Like most of my enduring interests, this one started with a book.
I don’t remember exactly when The Dragon’s Handbook came to me, though I have vague memories of tugging on Mother’s purse in a used book store, begging for “this one.” Because of its odd shape, the book never fit comfortably on a shelf with my other books. So I propped it against my mirror and treated it more like a piece of art than a book, making it an integral part of my room’s decor.
While The Dragon’s Handbook held some of my favorite illustrations, my favorite stories featured horses and dogs. The Black Stallion series, 101 Dalmations, and Lad: a Dog. King of the Wind, Lassie Come Home, and Where the Red Fern Grows.
Then I found The White Dragon on a library shelf. Its cover featured a much fiercer dragon than Barbara Rinkoff’s Culhane, and I was suddenly ready for fiercer stories. I read Anne McCaffrey’s entire Pern series, and, from then on, I devoured any book with a dragon in its pages.
The horses crowded closer together and shared their shelves with dragons. Today, dragons lurk in every corner of my office.
I suppose this might explain why my favorite flowers are snapdragons.
And why I take so many pictures of dragonflies.
It certainly explains why my first complete manuscript is a literary fantasy. There’s a dragon, of course, but there are also hounds and horses. Because I couldn’t resist combining my two loves: my younger preference for stories about animals (especially stories that made me cry) and my teenage quest for adventure and magic and peril…