Fablehaven Four “Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary”
Story and photos by Kjirstin Youngberg

Note: All images can be clicked to enlarge.

A successful Launch Party was held on March 24, 2009 for the fourth and most detailed book of Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven Series, “Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary”. An estimated crowd of nearly 3,000 waited several hours for a chance to personally greet the author as he signed books. Tickets were distributed, so fans could take time to visit exhibits and speak with fairies, witches and other magical creatures while awaiting their turns. 

Chris Schoebinger Publicity Director for Shadow Mountain Press is amazed at the crowds at the Fablehaven Launch Party

VIP Winners meet Brandon Mull backstage for a private signing before the Fablehaven Launch Party. (L-R) Author Brandon Mull, Cristian Berson, Ana Berson, and baby Cristofer Berson.

A pre-signing floor show featured acts from DC Comedy, a BYU comedic improv group, with more laughs and much cleaner jokes than anything presently seen on television. Also on stage was the pre-teen dance-and-sing group, LOL, with original songs that had everybody up on their feet dancing.   

DJ Combs shows off his new Fablehaven Poster.

With his books on the New York Times Bestseller List for children’s literature before they are even released, it is hoped book four will take the top position, and remain there for awhile. Shadow Mountain has a first printing run on this novel of 100,000 books. Paperback sales are also doing well, and the first book in the series has been translated into German, and titled, Fableheim. The German version does not utilize illustrator Brandon Dorman, but is drawn by another artist who envisioned a plump witch wearing, well, not very much, as copyright laws vary from country to country. Mull doesn’t speak a word of German, but is excited to see his books expand their readership into other countries.

As a child, Brandon Mull spent countless hours in worlds of fantasy he created for himself. “Sometimes, I’d have to call him several times for dinner, to pull him away him from his worlds of make-believe,” his mother, Pam, explained. “Even at the table, sometimes we could see he wasn’t completely with us, but eating something else, somewhere else, maybe even in another time.”  He could entertain himself for hours, even without toys. Pam called it, ” Brandon ‘s Game.”

Jack Ahlander (Fablehaven shirt) and Taylor Greenhalgh (BYU shirt) enjoy the confetti thrown during the event.

Chad Curtis of Riverton finds the Island of the Fairy Queen a good place to photograph his children, Dallin and Ariana.

Some of his teachers in elementary school tried to stifle his daydreams by sitting him in a corner, or keeping him where they could always have an eye on him. Others noticed his creative spark, and found ways to cultivate it. Mull is thankful for their help and direction. “Teachers are the best people in the world,” Mull claims. He must believe it, since he spent nearly five months touting literacy at schools-more than 550 in thirty states-this past year. 

Mull served a full-time mission in Chile, and graduated in English and Public Relations from Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Mary, and their three young children recently moved to a new home in Highland , Utah . Mary bought him an impressive desk for his writing, but when she comes in to check on him, he is invariably typing another chapter in his five part Fablehaven novels while lying on the floor with his laptop.

Author Brandon Mull is released from the Quiet Box by Author Shannon Hale.

Mulls interest in dragons was sparked by a boyhood visit to Glacier Park. “It was just crawling with caves and crevasses and cliffs where dragons would hide,” he explained. “My dragons come in a wide variety.” No plain-Jane dragons exist in book four, as readers can attest. 

Dragon master Christopher Paolini, author of the well-known Eragon series, recently read all three of the first Fablehaven books in one day, not able to stop until he finished just after 4:30 in the morning. “The world he has created is deep, intriguing, magical and full of surprising discoveries and unexpected dangers,” Paolini wrote in an e-mail. “I only wish I could have read it when I was 10 or 12.”

Recently, Mull completed his first children’s picture book, also illustrated by Brandon Dorman, entitled Pingo. “My children are all under six, and too young for Fablehaven, so I decided they needed a book I could read to them.” Pingo is about an imaginary friend who becomes an imaginary enemy when his boy decides he needs to grow up without him.

Amy DeGroff, 23 and Jen Ganard, 24, both of Orem, enjoy a chat with Muriel the Witch (Pam Mull, mother of author Brandon Mull) as they get their books autographed.

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