Saturday, 22 February 2014

{Book Spotlight & Interview} Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past by Paul Cude

Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past by Paul Cude
Bentwhistle the Dragon #1

Publication Date: 19 October 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 384


Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Part is an adventure story children and adults alike will love, about the present day world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them. Three young dragons in their human guises become caught up in an evil plot to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past? Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes? In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon sports, you'll get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you're wearing nothing but your smile! You'd be flamin' mad to miss it.

Purchase the book

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I was born in Southampton, Hampshire, in 1968. As a small child I moved to Salisbury, and as a much older child (12) developed a fanatical interest in playing hockey - something I'm still obsessed with to this day, or so my children claim, as they're dragged to hockey training on cold, winter Sunday mornings. A photocopier, fax and printer engineer up until eleven years ago, redundancy allowed me the privilege of becoming a full time house husband, watching and shaping my two fantastic children as they progress in life. Married to a beautiful wife, I like nothing more than days out with her and the children. On the odd occasion that free time presents itself, I like playing hockey, taking computers apart (sometimes even putting them back together again, occasionally successfully) and of course, writing. Since the start of 2011, I have been working as a teaching assistant while my children are at school, a job I enjoy more than any I have ever had.

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favourite part to write was easily the second to last chapter..........'Fawking Hell!!!!!' As you may have gathered from the chapter title, it has something to do with bonfire night. This whole chapter had been in my head for years before I started writing it, and given that it's around twenty-two thousand words long, I absolutely whizzed through it. It was a pleasure to write and the words just zipped out of my head and onto the screen. I could genuinely see every little detail of what happens. Twists and turns abound in that chapter, and it includes a graphic fight scene, which ends in a most unexpected way. It's easily my favourite part of the book, and just thinking about it sends goose bumps down both my arms.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or all purely all imagination?
I suppose it is a mixture of both, despite it being pure fantasy fiction. Some of the characters are based loosely around friends and people I know, with the main one having many traits that I have. It's pretty much the same with some of the places. Many are fictional, such as the underground realm most of the dragons inhabit, but the city where the three main characters live is based on the city I live in.....Salisbury. But everything factual is tinged with at least a little of my imagination, something I've been blessed with for as long as I can remember. I recall playing with lego, Star Wars figures, model planes and cars when I was a kid and inventing all sorts of scenarios around the toys. Action man was another favourite. Those were some of the happiest times of my childhood, engrossed in imaginary worlds. When I got a little older I can remember starting to read comics. I think my imagination really kicked off then. I can remember writing stories and copying some of the pictures from the comics to go with it. I think for a time I really had a passion for the drawing, the scripts and the stories. But alas, just at that time, I found the thing that would change my life! So all of that faded into the distance, for the love of my sport. But I don't think I've ever really lost my imagination. Writing my book has bought it to the fore, and that wouldn't have been possible without an active imagination. Sometimes I sit and watch my kids from a distance, and see the wonderful worlds they invent, with their lego, action figures, soft toys, etc.....and it makes me so proud when they do all that.

How did you choose the genre you write in? 
I'm guessing the whole story is part of everything that makes me who I am, and in that respect the genre of fantasy chose itself. Hockey plays a big part in the story and the plot, and has probably been the biggest influence on my life. I started playing when I was eleven years old (old by today's standards, but young back then). I'm hesitant to tell you how long ago that actually was. But through that sport I have met some of the most amazing people, most of whom I can count as friends, and had the best time on and off the field. I still play when I can, despite being more than a little long in the tooth. 

As well as the hockey, I suppose the other influences come in the form of the books that I read. I love the Harry Potter books, I'm a great fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe and love the books of Terry Goodkind. But my favourite author in the whole world has to be Terry Pratchett. His books are fantastic and I've been an avid reader of them for as long as I can remember. The worlds and the characters he creates are amazing and can easily be pictured in your mind. The twists and turns are something akin to a whirlwind, but most of all it's the humour that I find most compelling. I can name three or four books that have made me cry with laughter. All these things zip through my tiny little mind, and in so doing are responsible for everything that fills the pages of my book. If you want to know all about me as a my book.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this part of a series?
My second book 'Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Chilling Revelation' is due to be released on 1st March 2014. The story follows directly on from 'A Threat From The Past' with the exploits of old characters and new combining to great effect. Check out the blurb: 

Peter Bentwhistle, the human shaped dragon hero, returns in this action-packed, electrifying adventure. 
Helped by his friends, Tank and Richie, he finds solace in his new found friendship with the dragon king. But they are unwittingly drawn into a deadly plot, when a straight forward meeting with the monarch sees them helping an injured dragon agent, straight back from Antarctica with news of a devastating encounter with another ancient race.  
Soon Peter is involved in blackmail, intrigue, forbidden love interests, a near fatal mantra gone wrong, a highly charged rugby match in which Tank takes a beating, combined with enough laminium ball action to please dragons the world over.  
New friends and ancient enemies clash as the planet braces itself for one of the most outrageous attacks it has ever seen. Lost secrets and untold lore come to light, while sinister forces attempt to steal much coveted magic.  
Explosive exploits are set against a chilly backdrop with unexpected danger at every turn. 'Snow way you'll wanna miss this!

Do you ever experience writers block?
Not very often. When I wrote my first book, I found that even though I knew the ending in great detail..........I had to write the book in the order that it read. I did get writer's block a couple of times I think, but only for a day or two. Now if that happens, I just move on and write another part of the story. It might be something further ahead in the second book, or even something from another book, much further ahead in the series.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? 
I'd suggest writing about something you feel passionately about. All the things in my book are the things that swim around my head, day in, day out. Hockey, friends, dragons, and some of my views on life in general. They're all there, and rolled up into one, hopefully great, story in my book. Write about something you love; you'll find it easier and more rewarding. 

One last thing on this question. I do seem to be waffling on a bit.....sorry! I once read a writing magazine, and in it was a piece of advice that has proved quite useful for me. In it, a writer.....sorry can't remember who, said that the best advice he could give to anyone starting to write a book was to start your book on chapter two. Sounds a little bizarre, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. And that's exactly what I did. I swapped what was originally going to be chapter one, for chapter two, and I think my book is so much better for it.

What is one place in the world that you would really like to visit one day?
I'm desperate to go to Florence in Italy. My wife has always longed to go there, but the opportunity has never seemed to arise. I'd love for us both to go and explore the amazing city. As well, my enthusiasm to go increased exponentially after reading Dan Brown's Inferno. It brings the city and its history to life. Desperate to explore everything there.

What book are you currently reading, and in what format?
I'm currently reading 'The Ace of Skulls, A Tale of the Ketty Jay' by Chris Wooding in paperback.

Connect with the author


Post a Comment