Sunday, 7 February 2010

This week's word is: SILBURY

Hello dragon fans. The author has been away most of this week, talking in schools in Wiltshire, England. Among other places he visited was a town called Warminster, which is supposed to have the largest number of UFO sightings in the whole of the UK. I haven’t seen him around today, actually. Hey, you don’t think…?

Wiltshire is a fascinating place, full of stone circles and other ancient monuments. It was here, two years ago, that we first conceived some of the ideas for Dark Fire. One drizzly morning, the author was heading towards a little bookshop in a town called Devizes (The Well Wisher Bookshop if you want to check it out) when he brought the car to a screeching halt in a lay-by just off the A4, near the River Kennet. “What’s that?” he asked. I looked up and saw a large hill on the other side of the road. “It’s a large hill,” I hurred. “I know that,” he tutted. “But what’s it doing there? It doesn’t look like a proper geological hill. It looks man-made to me.” To be honest, it looked like a large steamed pudding covered with grass to me, but when he starts using words like ‘geological’ you have to allow him a little respect. So we got out of the car and wandered over to a viewing point to take a look. On a sign on a post was the place name, SILBURY HILL. Below it was some information. “Gosh, look at that,” the author cooed. “It was made by men, probably in the Neolithic period, and no-one knows why. It’s about the same size as an Egyptian pyramid, apparently. They think it’s an ancient burial site, Zookie. But when shafts were dug into the hill to try to discover who or what is in there, they found nothing. What do you reckon?” By now, I was beginning to take a few auma readings. The hill was zinging with energy. So I took out my pad and waited to see if any kind of inspiration would come. And it did. What I wrote down for the author made both of us jump. “Dragon?” he said, looking at the pad. “There’s a dragon in the hill?” I nodded. And we looked at it again in awe and wonder. “Well then,” the author breathed. “Now we know what we’re doing here, don’t we? This place had better go into a book…”

And that is how one sequence of Dark Fire was born. Those of you who’ve read the book will know what I’m talking about. Those of you who haven’t now have this picture to carry in your mind so that your imaginations can go to work BIG TIME before you read the story. Only 82 days before Dark Fire is published in America!! And not long after that the author will be there to promote it. Exciting. Still haven’t seen him, by the way. Hang on, was that an alien spaceship flying over...? Until next time (if the aliens put him back!). Happy reading. Hrrr!

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