rhys is a 19 year old with roots in the UK and Germany. Aside from reading and blogging, he also produces theatre, loves Kate Bush and hopes to pursue a career in publishing. His reviews have been widely quoted in books such as Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet, Catherine Bruton’s Pop!, James Treadwell’s Advent and Anarchy and he has presented at such events as Book Expo America.

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What did you think about An Interview With Chris d’Lacey!?

  1. Brandon January 7, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Can’t wait for Fire World!

  2. Chris July 9, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I would love to see the movies, we’ll need a new World Wide Phenomenon after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow’s Part 2 comes out. Although one movie per book would be better then two movies that cover the series. That way you can get as much detail as possible so no important parts are cut. Since the smallest flap of a butterflies wings can cause a natural disaster according to the Chaos Theory, eh? In case your wondering, this is directed at Mr. D’Lacey himself if he just so happens to browse on through the site stumble upon my comment. 🙂

    Just wanted to get my word out there.

    Have a great day 😀

  3. Kez August 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I have been saying that these books should be turned into films since I read the very 1st one. They could be even bigger than HP if picked up by the right people. British actors woud be good though, and Chris, Emma Thompson and Helen Mirren would be amazing as would your other choices for your dream cast!
    I reckon 3 films would be a good number to cover what will be 7 books int total. As you say, in order to really understand the story, you’d have to skip back and forth through the books taking info from different places and plots..I can’t wait, get on it somebody!!!! Thanks or the great reads. x

    • leia August 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Emma Thompson as who exactly and chris who?

      Anyway even though it might cause some HP feud I think they should make a film of all 7 that way no important parts are left out or removed.

  4. colten September 19, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Im entirely convinced that if this series was filmed one movie per book would be crucial, and I wish that I wouldn’t have to wait extra for the series to be published in the USA but oh well

  5. Faithbreakerchrisd'laceyfandragonlover February 2, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Dear chris if you happen to read this (please do) 😀 then I would love it if you could email me, I am a HUGE fan with all your dragon books including fire world, I would love to know where you get your own dragon from and it would be my world wide dream to meet you in person! Everyone in my class thinks I am really weird because I like dragons but I know that am not, dragons are awsome so please reply,
    p.s I hope they make a movie of it
    p.s.s HRRR

  6. StarSea February 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Dear Chris,
    If you just so happen to read this, I am a huge fan and can’t stop reading. ^_^ I’ve even made some fan art drawings… so far only G’reth and Gretel, but I plan on making more drawings and even some clay dragons of my own. I also plan on even making a type of movie.. I make animations and I’ve been thinking of a way to create some kind of film animation, but it might take a while. If I do, I’ll probably skip Icefire for a while because I’m not the best at making polar bears. Hah! I even have two small stone bears that are white that I named Thoran and Ingavar. I think if I ever get more, I’ll name two of them Kailar and Avrel.
    Anywhoo, if you ever want me to make any other kind of animation, just e-mail me and I’ll see what I can do… or if you wanna see my fan art, I’d be happy to show you them. If you ever want to check what I’m doing in the animation world for your series, you are more than welcome to check out my website and I just might possibly make a real website with the animations if I get your permission. Just to let you know, I probably won’t have anything in the series animation for about at least a month or two.
    Bye! Thoran says roar… Ingavar is somewhere doing what he does best; saving the world. Hrrrr! ^.=.^ >.=.<
    Oh, PS: I've named some of my dragons after the Pennykettle dragons and if you want to check them out, you can check out or simply google search "StarSea dragons" and it should appear as the first one there.

  7. Rebekah McNeil April 13, 2012 at 1:55 am

    omg!!!!! just finished “Fire World” about a week a go and when i read that he might ACTUALLY write the screenplay if nobody else does, i almost DIED!!!! i have to tell ALL my friends who are reading the series with me!!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!

  8. liza June 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    These books are pure amazingness. I am only up to #5 and I reckon they could be as big as Harry Potter. They’re pure genius.

    Does anybody have any idea for who could play Zanna? I honestly can’t think of anybody…

    • Leia July 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      I have no clue who could play Zanna either. At first I thought Vanessa Hudgens but then I automatically scratched that. I thought about other people to play the cast though and I have my heart set on Dan Radcliffe for David lol. As well Emma Thompson would be great as Liz but if not how about Kate Winslet? One other person I’m having trouble with is Lucy because of that huge 5 year thing in fire eternal.
      Any ideas anyone?

    • leia August 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      I have no clue! here who i have so far

      Liz-Kate Winslet
      David-Dan Radciffle lol
      Lucy?[im having the most trouble with her since i want to play her so bad.]
      Penny:Mia Talerico[they won’t if they start now need her till shes 8]

  9. Jocie January 20, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I got the series last year and started reading them over Christmas break this year, and now I just can’t put them down! I’m starting to read the last book probably tomorrow and I just have no idea what to expect! If anyone knows when (or if there already are movies made) for the books please let me know! I’m obsessed with these books and Chris you are the best author! If you read this comment,hopefully you do, I just wanted to say FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL MAKE THE MOVIES!!! I absolutely love all of your books and just can’t live without them! I know that the series was published in 2012 and its 2015 now but I just had to see if they were made into movie, and I found this page that said you might! Anyway that’s all I wanted to say. I hope you continue your work as a bestselling author and maybe do a new series.
    P.s. Hrrr
    Yours truly,
    Jocie Lester

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