NTMI: Good afternoon everyone! I'm here today with Child Dragon, who has written the longest running series in Neopian Times history. Welcome, Child Dragon!
Child Dragon: Thank you, glad to be here.
NTMI: A pleasure to have you. Our first question is, how did you find out and get on Neopets?
Child Dragon: Now that is quite an interesting story, really. I was a sophomore in highschool, and had a crush on a guy in my Spanish class, named Evan. He told me about NeoPets, I think his username was drchao.... Anyways, in a desperate attempt to make him realize I liked him, I got an account. Shortly afterwards, he gave my username to Mike the Stalker, and yah.... we just won't go there. But then I realized I loved NeoPets, and continued playing even after he gave up on it.
NTMI: When it came time to decide a username, how did you happen upon Child_Dragon?
Child Dragon: I first wanted my username to be iyanna, but that was taken. So I took an age old name for myself, back when I was still in grade school. I had a dream when I was little that I turned into a white dragon, so I thought up the name Child Dragon, because though I was a dragon, I was still a child. Of course, I never did turn into a dragon in reality, I was very disapointed, but I kept the name as a keepsake of when I still believed in magic. A bit of nostalgia for ya there.
NTMI: Yep! I notice you spelled it without the underscore ( _ ) character. Am I correct in assuming the only reason you have it there is because Neopets forced you to?
Child Dragon: Absolutely. I even debated whether or not to include the underscore when I wrote my series. For a while I didn't, but went back and changed it.
NTMI: Now that you're on Neopets, what do you enjoy most about it?
Child Dragon: Erm, that's a tough one. I'd have to say it's definitely the social aspect, my guild, my friends, etc. That and the nice tidy pre-made world to write from.
NTMI: And what does an "average day" in Neopia consist of for you?
Child Dragon: Well, I go through all the events waiting at the top of the page, then collect all my freebies all over Neopia, Tombola, etc. I usually then feed my pets, check stock market, maybe play a game. I save answering neomail and keeping up with my guild for last, as it usually takes the longest. After that, anything goes, just depends on how bored I am.
NTMI: In all your travels about the site, how did you first find the Neopian Times, and what inspired you to contribute to it?
Child Dragon: I found the Neopian Times about my first week there in the News section. I never really intended to send anything to it, up until then anything I wrote was for myself. I wrote "Pals" as a way to define Un-eairkagh's personality, because he was still just a bunch of code for me. After that, it was like a snowball rolled downhill...
NTMI: Was "Pals" a story that was published in the Neopian Times, or elsewhere?
Child Dragon: It's the first part for my series. I had intended it to be a stand-alone short story, and even sent it in the NT as such. But I realized something else was happening, so I sent a frantic e-mail to the staff to not publish it in the Neopian Times until I got the rest of the series written!
NTMI: In other words, the "As told by Child Dragon" series actually consists of a standalone short story (episode one?) that served as the foundation for everything else. Did you get a response back from them when you emailed them, or did they let you worry?
Child Dragon: They let me worry. And worry I did. But I eventually just lost myself in the writing of it. I'd say up until part 8, the entire thing was just a chronicle of short stories detailing my "life" in Neopia. After that, it was unreal how quickly the plot and all came together. So you could say that without part 8, this would never have happened.
NTMI: I notice that at the bottom of a lot of the episodes, you mention your brother ( Sabreur) and your best friend (Melody) and tell people not to send them neomail. Did your readers honor the request or not?
Child Dragon: Mostly. Sabreur got a smattering of neomail, and Melody got some, but they gave up on her once they realized she never answered. (she actually doesn't get on NeoPets much anymore) Sabreur didn't get overwhelmed while at college though, which is what I was aiming for with those notices.
NTMI: So neither one ever felt like strangling you for getting their mailboxes full ;-)
Child Dragon: Well, Sabreur was threatening to strangle me when he found out I made him a character, but then he read it and he's hooked now.
NTMI: So will your elemental spear point the way into any new Neopian Times stories?
Child Dragon: Oh gosh, I don't know where to begin. I've got a series type thing I'm working on, it's not a series like "As Told" was, but, well, lookup the account miracle_star and see for yourselves.... I'm probably not going to write any more major stuff with Un-eairkagh and all, but I do have some short story ideas. I've got one written already. Hint: WeatherWolf.
NTMI: Do any of them feature you as one of the characters?
Child Dragon: Briefly, yes. I won't be taking a major role, I don't think, but things change. I'm probably the most indecisive writer in Neopia.
NTMI: What sort of feedback have you gotten?
Child Dragon: *hides under bed* Um, massive quantities. When my series ended, it took two weeks to reply to everyone. I've still got some neomail I need to take care of floating around.... Ahem. Some of the things they wrote sent me to tears, not because they were mean, but because they were so nice and I was just crushed to see how much my writing was loved.
NTMI: Did you really get any sort of negative feedback at all then?
Child Dragon: I got three neomails that I consider negative. Even then they were, "you could of done this part better", not "I hate your story"
Child Dragon: Oh yeh. I did get one hate mail
NTMI: How did you respond to it?
Child Dragon: It was from Melody being a goof though, so I don't think it counts. I just stole her car keys next time I saw her.
NTMI: lol, I'm sure that paid her back! Now that you have read the Neopian Times for a while, do you have any suggestions for how it might be improved?
Child Dragon: Well, not really. My main complaint used to be the lack of original story ideas, a lot seemed to have the same themes, but that's changed now. In fact, it's changed a lot. So, no, not really.
NTMI: Have you gotten anything else published on the Neopets site?
Child Dragon: I got a Pet Spotlight, a long long time ago, I think a little after I wrote what would become part one.... Other then a short story (that I hate now) with no relevance to my series, that's it.
NTMI: How about outside of Neopets?
Child Dragon: Nothing major. I was in a contest with bravery the theme, didn't win, but I was displayed with the other writings. My English teacher has put a lot of my stuff on his webpage for examples for his other classes. I'm also on fanfiction.net as child_dragon (what else?) The last place would be our school's creative writing publication, mostly poetry, but I made the mistake of sending in a short story. They published it, minus the last third. So now it makes me look like an idiot and totally defeats the story purpose. The ending defined the story... but nooo....
NTMI: The perils of editing! What sort of goals do you have for your writing in the future?
Child Dragon: I plan to minor in writing when I go off to college, actually. I believe I have the talent to get something decent pulled off, and the stubbornness to actually get something published. Even if it doesn't become my career, I won't care. I love to write, and I'm probably never going to stop.
NTMI: And I'm sure your many fans are rejoicing ;-) That's about all the questions I had, was there anything else you wanted to add?
Child Dragon: Yes. I got a lot of neomails that went like this, "I wish I could write as well as you..." So my response is, everyone has to start somewhere. I started nearly six years ago, to be exact. Give it a try, if you don't like what you come up with, try again. And a second time if you need to. And even a third. As many times as it takes. Believe you can write, and it will happen.
NTMI: Or as the old saying has it, "try, try again"! Thank you for your time, Child Dragon, and best of luck in continuing to develop your own writing skills.
Child Dragon: Thanks, I enjoyed talking with you.
Would you like to read all of Child_Dragon's stuff? Just click here to check her out in our database!