Yesterday was one of those red letter days. I delivered a dragon.
This might need some explanation!
Five years ago my last young adult novel ‘The Hunt of the Unicorn‘ was published – the tale of Alice-Elayne, a 21st century Manhattan girl summoned by the unicorn Moonspill to Goloth, land of the fabulous beast and her adventures there. I went off after that on a variety of other exciting journeys: Shakespeare’s Rebel, Plague and the soon to be published Fire. But the characters from ‘Hunt’ still haunted me. Characters’ lives do not end just because a book does. I’d left Goloth on the verge of revolution. So I asked my favourite question: What happened next?
Fortunately I owed my wonderful editor – Amy Black at Doubleday in Toronto – a book. Doubly fortunate, she liked the idea of a loose sequel – for ‘Dragon’ can be read separately from the first novel. In this new one, Alice-Elayne is almost eighteen. So her story is darker, a little more on the adult end of ‘Young Adult’. Oh, and the villain this time is not a medieval tyrant…but a Dragon.
And so, The Hunt of the Dragon, was born.
I am so excited about this tale. It is exactly the book I wanted to write. It has a slightly old fashioned feel, in the best sense of that term: an epic journey, monsters, heroes, fabulous beasts and a climaxing battle to save a whole world! A little Narnia, a helping of Middle Earth, a touch of Beowulf.
And the delivery? It’s always hard to say when a book is finished. I usually only believe it is fully so when a member of the public buys and reads it. Then the circle is complete. Author and reader, the two people who make a book. But I know this – and I must admit to welling up when I read the last words. This is probably the last time I’ll read the book all the way through. The last time I’ll get to linger with these, my ‘imaginary friends’. They are all yours now.
(THE HUNT OF THE DRAGON will be published in Canada on October 18th 2016. Click HERE to pre-order.)