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.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Hilary Hobgoblin's Birthday

It was Hilary Hobgoblin's birthday yesterday (mine too incidentally). He's still trying to track down the kids and keythong that he's heard are causing trouble in Breveny. I'm a bit worried as he seems to be headed into the battlezone...

Why not go and see what he's up to at Brevenynews! - And get automatic updates by following him. He's also good at replying to messages. :)

Monday, 24 July 2017

Charizard is NOT a dragon!

Okay I know he's big, scaly, has wings, flies and breathes fire, but no, really he's not a dragon. Don't forget that Pokemon is an Eastern invention, and Charizard only looks like the Western version of a dragon (I really do need to do a post on the difference between Eastern and Western dragons.)

There's also lots of Pokemony reasons why he's not a dragon. Look at this amazing video by "The Pokemon Master" who can explain things in better detail than me.


Of course I'm still going to pretend he's a dragon when I'm playing as him in Super Smash Bros :)

Friday, 21 July 2017

Stonefest Report

 This weekend I was allowed to play a small part in the "Stonefest" Atherstone Arts Festival.

This was later in the night, it was a lot quieter when I was there!
Some other Coventry/Nuneaton writers and I had a stall, where we got to tell lots of people about the writers' group and show them what books we had for sale. 

The treasure chest and "Castles and Dragons" game in the corner were mine.

I had help (sort of) as well! Dextra the Dragon was on hand to greet people, although he did get a bit annoying at times.

More about Dextra another time!

While we were there we also got to see some excellent acts on the entertainment stage. One of my personal favourites were the "Leading Players", a theatre group for people with learning difficulties across Warwickshire.

That character in front is "Crafty Carl". That's how he looked before the witch who worked at the allotment turned him into the Hulk! I did not see that coming!
Oh and all the bollards had been yarn bombed by the Atherstone Yarn Bombers!

Well they did look a bit cold...




Monday, 17 July 2017

Appeal: Ban Deliberate Pain as a Form of Child Restraint

I'd like to draw your attention to an appeal by a charity Article 39, who want to stop children being deliberately hurt by escorts when they're being taken from or to secure children's homes.

Click the image to go to the appeal
Last year, the Youth Justice Board revealed in its annual report that the behaviour management system devised for child prisons is now used by its “secure escort contractor” taking children to and from secure children’s homes. This system includes techniques that deliberately inflict pain on children.

I'd encourage you to read the page for more information, but the short version is that although it's illegal to use painful restraints with children within children's homes or secure units, it's not illegal to do so when escorting them in or out of the unit. 

An NSPCC survey of restrained children reported that children described being "twisted up, gripped up, ragged up, jumped on and hammered."  Below are some more quotes from that report:

“you feel funny, dizzy, feel like your arm’s breaking, blood goes to your head, your arm stings for about 10 or 20 minutes afterwards, numb and you feel sick with the nose one” 

“I’ve had staff here lift me off my feet by my head. You fear for your life here, I’m scared they’re gonna hurt me.” 

“Afterwards you have sore arms and wrists, throbbing and can’t move the, like when your arms are dead”.

These are kids who, like Aaron in the book, are already vulnerable. If you can, please donate to this campaign, or spread the word, so that they don't become even more vulnerable in the system that's supposed to protect them.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Stonefest This Weekend!

This Saturday I'll be at the Coventry Writer's Group stall at STONEFEST!


Stonefest is an Arts festival held in Atherstone's market square, with the aim of promoting both the market town of Atherstone and the creativity and talent of the people living within Atherstone and the surrounding areas. 

The festival will encompass many aspects of the creative arts spectrum including showcasing musical talent, mixed media arts installations, comedy events, dance shows and theatre events, as well as providing a selection of food and drink from Atherstone based vendors.

The festival takes place over Friday 14th July (evening), Saturday 15th July (all day event) and Sunday 16th July (evening).

Do come and find me. I might even bring along a dragon or two!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Short Story: Seeger Vs Gray

Mrs Seeger took a deep breath and opened the meeting room door. This was not going to be an easy meeting. Waiting for them in the room was a middle-aged man with pale blue eyes and the faint outline of stubble around his chin. His hair was well groomed and he was dressed in a sharp blue suit. His immaculate appearance would have been quite intimidating if he hadn’t been slouched in his chair, a childish, sulky look on his face.

“So you still haven’t found my son,” the man said, arms folded. “I’m not happy about this. How did you lose him?”

“We didn’t lose him, Mr Gray. He ran away. Usually, he shows up again after a few hours, but this time…”

“Usually?” Mr Gray interrupted. “So you’re saying he runs away often? And you let him?”

“Well he’s quite a lot older than when you last looked after him,” said Mrs Seeger, mentally kicking herself for matching his petulance. “It’s not always possible to convince him to stay.”

“Well, you should have locked his door.”

“We don’t do that I’m afraid.”

“Well you don’t do that, and now my son is missing.” Mr Gray leant forward, glaring at Mrs Seeger.

“I know. We’re doing everything we can to find him. If we hear anything at all, I’ll let you know.”

“You’d better. I’m already talking to my solicitors about you neglecting my child. What made him run away anyway?”

Mrs Seeger paused. She knew the reason but wasn’t sure whether it was appropriate to say. In the end, she didn’t have to. There must have been something in her facial expressions because Mr Gray guessed. He slumped back into the chair and sighed.

“You talked to him about seeing me, didn’t you? Oh, crud.”

Mrs Seeger smiled internally at Mr Gray’s use of “crud”, his son’s favourite word.

“Well yes, but to be honest I don’t think he meant to stay missing for this long. We managed to track him to a bus stop in town, but then he sort of disappeared.”

“Disappeared?”

“Well, the CCTV footage on the bus seems to indicate he just vanished. Obviously, that’s impossible, but we can’t trace him after that point.”

“Sounds like he’s tricked you. Can I see the video?”

“Yes, I’ll arrange it with the police. They have a copy.”

“Great, any other clues?”

“Well, he was talking to a girl on the bus. The police have identified her as Julia Price. You might have seen the appeal for her on the news. They went to school together briefly but as far as we can tell there wasn’t any recent contact."

“Yeah right.” Mr Gray laughed half-heartedly. “He’s got himself a girl and they’ve run off somewhere, he’s pretending it’s all about me and he’s playing you for a mug.”

“It’s possible,” said Mrs Seeger, “but I severely doubt it. That’s not really Aaron’s style and he’s a bit young still for that kind of thing.”

Mr Gray shrugged but made no further comment. The room filled with silence. After a few moments, Mrs Seeger hummed to herself. Perhaps it was because he was on her mind, but Mrs Seeger found herself humming the same tune that she’d heard Aaron humming so many times in the past. To her surprise Mr Gray flinched, suddenly staring at the ceiling. Mrs Seeger stopped humming and Mr Gray regained his composure.


“Mr Gray, will you wait here a moment, please? I have some pictures that Aaron drew that I’d like to show you.”

Monday, 10 July 2017

Puff The Magic Dragon


Can we take a moment to appreciate the artwork in this video?

Puff the Magic Dragon is a tear-jerking story about a dragon and his best friend, who then grows up and abandons him. Apparently, there's a secret further verse where Puff makes a new friend, but it's now lost to history.

When the song became popular, some people suggested that the song was actually about taking naughty drugs, but the songwriters have all said this definitely isn't true!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Another Amazon Review

It's  been ages since I've posted any Amazon reviews on here. Here's a lovely review by Margaret



With a rich array of fantastic beasts in every chapter

"An absorbing page turner, with a rich array of fantastic beasts in every chapter. I would rate this book as just the right side of scary for a child reader of 10+. But there is enough humour and pathos for any parent whose child dragoons (or is that dragons?) them into reading it aloud."


Thanks, Margaret. "Just the right side of scary for a child reader of 10+" is pretty much what I was aiming for. And I'm glad you enjoyed the bits of humour that can keep the adults entertained!

David

Monday, 3 July 2017

Harry Potter Bible Studies

I appreciate this is a bit niche, but last week was the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It was also my turn to do the daily Bible studies for my church, so the result was a week's worth of Philosopher's Stone themed Bible studies!

Click the image to open the whole notes if you're interested. The document isn't editable but you can copy and paste it and do what you like with it.


Sharable Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EksZ-0brHhO-3qyDz85xd_PPqg7uV8nlj7J4OjUeGkc/edit?usp=sharing

Friday, 30 June 2017

Abbii and Daniel got married!

The Wilson household has been heavily distracted recently for one very important reason...

Abbii and Daniel got married!


That's a fan in the background by the way, Abbii didn't have fairy wings ;)
For those who don't pay close attention to the cover notes of my book, Abbii is the wonderful lady who designed the book's gorgeous blue cover. She's a clever clogs and one of the most amazing people I know. Her husband Daniel is just as amazing and I am very proud to know both of them.

Abbii and Daniel are both outstanding in their field...
The ceremony itself was outdoors in a beautiful campsite by Hay on Wye. That's me being the celebrant at the front. The happy couple asked me to officiate their wedding, to plan it myself and to surprise them. So no pressure there then! They did give me a list of things they were geeky about, which meant that we could have lots of Star Trek and Lord of the Rings references. Thankfully they forgave me! I even had some geeky badges...

For the last time it's not a Blue Peter badge!

That's Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek and Ministry of Magic badges.

It was a beautiful day, and the couple had planned it to perfection. There were games to play and plenty for the kids to do on the site, posh toilets, great food (Vegan Grindhouse, would recommend!) and amazing music.

My son carefully studying the swingball.

My wife Katie spent most of the previous fortnight making the wedding cake, which again the happy couple wanted as a surprise. When Abbii saw it she cried, I'm hoping it was happy tears!

Even the cake was in tiers...

So an absolutely amazing day which I will be thinking about for a long long time :)

Monday, 12 June 2017

Ozy and Millie


Since the UK is so politics heavy at the moment, I thought I'd add to the mix. The above comic is taken from the amazing www.ozyandmillie.org, which I followed fairly religiously until it finally reached the end of its story in 2008.

Ozy and Millie are both young foxes learning about life and philosophy. Llewellyn, the dragon in the picture, is Ozy's dad. I absolutely would recommend going to www.ozyandmillie.org and looking through the archives. The humour is subtle and the stories are beautiful.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Book Two Spoilers

At least one of the following ten things happens in book two ;-)

  • Alec and Cecil get married.
  • Brian gets horribly killed.
  • Jack and Mel share a kiss
  • Julia woke up, it was all a dream
  • The piskies are banned from making riddles
  • Arboris's son is even more sarcastic than he is.
  • The trees in the Taciton Forest grow faces
  • The Calmat community opens a health spa
  • The Vampire Sprites sparkle in daylight
  • The kids discover they have power over dust.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Hilary Hobgoblin is back!

Last time Hilary Hobgoblin tweeted he had entered the Taciton Forest. A perfectly safe place unless the trees wake up. That tweet was on the 26th April.

I hope he's okay. I think we're about to find out...

Do pop over and have a look at Brevenynews! - Show your sympathy by following him :)

Monday, 5 June 2017

Everwing

No I'm not being paid for this (although if the makers of the game wanted to send a few free dragons in my direction I wouldn't say no!) but have you guys found Everwing? It's a game on Facebook messenger but way above the standard of most other games on the platform.

Basically the main gameplay is like the above screenshot. You play a fairy, who is assisted by up to two dragons.You have to shoot at the monsters that you're flying towards. The monsters you shoot turn into treasure and you have to collect as much treasure as possible.


So far so fun, but still your basic facebook game. You play it a few times, get a bit bored and move on. But not this game, oh no! Because there's not just this game. There's also a scary boss game.


This is one of the many bosses that you team up with your friends to try and beat. They take forever but as soon as you have beaten them you get a ton of treasure, as well as usually some extra dragons. Once you've got some treasure, then there's some exciting strategising you can do!

The treasure you've got actually buys stuff. Like you can buy a selection of dragon eggs and see what hatches, you can upgrade your fairy's weapon power or even buy more fairies if any are available.


Each dragon you hatch has different abilities, and if you level them up enough you can evolve them to other dragons.


And once you've got a load of dragons and fairies, you can send them off on quests, which gives you more treasure to buy more dragons and fairies. Even that has a strategy though. When you're sending these dragons and fairies away on quests, you can't use them to beat up the monsters in your game, so choose carefully.

So yeah, give it a go! Just start a conversation in facebook messenger and click on the gamepad icon!


Friday, 2 June 2017

And we're back!

It's June! So my break from the blog is over. Blogging resumes today and Hilary Hobgoblin will be tweeting again from Wednesday.

Thank you to everyone who continued visiting during the break. Weirdly, I had 897 page views from Israel. If you're from Israel and you're reading this, then hi! Do feel free to fly me over for a book signing!

Book Two is going well. I'm not sure when it will all be finished and edited because I have a full time job and full time family, but at least it now exists as a story.

Best wishes

David




Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Fan Art - Arboris the Dragon


Look at this amazing fan art of Arboris the dragon!



If you hadn't guessed by the theme of the last few posts, this was drawn by the wonderful Beth Boreland (Beth you need an art blog or something that I can link to!), who decided to draw the various characters of the book as she read it. I'm so impressed and it's so cool to see the creatures from my head come to life.

Arboris is my favourite character from Aaron Gray and the Dragon War. You can fully expect to see more of him in book two!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Double Fan Art

To make up for my lack of posts this week, here's two fan art photos from the lovely Beth Boreland! We have piskies and will o' the wisps.



I can't believe I missed two blog days. Very sorry, must try harder.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Alec Fan Art

I'm still so excited about the fan art sent to me by Beth Boreland, so bear with me for the next few weeks while I keep sharing them!

This week. Here's Alec!


Monday, 8 May 2017

Video: How to draw a dragon!

I'm still absolutely amazed at the fan art that Beth Boreland sent to me. I can't wait to feature more in the coming weeks.

For those of us without her talent that need really simple instructions on how to draw dragons. Then here's a video I found on youtube!


Friday, 5 May 2017

Another Amazon review

This week I'm featuring another Amazon review....


Thank You, Chloe, for that lovely review. I'm glad you wanted to keep reading :)

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Cecil Fan Art

Thank you to the amazing Beth Boreland who is re-reading Aaron Gray and the Dragon War for what must be the millionth time. This time though she keeps sending me fan art of all the different non-human characters! Quite useful really as it means I have something to put on the Wednesday blog posts while I'm busy writing book two!  So to start with, here is a fantastic picture of Cecil!




Monday, 1 May 2017

May reminder

Good evening folks,

Just a friendly reminder that it's May, which is where I'm taking the month off proper blogging in order to finish off the first draft of book two. There will still be content every Monday, Wednesday and Friday but the time of the update won't always be at 3pm, as I'm not scheduling in advance, and the content may be slightly different to what's been in the other months.

Should be fun though, wish me luck with book two!

David

Friday, 28 April 2017

I've been interviewed!

I've been interviewed on Margaret Egrot's excellent blog, "Writing and Breathing". Margaret is a fellow Coventry author (we met at Coventry Writer's Group) and together we're going to conquer the world of child protection related fiction!



Do pop over and have a read of the whole interview, and thank you, Margaret, for your insightful questions.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Letter to Mr Gray

A letter that was sent during the first few chapters of Aaron Gray and the Dragon War

I imagine Mrs Seeger's going to have a bad day when he turns up to the office.



Monday, 24 April 2017

St George

Let me start by saying that I don't condone the killing of dragons in any way. But since I covered St David's Day I thought it only fair to tell the story of St George, the dragon killer.


The Saint George story dates back at least as long ago as the 13th century, where it was included in a book all about saints known as the Golden Legend. That story was all in Latin though, so it wasn't that easy to understand. Instead, here's my version.

A long long time ago, there lived a soldier called George. He was probably born in Turkey but nobody's quite sure, but one day he turned up in a village that had a dragon in it.

Nobody really liked this dragon. It flew around, destroying the countryside and eating what it could. The villagers realised they could stop it doing too much damage if they kept it fed, so they fed it two sheep every day. This was fine, except they soon ran out of sheep.

What do you do when you run out of sheep? Send up some pigs? Horses? Some other animals? Presumably the village was still eating something, so they could easily have sent something else to the dragon. But no, for some reason the village decided to send the dragon a human child to eat. Every day, a different child, chosen at random. They pretty much held a raffle, "And today's winner is eight-year0old Daniel from the farmer's cottage. Your prize is a one-way trip to somewhere hot. That's right, the dragon's mouth!"

Nobody knows how the dragon felt about the change in his diet, but it ate the kids anyway. I don't know what would have happened when they ran out of kids, maybe try cabbages? Or the elderly? Anyway one day it got really bad because the local princess won the raffle (Villages in those days all had a princess in them). The king decided enough was enough now that his own daughter was going to be eaten, and promised to marry her off to anyone who could kill the dragon. Luckily this was the same day that George came into town.

According to the story in the Golden legend, he didn't just ride up and kill the dragon. First, he asked the princess for the garter that was holding up one of her tights and stuck it around the dragon's neck. The dragon was so embarrassed about wearing the princess's underwear that it obediently followed George into the village.

By the time the dragon had got to the village it was getting a bit tetchy, and the villagers were a little bit scared that they were all about to get toasted. At this point George could have killed the dragon, but he held out a little bit longer.

"I could kill the dragon," he said, "Or I could set it free and let it have a village barbecue. If you want me to kill it then you all need to become Christians"

"But we thought religion was a personal choice," shouted the villagers.

"No it isn't, become Christians or I'll murder you at dragonpoint" said George.

"Oh alright then" said the villagers, and George killed the dragon. Then he was made a saint because of all the Christians he had made.

THE END.

Friday, 21 April 2017

The best reviews are from the kids!

Just to share this lovely review that I got on Amazon:



Hooray! Aaron Gray and the Dragon War is a children's book that actual ten-year-olds actually enjoy. And ten-year-old boys too, who are traditionally a tough crowd to please! 

This makes me very happy!

In answer to your question, I know what's going to happen in book two and have written lots of notes about it. In May I'm going to sit down and carefully turn it into a proper story. Then I need to edit it a million times and get it ready for publishing. I think it's going to all be ready for you to read it in October 2018, which isn't that long at all when you think about it.

In the meantime, there are short stories and other things related to Breveny every Wednesday on this blog, plus other stuff every Monday and Friday. You're welcome to have a look!

Best wishes

David


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

An update on Hilary Hobgoblin

Hilary Hobgoblin is still enjoying his second adventure on twitter (At least I hope he is, he's a moody old thing so it's hard to tell!) He went to see Cecil the dragon and arrived shortly after Alec and the kids had left on their adventures. I would imagine he's going to stay a few steps behind them, and see all the messes they're leaving behind. Do pop over and have a look at Brevenynews! - I think he'd probably like a few more followers.

Monday, 17 April 2017

La Tanière du Dragon

In the fluffy fairytale land of Disneyland Paris is a bright pink fairytale castle. But underneath that castle, is the bestest animatronic dragon ever made!



Here's some of my favourite facts about this dragon. Most information is stolen from https://www.designingdisney.com/content/designing-fantasyland-dragon-lair if you want to know more.

1) It's big!

The dragon measures 89 feet from head to toe, and when it was built it was the world's largest animatronic figure.

2) It's friends with Merlin

Although the castle at Disneyland Paris is known as Sleeping Beauty's, the official story is that she shares it with Merlin (which is why there's Merlin themed stores on the lower level). Merlin and the dragon met one day and didn't realise they were supposed to be enemies, they made friends and the dragon moved into the cellar.

3) It moves when it's asleep too!

The tail and feet move when the dragon is asleep. Just like a cat or a dog.

4) New technology was needed to build the dragon and its lair

Disney not only developed animatronics generally and made this dragon possible, but also designed a new system to make the caves smokey without poisoning or smoking out the guests. The resultant smoke machines are the size of four sugar cubes.

5) I call him Cecil.

If you don't know why, then you obviously haven't read Aaron Gray and the Dragon War!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Guest Bloggers Needed!

I would like to take a moment to offer you an exciting opportunity!

In May I'll be busy finishing the first draft of Breveny book 2, Aaron Gray and the <cough cough cough cough>, which means I'll have less time to keep the blog updated. Therefore if you have anything you would like to say to the thousands of people who visit my blog each month (no seriously, there are thousands. I don't understand why either.) then now is your chance.

Usually the blog updates three times a week. Mondays are usually to do with real life things that are kind of related to Breveny. For example dragons across the world or in other books, interesting things about children in care, that kind of thing, so if you want to share something interesting that you know, then Monday is your day. Wednesday is usually additional information to do with Breveny itself, so this is when I post quizzes and stories and other tit-bits. Friday is when I respond to things that have happened, messages I've been sent, or ask for your help with things.

I'm not wedded to this format, so if you have anything you want to talk about, then please do get in touch!

David

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Short Story Excerpt: CCTV

Another Short Scene from another angle of Aaron Gray and the Dragon War... I thought we'd pay another visit to Mrs Seeger.

“You can’t find him?” Mrs Seeger’s hands were shaking so much she could feel the phone vibrating against her ear. “But he always goes into town, that’s how we knew he was…”

She couldn’t bring herself to say the word “safe”. Aaron wasn’t safe. He was missing. Properly missing.

“I know,” the staff member from the care home said, using the same false calm voice that Mrs Seeger used when trying to reassure panicking parents. “But we’ll find him. He was seen catching the bus straight after he left here, and we’ve asked the bus company for their CCTV so we can see where he got off.”

“Right, so who’s at the bus company?”

“I was just going down now, I’m meeting the police there in half an hour.”

“Okay, good. So what have the police said so far?”

“Not much. They seem to think it’s normal behaviour for Aaron, but they’re keeping a lookout.

Mrs Seeger could hear her voice raising. “It’s not normal behaviour for Aaron. I mean sure he’s ran away before but he’s never disappeared. We’ve always been able to find him.”

“I know. I’ll let you know more when I’ve seen the CCTV.”

“No you won’t. I’m coming too. I’ll meet you outside the bus office.”

Mrs Seeger put down the phone before the staff member could object. She drove to the main office of the bus company as quickly as she could and arrived at the same time as the police officer. The care home staff member arrived twenty minutes later, carrying a take-away coffee cup. They went inside, and after brief introductions were shown to a room with a colour TV screen. They watched in silence, the only sounds being a nearby computer and the slurp of take-away coffee.

Mrs Seeger watched the screen as Aaron calmly boarded the bus, chatting to a young girl about the same age as him, with shoulder length brown hair and large blue eyes. Later some slightly older children boarded the bus, and Mrs Seeger could see Aaron tense. She wondered if they had anything to do with his disappearance. A few moments later Aaron was laughing and opening the bus window. The screen appeared to skip slightly and Aaron and the girl vanished.

“Wait. What happened there? Can we rewind?” Mrs Seeger found a rewind button on the console in front of her and watched again as the two children vanished. “Are we missing some video?”

“No. Look at the timestamp,” said the police officer. It’s all there, and none of the other passengers have moved.

“So what, they just vanished then?” snapped Mrs Seeger.

“No… Well I don’t know, but we’ll find out.” The policeman paused the video. “At any rate we know their whereabouts up until this point, and we know that they were last seen at…” He pointed at the view out of the bus window. “...the theatre fountain. I’ll go over there and see if anyone’s seen anything.”

Monday, 10 April 2017

Book Recommendation: One for the Pern geeks

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the book series that got me hooked on dragons in the first place, "The Dragonriders of Pern" series. Imagine my delight several years ago when my friend told me about "The Dragonlover's guide to Pern"  Basically you know that Harry Potter encyclopedia that JK Rowling's always rumoured to be writing? Well this is the equivalent for the Pern books.


It's amazing! It has recipes for "Klah" (their version of coffee), loads of fascinating facts about the world they live in, and thankfully (as this blog tends to focus on dragons) loads of stuff on the dragons of Pern. For example - Here's a dragon's skeletal structure:


And examples of dragons by other objects to give some idea of their size:



Now it's worth noting that the dragons in the Pern series are officially genetically modified animals from the future, rather than your traditional mythological dragons, but they're still amazing and worth knowing about!


Friday, 7 April 2017

A plea for reviews

Dear everyone who has read Aaron Gray and the Dragon War,

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 I'll feature exciting reviews and messages in the usual Friday blog slot.

I have some great comments to share over the next few weeks, but I'll stop there for today.

Thanks

David


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Where in Breveny should you live?

I've made a quiz!

https://uquiz.com/b4HfKk?p=83421

Welcome to Breveny Estate Agents. We are committed to finding the perfect place for you to live in the magical world of Breveny....

Do take the quiz and let me know where you end up :)

Monday, 3 April 2017

Disneyland Paris has a new dragon!

Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. As part of the celebrations, they have an awesome new parade with an awesome new FIREBREATHING STEAMPUNK DRAGON!


A similar dragon already exists in Orlando's magic kingdom, but this one's subtly different and matches the Discoveryland steampunk theme a bit more closely.

The dragon is known as "The Dragon of Malefic" and fits with the story of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent, a natural fit for Disneyland Paris as it contains Sleeping Beauty's Castle. There's also a second dragon beneath the castle, which I will blog about in 2 weeks' time.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

April Fools Day Post: An Important April Announcement!

April Fool's Day Post 2017


Now that it's finally April, I can announce an exciting collaboration between me and Coventry City Council. Introducing....

The Brand New and Exciting "Breveny World" Water Park!!



As part of Coventry's bid for City of Culture in 2021, all new developments are being given a literary theme. As I'm a Coventry author, I was approached to see whether I wanted the new waterpark to be themed around Breveny, the magical world from Aaron Gray and the Dragon War.

 Daisy O'Parfoll, Spokeswoman for the Department of Leisure and Culture, said:

"We are excited to give our new waterpark a theme that is both local, playful and magical. Aaron Gray and the Dragon War is a classic novel for a new generation, and we have the same high hopes for our waterpark. We look forward to sharing more information as plans progress."
Attractions will include:

Aaron and Julia's Sky Fall

Experience what it was like for Aaron and Julia to arrive in Breveny. Begin in what looks like the back of a bus before plummetting through a flume into the new world below. The flume itself will be the same green colour as Cecil the dragon, and the exit pool will be in dragon dung brown


The Taciton Tunnel

Based on the forest full of sleeping trees in the novel, this is a long and twisted waterslide leading safely to the exit pool. Don't make a noise though as this will "wake up" the water jets and make the ride much more turbulent! 

The Flame of Arboris

Just like the flame of Arboris the dragon, this flume is quick, precise and will be over before you know it.

Gertrude's Revenge

Gertrude has gone back to the entrance tunnel to celebration village, but oh no! The middle section of the tunnel is missing! Can you navigate the missing part and make it to safety?

Mestor Mayhem

This ride has two parts. Firstly there is a gentle chute leading into a dark, water-filled cavern. Spooky music plays to emulate the Mestor Caves in the novel. Can you find the exit and slide to safety, or will the water jets firing at you from the ceiling impede your progress? Watch out for vampire sprites!

The Calmat Spa

Calmat is where the residents of Breveny go to unwind. You can do the same with our hot tub, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.

The Naiad Party Pool

One for the tiny tots! Play in our party pool with the Naiads and see if you can control the water with your magical fingernails!


So that's it! Keep an eye out for further announcements, including how they're going to include the ghost zombies from book two!



 Further information about Coventry's exciting new waterpark can be found at http://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/1630/city_centre_water_park_designs_unveiled.

Friday, 31 March 2017

A message from Waterstones

For those who tried to order Aaron Gray and the Dragon War in store at Waterstones, your troubles may be at an end! I have received the following email from the lovely Eva at Waterstones:

"Dear David,

Thank you for getting in touch. I had a look at the record for your title on the system and it is listed as available to order. There might have been a temporary glitch on the system, but I can assure you that everything is now correctly set up and your book is available to order from our shops and Waterstones.com . I apologise for any inconvenience this might have caused.

Kind regards,

Eva"

Hooray! If you do try to order in store then I would love to know how you get on. I'm going to try myself next week.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Short Story: Missing from Care

Now that Aaron Gray and the Dragon War has been out a while, I think it's safe to include some short stories that take place after the start of the book. So this story takes place behind the scenes of chapter one and therefore contains very slight spoilers.

Missing From Care

Harold first realised something was wrong when Mrs Seeger walked into his office with a towel covering her blouse. He finished the mouthful of sandwich he was eating, letting the last few tastes of chocolate spread fade from his tongue.

"Visit went well, did it? Let me guess. Aaron's done a runner again."

"Afraid so," Mrs Seeger said, rolling her eyes. "I had a feeling it would go badly."

"And you still wore a white blouse?"

“I know! Rookie mistake! But I’m in court this afternoon and I wanted to make a good impression. I’ve got a spare suit in the car though.”

“Okay, so what happened?” Harold felt for the right form in his desk drawer. “Might as well get the paperwork done before we go and get him.”

“You don’t want to drag him back from the bus stop again then?”

Harold paused, and then shook his head. Unfortunately this wasn’t his first runaway. Or even his hundredth. “No, he needs to cool down. Last time we picked him up too soon was when he smashed his window and snuck out again in the middle of the night...”

Mrs Seeger sighed, “I remember. Thank goodness the train conductor had seen our appeal on twitter!”

“Precisely, so if you agree I think we should let him calm down, he’ll get the bus into town and hang around with his mates from the chip shop, and we’ll check he’s okay in a couple of hours.”

“There’s the risk he’ll go somewhere else though,” said Mrs Seeger.

Harold knew she was just playing devil’s advocate. Aaron always went to the same place, and she knew he was safe there. “Yeah but we take the same risk every time we send him to school. I think it’s the best option for Aaron.”

“Agreed. So can one of your staff pick him up later? I’m the last person he’d want to see at the moment.”

“No problem.” Harold filled in Aaron’s name and address at the top of the form. He reached a box that was simply labelled “circumstances”.

“So why did he run this time? You told him about his dad?”

“That’s the one. He did not take it well.”

Harold sniffed. “Poor kid. He’s a little brat but he’s a good lad.”

“He is.” Mrs Seeger smiled. “I’ve got high hopes for that boy. Anyway I’d best get to court. Let me know when he’s safely home. I’ll come round tomorrow and try to smooth things over. I don’t want him thinking I’ve abandoned him.”

“He likes you. We can all tell.”

“I hope so.” Mrs Seeger smiled. “See you tomorrow.”

“See ya,” said Harold, returning to his form. “Oh, and Harmony. Good luck in court.”