Sunday, 12 August 2012

This week's word is: EDINBURGH

Hello, dragon fans.  Yes, it's me, the great Gadzooks, reporting back about the author's weekend trip to the Edinburgh Book Festival.  It's been several weeks now since we had anything really interesting to say, but festivals are always great experiences, and this one in Edinburgh (capital of bonny Scotland) is just the friendliest, most well-organised and exciting one there is.


The festival organisers seem to like us attending because it hardly ever rains when we're up there.  We have a sneaky suspicion that this is one reason we get invited back year after year. Hmmm. Apparently, it chucks it down a lot in Edinburgh, but we have only experienced it once in five visits.  So the sun was properly out, as Lucy might have said, and the venue was buzzing.  The flight up was also fantastic.  I don't need an aircraft, of course, but I sit with the author to keep him company (even though he puts me under the seat at take-off).  He'd bagged a window seat, and for once we actually saw things from the air, such as the English Lake District.  Normally, it's a case of the captain saying, "And if you look out of the left side of the aircraft you'll see some, erm, clouds, and on the right side a rather beautiful patch of, erm, cloud..."  Not this time.  No clouds!  (Well, very few.)  Amazing.

We arrived the day before the event and therefore had a few hours for sight-seeing, but it was just too hot to contemplate climbing the Scott Monument as we have done in the past or visiting Edinburgh's magnificent clifftop castle.  So we had a Toblerone flavoured milkshake instead (Or one of us did.  Guess which?) and watched some of the many street entertainers that descend on the city at this time.  Sometimes we think if we could move Wayward Crescent to Scotland, we would live in Edinburgh permanently.  Awesome, awesome city.  Everyone should go there at least once in their lifetime (preferably in August).

Now, here's a mind-boggling thing.  Come the day of the author's event, just a few hours before he got up to do his stint, a speaker called DAVID RAIN was appearing, talking about a book he'd written.  Yes, really.  David Rain.  Someone pointed out on Twitter that it's not uncommon for the name of a fictional character to pop up in real life.  True.  But on the same day that we were scheduled to talk about the Chronicles, and at the same venue?  That was strange. This real life David is an Australian author who lives in London.  We went along to meet him in the signing tent, wondering if he might just turn into a polar bear!  Not surprisingly, he didn't.  But he was very charming and incredibly he knew about the Chronicles.  When the author introduced himself, Mr Rain said, "Ah, I've heard about this series from my publisher." We were very flattered.  He kindly let us take a photo for the blog.  We wish him well in his literary endeavours and hope that he sells a LOT of books.  Hrrr!

One of the truly great things about festivals is meeting your audience afterwards and signing their books.  We always like to say a huge thank you to the boys and girls who come to the events, and the mums and dads who bring them.  We couldn't let this year go by without mentioning two fans who'd travelled all the way from Yorkshire that morning to see us, and were heading back on the train the same day.  A round trip of nearly 450 miles.  Hrrr!  Here they are on the lawn in Charlotte Square, where the festival marquees are pitched.  It's very moving when fans like Esme and Katherine travel so far to see us.  The author has always loved chatting to dedicated dragon lovers, because we learn so much from them.  Talking to these girls we quickly discovered how passionate they were about the relationships in the books.  David and Zanna obviously.  But the one they really wanted more of was Lucy and Tam - because they were Lucy's age (roughly) when they found the books and have empathised with her more than anyone.  Cool.  This sort of feedback helps us to understand where we might go with characters in the future.  On that note, no one at the event asked the question we were most dreading, "What are you going to write next?"  It's taken the author a long time to shake off the attachment to the Chronicles (naturally) but he is working on THREE new projects now, not two as previously reported.  Won't be long before we can reveal something about them.  In the meantime, there are lots of wonderful books out there to get your hands on.  So happy reading.  Hrrr!

PS Massive thanks to the lovely Sarah from Orchard books, who chaperoned us during our time in the city - or was that the other way round...? :)

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