Sunday, 21 February 2010

This week's word is: LEICESTER

Hello dragon fans. It’s been an incredibly quiet week in the Den. So quiet that the dragons have all fallen asleep! So this is me, the author, Chris d’Lacey, filling in for Gadzooks. He’ll be back next week to report on our stay in a five star hotel in the middle of London. Watch out for that!

I have been writing pretty solidly this week. So has Mrs Author. She is still collating material for the excellent Rain and Fire guidebook and has been working on settings. Last Thursday, she sent me out on a quest to take photographs of a couple of places in our home town of Leicester, England. Here are three.

The first two are shots of a place called New Walk. This is a walkway, about a mile long, that would take you directly into Leicester City centre. There are some beautiful Georgian-styled buildings along here, mainly occupied by professional businesses. I used this setting in Dark Fire where I called it North Walk. Without giving too much away, Zanna and Alexa are walking along here when they’re attacked by darklings. It’s a very dramatic sequence. Strange how such a lovely place can inspire such a grisly part of the book. Those of you yet to read it have that ‘treat’ to come.

Just before this sequence takes place, Alexa is talking about a story that Lucy has made up for her called Bodger and Fuffle from 23 along, which is also set on ‘North Walk’. Bodger and Fuffle are two squirrels hopeless at making nests. They eventually settle in one of the old lamps in the picture, bite through the lamp wiring and cause a power cut. One of them also falls into the letterbox and has to wait for a postman to come and release him. One day, you may see this story in The Dragons of Wayward Crescent series.

And finally, this last picture may not look like much, but it has HUGE significance. It was taken inside a graveyard next to my then place of work at Leicester University. One day, a friend came into my office and told me there was an injured squirrel in the car park just behind the fence you can see. I went out to look. The squirrel had been attacked. One of its eyes was badly damaged. Is this ringing any bells yet? When I approached it to see if I could catch it and help it, it ran away in a big circle around me. Eventually, it got through a gap in the fence, into the graveyard. Straight away, a crow dropped out of the trees and started to go after it. Fortunately, the squirrel got away. But I never did find out what happened to it – and I always worried about it. So I wrote that squirrel into The Fire Within, and I called him … yes, you guessed, Conker. Till next week. Happy reading. Hrrr!

Blog Archive