How do you come up with interesting new races? When do you know that you should consider creating a new race, rather than using one that people are familiar with?
I do use one of the standard races (which is dragons). They haven't appeared a lot in my books, but I just think dragons are cool. And so, I actually built one of the ecologies of my early books that didn't get published around the idea of "well, what would lead to dragons? And what other evolutionary strains would be on a planet that had dragons," and kind of built all around that.