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Scottish author Gail Macgregor
Scottish author Gail Macgregor / SUR

When dragons follow you from Scotland to Malaga and far beyond

  • Gail Macgregor has published her first book, aimed at older children, and she already has a sequel well under way

Coín-based Scottish author Gail Macgregor has lived in many different worlds, but undeniably the most exciting has to be the one that's full of dragons.

She has recently released her first novel, The World is Full of Dragons, which follows the lives of Rory and Daisy - who are humans - and Jack, a lonely dragon, from Scotland to Andalucía and even the Chilean Andes.

There are mermaids "because mermaids live under the lochs in Scotland," Gail reveals, and a mermaid school under Loch Muick - a place that Gail visited regularly with her family when she was still living in Aberdeen. "Nessie is in there too and he's definitely one of my influences," she adds.

The other worlds that Gail, 49, has lived in include the one occupied by solicitors in Scotland and the one of English teaching, having done a TEFL course on moving to Spain in 2004. She ran her own academy in Alhaurín el Grande for around eight years but currently works as an international repatriation consultant for her son-in-law's UK based company, Mayday, which has a European office in Coín.

When dragons follow you from Scotland to Malaga and far beyond

The writer lives in the town with her husband, who is a retired solicitor. Apparently next door is an organic fruit farm "where there are several dragons guarding the produce."

Gail, whose other world involves her nine dogs and one cat, says that the spark which gave her the idea for her book was a "random question" which popped into her head one day while she was walking her dogs in the forest near her home. "I suddenly found myself wondering what I would do if I found a dinosaur egg and how the dogs would react."

The writer admits that she has "absolutely no idea" where the thought came from and wouldn't say that she's always had a particularly vivid imagination or had a lifelong fascination with dragons.

"The Loch Ness monster was an inspiration though - I grew up in Scotland and Nessie had to be in there," she laughs.

However, the question about the dragon's egg gradually developed into a novel aimed at older children and teenagers.

Gail reveals that she is about half way through a sequel, which picks up where the first book left off - in the Chilean Andes. The protagonists find themselves in northern Patagonia and visit islands full of penguins, before travelling back to Spain.

She admits that she always said she was going to write a book and has others in the pipeline. All of her books so far are aimed at children. "I taught children and adults but particularly liked teaching kids," she says of her time as an English teacher.

Gail started writing The World is Full of Dragons when she was teaching and carried on when she started working for Mayday. "I wasn't in any hurry to finish the book, so I worked on it between my other jobs," she explains.

She eventually booked herself into a local hotel, where she spent time during the day, returning home at night, to finish it, and then started looking for a publisher. UK based Olympia were interested and they have released the book on Amazon.es, Amazon.co.uk, WHsmith.co.uk and Google.

With the need to keep an eye on the dragons that guard the fruit on the neighbour's organic fruit farm, Gail adds, "We love life in Coín, so we have no plans to go anywhere else."