Esme Symes-Smith

I was delighted to feature the first book in this series, Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston, earlier this year. I’m excited to report that its sequel, SIR CALLIE AND THE DRAGON’S ROOST, came out yesterday, November 7, 2023.


Sir Callie and the Dragon's Roost book coverThanks to Callie and their friends, Helston seems to be changing for the better: Boys are allowed to explore their magic, and girls are permitted to train as warriors. Callie is an official Helston page, Willow in on track to become king, and Elowen and Edwyn are finally safe and free of their father. Everything is…perfect.

Except it isn’t.

Not in Helston, where every step forward is accompanied by a storm of opposition. Even Queen Ewella and Sir Nick are struggling against the wave of fear and anti-magical sentiment growing daily, while the encroaching threat from across the bridge looms.

Callie isn’t foolish; they notice the suspicious glances thrown Neal’s way and hear the doubtful murmurs following Willow. They know what people think about them, too. Tolerance is not the same as acceptance, and when the fragile peace finally shatters, Callie and their friends have no choice but to leave their home and run.

On the other side of the bridge, old secrets are revealed and new allegiances are formed that will throw into question everything Callie thought they knew about their world. Including what it means to be a hero.


In our last interview, you said, “I chose to follow my own path and be who I wanted. I am truly living my kid-self’s dreams.” What has been unexpected for you along this path?

The fact that it’s working? That through being honest about myself and with myself, I’ve been able to form true relationships with so many people who love me for me, both professionally and personally. And when I have fallings out with people, I can genuinely say I would rather be disliked for who I am than liked for someone I’m not. I am always trying to learn and grow and be better, but I’m really proud of the adult I am.

A very well-adjusted perspective! SIR CALLIE AND THE DRAGON’S ROOST offers new challenges for Callie and their friends. What do you hope readers take away from this second installment?

I really hope readers will realize that there is very little that is black and white in this world. Stories and anecdotes, and even experiences are so subjective that you should never take any one person’s word as law. We all have our biases and assumptions, and we should all ask questions of ourselves all the time.


Yup indeed. None of us know absolutely everything, although some people certainly act like it! What, in your opinion, is the hardest thing about writing a second book in a series?

Deadlines. It’s kind of a given fact that second books at The Worst, but Dragon’s Roost was hard in ways I was never expecting. The actual drafting was pretty smooth once I realised what story I was telling, but revising on a deadline, knowing people are definitely going to read it, was horrible. I wasn’t happy with Dragon’s Roost at all until reviews started coming in. I was very anxious about the base-level prose, and terrified that fans of Champions would be disappointed in me. I was very scared that I would never enjoy the writing process again, but thankfully my experience with Book 3 put those fears to rest!


I’m so glad! The Sir Callie series is expected to have two more books. Without giving away spoilers, can you let us know what you’re looking forward to exploring in those next two volumes?

I’m so excited that I’m able to finish the series the way I want to! I’m really excited for readers to continue the journey with Callie and co, facing their foes and mistakes, and striving for a solution to what seems like an impossible problem. I’m most excited for the growth of all my characters, but especially the main four, and Willow in particular. I’m really excited for The End because I know exactly what it’s going to be, and I know I’m going to cry when I write it!

One non-spoilery spoiler for Book 3: Four points of view 😉









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