The book is rolling off the printing presses as I write! And Mona, the publisher, told me in secret (!!!) that the initial response from teachers has been very enthusiastic. In fact she said (even more secretly) that the Dragons are top of the list of forthcoming attractions…!! (apologies for all the exclamation marks – I usually hate them – but it is very exciting to hear this kind of thing from one’s lovely publisher!!!!!!!!!!!)
Okay – I’ve calmed down.
Several friends have asked how they can get their hands on a copy, so I thought a quick post was in order. The quickest and easiest way to order, is from the publishers themselves.
Booklet Fiction’s order line is:
021 430 30 95
And very soon I’ll post any other details about ordering.
There will also be news of events – book signings, readings, writing workshops, and more. Dragons are coming to town… your town.
To England, 23rd April (today) is St George’s Day, dedicated to the country’s patron saint.
It’s always upset me that mean old George was so horrible to the poor dragon. It was even worse when the ultra-right neo-fascist idiots used the English flag of St George to demonstrate English supremacy over the world, and all foreigners. Idiots. Don’t get me started on their xenophobic bigotry. They don’t have any idea where the ‘English’ came from…
BUT these days I celebrate this day not just as William Shakespeare’s birth (and death) day, but as the special day for my little George and his spectacular dragon, Xiaolong.
They both feature in my new book, published by Booklet Fiction in May, all about these two heroes and some other more villainous dragons, all vying for victory in the skies of London.
Not only that… here’s something that most readers won’t get to know. But towards the end of the book, something happens on this very day, Sunday 23rd April 2017. What’s going on in London today? The London Marathon. I’m going to say nothing more about it here – you’ll have to read the book to find out.
Actually, the precise date doesn’t matter too much, but when I was doing my research and calculations for the book, this was the date I fixed on. So now you know…
The book is going to print next week… here’s a sneak preview of the cover, and more information about the book.
As you can tell, the book is mostly for Romanians learning English, but it would be good for English speakers learning Romanian, too!
For native English speakers, this is the translation of the boo blurb you can see above:
Dragons over London We begin in the 11th century. After travelling around the world, the imperial Chinese dragon Xiaolong settles in the Tower of London, not long after it was built by William the Conqueror. But London’s own dragons do not want a foreigner on their patch and, for many centuries, do their best to kill the Chinese invader. With so many enemies around, Xiaolong badly needs a bodyguard. And a friend. These roles are taken on with pride by George, only a common-as-muck mouse who lives in the Tower, but the most brave and loyal companion of all. Nearly 400 generations of Georges devote their lives to Xiaolong, from George I in 1086, until today when we meet George CCCLXXXVIII. An action adventure written with humour, Dragons over London is a wonderful opportunity to read an alternative history of London (almost entirely based on known facts), with a dramatic climax in the skies over Britain’s capital city.
Published by Booklet Fiction, Dragoni per cerul Londrei will be out in the next few weeks – when I have a precise date I’ll let you know, of course. And when we have some events organised – readings at schools and bookshops, for instance – I’ll tell you about those, too.
If you’d like a reading at your place, let me know!
On the sunny 2nd January 2017… what else but a trip to the Tower? Could have spent the whole day there – too much to see. I must only have seen 20% of what’s there for visitors, and had no time for just mooching around watching and looking. Tickets seem expensive at £25 but actually it’s fantastic value. From the 11th century well in the basement to Henry VIII’s armour , it’s an astonishing slug of over 1,000 years of English history, all in one place.
I last went to the Tower as a child – my father’s firm supplied slaked lime to the Tower in the early 1960s for the repair of the stone walls, so we were given free entry – quite some privilege! I hadn’t been back for 50 years, but it was worth the wait.
Andy the lovable Yeoman Warder, giving gyp to his tour audience under the Bloody Tower
The surprising ‘village green’ feel inside the tower walls
Extraordinarily ornate cannon under the White Tower
Tower ravens having a loving moment.
And the reason for the visit? I wanted to do some vital research for my new book, Dragons over London, which will be set in London (the clue’s in the title), and mostly at the Tower, where my hero, the Chinese dragon Xiaolong, has been living since he arrived in 1086. The Tower has changed a bit in nearly 1,000 years of turbulent history, but not that much. Built by William the Conqueror, it was at the heart of London’s history for over 600 years as the most important royal palace and the greatest building in London.
It’s very easy to imagine a dragon lying on the roof and taking off from that parapet to glide through the London sky…