Sunday, 4 December 2011

This week's word is: TEXAS

Hello, dragon fans. This is the author, Chris d'Lacey, here. Gadzooks is having a sleep. He's been working his scales off all weekend to finish the final edits for THE FIRE ASCENDING. It is DONE. YES! Tomorrow it goes off to my editor at Orchard books and the publication process for the UK edition begins. It's expected on April 1st 2012. Next up will be some tweaks for the US edition. There are always a few changes that have to be made for the American market because I'm British, of course, and I write that way. I have an excellent team in New York who prepare the text for the US and I expect to be liaising with them soon. I know they are very excited to see the new book. If you're reading this guys, get ready - it's a good one.

You must be wondering about the header by now. Well, some weeks ago, Zookie put up a post which promised news of another trip to America. And here it is. I've been invited to go and speak at a librarians' conference in Texas in April next year. This is very exciting for several reasons. First, it will be great to be back in the USA. Last time I was in New York & Washington, which was fabulous. BUt I have always wanted to visit the deep south. I like country music (the hard-edged kind) and would love to visit a honky tonk bar! In fact, I've already polished my cowboy boots in readiness! I knew some cowboys once who played in a band called 'Lore and the Legends'. I asked one of them what Texas was like and he said, "Hotter than dog s-" Well, I won't continue that sentence. I'll be sure to take my sun block, don't worry. On a more literary note, librarians are fantastic people to talk to because books are their life. I always enjoy meeting large groups of them. And it's perfect timing for the release of TFA. Plenty of promotional opportunities! And...get this. I've been asked to appear on a panel with none other than Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon and most recently Inheritance. How cool is that? What will Zookie make of him, I wonder?

Honestly, I'm really looking forward to meeting CP. I have to confess, I've only read book one of the Inheritance cycle. I didn't stop there because I didn't like it, but because I rarely have the time to read much anyway (and they are BIGGGG books). We are very different writers, of course, though fans of Christopher's work will probably love the opening 20,000 words of TFA, which is pure fantasy genre. I read a few reviews of Inheritance on the net and was disappointed to see that some fans were unhappy with the ending. I was worried about this for TFA. Readers who've followed a series this long (nearly 12 years!!) have great expectations, and rightly so. All I can say is, an author will only write what they feel works. The final few parts of TFA are brief - and unusual - but they do explain an awful lot. And they're very moving. I hope you'll all be happy with it. I know I am - and Zookie is too. Until next time, happy reading. Hrrr!

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