Paul Cude is a husband, father, field hockey player and aspiring photographer. Lost without his hockey stick, he can often be found in between writing and chauffeuring children, reading anything from comics to sci-fi, fantasy to thrillers. Too often found chained to his computer, it would be little surprise to find him, in his free time, somewhere on the Dorset coastline, chasing over rocks and sand in an effort to capture his wonderful wife and lovely kids with his camera. Paul Cude is also the author of the Bentwhistle the Dragon series of books.
What got you started in wanting to be a writer?
Who are your favorite authors today and who were your favorite authors when you were younger?
It seems my love of books goes in phases. If I have nothing to read, I wander around a bookshop until I find something I like the look of and then read it. If I get hooked, I go back and find other books by that author. Examples of this for me are Terry Goodkind and Christopher Paolini…………I love all of their books. The detail, the plot……the characters….are just all amazing. I can only dream of writing as well as they do. Other authors I’ve found and loved this way include Robin Hobb, J.V. Jones, David Gemmell and Trudi Canavan, to name but a few. I love the way they use their imaginations and the worlds that they create on the pages of the book. They’re all very easy to visualize.
My favorite author of all though, is the wonderful Terry Pratchett. If you haven’t read one of his books you really should. While I love pretty much all the books he’s written, the ones about the guards of Ankh-Morpork, Captain Carrot, Sam Vimes, Corporal Nobbs, Angua and of course the Lord Vetinari, are easily my favourites. The characters themselves are described in magnificent detail, all with their own funny little ways. The plots twist and turn like a raging river, and the humour……….well, let’s just say that is exactly on my wavelength. I’ve cried with laughter on many occasions reading some of Terry Pratchett’s books, and I can’t recall doing that for any other author I’ve read. If you’re a reading fan, you really must try one of his books.
You put quite a lot of contact sports in your work. Were you or are you a hockey/lacrosse/rugby player?
I feel that playing hockey has also taught me valuable life lessons. Playing a team sport shows you how to work as part of a team. How you can accomplish more together than on your own, how to pick people up around you, how to inspire and be inspired. These are valuable lessons that can be picked up from any team sport.
As for the lacrosse and rugby, one of my best friends was England ladies lacrosse captain for some time. I once had the honour to go and watch her play for England at the lacrosse world cup when it was based here. The pace and skill needed to play the game in general and particularly at that level astounded me at the time, and still amazes me to this very day when I think back. I should also mention that the person in question is an amazing hockey player, and I have played alongside her in a touring team many times. And she was always one of the best players. Choosing rugby wasn’t hard. I only ever played at school, but when I watch it on the television, I admire the strength, power, commitment and passion with which it is played. The players are all so professional, not least towards the referee, which is much the same in hockey and is as it should be. It wasn’t difficult to want to add it as a sport to my book. As for the hockey, I still play when I can, despite being more than a little long in the tooth, and I’m proud to say both of my children play. I help coach them every Sunday during the hockey season.
In many novels, dragons are portrayed as killers who are either indifferent or hate humankind, but you make them into creatures who took a vow to protect them. Why did you stray from the norm in that aspect?
The dragon friends become “addicted” to their human lives and human sports. What is it, do you think, that draws us humans so much towards sports?
What’s the best thing about being an author?
How did you come up with the story? All the detail of the laminium ball games, mantra’s, grotto’s, dragon cities, etc.
Your books are labeled as “Young Adult” but I find that a lot of your readers are over the age of 18. What do you think it is that gives it such crossover appeal?
Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
What kind of dragon would you be?