Hello dragon fans. First, I need to put your minds at rest. You may have seen some tweets from the author last week bemoaning the fact that he has to have head surgery… Some fans have speculated that this might be because his planet-sized imagination has grown too big for his skull. Mmm. Nice theory, but totally wrong. It made us all laugh at any rate. What it’s all about is a mole. Not the furry little creatures that dig underground, the little brown spots humans get on their skin. It all began like this. One morning, about three weeks ago, the author was trying to examine (in the mirror) what he’d always assumed was a spot on his temple. “Do you think this has changed colour?” he asked. (As if I’d know!) I flew over and prodded it with my isoscele. “Ow!” he went, which drew Mrs Author’s attention. Yes, it had changed colour, she claimed. And so he was sent to the hospital for a check up.
The doctor, a woman, who seemed a little unsettled with three dragons in her office, examined the mole with a lens and a proddy thing. Mmm, she went. We all raised our eye ridges. “It’s very small,” said the doctor, “about 3mm across.” Gretel said, “That’ll be his brain, then.” The doctor scowled and said, “It needs removing.” At which point Gruffen offered to burn the thing off. The doctor scowled at that as well. “It needs to be cut out, with a scalpel,” she said. “A scalpel?” gulped the author. “Don’t worry,” she said, “we’ll anaesthetise your head, first.” “No need to,” I said, “it’s been numb for years!” Anyway, the upshot is that in a few weeks’ time our hero will be whatever 3mm of mole weighs lighter. Maybe it will kick-start his diet again? Hrrr!
Anyone in the UK reading the blog is probably aware that the British Government is trying to make cuts in spending, and one of its targets is libraries. Over the past week or so there has been a great deal of protest – and rightly so. We’ve written on the blog before that it’s nonsensical not to have free access to literature. Reading is the essence of a developing education. Rest assured, the author will be doing whatever he can to support the campaign to keep libraries open. What’s particularly interesting for us is that FIRE WORLD, rather spookily, deals with the topic to some extent. FW wasn’t planned as an intentional protest about the future of book lending, but parts of it did come out like that. We won’t be giving anything away if we say that David is sent to a ‘librarium’ in the early part of the story. The librarium is a museum for books, a great collection of literature preserved because … well, you decide. There’s a chilling section where we see two characters trying to draw the auma out of the building and put it into a small electronic pad. Digital publishing, anyone…? Is that the future of libraries? Millions of words condensed onto microchips? Where would be the joy in that?
Finally, this week, the dragons were very excited to meet the actress Jessica Hynes. You may remember that the author’s good friend, Rod Duncan, is making a zombie movie! Well, Jessica Hynes is starring in it. Now, you might not be familiar with this talented lady, but she has been in a lot of films and TV productions, including the dragons’ favourite, Dr Who (she played a nurse, and the doctor’s ‘love’ interest). The reason we all queued up to see her (well, most of us were too star struck to come out, actually) is because the author has often thought that Ms Hynes would make a very good Elizabeth Pennykettle if a movie of the books is EVER made (wake up, Hollywood!) Why Jessica? Well, because she’s quirky, like Liz, and the author rather boldly told her so when he met her on Friday. Better still, he signed a copy of THE FIRE WITHIN for her. So a little movie seed has been gently planted. Let’s hope it grows. Until next time, happy reading. SAVE OUR LIBRARIES. Hrrr!