Hello dragon fans. A strange word to put on the pad this week but a very appropriate one. The author has been wandering around for the last three days rubbing his neck and going 'ow'. He's done something to the muscles, but he's not sure how. (Probably spotted a penny on the ground and moved too quickly to pick it up.) He's very annoyed, because just before he left for America he bought a new car. A cabriolet he could drive around during the summer with the top down. One of the first things he did when he returned to England was to get the car (a Mercedes!) out of the garage and zoom off (with me on the passenger seat, in my shades). But within two minutes he realised that looking over his shoulder to reverse was quite painful. So he can still drive - as long as he just goes forwards...
Thankfully, he only needs to look one way to write: forwards (and a bit down). So at least he's been working hard on FW this week, though he's a little bit gloomy because he's missed his delivery deadline - not for the UK, for the USA. Now before you all start to groan and write letters, don't panic too much. Agent Ed is on the case. Ed is the author's literary agent. He is a smart, young, bald-headed chap who used to play rugby. You don't mess with Agent Ed! Ed is on a mission to America right now to ask the author's US publisher why they need to have Fire World ELEVEN months ahead of its planned publication date (May 2011). What are they going to do with the manuscript for eleven months? Use it to stand on to reach high shelves? We can't understand it. And neither can Ed. He will be pushing for a new delivery deadline. We'll let you know how he gets on. Worst case scenario, Fire World will come out in October 2011 rather than May. But we'll be pushing them to keep things on course for May.
In fairness, it would be a little silly to rush our hero through the final stages of Fire World. We're all very excited about this book because it's so unusual. I haven't forgotten how upset he was when he was forced to finish Fire Star very quickly. He wrote the last 8,000 words of that book in two days. Considering that he normally writes about 1000 words per day and then spends the next day editing those words and adding some more, you can appreciate how difficult (and ultimately disappointing) it was for him. He has always believed that Fire Star would have been a much better book if he'd been allowed to think the ending through properly. So if the new book does take a little longer to deliver, it's only because he wants you to have the best possible read you can have. By the way, we are beginning to think about the cover now. It shouldn't be too long before you see the prototype, maybe another 5 or 6 posts. But remember, there is only one place you will see it initially: here.
Meantime, Mrs Author is very excited because the guidebook, Rain and Fire is going through its final stages of preparation, ready for an October release in the UK. We still don't know whether the book will come to the US or not, but it should definitely be available in Australia and other places around the world. We're very hopeful that the author's US publisher will see the benefit of having this lovely book. Just this week, Mrs Author had some nice feedback from the chap who's been copy-editing the text (checking for errors in spelling and continuity etc.). He is new to the dragon stories, but really enjoyed reading the guidebook. So that bodes very well.
Next week, I will give you a full update on FW and its expected finish date. Might even tease you a bit with some character names. We'll see. We don't have Gwendolen's barometer any more because at 82,000 words we're off the scale. But the author is nearing the end and he seems very happy with what he's done. Have a great week. Happy reading. Hrrr!