Happy Easter

Just in time for Easter, the editorial team at Chicken House have sent me the full cover layout for A Crown of Dragons. I think it’s really neat. I love the mix of colours and I’ve always admired the general design of these UK editions of the books. I like the way the designers have highlighted words like ‘dragon’ and ‘truth’ as if they were meant to be synonymous. Do they know something I don’t? Hmm…

ACOD UK full cover

I also like the way you’re encouraged to open the book at a certain page – in this case, page 61. Even I couldn’t resist having a look. I soon found myself nodding approvingly and muttering, ‘Good choice…’ For on page 61 you’ll not only find one of the major themes of the book, but also a link to my first Erth Dragons story, The Wearle. (If you want to know more about The Wearle, click on the link on the right hand side of these pages.) The theme I mentioned is past-life regression, the strange idea that under deep hypnosis people will reveal details of lives they’ve lived before – or think they’ve lived before. No one is really sure about that. But I love this kind of thing (as you’ll know if you’re read the first two UFiles books) and I explore it briefly in A Crown of Dragons. It’s still too early to give you a full extract, but I don’t think anyone will mind a few blog readers seeing this little excerpt. Here are the last few lines from page 61, where Michael’s father, Thomas, is being regressed. Check out what happens when the hypnotist takes him back too far…

Dad started breathing fast. For some reason, he stared all along his left arm. I thought I saw his skin turning green and scaly. And then he said the weirdest thing I’d ever heard, in a voice so low it made the speakers shudder. ‘Galan aug scieth . . .’ He put his head forwards and roared. There the film ended, with Dad’s face twisted like some kind of demon’s. And fire emerging from his left hand.

Now, those people who’ve read The Wearle will know exactly what I mean about a link to that book. The key words, of course, are ‘Galan aug scieth’. I expect most of you will be saying, ‘What on earth does that mean?’ You might also ask, ‘What on Erth does that mean?’ Note the subtle differences.  Okay, so here’s a clue. Galan aug scieth is dragontongue! And it means… No, you read one of the books and find out! I know. I’m horrible. But, hey, writing cliff-hangers is part of my job description, after all.

Next time, I expect to be talking more about the links between the UFiles and the Erth Dragons. Until then, happy Easter everyone and happy reading!


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