This is probably going to sound terrible, but I actually don’t remember all that much about the time period in which I wrote this book. Perhaps that’s because I spent more time in my imaginary world than in the real world around me. I’m aware my older sister was dating the man she was going to marry. I was working as a self-employed music teacher and wrote book six directly after finishing Consort parts one and two.
So when I came to write this article, I struggled to remember the thought processes that led to the story. The first major event in the story is, of course, the discovery of the dragon. My very first dragon experience was the movie Elliot and the Dragon. This movie is about a boy and his invisible pet. I adored it and used to watch it at my Dutch Oma’s house. The idea of being able to have a huge protective friend all to myself - the idea of potentially being able to fly with this friend - was irresistible. As an adult I’ve come to adore the movie How to Tame Your Dragon. This story is brilliantly creative with its world building and its portrayal of dragons and their behavioral patterns.
I’ve read very few books where I’ve actually liked the portrayal of the dragons. Eragon just didn’t do it for me. It didn’t help that Christopher Paolini writes a female dragon in precisely the way a male would suppose a female might speak. The whole thing felt incredibly unauthentic.
Anyway, this is all to say that while I’ve written a serious story with Consort, I’ve also incorporated some of my favourite, most loveable concepts of dragons, which I’ve taken from stories that I delight in.
In the meantime, King Robert’s and Queen Arlene’s failing marriage and dysfunctional family life was largely inspired by scenes from The Forsyte Saga. You should read it sometime. One of the most depressing masterpieces out there.
Rafen’s trial was difficult. If you’ve ever felt accused, though, you could probably write a pretty good trial scene yourself. We’ve all had those moments where we’ve done the best we could, and it’s still come across wrong. Imagine defending yourself in one of those moments, and you’ll see how I wrote some of this scene.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating elements of this story, for me, was Rafen’s spreading curse - the black injury that the Lashki afflicted him with in book four. I’ve had Raynaud’s disease for a number of years now. At one stage during my teens, I remember noticing that the numbness had begun to spread to my lower legs in winter. When you’re already losing circulation in your toes and fingers, it can be rather terrifying to notice that you’re beginning to lose it in your lower legs. I’ve also had my hand turn black before, when Raynaud’s has been at its worst. Cleaning the shower with freezing cold water in the middle of winter is never a good idea with a circulatory disease. Anyway, no prizes for guessing where the depiction of Rafen’s curse came from.
But trust me, I made it far more dramatic for the purposes of the book. I let my mind run wild with the idea.
Anyway, there are a few nuggets for you as you read this book - some of the secrets behind its creation. I hope you enjoy Consort!
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