Bradley’s Dragons: Author Interview + Giveaway

Posted September 9, 2020 by shooting in Author Interview, Giveaway / 5 Comments

This is a sponsored partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Second Story Up; all opinions and questions are my own 

I’m excited to bring you a fun author interview and giveaway in honor of the middle grade novel Bradley’s Dragons by Patrick Matthews. If you want a full summary – or the opportunity to purchase a copy- then here are a couple links for you:


Author Interview with Patrick Matthews

1. I love the cover for your book, Bradley’s Dragons. Who designed it, and did you have any say on how it looked?

Thank you! The cover illustration was done by the amazing Leanna Crossan ( I had seen her artwork on some games, and reached out to her for the cover to Bradley’s Dragons, as well as for some characters from The Boy With The Sword. For the cover, we talked about the key elements of the book that I wanted to convey. It’s a fantasy story that takes place in a modern day Florida trailer park and the surrounding swamp. She did a great job capturing the mood of the swamp, and the dragon is wonderful. Once I had the illustration, I approached Creative Publishing Book Design ( for help with turning the illustration into a cover. That was also a collaborative process. I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

2. Is Bradley’s Dragons a stand-alone novel, or will there be sequels?

It’s a stand-alone, but I am working on other books in the same world. The next one will be about Bradley’s sister. My vision is to tell individual stories about different characters, and then bring them together.

3. What is it about dragons that so delights readers and writers too? Do you have a favorite movie or literary dragon?


My favorite literary dragon is Smaug. I first encountered him when my mother was reading The Hobbit to me, so I have a strong emotional connection to him. When it comes to the movies, I absolutely loved the How To Train Your Dragon series. I realize I just referenced dragons that are completely different from each other. For me, that’s part of the appeal of dragons. They connect with us on so many levels that they can be used in different ways.

The classic dragon from Western Europe, like Smaug, is a fearsome beast, typically portrayed as highly intelligent, but always extremely dangerous. It’s the embodiment of all of our childhood fears: huge, inhuman, and knowing things we cannot. It’s no coincidence that the adjective list I just gave could also be applied to certain adults. When these kinds of dragons show up in a story, they immediately take us back to our childhood fears. We’re small and frail, not understanding everything that’s going on around us. That’s the style of dragon I wrote about in Dragon Run and The Boy With The Sword.

On the other hand, dragons can also be magical and wondrous. Stories like How To Train Your Dragon (or Pete’s Dragon, or hundreds of others), play against the stereotype of the terrifying dragon. In those, the dragons are still wise, powerful, and dangerous, but they’re also friendly. Interactions with them are filled with compassion and love. Again, cast your mind back to when you were three or four. Did anyone fill those roles for you? I’m not saying that dragons represent adults or parents. I’m saying that the emotions they inspire in us come from a fundamental part of our core being.

4. Bradley’s Dragons is a middle-grade novel. What made you decide to write for this audience? What do you like about middle-grade readers?

Middle-grade is an amazing age. It’s when our sense of wonder is still fresh and vibrant. At the same time, we’re learning about the world, seeing things with new eyes. So many of us lose that sense of wonder as we get older. We start to take things for granted, and stop noticing the incredible magic that’s happening all around us. I write for middle grade because I love engaging with that sense of wonder. I feel like there’s a battle between wonder and cynicism going on inside each of us, and middle-grade is a key moment. I want to do everything I can to help wonder win. It’s what turns an everyday life into a magical one.

5. Do you have any release day traditions or a way to celebrate when you finish or publish a new book?


When Dragon Run was published, I threw a party. It was a ton of fun, and I highly recommend it to everyone. For subsequent books, I was much more understated. I have a ton of other traditions, though. For example, whenever I sit down to write (which is every day), I place a stack of cookies on the corner of my desk. As I finish each goal, I eat a cookie. Great way to stay focused. Not such a great way to lose weight.

6. What’s a question that you wish someone would ask you? (and of course, give us your answer!)

My favorite question is always what’s coming up next. In addition to next novels (sequels to Bradley’s Dragons and The Boy With The Sword), I’m working hard to build Second Story Up into something completely new, a place that does more than just publish fiction. Hopefully, we’ll be rolling out our first projects by the end of the year. If you’re interested in following progress, please sign up for my newsletter at


Enter for a chance to win a Bradley’s Dragons prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

A hardcover copy of Bradley’s Dragons, autographed by Patrick Matthews.

A Dragon Suncatcher, by the Glassy Geek.

Eight (8) winners receive:

A hardcover copy of Bradley’s Dragons, autographed by Patrick Matthews.

Giveaway begins September 1, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends September 30, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 responses to “Bradley’s Dragons: Author Interview + Giveaway

  1. Jen

    I agree on Smaug, terrifying!! Thank yo ufor sharing this interview with us, because now I have a new book to read with my mid grade reader 🙂

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