Gentle waves chimed across the golden sands, touching my bare feet with warm water. The blue skies, the green hills, and the birds which wandered the shoreline all added to the beauty of the place. But my eyes were drawn to a far more glorious sight. I never tired of watching my husband flying towards me, his hide shimmering between black and green in the bright sunlight. On his left foreleg glittered a gold bracelet, twin to the one on my left wrist.
The dragon tipped his right wing and began to spiral down to the beach. I placed a hand on my hat, holding it firmly as Raven landed twenty feet away. A blast of air from his wings blew across my chest, and then fine sand stung my sunburnt legs.
Raven walked towards me, grumbling under his breath as his weight made his feet sink deep into the soft sand at every step. There were disadvantages to being nearly twice the height of a horse. When he reached my side, I lifted a hand to touch the warm skin near his red-rimmed nostrils.
After a moment, he said, ‘No air thin places over this island, either.’
‘Several,’ he acknowledged. ‘But those would only lead through to the Earth equivalent.’
‘Not much of a help,’ I agreed. ‘Especially as I don’t have my passport with me. Or any way of explaining how I’ve ended up in–remind me what Caribbean island we’re on now?’
‘According to Cornelius, the inhabitants call this island “Taino”,’ Raven said. ‘I have no idea what that is on your world.’
‘I don’t either.’ I sighed. ‘There are times when I really miss Google.’
A Bite of… Chrys Cymri
(1) What have you found the best and worst aspects of writing the Penny White series?
This was the first time I’d embarked on what, I quite early on, realised would be a nine book series. The worst bit was trying to make sure I kept straight descriptions of the characters, so I didn’t change their eye or hair colours! I also wanted a character arc for all of the main characters, and that was challenging.
The best part was spending so much time with characters which I enjoyed. Once I found each one’s ‘voice’, dialogue flew from my keyboard. Sometimes one of them would surprise me by going in a new direction which, upon reflection, made sense.
(2) If you were going to do a spin-off series, which other character would you most want to write more about and why?
Clyde would have to be the main character. For some reason, this hymn-singing carnivorous snail is the favourite character of many a reader. Although the Church, in the books thus far, is grudgingly allowing him to train to be a priest, there’s a lot more of his story which I could tell.
I have written several short stories (available free in digital format) about some of the characters in the series. If I were to write another, I think it would be about Bastien, the flying messenger rat who goes up against his rat king because of his love for a small gryphon.
(3) What other projects do you have in mind now the series is finished?
Before Penny took over my life, I was working on a five book space opera. I’d actually finished what I thought were the first and second books, before realising that I needed to go back in time and start with another part as the first book. It’s slow going at the moment, as all of the world building needs to be thought through.
Chrys Cymri is a priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night and lives with a small green parrot called Tilly because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond her current budget. Plus she’s responsible for making good any flame damage to church property. She loves ‘Doctor Who’, landscape photography, single malt whisky, and my job, in no particular order. When she’s not looking after a small parish church in the Midlands (England) she likes to go on far flung adventures to places like Peru, New Zealand, and North Korea.
You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, YouTube and her own website.