Monday, 3 October 2011

This week's word is: SOMERSET

Hello, dragon fans. Apologies for the lack of a message on the notepad last week. It was one of those strange days when there was so much going on in dragon world that we all ended up asleep on the sofa by 8pm on Sunday night, even Gwendolen, which is rare indeed. Anyway, we’re back this week to report on two of the author’s events. If you were out and about in the lovely English county of Somerset this weekend you might have seen our hero TWICE. On Friday he spoke to a large gathering of primary school teachers at a wonderful venue called Dillington House. See the picture above! He was there to open a literacy conference. Authors like nothing more than to talk about what they do and he managed it for an hour without boring anyone (we hope). We stayed the whole day for the rest of the lectures, which were all informative and entertaining. We particularly liked it when one lady put up a slide of the kind of non-fiction topics children like to read about (e.g. football, ‘Glee’, rockets) and asked, “Can anyone suggest any other topics?” There was a pause, and then a quiet voice said, “Tractors.” Somerset has a large farming community…

We were back in Somerset again yesterday, in the historic Roman city of Bath, to take part in the Bath Children’s Literature Festival. This time, the author did not have a solo slot, but shared a great event with eminent dragonologist Dr Ernest Drake (author of the exquisite ‘Dragonology’ books) and the witty Jasper Fforde. Jasper is best known for his adult novels, but his latest book ‘The Last Dragonslayer’ is really for children and young teens. It’s an amusing mix of magic and dragon lore. A great read. We recommend it. Each of the authors read from their latest books (ours read the section from FIRE WORLD when David is attacked outside the librarium by the red firebird) then answered questions from the audience. “Have you ever been bitten by a dragon?” one person asked. The author replied no, but he had been SPIKED by an isoscele on several occasions. Mmmm. I wonder why. Our favourite question was the last one: “Do dragons wear hats?” What?! I have never seen a dragon in headgear, ever, but it does beg the question what type of hat would we wear if we did…? Thank you, on the author’s behalf, to everyone who came to the event, both newcomers to the books and dedicated fans alike (hello Katie). Without you, we couldn’t go on. Next week, it’s back to THE FIRE ASCENDING and the thorny matter of the final section. Lots and lots of pondering to do. Until next time. Happy reading. Hrrr!

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