Sunday, 8 July 2012

This week's word is: UPDATE

Hello, dragon fans.  I thought it was time I dropped you a line just to let you know we haven't forgotten you all.  I have to say you've all been very patient over the past few weeks, and no one has complained about the lack of blog posts.  To be perfectly honest, there is again very little to report.  Gadzooks is still pottering about the house, musing.  At the moment, he is sitting on Mrs Author's windowsill staring out to sea.  This is a change, of course, from him staring at the garden, which prompts me to wonder if the next outpouring from his amazing mind might be something...watery.  (Gretel has just shaken her head and gone 'fff!')

The two projects I mentioned in the previous blog post are being worked upon - in my head (and Zookie's).  I have titles for both, but I'm not allowed to reveal them yet.  In my mind, there is nothing to choose between them.  Both are good ideas.  But until I sit down and really commit myself to the keyboard, I won't know if they're going to work or not.  After the Chronicles, I was so wiped out that I needed to rest.  It feels like I haven't written anything for a YEAR, whereas in fact I was signing off the proofs for THE FIRE ASCENDING in March.  So it's not that long ago, and at least I have a proper room to work in now.  And a fancy new chair that swivels and tilts and the dragons love to play in... GRUFFEN, GET OFF!

That's better.  Right now, I'm preparing a Powerpoint for my visit to the Edinburgh Children's Book Festival in August.  Anyone who's ever seen me 'perform' will know that my talks are generally a mixture of humour and scenes from the dragon books.  With seven books in the series, I've always run out of time to talk about FIRE WORLD and TFA.  So I'm trying to put together a different set of slides that will give a potted history of everything up to Scuffenbury Hill, leaving me free to chat about the last two books.  It certainly seems appropriate to bring FW to the fore now that the scientists in Cern have apparently dicovered the 'God particle' in their Large Hadron Collider.  The dragons responded by saying that in their opinion clay was the building block of the universe, but then they would.  There were some concerns that time might stop or be disrupted if these particle experiments got out of hand.  Wouldn't it be great if the waveforms the scientists predicted looked like the Mark of Oomara.  Hmmm....

Mrs Author and myself ventured out of the Den this week to attend a talk by one of our favourite authors, the award-winning Philip Reeve.  For anyone who doesn't know, Philip is responsible for the brilliant Mortal Engines series and the associated books which accompany them (Fever Crumb, A Web of Air etc.)  One of the most interesting things to come out of his presentation was the list of books and movies that influenced him, from Tolkien to the science fiction author, Ray Bradbury, to films like Blade Runner.  All of these have featured in my past.  So it was fascinating to compare 'world building' notes, as it were.  If you like what is generally called 'steampunk' you would love Philip's books.  They are full of fantastic detail about cities built on great traction devices that rumble about the planet eating up other smaller communities.  I remember being in the offices of the UK division of Scholastic publishing when an editor told me about this.  I went, 'Whaaat?', which is everyone's initial reaction.  Cities consuming other cities?  How can that work?  Read the books.  Find out.

Time to leave you to get on with your lives again.  Thank you all the fans who've written to me about TFA.  I can tell you now that the weight of opinion is very much in favour of TFA being the best of the series.  And guess what?  99% of you like the ending!  Hopefully the next blog post won't be too long coming, and maybe by then I'll be able to give you some clues about the forthcoming projects.  Happy reading.  Hrrr!

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