Hello, dragon fans. There ought to be a sign in dragontongue for 'afterwards', just like there is for 'sometimes', but none of us know of one, probably because what comes after the completion of a big novel like THE FIRE ASCENDING is too predictable. After the writing, comes the edit...
Catherine, the author's UK editor, loved the book, particularly the opening sections, which we read again this afternoon. They are fab. You will be gripped, hrrr! But in the middle of the book was what we call in the business 'an information dump'. This was the author's fault, not mine. He thought that readers new to the series (at book seven!!) might want to know something about what had gone before, particularly DARK FIRE and FIRE WORLD. So he spent weeks putting together an interesting piece which explained what happened at Scuffenbury Hill and also went into considerable detail about the mirror world of Earth, Co:pern:ica. But when it came to the editorial read through, it was clear that this piece was slowing the pace too much. So the author, rather bravely, chopped out 6,000 words of the 10,000 he'd written, patched part four to part six with a new piece of writing, and now the book hums along evenly. But don't despair, dragon fans. The words that were edited out will be put on the notepad one day, possibly even before publication. Anyone keen to know why Co:pern:ica was created will get to read it here one day. Think of it as a 'bonus track'.
So of course we didn't post midweek because we were far too busy reading and tweaking. Sorry about that. (We're not answering much fan mail either for the same reasons.) But we can tell you that the book is shaping up to be really, really good. The author is particularly fond of the ending, which is very moving. Do David and Zanna get together? Of course they do - but not without a surprise or two. Is there a horrible cliffhanger? No. There's a little bit of intrigue, but no 'oh my goodness, now I'll have to wait another year to find out what happens...'. For us, the book ends on the perfect note. The whole series has been about two things: creativity, and the idea the dragons are real. The last few lines bring these concepts together beautifully. I can't tell you what they are, but we think you'll feel satisfied. And that's what matters.
So this week it's a bit more tweaking. Then there will probably be some edits for the US edition. Then...Christmas, and rest. After that...well, who knows. I will go on inspiring the author for as long as he wants to write. Will he write about dragons again...?
Until next time. Happy reading. Hrrr!