Tuesday 28 June 2016

The Serpent King . . . coming soon

It's only a few weeks now until The Serpent King is published - hopefully finding its way to the shelves of a library or bookshop near you.

I've received my advance copies already and have sent a few of them off to some very special readers who I thought might like a sneak preview.

One is Amy, who first got in touch when she read her way through all the Adventure Island books and has since become a dear friend. Amy is a fanatical reader, and like me she loves dogs, and has two gorgeous golden retrievers. I spent the day with Amy when her dad put in the winning bid for a special visit in the Author's Auction for the Philippines in 2014.
Amy wrote a lovely review of The Phoenix Code for The Daily Record. I hope she will enjoy The Serpent King just as much! 

The second reader to receive an early copy of The Serpent King is Cecily, who lives in Italy, but whose grandparents live near me; she really loves to read and so they send her lots of books. Here is Cecily engrossed in The Phoenix Code. I hope she'll enjoy The Serpent King too.

Another very important reader who will be receiving a copy of The Serpent King is Serge Wynne. Serge won a competition I set last year. The challenge was to draw a scene from The Phoenix Code and the prize was to be a named character in the final Secrets of the Tombs book. Here is Serge's brilliant winning artwork.

And here I am presenting the prize to Serge last year.

In The Serpent King, I turned Serge into an elderly Professor (we did have a chat about it first to make sure he didn't mind!). Professor Wynne is an expert in reading ancient Mayan glyphs. Admittedly, he's a little eccentric (or bonkers, as Ryan puts it!). He lives in a grand old hotel, wears a maroon quilted smoking jacket and talks to his pet bearded dragon, Kylie, who always sits on his shoulder. But he's a good friend to Cleo and Ryan and helps them to decipher a very important message . . . you'll have to read The Serpent King to find out what it says.

A bearded dragon, just like Kylie (photo from exoticpets.about.com)

I'll be able to hand Serge's copy of The Serpent King to him in person as I will be going back to his school, Ropley Primary in Hampshire (or should I say his old school as he is now Y7) for a special launch event in July - in partnership with One Tree Books, Petersfield.

As part of the same mini-tour, I will also be visiting Whitchurch Primary School, and Fleet Library, to help launch their Summer Reading Challenge. I can't wait to share The Serpent King with you all!

Watch this space for a BIG new serpenty competition coming soon - a chance to win a set of all three Secrets of the Tombs books.

And in the mean time, have a look here if you would like to read some exclusive bonus chapters from the end of The Dragon Path . . .

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