Meet the author: Desmond McMullen on Oscar the Dragon & its powerful messages for young readers

In this insightful interview, Desmond McMullen, the author of Oscar the Dragon, shares the inspiration and journey behind his beloved children’s book. Oscar the Dragon is a captivating tale that addresses important issues like self-doubt, loneliness, and bullying. Through Oscar’s adventures, McMullen aims to impart valuable lessons of friendship, self-awareness, and resilience to young readers. The book, filled with colourful illustrations and engaging characters, resonates with children aged 4 to 10 and has become a cherished read for bedtime stories.

Desmond McMullen opens up about his long-standing dream of writing a story and the challenges he faced in bringing Oscar’s story to life.

Book of the week: Oscar the Dragon by Desmond McMullen

He discusses the significant themes within the book and the powerful messages he hopes to convey to both children and their parents. With plans for future adventures of Oscar, Desmond McMullen ‘s passion for storytelling and his dedication to helping children navigate their emotions shine through in this heartfelt conversation. Join us as we delve into the enchanting world of Oscar the Dragon and discover the impact this book has had on its readers.

Q: Can you tell us about the initial inspiration behind Oscar the Dragon? What motivated you to create this story 25 years ago?

D: The idea of writing a story and getting it published has been a dream of mine for a very long time. I always had the imagination but never did anything about it for fear of getting rejected.

I told my story to my son over twenty-five years ago, but since the story came back into my head, I decided that it was time to try to realise my dream and take a chance. I sought out a publisher who helped edit the book, sorted out the illustrations consulting me on all the steps and in the marketing of my book.

 

Q: The book addresses issues like self-doubt, loneliness, and bullying. Why do you think it’s important to tackle these themes in children’s literature?

D: The aim of the book is that a child who is experiencing loneliness, self -doubt, lack of social skills and other mental health issues would read the book and engage with the lead character Oscar as he goes a on his adventure and meet all the animals along the way and to hope that they enjoy the experience.

 

Q: What message would you like to give to children who are currently struggling with loneliness or self-doubt?

D: There are many important messages in the book that I hope that the children can understand. The most important one is simply Do Not Give Up even when things in your life is going against you remember there is always someone who will help you. Do not feel alone.

  Forming friendships can be scary especially if you are shy and lack social skills but believe me when I tell you making new friends is the best feeling and you experience the best of times with true friends who are the people who genuinely care about you. You can have more than one best friend as many people are different.

I want my story to show vulnerable children that there is always help available.

 

Q: What do you hope parents or guardians take away from reading Oscar the Dragon with their children?

D: The aim of the book is to inspire the imagination and creative thinking of the child. The book covers educational facts about the animals in the forest and the Mythical creatures that add to the magic of the story.

 

Q: Do you plan to continue writing children’s books with similar themes of emotional growth and self-discovery?

D: This is my first book in the series and hopefully if the book does well then, I have a few more books finished and ready to be sent to the publisher following the further adventures of this loveable dragon. The day my book was published I was very excited until the box arrived with copies of my book in it. I can’t describe the feeling of seeing your life dream in front of you. The pride in seeing a book with your name on the front cover, it takes your breath away then you calm down a bit and then you can say “I’ve done this”.  

 

Q: Have you had any memorable feedback from young readers or their parents about the book? 

D: The book was originally aimed at young children but because of the pictures in the book and the characters younger children can enjoy the stories with their parents providing the voices.

Older children and even adults can relate to the theme of the book and finally I hope that my story can help people who find themselves in a dark place with the knowledge that we all need people in our lives that can help us through all our struggles.

Published by Austin Macauley Publishers, Oscar the Dragon is available in paperback (ISBN No: 978-1398498006) priced £5.99 and Kindle format (£3.50) on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/3mrshhwu and http://tinyurl.com/y3e32xnj
It is also available from other book retailers.

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