Beth McMullen


I’ve been lucky to feature the previous book in Beth McMullen’s Secret of the Storm series as well as her Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls books. The newest Secret of the Storm installment, LAND OF DRAGONS,  is set to release on March 7, 2023.


Secret of the Storm Land of Dragons coverWhen twelve-year-old Cassie found a small, abandoned kitten by a dumpster, she never dreamed that taking little Albert home would change her life forever. And she certainly never imagined that Albert would turn out to be a dragon in disguise. All she wants now is to keep Albert safe, but in trying to protect him from ill-intentioned humans, she’s accidentally just sent him back to Vayne, the dragon king who is hunting him.

With the help of Joe, her mom, and Miss Asher, Cassie sets off on a quest: find Albert, and find somewhere he’ll be safe. But in the process, she learns more about the prophecy that’s put him in danger—Albert, with the help of a second dragon, will overthrow Vayne and bring peace to the dragon world. Who is this second dragon? And how exactly can Albert save anyone when he’s being hunted in two different dimensions?

Braving new enemies, unlikely allies, and strange new powers, Cassie is determined to help her kitten—even if it takes her into the Land of Dragons itself.


In our last interview, when answering a question about writing humorous stories, you said, “The hard part is making sure what is funny fits the character it is coming from. I have to keep myself and what I think is bananas out of it.” Can you elaborate on what you mean by this, and why this part is the most challenging?

To me, a person’s sense of humor is like their fingerprint – unique. And when asked to describe a friend or family member, many times we refer to the kind of sense of humor they have (or don’t have!). It’s just such a part of who we are. It’s the same for a character. As the writer, you have to know that character and see through their eyes what they might find funny. The humor needs to be consistent with the character you have created. There are plenty of examples of the type of humor written not aligning with the character and this pulls the reader out of the book. But I honestly feel like it is the kind of thing any writer can do if they just pay very close attention to how they are doing it.

Makes sense! In LAND OF DRAGONS, we are introduced to a new dragon character. Without giving away spoilers, how did you know this “second dragon” needed to be a part of the plot?

At a fundamental level, I needed the main characters, human and dragon, to discover certain things to be true in the dragon world. Because Albert does not talk, I ended up introducing the second dragon as a means to that end. Her presence allowed me to introduce some relevant back story in a way that felt organic and consistent with the story. And then of course I ended up loving her!


I’ll bet! What do you find most challenging about writing sequels?

How do you give more of the same except different and better? Yes, it makes me laugh, too. But seriously, that is what you are going for in sequels. There is also the challenge of making sure a reader who has not read the first book isn’t completely lost in the second or third and so on. It’s a fine line between making old readers bored and new readers confused. After writing three series, I have a formula that I use so it definitely gets easier the more you do it!


Ooh, I’d love to learn more about that formula. You’ve also mentioned your enthusiasm for first-hand accounts of ghost stories and haunted houses. Do you envision writing something in this genre for middle grade?

I LOVE all the spooky ghost stories in middle grade right now, as well as the flat out scary horror that is so popular. But while I’m a fan, I have yet to have my own idea for a story in that space. I will leave it to the experts!




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