Hello dragon fans. You'll have guessed from the header that the author is jumping for joy because he finished FIRE WORLD this morning. It's been a loooong journey, but it's been well worth it. Four parts and a 7,000 word epilogue. A proper book! We can't say with any certainty when it will appear, but there has been talk about January 2011 in the UK. Exciting. We thought it would be May.
Next up comes the miracle of editing. One of the interesting things about writing a book is the way things develop as you go along. It can be good fun going back through the story and 'seeding' little bits of plot, but it's much more important to sit down and actually read the text with a view to sharpening it up. Taking out all the extraneous bits. Rewriting all the clunky sentences. Rethinking those parts of the narrative that seemed great at the time but then appear contrived on second reading. In an ideal world an author would spend several months doing this. Our hero sort of does it as he goes along. A friend once told him he writes like the famous author Ernest Hemingway. He was quite flattered for a while, until the friend explained that this had nothing to do with the quality of the writing, just the editing process. Oh well. At least he has me to help him out when he's stuck.
The first roughs of the cover came in this week. Due to the 'alternate' nature of this book we're exploring different approaches. I'm not allowed to say what, exactly, but I can tell you that we're still undecided at the moment. When you're six books into a series you have to consider whether it would be wise to change the tried and trusted look. After all, when you walk into a book store and you see that iconic dragon eye, you know exactly what it means. But authors, by their nature, are always keen to 'push the envelope' as they say. In other words they're keen to explore the boundaries of their creativity. This is partly what fuelled the style of the story, some of which will continue into the last book. The last book. Agh. Doesn't THAT sound scary? Anyway, the likelihood is that the cover will not deviate in style from the others. Colours? Again, we're not sure yet. The author favours orange sorbet! But he's weird like that.
As I write this, the World Cup final has just started. Our last week's team Germany has gone out, so this week we're supporting Holland, but only because we have two Dutch friends staying with us! They are looking very anxious at the moment as Spain seem to have the ball glued to their feet and have already tested the Dutch goalkeeper twice. We wish them well. More news next week (less football!). Happy reading. Hrrr!