Sunday, 15 May 2011

This week's word is: EYE

Hello dragon fans.  Mrs Author has just tapped me on the shoulder and shown me a passage of a book she's reading, which she suggests I might put on the notepad this week.  The book is about an old shepherd who worked in a rural part of Oxfordshire.  Apparently, there was a word in the Oxfordshire dialect that meant to make a noise or 'sing' deep in the throat.  The word was 'grockle'.  Hrrr, anyone?

The author has been busy this past week working on THE FIRE ASCENDING.  He has nearly reached 50,000 words now. Believe it or not that was the exact length of THE FIRE WITHIN, but only half the size of the newest books.  Right.  Only another 50,000 to go then!  On Thursday, however, he jumped on a train to London to attend a party celebrating the 25th anniversary of Orchard Books.  A sit-down meal in a posh restaurant in Camden Town, North London, called Yorke & Albany.  The restaurant is owned by the famous chef, Gordon Ramsay, who has appeared on TV on both sides of the Atlantic.  Now, not a lot of people know this, but the author once appeared in a recipe book with Gordon Ramsay.  I kid you not.  A couple of years ago, our hero was approached by a fan asking if he could contribute a recipe to a charity cookbook she and some schoolfriends were putting together.  The author isn't much of a cook, but he does do a very good vegetarian shepherd's pie.  So he sent the girl the recipe for it.  He called it 'Dragon Pie'.  When the finished book came back, imagine his surprise to see that a) he wasn't the only children's author featured in its pages; Michael Morpurgo, among others, was in it and b) a whole host of celebs were in there too, including Gordon Ramsay, Bruce Forsyth, Davina McCall, comedienne Jo Brand and erm, David Cameron, who is now the prime minister of England!  Disappointingly, Gordon Ramsay didn't show his face at Yorke & Albany and Dragon Pie was not on the menu.  Even so, it was a very pleasant affair and gave the author a chance to catch up with his editor, Catherine, who said...

"...I've got some roughs for the cover of TFA."  Now don't get too excited because we're not going to show them, not until they're right.  We gave Angelo Rinaldi, the cover artist, three suggestions for the eye.  The first was to have the eye closed.  The author thought this would work very well and send out the perfect message for the conclusion of the series.  But the image just doesn't look very appealing.  So next we tried the mark of Oomara in the eye (ooh), which worked better but isn't dramatic enough.  And then we tried an eye within an eye within an eye etc.  But that just looked as if the dragon had got a fried egg in his pupil.  So we're going to try something else this week.  Something connected with Alexa, as she features heavily in the new book.  As soon as we have a complete cover, we will show it exclusively here.  On behalf of the author, thank you again for all the positive messages about FIRE WORLD.  We'd love to get it onto the New York Times bestseller lists.  So tell all your friends how good it is!  Until next time.  Happy reading.  Hrrr!

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