Do you remember the movie Dragon Slayer that came out in 1981? It was one of my first introductions to dragons. In the film, virgin girls are sacrificed to a dragon to keep it from destroying their village. They are chosen through a lottery, and the King’s daughter discovers that her name has never been in the lottery. She thinks that super unfair, so she rigs the next drawing.
As you can imagine, the King isn’t happy about his daughter becoming dragon food, so he wants something done. He wants the dragon to be destroyed. He asks a magician to help, and the magician gives the task to his apprentice (who, oddly, looks a lot like Richard Simmons [it’s not, though]).
I could go on and on about what happens in the movie, but if you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to ruin it, and if you have seen it, then you already know what happens.
Either way, there’s a scene in the movie that involves baby dragons. When I was a kid, it scared the hell out of me. The big dragon wasn’t as scary, it was fascinating. There is this amazing scene where the hero is in the dragon’s lair ready to kill it, and he’s surrounded by fire and rock and probably gonna die, and the dragon rises out of a lake of flame. Magical. Truly magical.
In addition to Dragon Slayer, there was also the dragon from Sleeping Beauty—who was hella cool! Then when I was a teenager, I read the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. It’s been a loooooong time, so I don’t remember the details, but I remember enjoying it.
I started writing Wucaii when I was in high school—about the same time I would have been reading the dragonrider books. There wasn’t much going on with dragons at the time. Dragonheart came out in 1996, and then Reign of Fire came out in 2002. That was just about the time I was workshopping Wucaii in a college class.
I remember how excited I was to see Reign of Fire in the theater. My dad, who also enjoys a good creature feature, went with me. The movie was all right, but it certainly wasn’t as spectacular as it could have been. My hope was that it was going to spur a dragon craze and then my book would become a bestseller, but it didn’t. The dragon craze just faded out.
I started reading the Eragon series to my son when he was in the womb. I was excited for the movie, but we all know how that turned out.
Later, the How to Train Your Dragon movies came out, and I absolutely love these films. My favorite character is Valka (Hiccup’s mom). Oh! She is amazing! When she first came on the screen, I literally got goosebumps!
Dragons are fascinating creatures. They are either completely evil and destructive or kind, noble animals. To be honest, I’m fine with either. They have a role that they play, and they do it well. However, when it was time for me to create my dragons, I wanted creatures that were both destructive and noble.
In addition to loving dragons and various other monsters, I’m a huge fan of hybrids and trying to figure out what it means to be human, which is the core of what Wucaii is about. I wanted to know if it was possible to balance both the destructive side and the noble side.
How humans interact with dragons really depends on the type of dragon. If they are destructive, humans have to try to find a way to kill them. If they are partners, the humans usually have to find a way to preserve the dragons from other humans that are trying to kill them. I wanted to know what it was like to have a human become fully immersed in the dragon world. How would they cope? What would they have to do?
And that’s where Wucaii comes in.
I don’t view this as a typical dragon story, although there is fire and destruction. But it’s more than that. It’s about destiny and long lost love and Aelana discovering who she really is. It’s about discovering what it means to be human—or not.
Do you have a favorite type of dragon? What about a favorite dragon movie or book?
Check out this teaser for Wucaii then keep scrolling to learn more about the book and add it to your Goodreads!
Keep an eye out for an author interview with Pembroke Sinclair coming up later this month as well as my review of Wucaii!!
Wucaiiby Pembroke Sinclair
Published on June 4, 2016 by Pembroke Sinclair
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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It has been 500 years since Aelana has been home, and a lot has changed in that time--including her. As a half-dragon, half-human hybrid, she has been traveling the universe destroying worlds. Both anxious and excited to return, she wonders what she will find. Her memories of home are filled with pain and loss, especially for her first and only love. She knows he won't be there, but will his memory? Will her anguish remain?
What waits for Aelana on her home world?