Sunday, 25 July 2010

This week's word is: OUTTAKE

Hello dragon fans.  With the author busily editing away and everyone in publishing seemingly going on holiday right now, things are pretty quiet in the Crescent.  So I thought I'd take this opportunity to show you a small outtake from Dark Fire.  It's very interesting when you look back at these things to think why they were rejected (usually because they're not good enough or they seem contrived) and how raw or unpolished they are.  If I showed this extract to the author he'd want to work on it for two days, knocking it into shape, which rather defeats the object.  So what you have below is the original piece he wrote when Gollygosh was trying to deal with the dark fire trapped inside the obsidian.  Note in this version the obsidian doesn't get smashed.  The version that finally went into the book was much more exciting.  An author has to do this sometimes: ask themselves if a particular piece of writing is a little dull, and if the answer is 'yes', to then improve on it.  Anyway, see what you think.

By the way, the result of the best jacket photo poll was the one of him fiddling with his ear!  Everyone seemed to think this looked the most natural.  No one voted for the one of him staring into the distance.  And though people liked the one of him sitting down, it was nowhere near as popular as the 'ear' shot. 

Very soon now we hope to be able to show you the cover of FW, which has just gone into full production after a couple of weeks of debate.  It's looking very good.  I'll say more about it when we have the OK to show it.

Okay.  Here's the outtake.  Happy reading.  Hrrr!

With the gentlest of clinks, the head of the hammer stopped dead against a flat face of the obsidian. Gollygosh and the other special dragons in the Den, with the single exception of G’reth, were frozen where they stood. Grace’s fire tear slowed its vibration and turned into a snowflake nestling, stationary, on Groyne’s paws. Even Liz and David were held in the stasis of Zanna’s spell. Not so Alexa. Suddenly, the door burst open and the little girl streamed in with hair ribbons flying. Before Zanna could stop her she had run to her father and thumped her palm against his heart. With a gasp, he spluttered back to free movement. His eyes returned quickly from scalene to human and took in the scene around him. He swept Alexa into his arms and held her. Only then did Zanna lift her fingers from her scars.

What happened? hurred G’reth, dibbling his claws and finding that everything worked perfectly with him.

“Gwilanna?” asked David.

Zanna nodded. “Something exterior was taking a tug. So I chanced it and put out a blocking spell on the old witch. I saw her briefly in my mind. She was using Gawain’s isoscele, reaching out to manipulate anything touched by his auma.” She stepped forward and drew Gollygosh away from the obsidian.

Suddenly, there was a crash downstairs, sounding like a door had been forced open.

Zanna’s hand went immediately to her arm again, but David raised a hand and whispered, “Wait!”

“Polar bear,” Alexa said, and turned to the door.

None other than Tam Farrell burst in.

“What? Oh, now I’ve seen it all,” said Zanna.

Tam acknowledged her briefly, looked around the room and settled his gaze on David. “I felt something. Are you all right?”

“Yeah,” David said. “We are now.”

“Lucy’s in there,” said Alexa, pointing towards the girl’s room.

Tam nodded and backed away. He slipped next door to check.

Alexa quickly turned to Liz and revived her the same way she had with David.

“Welcome back,” Zanna said. “We seem to have been attacked by our favourite aunty. But don’t worry, the cavalry’s here.”

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