Dedham Country Day School was lucky to be one of Brandon Mull’s final stops on his national book tour promoting his new series Dragon Watch. During a recent assembly, students in grades 4 through 8 sat mesmerized listening to Brandon discuss his life as an author of several wildly successful fantasy novel series for children and adults. What started out as a daydream as a child, and then a hobby and passion as an adult, has become his full-time job for the last 12 years. 

While Brandon talked about his different series, including sharing his excitement about Dragon Watch, his talk focused on imagination and creativity. Taking volunteers from the audience, he played the “Imagination Game.” Setting the context that we were about to enter a new world, he asked three students to use their imagination to answer a series of questions about this new land. “What does the gateway to enter this new world look like? What is the ground made of? What grows on the trees? What does this new world smell like?” Though the students’ answers were quite silly and couldn’t possibly be real, we could all imagine it! Details bring a story to life and perhaps in different ways for different people.
Brandon loves to see what people do with his stories. Like when different illustrators bring his characters to life in a drawing. “Three different artists can read the exact same words but will render three very different pictures! It’s so much fun to see,” he said with excitement.
He explained to the children how creativity makes the world a more interesting place. Without it, we’d all be bored. Buildings would be uninteresting, we wouldn’t have important discoveries, there would be no music to listen to, no stories to read, no movies to watch etc.!
“Creative ideas always turn into something,” he said as he encouraged the children to keep doodling, performing, writing, taking pictures, playing, daydreaming, and yes, even building in Mindcraft!
Brandon loves his life as an author and shared his four secrets to becoming a best-selling author.
  1. Make sure you have lots of experiences! Real life inspires you, and being a good observer means you will always have lots of details in your head, and details are what make a story come to life!
  2. Exercise your imagination and create. This is where ideas come from!
  3. Read a lot and pay attention to how different people write their stories. This will give you inspiration. J.R.R.Tolkein, J.K. Rowling, and C.S. Lewis gave him great inspiration.
  4. Write and share your own stories with someone you trust. Getting feedback and corrections is the best way to improve! And don’t be afraid to re-write and re-write.
After Brandon’s Q&A time with the students, the room was abuzz with talk about what books children had read or which series they were going to try. And of course, there was a race to be the first one in line to have their books signed by this very inspiring, best-selling, fantasy book author! To learn more about Brandon Mull and his series Dragon Watch, Five Kingdoms, Beyonders, Fablehaven and The Candy Shop Wars, as well as some of his other projects, visit