Category Archives: Childrens Books

DAVID CLEMENT-DAVIES’ CLASSIC BOOKS RIDE IN TO SUPPORT THE DRAGON!

SONY DSCAt a thrilling 69% funded a very special new perk has just been put up at Indiegogo.com! It means that if you contribute at £45 to the project you’ll receive a signed copy of Dragon In The Post, with your name in the front, a copy of Claire Bell’s Ratha’s Creature but also be able to purchase a package of David’s classic Ebooks, worth up to $29.94 for under $5.95. Those eBooks are Firebringer, The Sight, Fell, The co-edition, The Telling Pool and The Terror Time Spies.

Since even we are in Amazon’s hands that discount has to be run as a Countdown Promotion, after the project closes, but only old and new backers at that level and above will be directly informed of when and the promotion time limits too. We cannot make the same mistake of just running promotions to support the project, since the last time it brought no new project contributions and nearly 8,000 free eBooks were downloaded!

To help us start that grass roots fire, break through in crowd funding and cross our finishing line by August 27th, please take advantage of this Super Promotion and take the £45 Perk by CLICKING HERE

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DCD HUMS AND DRUMS ABOUT HIS HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLES!

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Dear reader,

Perhaps I’ve been a bit remiss lately, since I blogged about a walk into Winchester, or that fun visit to Jane Austen’s house, where the care taker had read my novels. Remiss in not writing more about my wildest adventures living in ravishing Hampshire, while trying to crowd fund a story too at Indiegogo, Dragon In The Post. Which have included some highly colourful and vaguely drunken beer festivals, although I of course abstain, a caste of sometimes enchanting or very eccentric characters, the most astonishing electric storm I’ve seen in years, with lighting rippling through the leaden Hampshire skies like veins in a Norse God’s angry biceps, or a brief taste of the ancient Winchester Hat festival, haunt of largely disenfranchised artists and musicians.

Picaresque joys that henceforth will be retitled “My Hampshire Chronicles. Not least because of a little spat today with the esteemed members of the Fourth Estate, journalists on that very local paper, that reached up to the editor himself! The reason for my own chagrin, or sheer disappointment and frustration, was that after having been interviewed and photographed for The Hampshire Chronicle near three weeks back and hoping a piece might give us a shot at some real hearing, a hope shared by backers too, I was ticked off for my impertinence in even ringing to enquire, and on a hectic news day too, if the article might come out tomorrow. Only to be told again that it wasn’t and that ‘I was doing my cause no good’. What cause, I cry, if fairly mainstream media does not even listen, which is the very paradox or point of the project too? A not-so-impertinent call then, made with some reason, I still insist, since a piece had been written, time spent, hopes raised and if I hadn’t extended a deadline recently the whole thing would have come to an end this Saturday anyway, un-regarded, at least in literate Hampshire circles. I had also appealed just rather honestly, I hope, to fellow wordsmith’s obvious love of reading and writing, yet underlining that, like journalists, crowd funding authors have deadlines as well. Perhaps they did not know, though I certainly told them. Then I transgressed most mightily though when I followed my putting-of-the-phone-down with cross emailed thoughts on the grave matter, which produced a very curt editorial response from the man at the top – Leave our journalists alone!

Evidently the real transgression though was to suggest, from clearly worthless common report, I add, that this attempt to break back through into wider publishing, or at least say something frank about the difficulties for modern writers of platforms and publishing, agents and things, these mass-phenomena days, or to share news of a skilful novel itself, might actually be as interesting to real readers on some human level as other articles in the paper that were perhaps a little ‘humdrum‘. A swift dismissal at my rabid persecution of his poor journalists, nonetheless, effectively telling me to take a hike worthy of walking The South Downs Way, and then “Furthermore, I take issue with your claim of the ‘humdrum fair’ published in the Hampshire Chronicle. It’s puzzling, then, that the paper has twice been short listed for weekly newspaper of the year in the past eight months!” He should read Dr Johnson’s letter to the Earl of Chesterfield! I’m afraid I have not done due journalistic diligence, being only an ordinary member of the reading and writing public, in inquiring if the worthy organ had actually won – once or twice.

Fair play though, forget the weary exposure of this long-fighting author, wrestling with something so difficult and sometimes demoralising too as trying to speak through Social Media, indeed something often so highly anti-social as Facebook, in my opinion. Which in such hugely wealthy country circles as Hampshire seems immediately associated with a kind of begging too, as my local publican remarked, or only worthy of pennies tossed into a hat, fair or foul, down Winchester High Street. (Not a monstrous £25 for a real, signed, First edition, or other ‘perk’ levels too.) My efforts to explain that writing a novel is not the same as busking, romantic as it is, largely fell on puzzled, cloth cap ears, down the pub. But then remember the enormous strain on belaboured working journalists too, as the chimes of ancient Winchester Cathedral ring out their nightly Angelus, hurrying us all towards every future’s inevitable deadline. Faintly heard echoes down there in the hectic Hampshire news rooms, thrumming to the constant tap of ticker-tape and coping with the daily hurricane of emotional threats and demands in trying to solve the Gaza Crisis, exposing nests of nasty foreign terrorists, challenging the appalling Capital gaps at Davos, which crowd funding might one day help to remodel a little, or dealing with the ever running issue of the local art bypass. What place indeed for a little fairy tale about a Dragon delivered to a boy in an eggbox, to take you to a better world?!

I think all I have ever asked is a fair crack of the whip though and did from The Chronicle too, but never annoy a journalist or editor, they’re especially unforgiving, or un-impartial, nor try to do something a little differently. Then I’ve just changed my mind on everything, even aspiring Dragon Warriors – be a lover not a fighter! My final, endlessly witty reposte to this tearing off a Gaza strip though was that “perhaps you would like to publish a letter of complaint to the editor!” Complaining no more works though than gloom, or insisting anyone should ever do anything in life, so smile, laugh, take what media pennies you may with a hum of musical gratitude and march on. As I must start training again for that 100 miles walk to an August finishing line (I hope no dead line), and these pages will just return more humbly, Sir, to enjoying writing itself. If even writing about being largely ignored, or unread, in sunny Hampshire! Ah me. No wonder several promises made have not been stuck to, like posters promised up in Waterstones, or certain meetings unreliably unmet. Then clearly“In Hertford, Hereford or Hampshire Crowd Funding is hardly ever heard of, or happens.” Apologies though to disappointed backers for letting the good song down.

David Clement-Davies – August 2014

You can still help find a constituency and crowd fund a story, that you can read part of on Wattpad and hear on audio too, perhaps support an organic little publisher as well, Phoenix Ark Press, by clicking here AND BACKING DRAGON IN THE POST. The project closes on August 27th. Many thanks. The photo is a still from the animation up at Indiegogo showing an as yet unopened egg box!

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A NEW EXCERPT FROM DRAGON IN THE POST

At 69% funded and over £3,100 DCD publishes another except from Dragon In The Post you can read on WATTPAD or listen to the audios in blogs below.

You can join the adventure and contribute too by going to DRAGON IN THE POST IN INDIEGOGO

PA PRESS

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A MEMORIAL, STEPHANIE JACKSON AND THE DRAGON STREET TEAM

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You know crowd funding feels a bit like fighting the first war, at times, and with Dragon In The Post a little stuck at 69% funded is sometimes like wading through mud, and perhaps just as futile trying to make a key breakthrough! But when you heart is at its lowest there come the Street Team again to inspire and surprise and, for yesterday’s Memorial for the opening of the First War, commemorated so extraordinarily beautifully in a river of poppies outside The Tower of London, 20 year old Stephanie Jackson’s lovely poem:

Upon the bloodied fields of red,
Above the canon roar,
Among the gathered soldier men,
‘Up and over’
Comes the call
‘Those who turn back you shall shoot’
No cowards will survive,
And into no man’s land
They fled
Upon the battle cry.
And now the fields are green again,
Where bodies fell and lay,
Oh so many years ago,
Upon this fateful day.

Stephanie Jackson August 2014

Whether we win or lose this fight I am so proud, so why not come and share your own work too, your ideas, passions, photos and paintings? Most especially we need a great push now and your interest and contributions by SUPPORTING DRAGON IN THE POST HERE

The photos are of the WWI river of poppies flowing around the walls of The Tower of London. The memorial remains there until November 5th.

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DAVID CLEMENT-DAVIES READS AGAIN FROM DRAGON IN THE POST

Agrings_of_Nyra_by_MoundfreekWonderful that we are 68% funded already, to crowd fund and send out the first edition book DRAGON IN THE POST. So DCD does another reading to encourage you all to please come on board now and back the project too. You can get a signed copy, in the post, Clare Bell’s Ratha’s Creature, support a 100 mile walk along The South Downs Way and receive many other perks by clicking here and BACKING THE DRAGON NOW

To hear the audio just click the arrow below. To hear the first reading too just CLICK HERE Thank you.

The picture is a painting for her own Dragon novel by one of our main backers and great member of the Street Team, Kelly Baker, up at the indiegogo gallery now

PA PRESS

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WOAH, THE DRAGON JUMPS TO 68% FUNDED AND POLE POSITION AT INDIEGOGO SMALL BUSINESS

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Tremendous and thank you all, the Dragon In The Post project has just jumped to over 3K funded and is at 68%, while, with the time extension to the maximum 60 days allowed, it is now in pole position on the Indiegogo Small Business section at https://www.indiegogo.com/explore?filter_category=Small+Business

We also got into the Indiegogo Newsletter last weekend and are going to appear in the Hampshire Chronicle. A great meeting with the Street team just now and many more merriments to come. But now we really want to start a grass roots publishing fire, something truly authentic and remember this is not just for one book but many others, sent to you in the post.

If you would like to get all the Indiegogo updates direct, enjoy the wonderful gallery of fan art and films being done, get special perks, hear an audio reading and own a First Edition copy too, with your name in the front for supporting, then why not go to Indiegogo.com right now by clicking SUPPORT THE PROJECT NOW

You can also hear the audio reading by clicking the arrow below.

Many thanks.

PA PRESS

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DAVID CLEMENT-DAVIES READS FROM DRAGON IN THE POST!

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David Clement-Davies does his first reading from his crowd-funded novel and publishing project Dragon In The Post, that you can also read part of up on WATTPAD

To hear the author reading from Dragon In The Post click the audio arrow below. To go to Wattpad or Indiegogo click on the underlined links. To hear the second instalment just CLICK HERE

If you, your family and children enjoy this reading and story please help us start a grass-roots fire by spreading the word and crowd funding it into a real book, sent to you, in the post by CHOOSING ONE OF THE PERK LEVELS AT INDIEGOGO

Many thanks and although we are doing wonderfully at 53% funded, it ain’t easy, we have ambitions to raise more than the 4.5k target, to open the door on many things, coverage is coming in the Hampshire Chronicle and so the deadline has just been extended to the full-time limit available at Indiegogo of 60 days. That now ends on August 27th but momentum is always vital and remember if we do not hit the 4.5k target by then indiegogo will take a bigger percentage of any money raised.

PA PRESS

The painting is the wonderful image of a Fire Cutter, a dragon that cuts a door into another world for Gareth Marks, done specially for the project which you can own too as a signed print by being the highest of the next four contributors!

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YASMIN FOSTER’S ART COMES TO FIGHT FOR DRAGON IN THE POST!

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CONTRIBUTE NOW OR RAISE YOUR CONTRIBUTION LEVEL TO DRAGON IN THE POST AND, APART FROM OTHER PERKS, ALSO OWN THIS WONDERFUL PAINTING, SPECIALLY DRAWN FOR THE PROJECT, PAINTED, PRINTED AND SIGNED BY YASMIN FOSTER

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With 23 Days to go, of the highest contributions or raised contributions among the next SIX backers on Indiegogo one person will also own this wonderful Fire Cutter by Yasmin Foster. You can do that right now by going to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dragon-in-the-post/x/8028980

Thanks so much Yasmin and other frolics to come. – Contacted local papers, cutting the flying film and training for South Downs Walk! Hope you all had a lovely weekend but we need to up the intensity and contributions. PA PRESS

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THE DRAGON, ART, FIREBRINGER AND THE OLD OR THE NEW?

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UPDATE: The crowd funded book on Indiegogo, you will get in the post, is now at a soaring 50%!

Anyone supporting the Dragon In The Post publishing project knows that one of the reasons I have chosen the Indiegogo Flexible Funding model is that I’m working during all this to bring my first and favourite novel Fire Bringer back into hard copy availability in the UK. That means some POD platform, Print on Demand, although it would be nice to try and get it back into bookshops too. It was published for 12 years and I still think Macmillan did not stand up enough for a book some think a classic and which Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, called one of the best anthropomorphic fantasies known to him..

But in that vein I just contacted the original artist for the book cover, Kenny Mckendry, who said it has brought him and his work much interest over the years and has kindly sent me photos of the original painting. The question to the Street Team then is should I go with an original, classic design or try and do a completely new edition? The painting is above, showing Rannoch as a young stag and you can visit Kenny’s website at http://www.kennymckendry.com

With our needing to get to 50% funding this week you can also see the Dragon In The Post project and support the campaign by CONTRIBUTING HERE

Thank you and going up into the skies today!

DCD

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DAVID CLEMENT-DAVIES RAISES A BISHOP’S FINGER ON THE SOUTH DOWNS WAY!

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UPDATE: The crowd funded book on Indiegogo, you will get in the post, is now at a soaring 50%!

Bollocks. F** off” Not exactly the sort of effortlessly witty retort that a Jane Austen would have a wandering Mr Darcy say to the young bloke who dared to suggest that the August Boomtown fair he and other working lads are preparing in the cradle of the South Downs way was the sort of thing that an old codger like me might enjoy. At least he was good enough to reply “that’s more like it. See you there then“, though when the hills start to thump and pump perhaps he has a point. Good on yer mate and go to hell! I was already prepared for the sight of a half built pirate ship on the hill, among the rising stages, past the near vacant farm lot where Juniper Enterprises let you drive tanks, to create a bit of local enterprise, from the bush telegraph of walking gossip along the ancient road, that I got my very first taste of today, in a ten-mile walk into Winchester. Walkers are a necessarily chatty lot, even the ones on mountain bikes and there were lots of hails and well mets in the first encounters. It’s to prepare already aching legs to help the Dragon In The Post campaign by walking the hundred miles from Winchester to Eastbourne.

Two miles up from the mad little village of …… then, where I’m staying in right now, I’d already decided that such a city boy knew nothing about this hale and hearty, horribly healthy living lark and was cursing myself for wearing heavy denim jeans instead of shorts, let alone Convertible Trousers. Ah me, the things these people have, though all the good climbing and hiking shops seem to have closed down in Winchester, like the soon to be closed Royal Hampshire County Hospital in the remorseless search for more groaningly wealthy real estate. But walking is about awareness, preparation, kit and being able to adapt to the wind and weather, the changing aspects of a landscape’s face, which today remained ravishing nearly throughout. There is very little that is hard about the South Downs Way and, as a mate said, you are rarely more than two miles away from the pub. God it was lovely to get up there though, out through the gorgeous Hampshire fields of near ripened wheat, curling in the breeze like a lass’s careless auburn hair, and to see how well-appointed the ancient track through the landscape is. A right turn by the big hay barn and on to a path that was not only the ancient thoroughfare from the south coast up to Winchester, the capital of the kingdom of Wessex, but which also crosses The Pilgrim’s Way, that I walked a little of to. That track between Winchester, east through South London to Becket’s shrine at Canterbury. Appropriate then for all the work on Edmund Shakespeare and Southwark at Phoenix Ark Press, not least because in the little discoveries about St Margaret’s Church in London and that seething tavern, brothel and theatre district where Shakespeare’s brother Edmund died in 1607, dominated by the Bishops of Winchester’s London palace, two of the most prominent grandees of the church were Henry Beaufort and William Waynflete.

Their huge sculpted tombs dominate that astonishing church behind the altar of Winchester Cathedral, in what many say is the heart of monied England and deeply conservative too. What you might expect from a church town which also houses a prominent British public school. Beaufort was of course an unreformed Prince of the Church, born in France in his beautiful fort and cousin and protector of the young Henry VI. That saintly, mad and vulnerable king at the heart of the Wars of the Roses, who plays such a critical role in Shakespeare’s Trilogy Henry VI, some of the first real English dramatised histories ever to be written and which heralded Shakespeare’s appearance on the London stage. In the play, when Beaufort confronts the Duke of Glouster with the threat of the pope he cries “Winchester Goose, I cry a rope, a rope!“, referencing that fairly unjust running theme about Winchester and Bishops profiting from those Elizabethan ladies of the London Streets, prostitutes called Winchester Geese. Then the old saying was ‘go a pilgrim, return a whore’. Beaufort certainly sired an illegitimate child and in Shakespeare is portrayed as dying cursing both God and Man, a sounding bell for Reformation attitudes. Waynflete is just as interesting though because, in a see that was second only in importance to Canterbury itself, he founded that most beautiful of Oxford colleges, Magdalene, became an elder Henry’s chancellor and also met the rebel Jack Cade in St Margaret’s Church in July of 1450, hard by the White Horse and Tabard Inns, on Long Southwark road. There he arranged a pardon for the rebels, who had marched into London off Blackheath and sacked the city, then fought a pitched battle across London Bridge, but as the forces quickly dissolved and he began to get an idea of who this mysterious Cade was, swiftly reneged on the deal, hunted him down and had his decapitated head paraded on a cart through the London streets. It would make a great film not least because Cade was a clear stalking horse for the Dukes of York and Essex and the rebellion, that also challenged Edward III’s laws on ta and the working age, in the Complaint of the Commons of Kent, really began the first English Civil War. Those were the days when the entire South Downs and East of England was of course so open both to pirates and French marauders, that saw such threat in the overspill of soldiery from the eventual failures of Henry V’s wars in France. Which also produced such corruption. bad governance and resentment against arbitrary power reflected in the so called Green Wax laws. Perhaps it all deserves a jolly pint of Bishops Finger though, that meaty ale so much in evidence down here at Rawlinson End, because the Pilgrim’s Way is marked by exactly that, a Bishop’s pointing finger. It is only approaching Winchester itself of course that you begin to feel how that ancient centre must have dominated everything, not only in the structures of faith and power, but as a centre for the English wool markets, of trade, learning and of legislation.

But back in the clouds, after a little picnic in the sunshine near Cheesefoot Hill, of smoked trout pate sandwiches, boiled eggs, vine tomatoes and a chile cheese that could blow you stinking hiking socks off,all washed down with Apple and ginger juice, these heroic steps were feeling decidedly springy, bucked by hares breaking out through the nodding barley, Emperor butterflies flashing off the gravel tracks and sunlight dashing brilliance off the cannon-shot clouds and the gentle ripple of the Downs southward. So naturally I forget everything that my flat mates had said and took a wrong turn away from St Catherine’s Hill that added a good three miles to the walk and brought the need for some real Bishop’s Finger. Never fear, beyond Tyfford Down and the odd Victorian Waterworks, I shortened with a guilty hitch hike courtesy of the Hampshire Highways man, until I decided I was breaking my own rules and he might be a cereal killer (pun intended), so got out and then another a trudge on tarmac into Shawford and a welcome slouch at the Bridge Inn.

There you can pick up the Itchen Way instead, that meanders so beautifully past that ravishing little river and walk the 3 miles straight into Winchester proper. It was there I started to see the need not to make too many rules about walking though, not too many deadlines or finishing lines, I mean, because the whole point should be both some achievement and the freedom and sheer discovery of it all. So I got a tiny sense of what medieval pilgrimages must really have been like too, when people set out into a dangerous and unknown world – in the relaxation of the shining river and the sudden encounters on the path, dancing with wild flowers, birds and giant Peter Rabbit Dock leaves; A wiry, bright-eyed gent proudly catching a pouting Grayling as silver as his shining hair, kids throwing themselves into a weir gushed pool, dripping, excited dogs chasing river sticks and the very strange fellow I caught texting in his roadside car, dressed like a Scout master, who advised me he does the walk every week.I met him standing in the bushes. Well, the Winchester Ashford road does conceal the biggest dogging site in Hampshire, so who knows?

No such nonsense on this walk, but the noisome hum and rush of another kind of road, on the shoulder of the curling Itchen, that hurtling stretch of the M3 Motorway that caused such a battle at Twyford Down, when they cut through one of the putative sites of King Arthur’s resting place at Sleeper’s Hill and the powers that be did not want their cricket pitch disturbed by views of traffic. It’s an odd feeling coming out of the miracle of sun freckled copses, light and shade, past neat lawns with devilish Gargoyles on the banks worthy of a Dragon In The Post, passed vaguely guilty looking woodland grazing cows, right under the M3 road bridge, graffiteed with a healthy phallus or urban love notes to whoever wos here, united for a time, back into the sheer lost gentility of Winchester.

But with your back on the M3 the nasty hum of modern hurry and worry, going nowhere, drops away again and I remembered that I had once been on the same train as Laurie Lee, as I passed St Catherne’s hill. That neolithic hill fort and later associated with St Catherine was also damaged in the motorway building, but has been restored and gave a sense of the astonishing history of the downs, with many sacred or numinous sites nestled in these hills. It also perhaps solved a little mystery of the Catherine Wheel, since there was once a water wheel here that dominated what is called the Itchen Navigation. Southwark of course had its Catherine Wheel tavern among the hundreds. So to the grounds of Winchester School and the skirting brick of Cathedral buildings appeared. That ancient target. People everywhere now, changing footsteps and at last the Bishop on The Bridge Pub, right by that statue of King Aelfred, Alfred the Great, who drove the Danes from Wessex and where the South Downs Way traditionally begins. A conundrum over a glass of cider then as to whether I should walk from Winchester or ‘home’ from Eastbourne, and only to discover that my lift back had changed his mind and is as unreliable as everyone else in bloody Hampshire. No, perhaps that’s not it, because country life is all about spaces and changes and these lot go on about things like tides and navigating different ways! On the other hand mate, have some Bishops Finger! Over five quid is far too much to charge for a five mile bus ride home too, but how could anyone complain on a day like that? Hmmm, gather the arnica and run a bath, then a flying lesson tomorrow at Phoenix Aviation to help the Dragon fly.

If you enjoyed this article or are interested in crowd funding a fairytale DRAGON IN THE POST, you can read part of on Facebook or at Wattpad.com and supporting a little publish too please visit and contribute now to the campaign up at Indiegogo.com by CLICKING HERE . The picture is a public domain image of King Alfred in Winchester. The Boomtown Fair runs from the 8th to the 11th of august.

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