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Much Ado About Dragons - cover



People sometimes ask 'how did you get into writing?'. Well, this wasn't the first book with my name on the cover (another story for another days, perhaps). But it was the first book with only my name on the cover. And how it happened? Well, some time ago (let's not get into how long - I feel old already), I sent a potential Query - the letter a writer sends to Agents to try and get them interested in a Book - to the Magnificent Query Shark. She reviews such things, tears them to shreds, laughs maniacally - and tries to show how to improve them. Well, trust me. It was a horrible Query. And she took great joy in telling me (and the world) just how bad it was. But I also sent a cover letter with the Query. And, um, she said something different about that. Because the Query? It sucked. But she liked the style of the cover letter - and so did some other people who saw it. So I thought - what the heck. And I took that 'Voice', that style and - well. 'And' :-). I guess that's for you to judge :-). Over to y'all...


Much Ado About Dragons - The Book of the Idiot (Prologue)

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m an Idiot.

This wouldn’t be news to anyone who knows me, apart from my mother. She believes me to be an incredible idiot and would be amazed I’d been able to improve to just 'idiot.’ Her view is probably more accurate. She’s known me even longer than I have.

If I'm going to be totally honest (a bad habit I’m trying to break), Idiot is only one of my names. To the Elves, I’m 'Oh-god-it-eez-eem-aygayn'. To the dwarves I’m 'Bugger-lock-the-door-and-keep-quiet-he-might-go-away'. To the Halflings—actually, I don't know what the Halflings call me. I can't ask. They have a restraining order, and really good lawyers. With writs—writs with nails in.

But still, I’m an Idiot. And not unhappy with that. It's a well-paying job with no heavy lifting. Job? Sorry. I can see you're confused. As you can tell, I'm not very good at this. Let me start again. Segorian Anderson, Royal Idiot at your service. Well. Not at your service. At the Queen's service. And gods above, every ruler needs an Idiot. Queen Sonea? She has me.

That’s Queen Sonea of Peladon. Or Sonea, Queen of Peladon. I can never remember the proper form. I’ll get exiled for it one day.

No. I'm not the Jester. Not the Fool. I don't wear motley (whatever motley may be) and I don’t tell complicated jokes nobody understands, giving me an excuse to bash them on the head with a pig's bladder. Besides, that's a different union.

I'm an Idiot.

Whenever something goes wrong, there has to be somebody to blame. When a visiting dignitary has wine spilled down their tunic—some idiot spilt it. When the generals lose a battle—some idiot read their plans wrong. When the Royal Pageant starts out on a bright sunny day, and the bright sun turns to dark clouds, and the dark clouds to hissing pouring...oh. I forgot. Nobody cares about the weather report. Anyway. Some idiot wrote down the wrong day in the Royal Calendar.

I'm the Idiot.

When the call comes, the Queen's people pull out something relevant—a servant's tabard, perhaps a Colonel's uniform—and I go to my duty. I stand where I must stand. Some people shout at me for a while, and I'm banished from the Kingdom forever for my grievous sins. The offended parties feel vindicated, and nobody important has to suffer unduly. I accept my exile, at least as far as the back door to the castle, and then I slip back inside. To wait for the next time. Because everybody needs an Idiot.

Like I said, it's a well-paying job. And no heavy lifting. Or it was. Until the dragon...