Cressida Cowell on Writing the How to Train Your Dragon Series

Posted on September 28, 2011

Cressida Cowell, the award-winning author of How To Train Your Dragon talks to The Telegraph about how her upbringing influenced her writing. Cressida's book was made into a hit animated movie of the same name by DreamWorks. There are eight books in the series set in the Viking world of long ago.

Cressida says she said she spent a lot a lot of time as a child with her family on an uninhabited island off the coast of Scotland. The island was so small it had no name. They would be dropped off and picked up two weeks later. It helped her imagine what it was like when the Vikings were there, with no help from civilization if someone got sick or injured. Cressida has said before her father was a kind man, but she thought her parents were completely mad for taking children to such a wild place every summer.

She says her father was also very reckless sailor who would take them out in dangerous conditions. He was the inspiration for Hiccup's father Stoick. She said sailing with her father was really terrifying, and she brought that feeling to the books. She says she can make the readers feel that, because she's lived it. She never met any actual dragons, however.

Cressida wrote the books in her writing shed. It is filled with inspiration, maps and a place to nap. It is small but it looks like a great space to write. Take a look:

Cressida's next book hits stores in November. The eighth book in the How to Train Your Dragon series, How to Break a Dragon's Heart.