Dear March House Books Readers,
Firstly a big thank you to Barbara for this lovely invitation: a site I often visit for a trip down memory lane.
My name is Julia Suzuki and I am author of the soon to be released Land of Dragor, a children’s adventure series with an appeal for the child within us all too!
My formative years were enchanting, and the strongest inspiration for my current authorship. The earliest recollection I have was being sat in my bedroom with the breeze blowing in through the window on a beautiful summers day, listening to the sounds of animals merged with the thrill of happy human cheers!
It wasn’t the usual garden sounds though; not dogs, not cats, not birds - nor of children playing in the garden as they would normally do.
But it was the noises of real beasts: lions and monkeys, zebras and cheetahs! Our family home was uniquely set on the closest edge to a Zoo and Theme Park in Staffordshire; we were separated only by the Millrace at the bottom of the garden on the ‘Deer park Estate’ by Drayton Manor Park in Tamworth, Staffordshire.
The Drayton Manor Theme Park
One summer, my Father lovingly handcrafted myself and brothers wide canoes. In the years ahead we would regularly set off for secret adventures. Down the millrace we would paddle, and into the fields we would go; playing wildly in the woods, loving nature, embracing the outdoors - pretending we were the animals.
My imagination started to grow with my love of books.
My winter months were spent indoors often reading. I loved all the now vintage books: Beatrix Potter, CS Lewis, Enid Blyton and others of that period. I would often close the book and write my own endings and so my joy of creative writing began.
At the age of seven I was enrolled in elocution lessons with a local speech and drama school, ran by a former teacher from a local convent. She was very strict and austere but that did bring out the best in the group of girls that attended. In the lessons I would practice reciting pages of literature and poetry, from memory, in preparation for the London School of Music examiners. I continued through to the senior grades. My favorite and most memorable recital was from the book the Snow Goose; such a sad tale that even in recollection pulls at heartstrings.
Into adulthood a business career followed. After time at University studying marketing, a career with Disney licensing then followed. After this I worked in international licensing with the leisure entrepreneur David Lloyd in a resorts business. I had the good fortune of travelling to many of the most beautiful places in the world - inspiring me further. My urge to be an author was growing daily, and I recently gave up this career to become a full time writer.
And so the first book the Gift of Charms came to be!
I had been thinking back to the wonderful vintage books I had read and wishing there were more like this - but with unique and modern edge and an interactive web presence. Being a mother I believed I knew first hand what parents were looking for when purchasing a book for their children, yet more than that, I felt strongly that I knew also what they sought themselves: gripping action, lots of adventure - all the classic aspects of heroes and villains, mystery and magic, quests and suspense, and the dream of happy endings.
I wanted to write books with universal appeal, that were fantastical and 'out there' and yet still felt somehow real; to fulfil the expectations of book lovers and also hook non-readers back into reading. For me this had to be in the form of a series set in a place we would all be excited to visit.
I designed the land, integrating beautiful countryside, mountain trails, great waters and caves to explore. All the things I loved as a child and still do today. The most beautiful places that I had seen on my international travels formed the setting of Dragor: the amazing mountains of Colorado, the great deserts of Palm Springs, in California, the vast waters in the Lake District, and the seaside caves of Cornwall - not forgetting the enchanting wilderness of Scotland. Dragor would be my ideal place to live - full of magnificent scenery, bursting with animals and nature's magical flowers and plants. A place of adventure, excitement and promise.
Synopsis of Book #1
The Gift of Charms is an enthralling children’s tale of magic, adventure, and suspense, with a heart-warming centre.
The first in the Land of Dragor series, transports the reader to the magical Land of Dragor, where dragon clans live hidden from man.
Their great wars with humans and the evil dragsaurs are over and the dragons live in the caves among smoking mud pools and around The Fire Which Must Never Go Out. But the terrible years when they were enslaved by humans has left a lasting scar and they are told they can never soar above the mountains and leave their safe haven to explore the outside world.
There is unease in the air of their mist-filled valley, and the coming of a strange egg heralds a new era. Unlike the normal delicate lilac, this shell is multi-coloured like the contents of a treasure chest.
The newborn hatchling is called Yoshiko, but he is immediately treated with suspicion by the elders, and is lucky to survive. The last time a coloured egg was laid, legendary warrior leader Surion was born from a red shell, and with his gift of fire the dragons went to battle with the humans. Will Yoshiko bring a blessing to the clans, or a curse? Could Dragor be about to meet its saviour, or its destroyer?
Author Julia Suzuki
‘The Gift of Charms’ is released by John Blake Publishing under the Dino Children’s Imprint on September 4th and is available to pre-order here:
The Land of Dragor: Book 1: The Gift of Charms
The Land of Dragor: Book 1: The Gift of Charms
All best wishes
The Land of Dragor adventure series
(John Blake Publishing House, Dino Imprint)
After so many stories and myths about dragons finally the truth is revealed!
The epic series begins with 'The Gift of Charms' PRE-ORDER at AMAZON http://tinyurl.com/o95ufw9
'A beautifully presented, wonderfully unique debut' - The Sun
http://www.juliasuzuki.com (Author blog and website)
http://www.landofdragor.com (An interactive website for Dragor fans)
http://www.twitter.com/juliasuzuki_uk (Follow Julia here on Twitter)
http://facebook.com/juliasuzukiauthor (Follow Julia and here on Facebook)
http://goodreads.com/juliasuzuki (See latest book reviews)
http://amazon.com/juliasuzuki (Buy the books here)