Author Brandon Mull writes the wonderful children’s series Fablehaven. The fourth book in the series, Fablehaven: Secrets if the Dragon Sanctuary, releases tomorrow in bookstores! SciFiChick.com recently had the chance to interview the author to discuss his latest release and upcoming endeavors.
In Fablehaven: Secrets if the Dragon Sanctuary, readers get a look at an entirely different sanctuary for magical creatures. Where do you get your ideas for your unique characters in Fablehaven?
Most of the creatures at Fablehaven and the other magical wildlife parks in the books come from different myths and legends. I borrow from Greek mythology, German and Scandinavian folklore, even Native American legends. My job as the author is to take these somewhat familiar creatures like dragons, trolls, fairies, centaurs, etc., and decide how they will behave in my books. Bringing the magical creatures to life, giving them personalities and establishing rules to help explain their natures and behavior is a blast.
Of course, not all of the characters are magical creatures. A good writer is usually a good observer, so I often create my characters using observations I’ve made of people around me. I’m not trying to transplant people I know onto the page, but rather take personality traits or quirks and combine them into new characters. And yes, part of it I simply invent. The goal is interesting, relatable characters.
There are some big secrets and twists in the book. Have you had those planned out from the beginning?
Most of the big twists are planned from the start. That way I can offer early clues. I love when a twist in book 4 can shed new light back on events in book 2 and 3. To me, those complicated set-ups and pay-offs help make stories feel deeply imagined.
According to Fablehaven: Secrets if the Dragon Sanctuary, the series will conclude with the next book. Can you tell us anything about it?
Book 5 will be called Keys of the Demon Prison. That’s all I’m revealing so far. I can say I have the story planned, and I’ve started writing it. Expect a fun, exciting conclusion.