How did you come up with the title of your book?
The dragon is rather self-explanatory. I wanted to make it clear right away that there would be a dragon in this story!
Ynys is the village where the main character lives and where the story begins. The word Ynys comes from Welsh. It means "island" and is pronounced like "uh-niss"—you can listen to a pronunciation clip [here]. I chose it as the name for the village in my story because it's a very isolated place, just like an island. I also just really liked the word. I started learning Welsh a couple of years ago on Duolingo and by now I have finished the tree. (For those who don't use Duolingo, that means I've done all the lessons.) I've always loved learning languages and I think Welsh is particularly interesting—and not only because there’s a dragon on the Welsh flag!
I don't have any direct connections with Wales. However, when I chose my name back when I was 11 years old, I was inspired by the Celtic goddess Cerridwen. Other sources identify her as an enchantress rather than a goddess, but either way she’s part of Welsh medieval legends. This raised my interest in the Welsh language and culture even further.
If you’d like to know more about my name and how it’s pronounced, I have a little clip on TeachingBooks here.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hi! I'm Minerva Cerridwen. My pronouns are she/her or xe/xem/xyr. I'm a genderfluid aromantic asexual writer from Belgium, where I work as a pharmacist. My first language is Dutch, but as most of the media I consume are in English, it feels more natural to me to write in English too. My hobbies include baking, drawing, yoga, and learning languages. I also like dragons, purple, and good LGBTQIA+ representation.
I’ve been writing stories for about as long as I’ve been able to write, but my first published story was the fairy tale “Match Sticks” in queer anthology Unburied Fables (2016). 50% of the proceeds for this book go to The Trevor Project.
After that first publication, I started seeking out more anthologies to write short stories for, and I was also dreaming about a book of my own. That first book is my novella The Dragon of Ynys, now published with Atthis Arts. It’s a gentle, inclusive fairy tale with an aromantic asexual main character, and trans and lesbian side characters.