Tuesday, 5 October 2010

This week's word is: OCTOBER

Hello dragon fans. You may think that’s an unusual word to put on the pad this week: October. Is it Zookie’s birthday? you might be wondering. Is it because squirrels are very active in October? Does he just like the sound of the word? Well, it’s none of these things, actually. October is very significant for myself and the author because traditionally, on the first day of this month, we start a new book…

This all began waaaaay back in 1986, before most of you reading this were even born, I suspect. On October 1 of that year, our hero sat down in what was then his dining room, opened an A4 notepad on his glass-topped dining table, clicked on a pen and began to write a novel – about polar bears. At that time, it had no title. In fact, it was well into the following year before he thought to call it White Fire. Ring any bells? He sat at that table every weekend, and many week nights too (he was working during the day, looking down microscopes at Leicester University) and after two years and two months he had a story - a saga, no less - of some 250,000 words. It was a ramshackle epic that got better as it went along – but he didn’t have me to help him then. I came into his life shortly after White Fire was written.

The October 1st just gone is highly significant, of course, because he was beginning the final book of the Chronicles. It was quite an emotional moment when he sat down and wrote the first line. How will it feel when he writes the last? His publisher once told him to go away and write as many of these books as he liked – ten, perhaps twelve, they said. But he and I both know that the Chronicles have probably run their course, though there is still a great deal to tell about David, the Pennykettles, and the last great dragon on Earth, Gawain. My pencil will not be idle this year. As always, we have a working title. As always, you, the followers of the blog get to hear of it first. We tinkered with the idea of calling it White Fire, but have settled for the moment on

The Fire Ascending

That may change. But for now, remember where you saw it first. Until next time. Happy reading. Hrrr!

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