Chris d'Lacey

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Chris d'Lacey
Born (1954-12-15) 15 December 1954 (age 64)
Valletta, Malta
GenreChildren's fiction
Notable worksThe Fire Within
Fire Star
The Fire Eternal
Dark Fire
Fire World
The Fire Ascending
Spousejean Michelle D'Lacey

Chris D'Lacey (born 15 December 1954) is an English writer of children's fiction, he is best known for writing The Last Dragon Chronicles. He has also written many other books including A Dark Inheritance.


Chris D'Lacey was born in Valletta, Malta, [1] but as a child moved first to Leicester and then to Bolton. After gaining a degree in biology from the University of York, he returned to Leicester and got a job at the University of Leicester in the Pre-Clinical Sciences department.[2]

Originally his writing was confined to songs and he didn't turn to fiction until he was 32.[3] His first piece of work was a 250,000 word story about polar bears for his wife, Jay, to accompany a stuffed polar bear he had bought her as a Christmas present.[2][4]

He didn't write another story for seven years, until he heard about a competition to write a story for young children with a prize of £2,000. The resulting book, A Hole at the Pole, also about polar bears, didn't win – but he sent it off to a publisher, who accepted it.[4]

His first children's novel, Fly, Cherokee, Fly, was published in 1998 and subsequently shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.[5] It was inspired by the time he found an injured pigeon in Victoria Park and nursed it back to health at home.[6] After recovering, it lived another 14 years freely coming and going from a nest box attached to the back of the house. All of its offspring were given the names of different Native American tribes, which is where the title of the book comes from.[7]

He has since written over twenty children's books, including Pawnee Warrior (a sequel to Fly, Cherokee, Fly), a collaborative novel with fellow children's author Linda Newbery (From E To You), and the best-selling,[8] award-winning[9] The Last Dragon Chronicles and "The Erth Dragons." His books often contain environmental themes and events based on things that have happened to him.[3]

In July 2002 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester for his contributions to children's literature.[10] Although writing is now his main source of income,[3] he still works at the university as the operator of the confocal microscope.[2]

His favorite children's books are the Paddington Bear series and The Hobbit, and his favorite children's authors are Allan Ahlberg and Roald Dahl.[3][11]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Children's Books UK – Chris d'Lacey. ACHUKA. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  2. ^ a b c Oration for Chris d'Lacey at University of Leicester. (2002-08-29). D'Lacey is his wife's surname but he liked it so much he wanted to keep it. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  3. ^ a b c d Chris d'Lacey interview at Leicester Review of Books. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  4. ^ a b Chris d'Lacey biography at Scholastic Archived 10 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  5. ^ a b The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  6. ^ University of Leicester press release about Fly, Cherokee, Fly. (1999-05-24). Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  7. ^ Fly, Cherokee, Fly at Chris d'Lacey's official site. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  8. ^ "Chris d'Lacey: Author Profile". Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2008.. (2007)
  9. ^ a b Rotherham Children's Book Award at Booktrust[dead link]
  10. ^ a b Chris d'Lacey's Honorary Graduate speech at University of Leicester. (2002-07-26). Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  11. ^ Chris d'Lacey interview at Literacy Trust Archived 17 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  12. ^ Bolton Children's Book Award shortlist 2005 Archived 23 June 2007 at
  13. ^ Hampshire Book Award Archived 25 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine. (2012-03-29). Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  14. ^ Angus Book Award Archived 31 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.

External links[edit]