Hello, dragon fans. You probably guessed from the subject word that a certain someone HASN'T finished THE FIRE ASCENDING - but then again he still has a day to go. People always ask at this stage 'How much more do you think you'll write?'. The answer to that, of course, is, 'How long is the average novel?' Erm... Honestly, it's impossible to say. While I keep coming up with ideas and he's still keen to write them down, the word count just creeps up and up. The important thing is let the story flow at its natural pace. If that means being a few days over the delivery date, so be it, because what we all want is a decent read. The book is into the nineties now. 91,500 in fact. That's longer than DARK FIRE by nearly 2000 words; shorter than FIRE WORLD by about 7,000. So about right, really. Are we happy with it? Yes, very happy. Is it weird? Of course it is! Is there lots of adventure? Tons. Is it gory in places? You bet. Do David and Zanna get back together? Not telling. Does Gwilanna get her come uppance? Yes - and no. Does anyone die? Yes. Anyone important? Yes. Who???? Ah, you'll have to read the book. Agh! When's it out? Next April/May. When will it be finished? ................. Next weekend. Promise? Yes. With knobs on? YES!
But that won't be the end, of course. There will be editing and proofing and a bit of chopping and changing to make sure the continuity is right. But the crucial thing for the fans, the publishers, Agent Ed and all is that it's NEARLY there. Seriously. This has been a long hard year for the author what with moving the den to the sea and everything, and though we rarely admit it we're all secretly proud of him. Looking back through the book there are moments of great tension, but it's impossible to compare this book to the others. It doesn't have the twists and turns of DARK FIRE, the emotional thrust of THE FIRE ETERNAL or the sheer weirdness of FIRE WORLD. Instead, it has a mix of those things and more. Up until the last two sections it's narrated by Agawin, the mysterious character from FIRE WORLD. Don't worry if you can't remember Agawin, you don't need to. You'll become very familiar with him as you read the long first section, which actually forms about one fifth of the book. Only towards the end do we break away from him. You'll see. Anyway, gotta go and keep the author awake- I mean, ticking over. Next week. The big celebration. Until then, happy reading. Hrrr!