Sunday, 4 April 2010

This week's word is: DUNNIT!

Actually, that's Mrs Author's word, not mine. She was heard to shout it at least four times last Wednesday afternoon when she finally finished formatting the text and sorting out all the illustrations for Rain and Fire. It's been quite a task, putting it all together in the short time she had. But she's there and it has zipped off through the ether to Catherine, the author's editor. Now we have to wait a few weeks for Catherine's response before making any changes. And then it goes for publication. Hrrr! One of the most interesting photographs is that of the author as a young man, looking suspiciously like he might be auditioning for the part of David Rain... Most of you will know that the author based the character of David on himself when he was twenty years old. Sadly, I can't show it to you here today or Mrs Author would frown. But it's worth looking out for. Also in the book will be some illustrations of scenes from the series and a glimpse of the early covers for The Fire Within before we got to the iconic dragon eye. Some of those are very weird. Meanwhile, the author himself is into part four of Fire World, so we're all very excited about seeing a finish to that one as well. Next week, Gwendolen will give you a word update on her barometer.

Remember last week I said that when we received the prize for Gruffen's Book Factor award we'd show it here? Well, to our surprise, the author didn't have a cup or a statue, but a framed picture of Gruffen, drawn by one of the children who voted for the book. And here it is. It's lovely. The author is very proud of it.

Still no dates for the author's American tour yet, but we'll put them up here when we know. And don't forget America, IT'S ONLY ANOTHER 26 DAYS BEFORE DARK FIRE IS RELEASED IN THE STATES.

Last but not least, a fan wrote to the author recently saying could we have another outtake i.e. a piece that didn't make it into one of the books. I put Gwendolen our IT expert onto the job and she came up with this little scene that was cut out of The Fire Eternal. Gollygosh, the healing dragon, is keen to get to an interesting looking box that Lucy has stacked on top of her wardrobe, but Arthur is in the way at first...

As Arthur reset his balance his foot came down on something on the carpet – a CD case, perhaps – and he skidded forwards, bumping into the wardrobe. Something rattled on the top. Arthur raised a hand to prevent anything falling but found it warmed, almost singed, by the healing dragon’s breath.
I caught it, Golly hurred.
“Oh, thank you,” Arthur said, flexing his fingers. Strange. Even in moments of accidental panic he had never known a dragon scorch his skin before. He shrugged it off and felt his way to the landing.
Gollygosh watched him right to the door, but only when he heard Arthur’s feet on the stairs did he turn his attention back to the wardrobe. Lucy had stacked several boxes on the top. One of them had caught the special dragon’s interest. It was shaped like an old-fashioned treasure chest, with foiled metal bindings and oak-stained wood. A small padlock hung off its fleur-de-lys clasp.
The healing dragon put down his toolbox. The flaps opened right away and out came the usual asterisk of light. He raised an eye ridge at the tool that settled in his hand. It looked very similar to the screwdriver used by the time travelling hero of the dragons’ favourite television programme. He applied it to the lock and pressed a button. With a zing of light the padlock clicked open. Golly put the tool away, undid the clasp and lifted the lid.
The chest was lined with padded red satin. Inside was an object, wrapped loosely in velvet. He teased the cloth open. The thing, the treasure, was triangular and flat and almost leathery to the touch. The healing dragon gulped and his eyes grew very wide. For what he had uncovered was a rare piece of dragon. A sacred piece of dragon. An isoscele. The last filament from the tip of the tail of Gawain.
And it was calling to him.
It was humming.

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