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How does such an inventive, mystical creature such as the beautiful Bubbles enter an author’s consciousness? Find out how Melissa’s water dragon emerged, PLUS check out the #bookgiveaway details below! 😃 🌈 🐉
Creating Bubbles by Melissa Gijsbers
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a lot of fantasy, and even longer since I’d tried to write some! With this in mind, writing a fantasy story for children was an interesting and fun challenge, especially creating Bubbles, the dragon that features in the book.
I have known plenty of dragons, from Smaug in The Hobbit to Toothless in the How to Train Your Dragon movie however none of them were quite what I was looking for.
Dragons are reptilian with wings. They can come in all different shapes and sizes, just look at the variety of dragons in Dragon Riders of Berk to see what I’m talking about! When I did a search on Water Dragons, they were all dragons that lived in the water rather than breathed water. All the dragons I found breathed fire!
This meant I could create any kind of dragon I wanted to suit my story. I knew that I wanted the baby dragon to look like a lizard so that Lizzy wouldn’t immediately think it was a dragon. I also knew that it would need to grow big enough for Lizzy to ride on. That was the start and I wrote the story around that.
When it came time to describing the baby dragon, I took features from a number of different reptiles and put them together. I didn’t want the baby to have wings, so I gave him buds on his shoulders that would grow as he grew.
Bubbles got his name from the row of bubble-like bumps that went down the ridge of his back.
In the book, I hadn’t described what colours Bubbles would be, so we had fun when it came time for illustrations. My 13-year-old and I went looking through Pinterest for colourful lizards to find the colours we wanted and sent a link to my illustrator. The colours you see on the cover are based on an actual lizard!
One thing I’ve learned through this process is that if you are creating a creature based on something that already exists, you need to keep certain elements – such as being reptilian, flying, and breathing something – however, because it’s a fantasy creature, you can change things to suit your story. In this case, my dragon breathes water instead of fire!
Find Melissa at her website, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.
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Wednesday October 25 – Brook Tayla
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Friday October 27 – Vanessa Ryan
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One thought on “Author Article by Melissa Gijsbers: Creating Bubbles”
I love that you’ve reversed the archetype dragon so that Bubbels puts out rather than starts fires 🙂