Sunday, 29 August 2010

This week's word is: EDINBURGH

Hello dragon fans.  First, we have to apologise for the non-appearance of the blog over the last two weeks.  The first week it was due to the weather.  The rain was so appalling that Gwendolen couldn't get an Internet signal and after trying for several hours I gave up and the author fell asleep!  Last week, he was working flat out on FIRE WORLD.  Yes, I know we reported that he'd finished the book a couple of blog entries back, which he had.  We'll, he'd reached the end, anyway.  Then his editor, Catherine, asked him to reconsider rewriting the end of the book.  He had done it in 'epilogue' form.  In other words, he was tying up loose ends in a 'reported' fashion.  Catherine thought it might be done better as normal text.  But turning it round proved to be a lot trickier than he'd expected.  So I had to sit with him and be my usual inspirational self, rather than blogging the week's events.

As it was, not an awful lot was happening anyway.  He was practically glued to the laptop but he did complete the rewrite and send it off, phew. (In soccer playing terms, in time added on by the fourth official!)  So FW is DEFINITELY done and work will begin on the final book soon (gulp).  Hopefully, FW is still on track for January publication in the UK and Australia.  As soon as we have some American dates, we'll let you know.  Still no sign of a full cover run-out, which is a bit frustrating for you excited fans, sorry.  But rest assured, the moment the author is given the go-ahead to show it, I will post it here.

One interesting bit of news is that the Chronicles are going to be available as eBooks in October this year.  Yes, the digital age has come to Scrubbley.  They should appear on all the usual platforms.  Now the author wants to get an iPad (I've had one for years, of course) so he can have a little electronic library of his own books, as well as many others. Mrs Author simply thinks this is just an excuse for him to own a new piece of 'kit', but we do like them. He was playing with an iPad at Edinburgh airport this morning. "Look, Zookie," he said, "I can turn a page just by flicking a finger!" Erm, yeah...  eReaders are a rather interesting development because all authors are passionate about books and many regard the digital media with some suspicion.  But there's no denying the beauty of some of the devices and the manufacturers have gone to great trouble to at least give them a 'bookish' feel.  So is it wrong for an author to want to own an iPad or similar?  Is he betraying good old-fashioned print?  No.  Not at all.  We in the Crescent don't believe that 'paper' books will die out, certainly not in the immediate future anyway, but iPads and Kindles etc. are not going to go away and might even help some children on the road to reading.  It would be distressing if eBooks were being sold at such ludicrous prices that publishers felt they couldn't afford to print books anymore, but surely, in time, the two will sit happily aside one another in the market place.  Personally, I can't see me downloading any apps onto my pad, but you never know!

We were in Scotland for the day by the way because he was appearing at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  Edinburgh is one of our favourite places to be.  The buildings are mostly constructed of wonderfully dark, smoke-ingrained stone, which gives the whole city a real 'gothic' feel.  It's a very vibrant place when the festival is on and there's a lovely atmosphere on the streets.  If you've never been, we recommend it.  The author stayed at the Bonham Hotel, which is tucked away in the impossible to pronounce (but rather lovely for it) Drumsheugh Gardens.  He was checking in when the comedian, Alan Davies, appeared beside him.  He smiled at Mr Davies, but didn't speak.  It's impolite if you're moderately famous to recognise someone who clearly is.  A few years ago, the same thing happened when he was at a posh party in London.  He was handing in his coat at the cloakroom when the well-known author Terry Pratchett stepped up beside him.  Mr Pratchett didn't have a coat, he just handed in his hat.  That's what you call doing it in style.  The author didn't 'recognise' him, either.  In Edinburgh, our hero spoke for the first time about the four Dragons of Wayward Crescent books.  It was probably not the best talk he's ever done, but then he was feeling his way with it a bit.  And judging by the number of children who queued up afterwards to have their dragon novels signed he would probably have been better off talking about them.  Still, it was a great pleasure to be part of the festival.  It always is.  Hopefully we'll be back next year as FW will be coming out in paperback in the UK at just about the right time.  See you next week.  Happy reading.  Hrrr!

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