FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Hello and welcome to my FAQ page – these are the Questions that I am Frequently Asked, and my answers. If you have a question that isn’t asked (and answered) on this page, then please feel free to contact me by post, email, or even via Twitter.

Should I call you “Josh” or “Mr Lacey”?
I prefer Josh.

Would you like a cup of tea?
I’d rather have coffee, please.

Will you visit my school?
If you’d like me to visit your school, please read the events section of this site. Or ask your teacher or librarian to get in touch with me via the contact page on this site.

How many Grk books are there?
There are eight books in the Grk series (starting with A Dog Called Grk).

What about the Dragonsitter? How many books are there in that series?
There are 10 books in the Dragonsitter series (beginning with The Dragonsitter and finishing with The Dragonsitter in the Land of the Dragons). If you look on this page, you’ll find the ten listed in order.

Are you going to write any more Dragonsitter books?
I’d like to. First I have to talk to Garry Parsons, the illustrator. And our publisher, Andersen Press. But I would definitely like to write an eleventh Dragonsitter.

Who is Joshua Doder?
The Grk books were originally published under the name Joshua Doder. They have now been republished under my real name. Click here to read an article that I wrote before my books were republished under my real name, which gives a bit more explanation – and reveals the real names of some famous authors.

What is your real name?
Josh Lacey.

If you could be any animal, what animal would you want to be?
An eagle.

Where do you live?

How do you pronounce “Grk”?
To rhyme with “brook” or “crook”.

Is Stanislavia a real country?
No. When I wrote the first Grk book, I wanted to write about an imaginary country, and I based it on two places. The first was Montenegro, which I have visited a couple of times; it’s a small and very beautiful nation in Eastern Europe. The second is Ruritania; you can discover more about that intriguing country by reading The Prisoner of Zenda.

How do you work? How does the day start? Where do you write?
I wake up, drink coffee and eat some toast, usually with Marmite, sometimes with honey. Then I sit down at my desk. I write in the morning and keep going for as long as I can. That means I keep going until I get distracted or I have to go out or the phone rings or my mind is completely blank.

Can you give me any tips on becoming a writer?
My only tip would be this: read as much as you can. Read anything. Read everything. And once you’ve read so much that your head is bursting with words, you are ready to start writing.

Who is Gruk?
The French and Italian publishers of Grk decided that Grk should be called Gruk. So A Dog Called Grk has become Il mio nome é Gruk and Un Chien Nommé Gruk.

Have you ever met a bear?
A couple. Here are pictures:

What would be your ideal way to spend a day off from your writing?
I’d like to wake up on a Greek island, have a quick swim in the sea, followed by breakfast of coffee and yoghurt and honey. Then I’d like to spend the day walking through the English countryside, followed by supper in a restaurant in Italy. I’d order tagliatelli with truffles and wild boar sausages. Then I’d like to go to sleep in my own bed.

What experiences in your childhood encouraged you to be a writer?
I wish I knew. The only answer that I can give is this: as a child, my happiest moments were spent with a book. I could lose myself in a book. I could escape my surroundings. I could sink into another world. I could imagine myself inhabiting a different time, a different place, a different body. I lived most intensely when I was reading. And as an adult, as a writer, I try to recapture some of that intensity.

Which book would you most like to have written?
I suppose the books that I would most like to have written are the ones that I’ve read again and again throughout my life, so they’ve become part of me. If I was going to pick three – because I can’t just pick one – they would Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray and Tintin in Tibet by Hergé.

If I haven’t answered your question, then you can contact me by post or email.