Watch out dragons... Here be Aaron!

Aaron Gray and the Dragon War Is now available as a book and ebook.

Aaron is a brat, which is understandable after everything he's been through. He also sees dragons when he hums, which isn't understandable by anyone, ever. He soon gets sucked into the dragons' dangerous war, where his only defences are his embarrassingly magical fingernails, and a fierce, ten-year-old girl.

Available everywhere across the world! Check out goodreads / amazon uk / amazon us / barnes & noble / book depository or your favourite book or ebook retailer.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Proof that I did actual genuine research!

This week the BBC wrote an article on how to survive a parachute failure. Essentially how to fall from a great height and survive.

In chapter three of Aaron Gray and the Dragon War our heroes find themselves in a similar situation, falling through the sky from a huge height. It's not too much of a spoiler to say they survive at this point (I mean there's 39 chapters, they can't die in chapter 3!) but I got soooo many complaints from early readers that there's no way they could survive the fall, and that  I was being unrealistic.

The book's about magical dragons, but this was the bit that was unrealistic. Anyway....

Here's the things the BBC article says you need to do to survive a fall, compared to what Aaron and Julia actually did.

While Falling


BBC
Aaron Gray and the Dragon War
“Skydivers adopting the "box position" - lying front-down with legs stretched out and arms and head raised up and forming a "W" shape - are able to move horizontally in the air. They can bank their arms like an aeroplane's wings.”
“He looked to his left and saw Julia falling with him, arms and legs spread out in a star shape.”

The Landing


BBC
Aaron Gray and the Dragon War
“Skydivers, when their parachutes actually work, are advised to land on the balls of the feet first, rolling to the side. Another dictum is to keep the legs springy by bending the knees slightly. But any difference this would make to someone going at 200km/h is debatable.”
“Try to land on your feet and then roll,” Julia’s voice shouted from somewhere beside him.

What to land on


BBC
Aaron Gray and the Dragon War
“Prof Bj√∂rnstig says someone reaching terminal velocity needs at least half a metre of give - or deceleration distance - in the surface or object they hit to avoid fatal injuries. He recommends "forgiving structures", such as snow, a swamp or the branches of a tree.
“At the last minute, he took a deep breath, stretched out his legs and landed in a large pile of wet mud.” (There's more to this bit, but that would be spoilery, read the book!)

And one more thing....


Oh, and for those who were saying that the fall distance was too high, so none of this applies, the BBC article also says this...

"But after a point, the height from which a person falls won't make a difference to how fast they are going. It's estimated that the human body in freefall reaches 99% of its terminal velocity (full and final speed) after dropping 573m (1,880ft), which usually takes 13 to 14 seconds."

So nahh nah na nahh nahh!

David

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Congratulations, Coventry!


There were many many people who said it couldn't be done, but my home town of Coventry has won the bid to become the 2021 UK City of Culture. They will be only the third city to hold the title, following Derry in 2013, and Hull in 2017.

We should be in for a few exciting years, the events start next year with the Shop Front Theatre festival in March, when there will be performances in various shops and precincts throughout the city centre.

I'm really excited and proud of my city, but it puts me in a dilemma. Book three of the Breveny Chronicles places Aaron and Julia's home firmly in Coventry, with a lot of the action taking place in Coventry streets. It would be great to have this out in 2021 as my own way of being part of the celebrations. This would mean aiming to get book 2 out by 2019, which means finishing writing and editing it next year. Is that possible? Should I find a way of switching books 2 and 3? 

I really don't know!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

One Hundred Nifty Darn Blog Posts!

No, really! This is the one hundredth blog post!

Of course you can read through the archives and be instantly entertained (apart from maybe the "Breveny Jokes" post, that one was so much of a mistake that I'm not even going to link to it) but I thought it would be nice to give you all a "Greatest Hits" list. So these are my favourite blog posts so far!


Dragon Research


By far my fave posts are the ones where I get to research lots of random nonsense on dragons. I can't pick a top five, so here's the list so far. Seriously they're all fascinating!

Stuff Actually About The Book


This blog is the official internet home of the Breveny Chronicles, so obviously there's a lot of stuff about the first book, Aaron Gray and the Dragon War.

So first of all Beth's amazing fan art deserves a big mention!
...I've started to answer your questions...
...And there are all the wonderful five star reviews

And the weird and wonderful


Definitely in the "Wonderful" category was when Ciara did the world's first ever Breveny cosplay and when Abbii (who designed the cover) married the lovely Daniel!

In the "weird category" is when I posted about the mobile game "Everwing" and got thousands of pageviews from all over the world,  But the best weird moment was when I posted what I thought was an obvious April Fool's joke and received congratulations messages for most of the day!

Friday, 15 September 2017

A cheeky request for more reviews

I do feel cheeky asking this because I've been lucky enough to get some amazing reviews on various websites, but I'm afraid I'm still on the scrounge for more reviews!

If you've read Aaron Gray and the Dragon War then please please please can you leave the book a review, either on Amazon or Goodreads (or even both)? I really can't emphasise how important this is for me as an author.

Both Amazon and Goodreads use their customer reviews to decide whether to recommend particular books to other people, and when I try to get other bookstores to stock the book, the first thing they do is check what people think of it online, so you can see the awesome power that's in your hands right now that could make the book a success.

You don't have to write much, just give it a rating and say something like "I liked it". If you want to write more then of course that would be amazing, and, as you know by now I feature exciting reviews and messages in the usual Friday blog slot.

Thanks!

David

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The worse jokes in Breveny

These are definitely the worse jokes in Breveny!


“I’ve got a mud-elf friend. I call him K”
“What’s it short for?”
“They all are.”

Two vampire sprites are getting married. It was love at first bite.

“Where does a hellcat sleep?”
“Anywhere he wants to”

“What’s more annoying than a dragon?”
“Two Dragons”

If the Taciton Forest could kill you, then it wood.

Jokes in the Calmat community are only allowed if everybody gets them.

I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry!

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Truth about Griffins and Keythongs

At church on Sunday I was greeted by a precocious twelve year old who, for the sake of this story, I will call Hermione, as she shares certain character traits as the more famous Hermione from the Harry Potter books.

I knew Hermione (church Hermione, not the HP one, keep up) was reading my book, so it was nice when she started our conversation with "I really like your book..."

Fantastic, I thought, This is going to be a good day.

"...But..."

But? What on Earth can she have a problem with? Shut up, Hermione, you don't know what you're talking about.

"But you know that Keythongs aren't male griffins, right? They're just griffins without wings."

Obviously I thanked Hermione for her knowledge and precociousness and didn't at all tell her that she was wrong and to shut her face. She raised an interesting point, which I thought I would clarify here.


The Truth About Griffins and Keythongs


Griffins 

Griffins as legendary creatures go back many thousands of years, arguably there were stories about griffins even before there were stories about dragons. They have the head and wings of an eagle, and the body, tail and back legs of a lion. Their front legs can be either eagle or lion, but mostly they have eagle talons at the front.

Griffin

Heraldry 

At some time around the 11th Century (give or take a few hundred years), different armies would use different legendary creatures on their coats of arms. The Griffin was a firm favourite back then because the combination of lion and eagle represented courage and leadership. The lion's legs indicated strength while the talons represented intelligence and strategy. Lots of kingdoms therefore had the griffin on their sheilds and armour.

The Male Griffin

However, also popular (but not as popular as the Griffin) was another creature, known as the "Male Griffin", "Keythong", or "Alce".

Keythong image taken from http://www.modaruniversity.org/Monsters.htm
The Keythong, or Male Griffin, as you can see, has spikes on its back instead of wings.

But unfortunately there's more...


So you'd think that would be that. In your face, Hermione, you're wrong, I'm the super writer guy who researches all his facts. But there's more...

Although I did research my facts, there is one small thing,,,

Some Griffins had erm... boy parts.

Leaves have been added to keep this blog PG rated
So although we know that Keythongs are Male Griffins, and that they have spikes instead of wings, we know that traditionally there were also griffins with wings who would, at the time, be seen as male.

So well done, Hermione, you're very clever.






Friday, 8 September 2017

Fan Art: Cecil and Alec

Right, you are free to ship whatever characters you want from my books. I'll even publish the fan art. Like this adorable drawing of Cecil and Alec by Beth Boreland.




However, I do reserve the right to sink those ships in future books. Just saying ;-)