Sunday, 14 February 2010

This week's word is: VALENTINE

Hello dragon fans. Guess what? The dragons have had a card! It came from America. We know who from, but of course I’m not revealing anything. But we’d like to thank Deedie and Sarah – oops! – for the warm wishes they sent and here’s our reply: hrrr! You can’t get much warmer than that.

Ah, Valentine’s Day. We never know whether to be sad or happy on February 14th. Anyone who’s read Fire Star will know that this is the date when David Rain apparently ‘dies’ in the Arctic, in the arms of the lovely Zanna (swoon). What marks this date as even more poignant are the letters Zanna writes to David each year (but never posts) on the anniversary of his passing, telling him everything that’s happened in the twelve months just gone. Fans have asked the author why she does this when David is supposed to be dead. Well, the answer is she’s not really doing it for him, she’s doing it for herself to help her deal with her grief. When David turns up again at the end of The Fire Eternal, five years (and five letters) later, you can understand, perhaps, why she’s angry instead of overjoyed to see him. The tension between them really crackles in Dark Fire. Hey, America. Only 75 days to go!!

So I expect you’d all like to know what the author and Mrs Author did for Valentine’s Day? Well, yes, there were cards. Mrs Author gave him a card with three yellow fish and one orange one on the front. It said, “There may be lots of fish in the sea but there’s only one like you.” I think that was a compliment, but I’m not really sure. He gave her one with teddy bears on the front, swapping roses. Teddy bears always seem to do the trick. She has been floating round the house all day. Last night they went out for a meal. A fancy restaurant, you’re thinking? No, a fish and chip shop! Never let it be said that the author does not have style.

They have actually spent most of the day discussing the content of the Rain and Fire guidebook. Mrs Author has been grilling him (in a talking sense, I mean – not cooking him like a sausage) about how he came to write The Fire Within. Some very interesting snippets of information came out. I’m not allowed to reveal them here because Mrs Author will frown, but the guide book is looking very good indeed. And the cover is going to be great. Can’t show you the roughs just yet for copyright reasons. But it’s been drawn by Angelo Rinaldi as always and it’s not just the dragon’s eye this time. When we have it in colour it will go up here first. Watch this blog. And I can reveal that there will be a special preface to the guide book written by the author, which he tells me will be all about how David came to Wayward Crescent – from the moment he left Blackburn, to seeing Liz’s postcard in the newsagent’s window, to sending his application letter to Liz. All that coming later this year.

But finally, he’s asked me to show you this. Anyone remember the lovely lines of poetry at the end of The Fire Eternal? Until the stars have blinked their last… etc.? Well, they were taken from this poem, which the author calls G’lant. Until next time. Happy reading. Hrrr!


That night I gave you a Valentine dragon,
a fissure opened deep within the earth
and all below me tilted. Frosted crystals
chimed the air, melting on your tender kiss
as all your warmth and bliss came mine,
for one degree of sway, of time.

On that beat, my heart struck up
a plangent chord and drew
whatever magma rose to light
that single shining spark within
your dark, breathtaking eyes.
So brown, so like the earth herself.
This moving ground, this slanted shelf.

Here is my quest: my pledge to you:
that life and all its tangled plights
could not call down a single wake
to quench this dragon’s winter task.
Until the stars have blinked their last,
wherever on this earth you walk,
he will arouse, excite, inspire,
and keep alight that spark,
this fire.

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